the beginning of the end

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30 June 2014

or the VERY beginning of a VERY happy ending

Simon circa rightbefore he started residency.
He might kill me when he sees that they've been resurrected.
Hopefully not though. I'd miss you.

Julia is providing commentary right now as I type and says, "Wow! Sime looks happy, and grumpy, and smiley, and silly!"

On the $$$, Julia.

I promise not to make a big fussy production over all of these residency "firsts and lasts" BUT yesterday was the first day of Simon's first rotation of his fourth and final year of residency so some fuss was necessary.

Can I get an AMEN, an ALLELUIA, and maybe a small keg for two?

Simon bet me $8 (ask him ... his pick) that I would be sad and maybe even cry when he finishes. I wish we had bet one million dollars because he is out of his mind. Tears of abundant joy? Maybe but for the sake of victory I'll hold my jubilant self together. I'll win. Just wait.

One more year and then a whole bleep of a lot more freedom, Braveheart style. No more call weekends, nightfloat, or solo holidays. FREEDOM - the all caps kind.

And because I've been terrible and remiss in remembering any of Simon's gems of late ... here's a recent favorite that my mushy brain managed to retain:

We took the kids to a playground the other night and as we sat down on a bench and settled in for a relaxing evening of battling helicopters, keeping one eye on all the kids at all times, and bouncing Phoebe around just so while she fought sleep like a warrior princess, Simon sighed and said, "we should've brought a flask."

Amen, Alleluia, indeed.

weekendy things

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28 June 2014

Hello, hello. How's your weekend going? Simon worked overnight so this morning we were both like ...

... the sleepless hangover of doom.

No it wasn't terrible, really. Julia actually agreed to sleep with me and I actually fell asleep but then woke up a few minutes later to the sound of her sitting up in bed and cutting the pages of my bookS into a million tiny pieces with a little tiny pair of sewing scissors she had found in the bowels of the junk drawer. At least she didn't go for my hair, bright sides abound.

I'm tempted to tell you about the shorts I tried to wear this afternoon that ripped before I'd even had a chance to attempt to force them to zip up but ... another time. Too much fun in one post already.

Bigger and better things I've been collecting all week long for you and you alone ...

I just finished this book (again, a Hallie recommendation and she never steers me wrong) and I was a big fan. I may or may not have cried at the end which leads me to believe that I would be totally unmoved by The Fault in Our Stars. Totally. 

I'm a huge sucker when it comes to baby leggings and this shop is stocked with some of the cutest I've seen. Phoebe could totally pull off the foxes, right? I agree.

Pop Sugar kindly sent me one of their Must Have boxes a couple of weeks ago ...

and it wasn't terrible. It was actually pretty awesome.  

Pictured: Emily Giffin's new novel - The One & Only (loved it!), SACHAJUAN Shiny Citrus Body Lotion (smells amazing, ask Sebastian who has helped himself to many a hand slather), Turkish-T Beach Towel, You Smell Lemon Wet Wipes (nice alternative to my usual baby wipe route).
Not pictured: Lollies Basics Hair Ties (slash Julia's new favorite bracelets), One Potato Two Potato Hawaiian BBQ Kettle Chips (Sebastian devoured and loved), and a Native Union $15 Gift Card.

Christmas in June come and gone.

And I've added a new Bachelor/ette blog to my short list of Bachelor/ette blogs. We've got Ashley (the long and lone favorite!) and newbie (to me) Sharleen who was on Juan Pablo's season. She gives a lot of insight into what's really going on behind the scenes and you know I am just eating it up. Unhealthy as it may be.

And that's that.

I better go check on Simon who is listening to, "I Would Do Anything for Love" so I'm guessing he's either fallen asleep or fallen dead.

we'll talk soon, like always.


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27 June 2014

Humpty Dumpty sat on her mom.

the latest and greatest from the confessional around here ... and linking up with my go-to hot mess gal while I'm at it.

I did four minutes of one of my favorite workout DVDs two days ago before someone started hollering about something VERY URGENT. Four minutes and I'm still sore.

Simon had to work both Saturday and Sunday night last weekend and so I attempted to parent-pressure Julia into sleeping in my bed thinking she might ease my paranoia because I'm 30 and she's 3. But, sadly, not all the bribes in the world could convince her to leave her room.

Our oven has been broken since before Phoebe was born. The stove works fine but the only time this Betty Crocker misses it is when she wants to make cookies. Specifically these.

Apparently we didn't do a very thorough job of explaining to Sebastian that pregnancy eventually produces a baby and that baby = now two month old Phoebe because today he gave me a long up-down, wrinkled his brow, and asked, "hey! where'd that baby in your tummy go?!" 

As we were walking out of Costco last week and the time came to show the gentleman at the exit our receipt, I opened my wallet and grabbed the longest receipt I could find. I breathed a sigh of relief because we'd made it through the store and no one was crying or whining and I hadn't even lost my receipt!! And then the kind sir looked at the receipt, handed it back, and burst my bubble with, "Uh, I'm afraid this is actually for Dunkin Donuts ..... "


the diaper bag diaries

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26 June 2014

denim: Gap
shoes: eBay {similar}
glasses: Amazon
bag: c/o Lily Jade

Overkill with the photos? I know.  I had to include Theo saying "jooooze" for "cheese." I'll never strike the right balance around here. Ever!

Anyway! If ever there were a target market for a diaper bag ... hello, Grace Patton. I really should just roll a suitcase around with all of my kidlet supplies just in case because you never know when someone will soil their entire outfit or the back up to the back up pacifier will go missing (happens daily, maybe hourly - along with our spatulas and measuring cups, I don't know why). Happily, Lily Jade (undying affection formerly professed HERE and HERE) makes designer diaper bags big enough, chic enough, and functional enough that I can leave our rolly suitcases in the attic closet with the rest of the stuff we use once a year that may or may not avalanche out upon the door opening.

Lily Jade just came out with a whole new product line and miraculously improved upon their already awesome inventory. I'm sporting the super roomy Elizabeth that can be converted to a backpack and I love the new canvas editions especially the red Madeline (also backpack convertible). They all still come with the amazing interior baby bag with the zillion (16) pockets and changing pad that will save the day in many a questionable public facility.

Lily Jade is offering 15% off any order until July 18th with the code GRACE15. 

Also! I just have to quickly quickly add that working (is blogging really work? not usually but roll with me, please) with Lily Jade has always been a real pleasure. They are always incredibly kind and generous and forgiving when I'm a little delinquent with my e-correspondence. I've "worked" (better with quotes? maybe) with quite a few companies via this here blog and they truly are one of my very favorites.

Enough with the Hallmarkage. Onward to a giveaway!

You have the fancy chance to win the Cailin in Royal Purple. You need a visual aid?

No problem ...

You will love it. I promise.

Pretty please follow the rules! Thank you thank you thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

two months vs. two months

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24 June 2014

Because what kind of mom would I be if I didn't bust out some comparisons every now and again? A less obnoxious one, that's what kind.

We've got Julia at two months on the left and Phoebe at two months (how?! too fast! way too fast!) on the right. I know it's obvious but my future memory might need some Sparknotes.

I don't know why we were always so flabbergasted when EVERYONE called Julia a boy, "spitting image of his father!!" ... every single time because isn't she just the picture of femininity? I know. I thought the girls looked almost identical as babies but this photo comparison proves otherwise. Also, I would dominate in a game of Memory.

I was looking at some video clips of Julia at two months and she was all go go gadget moving and flailing about and smiling always. Phoebe is content to just be and it's REALLY difficult to coax a smile out of skinny min. But to be fair, Julia hate hate hated her car seat and Phoebe has yet to raise any sort of hell when she's on the go. Phoebe wins. Just kidding, future Julia.

Julia's threat to BOTH Theo and Phoebe whenever they cry is, "do you just need to go back in your mommy's tummy? fine." I can't tell you how much I would love that. But Phoebe's crazy crying sprees are lessening. I can always count on a fussy spell (yes, I'm 89) around seven but then she usually gets it together pretty quickly.

I remember when Julia was a baby I couldn't wait for her to grow up so that we could see what her personality would be like but with Phoebe I'm in no rush for her to grow up and I'd prefer that she stay small and sweet forever and ever please. I love toddlers but babies aren't quite as skilled in the arts of foot stomping, pantry raiding, and tantrum throwing. If it sounds like I like babies better well then ... reading comprehension may or may not be your strong suit. I'll never tell.


One more!!

like looking in a mirror, right girls?


And be sure to stay tuned for next week when I spoil you with the 2 month + 1 week side by sides. Variety is my specialty.


calling all bloggers ...

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23 June 2014

Several weeks ago I got a happy little text message from Lauren wondering what my thoughts were on hosting a blogging event with her, Megan, and Bridget later this summer. I slowly counted to three before responding lest she think I was terribly overeager (because I was!) that I was in. In in and IN (as long as the date worked with Simon's schedule). I'm a lover of blogging, reading blogs, and getting to know my fellow blogren but have never taken the next step and gone to a conference to meet my favorites in the flesh. The deal was sealed when Lauren randomly threw out a date that fell on a weekend that Simon was on vacation. Meant to be? Absolutely.

I'd love to say something like, "we've been working furiously these past few weeks to get everything planned and set in stone" but the truth is that Lauren, Bridget, and Megan have been working furiously the past few weeks to make the conference a truly incredible weekend. And Lauren has been going above and beyond dealing with all the nit and grit of the business side of things and securing some truly awesome vendors and event space. Like the boss that she is.

Not that they need any introduction ... but here we have Bridget, Megan, and Lauren and when I was drafting this post Julia was "helping" and asked if they were movie stars. Of course they are, little J. Of course. I'm still a little bit starstruck by all three of them as I've been an avid reader of all three blogs for a long, long time. Meeting them in person will be a real treat. Christmas in August for this housemouse!

You can read more about the hosts here!

The event isn't limited to just bloggers. The weekend will host 100 (hence the name!) bloggers, small e-business owners (Etsy, anyone?), and writers to help foster relationships, network, and learn more about making our web presence go the distance. There will be presentations from a wide variety of experienced and successful experts on photography, social media, styling, photo editing and much more.  It's guaranteed to be a fun and incredibly useful weekend.

You can read all the details over on our website but please don't hesitate to ask me or the other ladies any questions that arise!

Thanks for listening and I really hope to see YOU there. The first twenty tickets are deeply discounted so go go go while they're still available!

*and special thanks to Kelly Christine Studio for our site design!

five {optional} tips for smarter parenting

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21 June 2014

full disclosure: if this post smells like it's sponsored that's because it is.
say WHAT?

I know. And so if you'd rather skip it ... I completely understand! But if you stick and click around ... I'll be your biggest fan.

Before you think I've gotten comfy sitting on my high horse about being some sort of parenting expert please know that I went to the store twice this week to buy toilet paper and came out with about nine things other than my intended purchase. I know you know but I have to reiterate that I'm not a pro on any front - parenting or other. So take these with a saltshaker or leave them altogether. Or - mixing and matching is always an option too. Here are just a few ways I've found that make my life a little tiny bit easier with small children underfoot ... all the time.

1. diaper delivery - A lot of you have told me time and time again that I should order our diapers online. After taking 8 trips back and forth and back and forth from the van to the house after a Costco run last week I finally decided that 7 trips sounded a lot more pleasant and that you were right. Just as I started to wave my white flag I got an email about writing a post about ordering diapers from this website. Happy coincidence! I ordered some packages at 3am on Wednesday morning (love you, Phoebe!) and they got here on Thursday around noon.

Awesome. They have free shipping on orders over $50 which is great for people that order a lot of diapers at a time ... like us. They also have wipes and sippies and bottles and all those fun necessities. I'm an idiot and completely forgot to use the coupon code WOWHUGGIES for $12 off my order but ... you should use it in my forgetful place. I even sprang for some princess pull-ups for Julia with the hope that nap and bed prep would feel a little less like a marathon. It worked ... for now.

2. Smoothies! If I'm not able to get a meal ready for the kittens in a timely manner (usually in the morning because I wake up when they wake up - I'm working on being an earlier riser) before they start melting and pawing around the pantry and gnawing on my kneecaps I can throw a smoothie together and into three cups with straws in about two minutes. The kids are happy sipping away and blowing bubbles (I pick my battles and this is not one of them) and I'm relieved to have purchased 5-10 minutes to throw an actual meal together. They love this fruity smoothie and I sub out the coffee for almond milk in this one too.

3. Smart Shopping - Or semi-smart. When I go to Costco I buy the massive bags of shredded mozzarella cheese, kale, and fresh bell peppers. As soon as I got home and have the time I chop up the bell peppers and put big handfuls of them into sandwich bags and then into the freezer. Same thing with the cheese and the kale - minus the chopping, obviously. The kale is then ready to go for smoothies, the peppers are ready for just about anything (omelettes, burritos, casseroles, etc etc) and the cheese doesn't get moldy sitting in a huge bag in the fridge for 15 days.

4.  Church Bag - We try really, really hard not to be tardy for Mass - especially when we hit up the speedy 30 minute hospital Mass because it's never good to walk in during the Gospel when you're just two minutes late. We've streamlined things slightly in that we have a bag that stays in the car with book, diapers, and wipes. No more rushing around asking if the kids picked out their books and asking Simon to find the disappearing act that is the three open bags of wipes. Also, if we are ever out and my bag is experiencing a bizarre clean diaper famine - we can borrow from the church bag. It's kind and generous like that.

5. Shoes - I recently and happily found some shoes that are not rain boots that the older kids can put on all by themselves.

Getting the kids out the door can take many moons but if I can ask Julia and Sebastian to put their shoes on que solo ... the process is slightly faster. I know these are super trendy and maybe a little bit ugly but they wash off easily and don't hurt Sebastian's W I D E feet which is a huge feat because every single shoe under the sun "huwts!!!" him and send him into a very unnecessary toddler rage.

Thanks for reading, thanks for clicking, and thanks for being the best readers on the w-cubed.

We lucky.

And if you have any time-saving tips for a novice like me ... I'm always all eyes. I promise to listen this time. Cross my heart and pretend hope to die.

may I have the envelope, please?

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19 June 2014

On Saint Patrick's Day 2011 Simon, Simon's dad, Julia, in utero Sebastian, and I joined Simon's med school class for a big Match Day ceremony in Wichita. Each student drew a number and one by one walked down the auditorium steps to open and read their match results to their classmates and families. Some people were ecstatic with their news while others were visibly stunned and a little bit upset because their envelope hadn't contained the program they'd been hoping for. The whole thing seems a little bit cruel to me but last I checked my musty resume didn't say a thing about experience as Match Day Master of Ceremonies so I'll just keep my commoner mouth shut for now. Simon drew a high number and we had to wait for quite a bit while wrestling baby J and I chewed on my cuticles because nervous habits die hard. When he finally walked down and read, "St. Louis!" I smiled and breathed a huge sigh of relief because that had been our first choice and we were really hoping the hospital had agreed. Then we all went out for Greek food and eventually went home to start scouring the internet for houses since we had three and a half months before Simon started his intern year of residency.

Fast forward three years, three months, and one day to yesterday. I scrambled all morning to get the kids ready, time Theo's morning nap and Phoebe's feedings appropriately, and get myself showered and dressed. We met Simon a little after 11 while he had a window of time between patients in clinic.

He held the big kids' hands while I pushed the smaller Pattons in the stroller through the labrynth that is the hospital basement hallways. We met Simon's program directors in between their surgeries in a little tiny room around the corner from the operating rooms equipped with a computer, a few stools, some surgical instruments and a bowl full of speculums (why?!). The stroller barely fit and the big kids were shy and confused as to why we weren't dining on cafeteria fries - the usual purpose of our visits to see Dad.

Simon logged onto the computer, pulled up his results and happily exclaimed, "Florida!!" while I smiled and breathed a sigh of relief because that had been our first choice for fellowship.

Simon's boss taking a photo of the results while Simon gets his permagrin on.

The kids were thrilled ...

especially Theo's leg.

And side note: if anyone wants to sneak in and steal that pink plastic collar Julia insists on wearing EVERYWHERE ... I'd be infatuated with you forever. 

We hired a sitter for later that night and went out to celebrate Simon's feat ...


just kidding.

Good day! I'm so proud of Simon. It was always a possibility that he wouldn't match because there are plenty of people that don't. Anyway, let me continue my dramatic retelling of the events with a little bit of a lengthy metaphor. Thank you. Your generosity is the bomb.

Let's say that residency is a marathon because it is. Yesterday felt like some kind soul threw us a monster blue Gatorade to get us through the remainder of the race. Well, that's a little trite, Grace. I know! It is. It's awful but it's true. These last three years have been a lot more trying than the Grace on Match Day 2011 had ever ever anticipated and to see that there is a big fat sunny light at the end of the four year hell tunnel was downright marvelous. Simon's hours will be SO much better, I have some good friends already living in Tampa, and Simon's hours will be SO much better.

One more year to go. And in the mean time we'll be little engining our way through fourth year because we think we can, we think we can. And we will.

I hope.

And look out, Tampa. In July of 2015 the Pattons are coming for you. Get excited because we most certainly are!


party crashers

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17 June 2014

You know how much I love alternate titles: just a frumpy mom, hanging in a fancy mag

Hey there. I'm just popping in between itty bitty anxiety attacks about the laundry, the state of the house, the number of postpartum dinners I've made (zero), the laundry again, and Simon's July rotation that might kill us all because my name is Grace and it's June 17th and I specialize in unproductive + unnecessary stress. We all have those weeks, I'm sure.

Anyway! Enough insight into my rosy mind. Moving onto something bigger and better. Onward and upward for the win, for now.

You thought you were done being subjected to bump shots after Phoebe was born, didn't you? Well, you thought wrong!

The weekend before Phoebe was born we took the kids to the park and Simon kindly snapped the photo below of me and Phoebe (in utero) for CupcakeMag's summer issue. Yes, they let me and Phoebe formerly known as bump crash their hip fiesta.

The issue came out today and is awesome and you can read the whole thing for free right here. There are more Grace + Phoebe photos on page 111. You know you're tempted to clicky click right on over.

Alright, Phoebe saw me eying the laundry and is starting in on one of her infamous episodes that we've all grown to know and love. I think we'll watch a little drama a la Andi and her suitors to try and cheer her up. Hopefully the apple didn't fall far from her trashy tree of a mom and she's sucked right in.

BRB, you know how we roll around here.

the perils of haircuts at home & other unrelated things

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15 June 2014


"just a trim" gone wild.

only a haircut a mother could love.

Hey! At least I didn't bust out the razor like Simon did to poor Sebastian.

I hope you all had a great Father's Day. We did! Donuts and naps and beautiful weather and a teeny break from a long Diet Coke hiatus. Amen. Alleluia.

Anyway, here's some internetty things I thought you just might enjoy like I did ...

I always love reading Big Mama's Fashion Fridays and this week was no different because I discovered this tank and now my train of thought goes a little bit like this: change a diaper, embroidered tank, change another diaper, embroidered tank, open six string cheeses for the hungry mice-children, embroidered tank. You pick up what I'm throwing down.

Danielle redid the Camp's blog design a few months ago and was awesome and so easy to work with but on Friday afternoon I effed something up with the post titles and so I emailed her (somewhat frantically - my priorities are my priorities) and she had it fixed in no time. She's the best and super affordable if you're itching to spice up your e-space.

Back to the fitness tracker (is that their official name? I think so) prattle. I found this article helpful in outlining all of the differences between all that the market has to offer. 

This is my new favorite song. For now.

Another one of Rachael's posts that I loved. I covet her writing skills real hard.

The diaper bag experts have expanded their inventory ... I can't pick a favorite.

And finally, if you're wanting to bite the thredUP bullet ... you can use my handy referral link for $15 off your first order. I've been lucking out in the toddler short arena lately ... glamour-is-us.

Big week ahead! Simon finds out if/where he matched for his surgery fellowship and I guess that's it. So, medium week, I suppose.

Happy Monday eve.

too much ado about absolutely nothing

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13 June 2014

alternate title: destination: crazy, population: Grace


Yesterday Phoebe cried a lot. And the night before she cried a lot too. Oh, and the day before that she cried quite a bit as well.

But I kept my appearance in total check. Like, totally. Lucky Simon. This is Phoebe's, "gearing up for another round of life-ruining FUN" face.

The internet tells me that there is a fussy stage from 6-8 weeks and the internet better be telling me the truth or else ... nothing. Nothing will happen but I am so grateful for false hope right now. It was a little bit draining and all I could do was write elaborate letters of admiration in my head to any parents that have ever dealt with a truly colicky baby. You're a parenting god/dess and don't you forget it.

Anyway she woke up relatively happy today and even threw her old mom a bone via one little crack of a smile but that's not why I'm here today. As much as I would love to regale you with every painful detail of the episode (isolated! please! be isolated!) ... I won't. No, I'm actually going to document a little story from last weekend. Just in case future Grace ever doubts that former Grace-during-residency wasn't totally and completely crazy ... I can come back to this post and remember that she was. She so was.

Real quick: I think I've mentioned several thousand times before that I have some weird predatorphobia and usually can't sleep when Simon's gone. I've gotten better as the years go by sleeping 2-3 hours a night vs the usual 0-30 minutes I used to get but I know I have a serious problem that no amount of top of the line security systems or hours of logical thinking can cure. We all have our things! But, I welcome your judgement. Completely.


Simon was at work from Saturday morning to Sunday morning and I don't know how or why it happened but he had a really bizarre string of workless weekends leading up to this particular weekend. It had never happened before and won't happen again but it was amazing. So - this call weekend slapped me in the face pretty hard because I had been so spoiled the past few weekends with having Simon home to help with our herd of kittens.

Saturday wasn't terrible. We were able to visit Simon and it was raining so we didn't feel like we were missing out on some weekend of beautiful weather. I drove the kids home around 8 and immediately put Theo to bed and let the big kids stay up since they'd napped till six that evening (no rules on call weekends) and I'll admit that I like the company when Simon is gone.

10:15 rolled around and I had just put the big kids to bed (again, no rules!) when someone knocked on the door. A loud knock - maybe more of a rap. They loudly rapped on the door at 10:15pm. My heart skipped a LONG beat while I went into full on panic mode. Of course I immediately assumed it was a cold blooded murderer so I called Simon (because - he would be super helpful at his post) who was about to scrub for a c-section so he couldn't talk and I told him that I might be dead when he was done with the surgery. He assured me I wouldn't be and that an intruder wouldn't knock before breaking and entering but I didn't believe him. At all.

The big kids were still bouncing off the walls in their room because that is what, "goodnight, kids!" means to them. So I brought them upstairs to sleep with me (always logical! the 2 and 3 year old will keep you super safe, crazycake) and Phoebe which resulted in Sebastian falling asleep almost immediately and Julia talking to me about everything single one of her toys that she keeps in all 99 million of her purses/backpacks until 2am. And I stayed up to keep my panic mode fire alive for the remainder of the night.

After the c-section Simon asked a million times if maybe one of the kids had gotten a hold of the car keys and pressed a button and one of the van's sliding doors was open? Maybe a kind neighbor was just letting me know? I said no, absolutely not because I had put the keys in my purse and my purse up high and I said a few times, "I am absolutely 100% sure it had nothing to do with the van."

Fast forward to the next morning when Simon came home to this note on the front door:

 (Julia is very into "making tickets" aka ripping every paper she finds and this note fell victim but it said, "and your doorbell didn't seem to work" - it doesn't)

So, I was wrong.

Super wrong and crazy and suffered one of the worst no-sleep hangovers all day Sunday. I can almost think about laughing it off now but then I remember that we still have 19 call weekends and two months of night float to go before residency is over and I rein that laugh in real fast.

Waste of your time? Absolutely. I'm sorry!

What else do you have going on around here ...

ah. I styled Theo's hair the other day ...

he loved it.

And there is a nest of baby cardinals in our front yard hedge ..

quality photos of nature are my charism.

I showed Sebastian who said, "have one, please?" and then Julia who said in her highest pitched voice, "awww they look just like Phoebe!"

I keep going outside to look at them and Simon warned not to take Phoebe just in case mama card gets territorial and dive bombs me.

And in between and during Phoebe's cry-wolf-colic sessions yesterday I plowed through a lot of this book. Chick lit meets beach read meets candy lit at its finest. (Thank you Hallie for recommending!).

Oh! And I asked the Facebook page what their thoughts were on Jawbone Up vs. the Fitbit . Do you know/care about either? I'm curious.

Happy weekend. Thanks for putting up with me. You're the best, always. 

the fourth trimester

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09 June 2014

The fourth trimester? But TRImester. As in three. What do you mean there's a fourth? The baby is born! All is well. Mostly. The fourth trimester is a very sweet time full of precious moments and maybe I'm alone but for me, it's also difficult and it can hit you where it hurts and it can hit you when you're down because babies come with a whole (cute!) luggage set full of needs. Some might affectionately refer to this time as, "the babymoon" but I'd like to put my vote in for a name change to, "crazymoon" because every day is different and completely unpredictable.

I didn't quite subscribe to the idea of the fourth trimester when Julia was a newborn because look at me! I can walk around the kitchen and nurse Julia with one hand while I make my coffee and nothing is really that different. I knew my clothes wouldn't immediately fit after she was born so that was no surprise and it turns out that med school is a lot more generous with paternity leave than residency is so Simon was around to help with our one baby for a couple of weeks. Fourth trimester? HA. Maybe for you but I've got this, thanks!

But then Simon went back to school and the help slowly dissipated (as it should, natural progression and normal way of life and all of that) and I was left to care for an infant all by myself like millions of women have done before my time. And it was a lot harder than I had anticipated. I figured out a way to nurse and type on the laptop at the same time and sent frantic emails to my friends with more than one kid and wondered, "how does one go about taking care of MORE THAN ONE?!" because it was rough.

After several weeks I still couldn't get my jeans up past my knees (something I've learned is a curse of girl pregnancies for me - the boys' gestational periods were a lot less fluffy, to put it mildly) but I was getting really sick of wearing the same stretchy black dress that was actually a maternity swimsuit coverup and it was a good thing I never went anywhere that required me to look relatively presentable because the child never ever let me shower.

Ah ha! The fourth trimester reared her pretty little head and let me get a good look at her tangible laughing face because she was real. And I was living with her.

As soon as I faced the blaring music and admitted that life simply was not the same with a baby in tow ... things got easier. I was less frustrated when it took me six tries over the course of two days just to run to Target to get more wipes and a brief second of socialization a la conversation with the cashier about the whereabouts of my receipt (yep, the bag is fine). I stopped obsessing about getting back into my pants and became a loyal friend to Jillian Michaels (on mute) and eventually tossed my black coverup into storage. And then before I knew it, the fourth trimester came to a blessed close and was happily replaced with a permanently slower pace of life.

The same thing happened after Sebastian was born but this time I was relatively prepared. Sort of. The baby duties doubled and I caught a long and nasty case of cabin fever that simply would not break for several months but I kept the expectations incredibly low for myself and for the kids because I knew it was temporary.

And then Theo. Again, I knew the crazy was coming and I welcomed it with open arms as we settled back into, "lots of frozen pizzas, lots of Netflix, and repeat!" mode. Things got easier earlier on as I learned what worked and what didn't.

So ... now we're almost seven weeks into life with four kids.

my denim is unbuttoned and the zipper is getting a workout that would make Crossfitters cry, but hey! all the kids are smiling.

And I've still got some time before my fourth trimester is over. So I'm taking it REALLY easy. Sebastian wants popcorn for breakfast? DONE. The kids are wearing comfy clothes and I'm exhausted and craving silence on the couch no, not in 7 minutes but right NOW? To bed they go, clothes and dirty faces and all! All the time. There are eight loads of laundry in the dryer because I just keep washing, and drying, and not folding but Phoebe wants to be held when she sleeps and I know that this sweet little phase is fleeting so the laundry settles in for another evening of stagnant living in the basement.

Eventually a new normal will emerge amidst the crying and the Phoebe fawning and the chaos. But in the mean time I'll keep rocking my updated version of the black coverup (this one buttons! I'm so fancy) all day and all night and pretending like I've got this gig figured out.

because I totally do.


around the e-world

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08 June 2014

Nothing to see here. Just an attempt at some one sided PDA.

But this photo of Phoebe pattern baldness takes the cake. I swear it's not that bad in real life.I don't think.

ANYWAY. Hey! How's your weekend going? Good. Same here. Absolutely nothing to report. It's been raining really hard and Julia thinks that means she should open and use her, "barilla" inside while Theo has confused the downpour for a big screen thriller of sorts because he just cannot pull himself away from the window and Sebastian is eating and eating and eating some more.

Okay. That was Saturday afternoon right before I tried to post this Sebastian emptied a bottle of my darkest nail polish all over the bathroom, the tornado sirens would not shut up (they can always sense when Simon is on call, always!), a fuse blew on one side of the kitchen and I didn't realize that the refrigerator had been sans power for MANY hours until the ice trays in the freezer were full of tepid water (yes, I'm an observant soul), and Phoebe had one of her worst scream sessions to date. All the diaper contents hitting all the fans. Always when Simon is on call. I'm over it. Really and truly. Mostly. Maybe.

Moving right along. A few links to click or not ...

my dream stroller

new favorite birth story

this made me laugh because it's so sadly true

I've really loved reading about Rachel's mission trip to El Salvador ... I imagine you will too

Sebastian's favorite toy that he insists on toting everywhere we go

And I'll stop there. But not before wishing my Gram a super happy birthday! She was going to see The Fault in Our Stars for her birthday ... have you seen it? I think I'll read the book first? I don't know.

Okay. Simon and I have a date with some margaritas and some Netflix. Off I go.

Hasta manana.

the state of the Patton

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05 June 2014

That title suggests a more serious tone rather than the baby book theme I'm about to chuck your way. Sometimes I'm struck with thoughts like THE KIDS ARE SO BIG AND GROWN UP AND HIGH SCHOOL IS JUST AROUND THE RIVER BEND and then of course, I have to check myself because three of them are still in diapers. Hold off on the colorful meltdowns until someone actually goes to kindergarten, Queen Drama. So I just wanted to freeze time for the hottest second while I jot down a factoid or two (UPDATE: I went with three fax ... such a mom) about each of the kids. Right here. Right now.

AKA ... this post will only be mildly interesting to the grandparents.

We'll start from the tippy top with Julia ...

the queen on her throne barking orders at Sebastian to find her special book while he abides and scrambles around trying to keep her happy. They have a healthy working relationship.

1. Julia has taken to calling Simon, "Sime" ... like, "oh, Sime! don't be so silly! I know you brought us donuts from work!".
2. She is constantly digging up worms and roly polys and bringing them to the space one inch in front of my eyes. I don't love it.
3. She is napping again! All it took was setting up Sebastian's former bed upstairs and now she sleeps there and always tells Sebastian she slept in his bed. You know how much he cares? None. None cares at all. Whatever it takes.

Moving onto Mr. Careless himself!

he was so pleased I was taking his picture and wanted to see them all after I was finished snapping a million.

1. Still OBSESSED with trucks. All trucks, all the time. If you ask him how old he is he says, "truck cake" because age means birthday means cake with a theme.
2. Sailor mouth. He's picked up some not so great language from oh, I don't know ... his parents, I suppose. He uses the words in perfect context and it's horrifying and slightly humorous but don't tell Simon I said so.
3. He still calls Phoebe, "Fifi" and will gladly pet her head all day long but has no interest in holding her which is probably for the best as far as safety goeth.


his official perch.

1. The kid loves Phoebe. Loves her. I thought it was just the newness of a new baby in the house but he's stayed loyal to his affection each and every day. He tried to brush her hair (aka her head) today and it did not go over well, shockingly.
2. Purses. He likes to throw anything with a strap on his shoulder and make a big production of saying goodbye and make sure we know he is headed out and then he goes to the front door and waits to be let out like a dog. Like I'm just going to say, "hasta! have a blast out in the street!" ... no.
3. Learned how to safely climb down the stairs. Next to grocery cart sitting ... it might be my favorite milestone.



1. Six weeks yesterday. boo, hiss. Don't grow up, please.
2. Is sometimes super fussy in the evenings which sends me Googling and convinced she is colicky but she's been better the past few nights and hey! she's a baby that cries on occasion. CRAZY.
3. She slithers and sweet talks her way into our bed most mornings and happily commiserates with me when the big kids sound their barky sirens at their usual ungodly hour. She's a peach.

... and Grace and Simon are big fat snores. No milestones to report today.

Thanks for humoring me. Off you go to spicier pastures.

the case of the Crayola contraband

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04 June 2014

Several weeks ago Simon and I threw away ALL the crayons in the house. ALL OF THEM. The kids just fight over them and draw on everything that is not paper and Theo eats them. The crayons had formerly been stored on top of the refrigerator - very much out of arm's reach of all four of our children. AND STILL ... the will would find a way so ... death to Crayolas in the casa.

So you'll join me in a little brow furrow and a head scratch as new picassitos continue to pop up all over our abode ...

(if anyone was curious about the color of our basement walls/doors/ceiling/trim ... it's called, "most depressing beige of all time" and I think you can find about 99 gallons of it in our storage room left behind by the former owners ... SO weird they didn't want to take it with them to freshen up their new place! Right?)

And this is not counting the scrawls all over the television screen (again! high above their little reach) and Simon's laptop.

Simon says we're never going to sell the house next year and Grace thinks he might have a point. 

Anyway, Imma bout to get Nancy Drew up in here to question all the little Pattons.

ALL of them.

Trust but verify, right Mrs. Clean?

Vill do.
I hope this qualifies for a little linky action over at Blythe's hilarious house. I'm either really late or super early. We'll go with both.


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