the tale of Phoebe's birth {part 1}

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30 May 2014

Yep! It's going to be broken into parts. Hopefully just two ...

Where to begin?

Ah, yes! False labor. The most false. The falsest. For many days and many nights. The Sunday before Phoebe was born I had my bag all packed, a sitter on standby via text, and Simon had even gotten a powernap in until about midnight (?) when .... zap. The contractions stopped.

Repeat the same infuriating situation a few more times and then came Tuesday evening.

The kids were playing outside and Simon was watching them and I was contracting .... like always.

the first person to tell them this isn't the fanciest sandbox in all of the land .... welcome to your deathbed. Hope it's cozy!!

I would go back and forth between walking around inside and then deciding that I wanted to be around the kids and go outside but then they'd break into another FIGHT!! So I'd waddle back inside to make some laps around our casita. It felt as though these contractions seemed to have a little more bite this time around or was that my imagination? I don't know but! Like a good pregnant lady ... I tried not to get my hopes up.

And! Before anyone starts silently judging my hopes to have the baby circa 38 weeks ... Simon was going to be gone right before, the day of, and the day after the due date and then again a few days later. And we had no family that was going to be able to come at all so really my huge stress was not "what if Simon misses the delivery?!" -- I mean -- that wouldn't be ideal but ... life would go on! It was "what in the bleeeeeep are we going to do with the kids while I'm in the hospital for the days after the delivery and Simon is at work and/or at an interview?!" ... so this week was ideal because Simon was in town AND on vacation and he'd be able to watch the kids after I had the baby.

Back to the action. The contractions were pretty consistently coming every 5-7 minutes but I didn't want to be tricked by the false monster for the 99th time! No. But! I took a shower AGAIN just in case I happened to find myself gowned up and ready for action later that evening. I think one of my worst fears would be hitting up the delivery room with stubby unshaven spikey legs and unwashed hair. What? My life is scary, obvio.

Simon put the kids to bed while I sat in the basement and held onto the play structure thing (what is the official name for the ginorm plastic things with the slide? I don't know .. play structure) during each contraction. Julia and Bash came down and kissed my feet (?! I'm guessing Simon told them not to touch me ... it was very sweet and I'm happy I had just showered for their sweet little sakes). Simon came downstairs to keep me company and I REALLY didn't want him to touch me but I wanted to hold onto that play structure for dear life. In between contractions we waffled back and forth about whether or not I should go in. I decided to text the sitter around 9 and she said she could be over in an hour. So Simon and I waited and I prayed that the hard hitters would keep coming while praying that they stopped hitting SO hard. You know?

Sittter came ... we peaced.

But not before I coerced Simon into a few of these!

He loved it.

Off to the hospital we went and NO. No no no no .... had the contractions stopped?! No .... they hadn't. Here comes another! And another! And they were h-u-r-t-i-n-g. Labor is a funny thing in that you want the pain to keep on keepin' on lest the pain fizzles and JK! Not labor! But still ... to actively desire pain ... is weird.

In between contractions as to not break with tradition we cemented our boy name and our girl name. I had emailed him the Anika middle name option the day before and shockingly, he agreed. Phoebe and Felicity had always been our top girl name contenders for this baby ... Phoebe being the toppest. I wish we had some meaningful meanings behind our kid's names but NOPE. In fact -- someone commented that Anike actually meant, "grace" -- awesome. We had no idea.

We got to the hospital and on the walk to the maternity check-in desk (I know there's a more technical name for that) I had to stop and not move through a contraction. I was going to be mortified if I waltzed in and they declared me 2 cm dilated because ... 4th baby. And while everyone in the hospital that I've ever encountered has been nothing but super duper nice I just didn't want to be the wife of the OB resident that was having a cow over not-in-actual-labor.

My big fear was that I'd have to stay down in the WEU (women's evaluation unit) for an hour to make sure I was making progress ... and an hour of contractions sounded nauseating at this point because they were really hurting. A lot. We signed in and waited for a second before the nicest nicest nurse came and got us and whisked me right up to labor and delivery. Praise the Lord. No wait! But now I would be REALLY mortified if I'd made no change since my appointment earlier in the week.

She asked if I wanted a room with a tub and I had to laugh ... because no. This would not be that kind of birth. So we went into a room where nurses were getting things all set up and so I gowned up and gingerly climbed onto the bed and waited for the moment of truth. The nurse checked and declared that I was a 6.


Bring on the interventions.

Now, please.

One of the nurses put in an IV and did a phenomenal job ... not a drop of blood to be seen. Usually it looks like a war zone afterwards because my veins are bigger than Goliath's. Guarant.

Simon went to get my bag while the anesthesiologist came in and did her thing. I've never had a super painful epidural placement and this was no different.

God bless America. And medicated births.

We settled into watch the Parenthood finale after one of Simon's classmates came and broke my water. A female classmate. Sorry males! I'm not the biggest fan of awkward.

This is why I shouldn't wait five weeks to type out the deets because I can't remember which side it was but while I was a LOT more comfortable than pre-needle one side (let's say it was the right?) was still feelable. (a new word).

The anesthesiologist came in and fixed the pump and that seemed to help ... back to Parenthood. My nurse (who was really awesome - they always are!) kept coming in to check my progress because they were a little worried I might precip. I was not worried about that because ... remember Theo???

We got there around 10:30 and by 1am I was complete and ready to push. This is not a brag because after reading all of your "I knew I was in labor" stories ... I think the record for shortest labor is in the neighborhood of about 4 seconds. I'm a slow poke, apparently. My OB was on call (which was awesome because a different doc had delivered both boys and while I really liked her a lot it was neat to have my OB - come in for the delivery this time) and she came in and we got all ready to push. Normally the nurse will do a practice push or two or three with the patient to see if the baby is going to pop out or if it will be awhile but we didn't do any practice pushes because surely baby #4 was going to come flying out after a push or two ... right?

WRONG. The most wrong ever in the history of wrong.

And we'll address that odyssey in part two ... coming VERY soon to a blog post near you.

... part two right here

some links about some things

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25 May 2014

If this photo could talk it would sound exactly like four Patton kids crying.
Road trips aren't our strong suit.

Are you having a nice Memorial Day weekend? I hope so. I really do. We drove to Wichita to visit Simon's family and Simon sprung for a hotel room for me and Phoebe .... a belated babymoon of sorts. It was the only solution to ... 4 kids in one hotel room do not a fun night make AND not enough room at the inn (Simon's parents) for our family of 6. And I'm not complaining about it one bit. But if you would've told me when Julia was an infant that I would find some nights with "just the baby" to be a luxury ... LAUGH. Time and perspective are funny. Funny indeed. I fought Simon when he initially came up with the plan but then he reminded me about the nine nights he spent solo in hotel rooms on the interview trail and .... sold. 

Anyway ... here's some clickables for your viewing pleasure:

Have you read Hallie's new e-book, Spice Up Your Marriage: A 28-Day Adventure? Because you SHOULD. Worth every penny. Well, it's worth a lot more than that so snatch it up now now now! 

Surprisingly, this has proven to be my very favorite postpartum shirt. It's loose and lightweight and is totally nursing friendly.

I know I've blogged about it before and I tried to go generic for a bit but I caved and bought this baby shampoo again. It zaps cradle cap immediately (because who has time to coat their babies scalp in oil and scrape, scrape, scrape away? ... I probably do but ... priorities!) and smells the best of all the baby shampoos. Don't argue with me.

Speaking/typing of baby stuff ... behold!! A diaper bag specifically designed with dads in mind. I loved reading the back story behind this project and the prizes for backing the concept are pretty cool. I hope it comes to fruition because Simon's been looking to up his diaper bag game ... I know it.

Ah! The Bachelorette is BACK. This show is my super guilty vice/jam/pleasure. I think it's going to be a decent season after the train wreck that was Juan Pablo. And the best, best, best part about the franchise are Ashley's recaps. The bomb. And now that we have an antenna and some channels .. I can read her live tweets. Life is all downhill from here. Oh! And don't miss her hysterical rundown of the men ... I died .. I'm actually typing this from my comfy grave.

I love to read but am always (always!) at a loss for what to read. Luckily, for all of us, Anne has put together another brilliant summer reading guide. She truly has a recommendation for everyone with multiple categories (breezy novels, nerdy nonfiction, southern fiction, foodie memoirs, and MORE). Check it here.

Okay ... the time has (almost!!!) come for me to start running (slowly) again. Help. Please. I need some music suggestions that will help drown out the sound of my out-of-shape-ness. You know what I'm talking about. Thanks in advance. Thanks a lot.

short stories and shoes

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22 May 2014

"Gracer - the toilet won't stop watering!!!!!"

- Julia yesterday during her "nap"

And she was right. It watered all over the bathroom floor, the hallway, the kitchen, and eventually the basement ceiling leading to actual ceiling chunks falling onto the basement floor because they couldn't handle the weight of said water. From my limited knowledge and lengthy investigation of the empty toilet paper roll (previously fresh and full) I believe that she unraveled the entire roll and attempted to flush it to its death ... which resulted in the great toilet vom sesh of 2k14. And while I was trying to quickly! quickly! quickly! mop and sop up the disaster the boys woke up, smelled my distracted demeanor, and emptied the pantry and all of the accessible cupboards. All of them. And the pantry - I mentioned the pantry, right? And Theo discovered a full box of pads by the name of maxi and went to town ... he decorated the entire house with those suckers with the sticky backing.

So that was yesterday's carnival.

And today ... Phoebe was woken up by the sound of me putting the three big kids down for naps (always! it's her thing) ...

So I was just soaking up some special time with the little lady and contemplating the possibility of a nap when Julia knocked on the inside of the attic door and said that she had something REALLY important to tell me.

Oh, good.

...  I think she was scarred by yesterday's toilet fiasco because apparently she bypassed the toilet and went straight for our bed (where she naps) BECAUSE I just had to cut her shirt (a new shirt! do you know how many new shirts I've purchased for her ... ever? ONE -- and I just cut it ... so please know that I did not make this decision rashly) off of her body because the "didn't bother with a toilet" situation involved more shit than I knew what to do with. And right now my days involve a lot of shit ... but this was way out of my realm of shit expertise. I've never seen or smelled anything like it -- we'll just leave it at that. And she's never allowed to eat food again. J to the K ... calm down, parenting po-lease.

Oh, I know it all comes with the parenting territory but sometimes the territory is really bleeping gross.

Switching gears.

I have a bad habit of mindlessly browsing eBay in the middle of the night when I'm up with Phoebe and I bid on two similar pairs of shoes and oops! won them both.

Which should I keep? 

Or option C - sell them both and look for something flashier?

Help me live my life to the fullest, please.


around here ...

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20 May 2014

... things aren't terrible. They're wild.

not napping.

And I'm not caring because do you know what a Julia is during the hours that she is supposed to be napping? VERY well behaved. It's almost disturbing. So I really don't care as long as she gives me a solid hour of alone time before she tiptoes downstairs with her usual barrage of, "do you need my help with the baby?" ... "oh, sweetheart, are you okay?" ... "did I hear Simon come home? oh! haha oops .. I guess not!" ... "hey, did you want to take a picture of me since I look so nice? you can!" ... "I'm too tired to sleep, I guess."


Go downstairs and enjoy some quality children's programming a la PBS (did I mention we got ourselves all gussied up and purchased an antenna so we {usually} have a few channels to choose from? we fancy. the fanciest!) until your brothers wake up and sound the crazy sirens to mark the start of the second half of our day ... aka the period of time in which we count down the minutes until Simon gets home and saves us all.

About 2 minutes after everyone had woken up and vocalized their deep-seated hatred for life this morning I made the executive that we wouldn't last the entire two hours in the house before Theo went down for his morning siesta. Someone would kill someone and I wasn't in the mood to listen to elaborate alibis so ... park! To the park that is almost always guaranteed to be empty because I like to let my kids play at the playground and the parents that follow 2 feet behind their precious flesh and blood at all times ... they make me twitch and occasionally {involuntarily!} roll my pupils heavenward.

Here we have Theo basking in some serious pride for scaling his equivalent of Everest and willing himself not to look down -- that ground is FAR away, Julia mad that Theo is in her path, and Bash trying to remember how to twerk.

And then a little character building bouquet making competition.

It was close. Real close, Bash.

And me? The queen of the cottage?
She recently sat on her glasses.

But the damage was like totally minimal, right?


So, like I said, things around here?
the wildest.

Nesting Days Giveaway

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19 May 2014

As far as 
the outfit goes
I don't know.
Churchwear meets comfort
or something.

I was pretty sure I'd heard of all the baby carriers out there and I was pretty sure that I'd made my mind up about the majority of them. They all have their pros and cons and what works for some moms doesn't necessarily work for me so I was really curious to try the Nesting Days carrier after they got in touch with me a few weeks ago. I wasn't skeptical but my hopes weren't terribly high because Grace + optimism have never been best friends forever but once it came and Phoebe and I had the chance to test it out ... we were sold. 

I'll tell you why. 

The carrier is designed for babies 0-4 months (5-20 pounds) and can be worn while nursing (game changer! hands-free, baby!) and giving the baby more skin-to-skin time beyond the day of delivery. I don't know about you but I rarely have the time to even think about giving newborns more skin-to-skin love so ... the carrier is great for that. There's no guesswork as far as putting the carrier on ... it's simple and holds the baby nice and tight every single time.  It's lightweight and washes and dries easily and quickly (think swimsuit material ...). There are no buckles or Velcro or hard edges or wrapping ... which saves me a lot of time in the mornings when I'm trying to get the kids out the door and into the stroller for our walk to preschool drop off. And so far ... it has a 100% success rate for lulling Phoebe right to sleep which is probably my very favorite feature. 

Let me walk you through how to put it on ... (I've opted not to showcase how to wear the carrier utilizing the skin-to-skin option ... you're welcome) ...

1. Either step into the carrier and pull it up (it's basically a tube top ... if that makes sense?) or pull it over your head ... I've done both. Put the bottom layer over your left shoulder (the black "strap").
2. Put the patterned layer/sleeve (also known as the "apron") on your right arm.
3. Pull it up over your shoulder.
4. Well, this step is just for show ... got it? Good.

5. Put the baby inside the bottom layer 
6. Tuck the baby's head under one or both layers. Tie the patterned layer together with the back flap on your left side
7. Adjust the bottom layer (you can wear it down as a body shaper or fold it up halfway like I'm wearing it or pull it up completely over the carrier for added support like I'm wearing here).
8. Go about your day.

Nesting Days is generously giving a carrier away to one of you lucky readers ... and in case you aren't the winner ... feel free to use the coupon code: camppatton to get 20% off your carrier until May 31st.

May the very best reader win. And please keep in mind that cheaters never prosper around here ... the winner's name is always triple checked for mandatory entry completion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


wipe it good.

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16 May 2014

... before you traipse any further down the page I have to warn you that this is a sponsored post. Read on or read no more ... it's your informed decision! However! I'm not writing about something irrelevant to our life because a day in the life sees me use these babies almost every hour of every day around here. 

There are infinite ways in which my life has changed since having kids ... beyond infinite, actually. If you had told me exactly how much life would change post-baby before I had kids I would've chuckled and said, "oh, I know" but ... I had no idea. None at all. Let's emphasize that one more time ... NONE.

One of these ways is that I'd never guess what a serious staple baby wipes would become in my day to day life. Need to deep clean the bathroom? Baby wipes. Want to erase all traces of the yogurt explosion in the kitchen c/o the 1-year-old? Baby wipes. Want to wash your face quick and dirty style? Baby wipes. You get my drift.

But ... most importantly ... leaving the house with the kids but without baby wipes is now a great exercise in decision making skills to be filed under: stupid. The stupidest. I may as well beg Theo to take off his diaper for the duration of our sojourn and relax himself into multiple potty related accidents because Murphy and his law can smell that kind of situation a mile away. Something terrible and messy and stainy is bound to happen if I decide to ride dirty and leave the house unarmed.

Por ejemplo ... yesterday.

I braved Costco for the first time since Phoebe was born and naturally ... hit up the snack bar for some lunch. This was after a couple of bites of pizza for my neat freak ... Sebastian. I realllllly try to avoid public restrooms (especially when a shopping cart is involved because heavy doors and shopping carts are a marriage made in hell) so ... wipes it is for the face cleaning.

Even though I know this is sponsored I have to admit that I am genuinely loving the new Huggies Clutch 'n' Clean Wipes because sometimes it's nice to have a few baby related necessities that don't necessarily scream, "baby". Sometimes! The clutch is refillable and the kids have no idea that there are wipes inside ...

(will that last long? I don't know) so it's nice not having to wrestle them out of Theo's paws before he giggles his sinister little giggle and goes to town emptying the entire container because ... that's his specialty these days.


Clueless. He wants nothing to do with them. Or me.

(very naturally looking cameo appearance by said wipes)

Anyway, when we visit Simon at work (pictured above) we (ahem ... the kids) always leave a mess on the table ... always. And we already draw enough attention to ourselves with the stroller and the car seat and the older two that are inevitably begging to go on the "elefagator"  and wipes are absolutely necessary to clean up the leftover disaster area before we exit the premises.

So ... on-the-go ... they're great. I keep one in my purse and one in the car and if I'm being perfectly honest ...

 ... one in the house because inevitably our usual pack(s) of wipes will be camping in the room where the one child is sleeping when I really REALLY need them.

Like here ...

...  the little lady sensed that everyone was asleep and mistakenly thought I looked a little bored and gave me a nice little diaper to change. Thanks, bebe. And wipes. And tiniest diapers in all of the land.

And thank you for reading. You're my favorite ... forever.

... sinister giggle of my own.
... jk - mostly.

And I learned a LOT about diaper preferences from you all a few months ago ... any strong opinions on wipes? I normally just get the Costco Kirklands but am not hating the Huggies. Hit me with your wisdom, if you dare. 

postpartum pants

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15 May 2014

Grace ... when you were pregnant that's all you rattled and rambled and rambled ... on and on and ON about and now that we are safely on the other side of the delivery room ... you and the postpartum prattle are inseparable.

True. It's true. You just have to take it or leave it around here .... I like to think that I'm all kinds of introspective and circumspect about life in general but ... nope. It's mainly kids and diaper contents and wardrobe woes these days. I'll move on at some point ... gird your surprised face for that fancy day in the near or distant future.


so, so, so. I mentioned that Blythe had blogged about some magical postpartum jeans and all it took was one of Gap's 40% off sale events (that happen about as often as I have to walk a diaper outside to the big trashcan so ... allthetime ... ) for me to pull the copycat trigger. But! not before I rapid fire texted her a million questions about the size situation. I also read a lot of the reviews and a lot of people said to order a whole size down because the fit was so "huge". So I ordered a whole size up from my regular Gap size because ... girl pregnancies are not kind to this bod. Not kind at all.

And then they came! And I could barely get them buttoned. Barely. Climbing stairs was also completely out of the question. Blythe assured me that they stretch quickly and easily and that she "needed a belt for hers by the end of the day" ..... which was about as reassuring as hearing a loud crash from somewhere in the house and Julia hollering out, "don't worry! everysing is just fine!" ... while Sebastian yells, "no spanking, please!!" ... super duper reassuring.

Anyway .. I gave them a few days and lots of hours of wear around the house and they've stretched a bit ...

Yes, I rock wedges around the house. No, I don't ... but I just found them under Julia's bed {along with every Costco receipt ever - I'll need to dedicate a post to her hoarding problem soon and very soon} and thought they looked a lot better than my usual mom hooves. And my glasses from Firmoo.

And so ... postpartum pants. I dig them ... and I'll dig them more in a few weeks when I'll be reaching for a belt, I'm sure. Smiles. Big smiles.

And would you look at this ...

Drew gave birth to a baby girl the day before Phoebe was born (I think! From what I've read on lots of gossipy websites ... my notsosecret vice) and look what she was rocking at 3 weeks postpartum the other day ...

via eOnline's gram account ... a legal (?) screenshot for you to enjoy

Drew ... don't be shy. If you're a closet reader of the Camp or The Fike Life .... there's no need to be ashamed. We're so happy to have you aboard.

Also! I was super tempted to type all about my thoughts on postpartum body ish but then I remembered I already did that over here on Madeline's blog. It's fun .. I promise.

And if you have any magical postpartum clothing that you'd like to tell me about ... I'm all blinkless eyes. My yogas are about to go on strike and I can't say that I'll have the energy to even think about stopping them.

Simon Says

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13 May 2014

on a scale of 1-5 with Sebastian trucking and Theo squealing and Julia cooing and Phoebe squawking and the laundry begging to be put away the volume level up in here was at a solid 10. and on a scale of 1-asleep Simon was pretty much dead.

While looking at Pinterest for the first time Simon said, "WHAT is this?!"

After changing Sebastian's diaper and commenting on my, "wear it till it's really dirty" policy ... Simon said, "so he's been wearing the same pants for the past 15 changes."

Answering Julia's call for, "HALP" in the bathroom, Simon said, "okay, Theo - are you ready to go on a safari of smells? ... let's go."

While wiping Theo's super runny nose a few weeks ago Simon noted, "well, he's fertile."

Before he left for his first interview in Birmingham, Simon asked, "how offended would you be if I got a professional haircut before my interviews? It's just that ear tufts aren't my best look."

In the middle of one of Julia's epic 99 million rapid fire question sessions Simon asked, "do you think you could turn your personality down to 50% for a few minutes?"

After studying Phoebe for a few minutes, Simon said, "I'd say she looks more like Jay-Z than anyone else."

And finally ... after a fun night of co-sleeping with both Grace and Phoebe in our glorified twin bed, Simon complained, "at one point I had fewer than six inches to call my own so I had to turn on my side and balance delicately on my left love handle."

breaking: mom blogs about mother's day ...

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12 May 2014

... yep, just what the blog universe needs ... another Mother's Day post. I know.

I won't wax emotional or deep because ...
1. I'm terrible at that sort of thing (all vapid and shallow all the time around here! Girl - you know it's true) and ...
2. White Plum let me write a little something something along those lines right over here ... go if you dare.

But here and now ... I will throw you a little rundown of the day.

Unlike last year ... Simon had the day off. Hallelu-that. It was the best ...  until we went to Mass where the kids put on their worst behavior performances ever. EVER. We had to follow through with the old, "no donuts if you misbehave and we MEAN it!" threat which was really more of a punishment for me but ... tough love comes with a price tag, sadly. We came home and I made mediocre crepes while Theo slept off his horrible no good really bad mood, the big kids played their favorite game of, "digging" outside in between world wars 3, 4, and 5 {when?! when will this phase end? I'm guessing never}, and Simon and Phoebe slept on the couch. I'm still kicking myself for not getting a super original picture of the precious. The internet will live, I'm sure.

Okay. Maybe I won't walk you through every 'tail of the day.

Fast forward through naps + cocktailing + fawning over Phoebe like the parents that we are.

And onward to a picnic at a new-to-us park. An awesome-to-us park. Where we got some real framers with mother and children ...

I'm not entirely sure that the frock I'm donning isn't supposed to be a nightgown.

Don't (really) care.

because if the nighty fits ... the postpartum hips rejoice. And I'm already embarrassing Phoebe ... 2.5 weeks into her little life.

We topped the night off with a trip to get frozen yogurt for the second time in 24 hours because ... we live large in the Patton casa.

And probably my favorite part of the entire weekend was after Simon gave the big kids a semi-lengthy explanation of what Mother's Day is/means/allofthat ... and Sebastian thought for a second while seeming to digest the information. And then he looked at Simon and said, "Happy Mother's Day, Daddy!!!"

Amen, Bash.


How Grace {sort of/maybe} Got Her Groove Back

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09 May 2014

Do you know how many weeks old Sebastian was before I finally womaned up enough to leave the house with both he and Julia?


Seven. Seven weeks old.

And even then we just went to visit Simon at work on Christmas (eve? the day after Christmas? I'm so happy it all blends together now because those hours were some of the longest of my life). I think a lot of it had to do with the weather and the fact that an unnamed daughter H-A-T-E-D her car seat and we catered to her likes and dislikes like idiots. But still .... I get lonely and feverish just thinking about that period of time.

But now! Now ... to celebrate Phoebe's two week birthday the kids and I hit up the grocery store because Phoebe needed some Similac and Grace needed some simple syrup to make una margarita ...

... to celebrate the siete de Mayo, naturally.

The kids were promised free cookie samples but they were gone (fist shake! thanks, store!) so I went the notfree cookie route because ... mothersucker.

They had their pick of Dora, Hello Kitty, Thomas, Diego, etc etc etc ETC.

Here's what they went with after a LENGTHY deliberation session that almost drove me off the crazy cliff ...

Day of the Dead cookies.

Being a New Mexican native I know that this holiday is observed in NOVEMBER so ... my guess is they just got lazy when it came time for Cinco de Mayo confection making and just dusted off these pretties? I don't know.

And then today we made the crazy discovery that Phoebe + size 4 diapers do not a happy combo make because someone wasn't keeping awesome tabs on the newborn diaper situation and there were none to be scrounged ... anywhere.

Well. Twist my arm right on over to Target ...

... where all your dreams come true, right Theo?

Everyone was relatively well behaved and as we were walking out (and followed by a car driven by an idiot to our parking spot in a relatively empty parking lot where said idiot waited and waited and waited and waited as I loaded and buckled every Patton child into their car seats ... hopefully the wait was worth it, bizarro) Julia noted that, "everyone was SO good ... Julia didn't cry and Bash didn't cry and Theo didn't cry and Phoebe didn't cry and EVEN MOMMY didn't cry!!!"

So ... there's that.

All this to say that if I were a Costco warehouse I would probably be enjoying the tail end of my delightful Patton breather because  ... we're coming for you, big guy.

We're coming REAL soon.

Fist bumps, fist pumps, and all.

spirit fingers for Simon

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08 May 2014

In a couple of hours Simon's very last flight from his very last fellowship interview will (should!) be landing.

Toe touch.

{shamelessly stolen from Rachael a la Boston}

Over the course of the past two months on top of work and call weekends and baby birthing [ahem ... sort of] he's been on nine interviews but could only be bothered to take photos at five of the locations ...

Let's see.
In order of appearance we've got ...

Rochester, Minnesota
Morristown, New Jersey
Temple, Texas
Tampa, Florida

And not pictured ...
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Birmingham, Alabama
Cincinnati, Ohio

So now ... we (he) makes his rank list and the programs make their rank lists and we wait until mid-June to see if he successfully dazzled anyone in particular and pray that he matched somewhere. It's a really fun process.

Even though it's a pretty competitive field I have all the confidence in the world that he did well because he's Simon and I think and know he's the bee's pajamas and the cat's knees and all of that.

I'll keep you posted.

And in the mean time we'll be debating the merit of three years of sunshine basking vs. three years of igloo inhabiting along with redefining Grace's definition of, "really effing cold".

oh! and the biggest thank you to Kristin and Matt (no picture - blame Simon) for showing Simon around Tampa and to Rachael and Joe for letting Simon stay at their place in Boston. Kindest souls on the internet and in real life.


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06 May 2014

today I organized and held a Lowering of the Standards ceremony.

It was time.

I'll probably have another one again tomorrow.
And you're invited.
Casual dress {jeans? too formal}

See you then.
See you there.
And if you're tardy ... I don't care.

if my best friend was having a baby tomorrow ...

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05 May 2014

... I would sit her down and tell her that if new motherhood doesn't feel like the majority of baby-mama instagrammage makes it look ... sweet and wonderful and sweeter ... that's just fine. And normal. And healthy. And if it does feel just like the majority of baby-mama instagrammage makes it look ... that's just fine too. Julia's descent into our lives was much more of a shock than all three of the other kids put together ... nothing can prepare you for a newborn (in all of the best and worst ways).

With that said ... (now!) I actually love love love the newborn stage and while I know it's not everyone's cup of Chamomile ... I'm a big fan of the chicken legs and the frantic squawks and the post-it sized diapers. But!! So many buts. It doesn't come without it's fair (more than fair, probably) share of baggage. Recovery from delivery can be a real b. If you think pregnancy hormones are crazy ... postpartum hormones need to be institutionalized because ... they bad. And don't get me started on breastfeeding ... it's hard. Really hard. And it will probably make you cry a lot. But ... it will (it should!!) get better.

Last week I found myself placing frantic Amazon Prime orders in the middle of the night and sending Simon emails that he HAD to go to Target as SOON as it opened to purchase x, y, or z, or I would die. And so I started composing an unsolicited (unwelcome? maybe) email to some of my friends that are pregnant with their first bebes with a list of things they really should purchase prior to delivery. Then I decided to make a blog post. At 3:33 in the am. I'm not sure how brilliant this idea was but I'm all about the follow through ... always. Sometimes.

So here it is.

Marvel away ... Jessica, Emily, Audrey, Meg, Fran, Miriel, Erika, and Olivia (I know I'm forgetting people, I've also called Phoebe, "he" about a trillion times since her birthday ... so I'll add more as my brain function expands and improves) ...

1. HALO SleepSack - the hospital gave us one of these and I'm guessing HALO gave them to the hospital which is a genius move because - I've already thought 28347284 times, "I really should order another one for when this one gets blown out/spit up all over/etc" ... genius, HALO. I'm terrible at swaddling and this takes away the middle of the night/in the dark frustration. I'm almost embarrassed that I've gone this long without one because they are amazing. Maybe be an anonymous weirdo and call to ask if your hospital gives these out too? I hope so. You'll love it. And probably want another like I do.

2. Abdominal Binder - Laugh it up. Judge it up. I don't care. I'll admit to buying this after Theo was born after reading what a miracle worker Sarah said it was. I don't know if it helped to flatten the bell at all but I was so SO happy to have it this time around. I'm pretty positive I have diastasis recti (fancy for ab separation) and .. I don't really care that much. I know, I know there are special exercises to help knit your abs back together or something but I've been trying to clip all ten of my fingernails for the past 3 days so .... ab knitting exercises are low on my priority totem at this stage in life. Anyway - steer me back to the original point. Steering, steering, there! Original point: this time around whenever I picked up one of the toddlers (which is often - no toddler picker uppers to be seen most hours of the day around here) - I could almost feel my side ab muscles screaming and tearing. I know - gross. But if I strapped this thing on -- no more ab ripping. It helps a lot. And I have my formerly vain self to thank. So - maybe you won't need one after baby number one but - just something to consider for the future future.

3. Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans - not frivolous. An actual necessity. Maybe it' just me but I cannot finish a cup of coffee to save my vida loca - ever. And with Phoebe in the mix I'm lucky to get an entire sip in before everyone is up and chirping around 6 (please let this be temporary, PLEASE). An incoming resident and his wife stayed with us last weekend while hunting for houses and left a bag of these and .... genius. I just pop a few of these and zing! Efficiency at it's tastiest.

4. Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads - I think someone commented and recommended these and they are really great. They totally got me over the {huge} hump and I only needed one set (pair?) because they were that effective. People have since mentioned these thermal nursing pads which look even better. I did frozen cabbage leaves for awhile but .. the smell! I'll never eat cabbage again - meaning nothing because I've eaten cabbage almost never - prior to now.

5. Motherlove Nipple Cream - I've tried a few different products for the cracking and the bleeding {Phoebe spit up blood ... freaking even Simon out ... so much bleeding} and the awful and this stuff is the best. Coconut oil was the worst ... in my opinion. Get this and take it to the hospital (and don't be afraid to ask for a nipple shield - that thing has saved my soul, multiple times) and use it after every feeding. Every single one. Make it your new religion. Soapbox dismount ... now.

6. Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Spray - don't make me go into detail here. Please. It's great. I didn't require stitches this time around but it was still so ... great. Enough detail, I think.

7. Manual Breast Pump - maybe it's just me but for the first few terribly engorged days - the fancy schmancy big, bad pump ... doesn't give any relief. None. But this little baby does. Worth every penny. Every single one. I sent Simon out before Mass last weekend because surely! Surely I would die a slow and painful death without it. He went, he purchased, and we didn't have to find out because .... hello living Grace.

And because a post on Camp Patton wouldn't be a post without a photo of KIDZ ...

Phoebe rocking her sleep sack. And Julia doing a mirror image of her mother's face when she heard Theo wake up 1.5 hours too soon from his morning siesta.

Anyway, final verdict ... do the veterans agree or disagree? Would you add anything? Take it all away and tell me to tough it out?? I like to think of myself as a minimalist but ... laugh, laugh. Speak up!!

oh! and Happy iCinoc ed oyMa!!! Drink up. I know I am. 

j to the k. SAHM's honor.

And allllll my other lists. Maybe I have a problem ...

labor + delivery hospital bag essentials 
10 things to throw on your baby registry
10 {more} things to throw on your baby registry
favorite baby gear: the heavy lifters
favorite (non-maternity) maternity duds

rockaWho? rockaRoo ... for you {a 4moms giveaway}

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02 May 2014

 It's official. This is as close as I'm going to get to that coveted second set of hands these days ...

(and I AM warming to baby wearing but I can't wear a baby in the shower and I'm terrible at wearing and eating as evidenced by the glob of ketchup that had been residing in Phoebe's locks until this morning when she enjoyed/screamed through her first bath)

I would imagine if you have kids you've probably heard of the amazing 4moms brand? Hopefully you have. They make some pretty incredible products. I've already talked about how much we love the Breeze for Bash. It's a little bit bigger than the traditional portacrib and handles his rough housing (crib found across the room after his nap ... always) beautifully. I'd read a handful of rave reviews on the rockaRoo and have had it sitting in the basement since January and I could not not not wait to hear what little Phoebe had to say about it ...

... and she said nothing. And at her age that is the best thing to say because sometimes silence is music to a mom's ears. {Unless it has to do with a one Sebastian Patton ... then it's a scratched compact disc of horror music ... guarant.}

I'm still learning how to juggle the varying needs of the four kids while trying to establish some sort of loose daily routine and I can't tell you how much I appreciate being able to have any sort of help with Phoebe. She is a big fan of the lowest setting (there are five speeds) of the rocking motion and I am a big fan of the lowest setting because it has a knack for rocking her to sleep after she's been fed.

That's great, Grace! But what's the difference between the rockaRoo and ye old traditional swing? Good question.
I'll tell you.

Here. It rocks like a rocking horse and "increases the distance from the pivot point and creates more motion at the baby's head - which is where it counts."

"interesting", she says through a yawn.

But really. Would I go so far as to say that this is an essential? Of course not ... but I can tell you that things around here would be a lot more harried and frazzled and dirty diapers would be hitting the fan left and right ... if I wasn't able to count on my bff+e the rockaRoo.  So to me ... in this stage of life ... it totally is.

You know you want one. If not for yourself for your friend that's about to pop. Right? Right.

She dares you.

Here we go with the Rafflecoptering ... may the very best human win.

And many, many thanks to 4moms for their generosity and for saving my sanity on the daily. I've had the great pleasure of working with a lot of different brands and companies and I have to say that 4moms has been top TOP notch to work with!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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