MEANWHILE, back at the Camp

14 August 2014

I would be remiss not to dedicate a post or seven (but I'll stick with one) to Simon and his super dad skills this past weekend. I was gone for four days and three nights and he handled the four kids with what appeared to be the greatest ease. While I was enjoying minute after minute, hour after hour of childless gluttonous freedom filled with uninterrupted conversation, fine wining and dining, and a nice long dip in opposite-of-my-life land ... Simon was swimming through the treacherous waters of all-the-kids-all-the-time-for-a-LONG-time and he rocked it. When we realized that I wouldn't be back in time on Sunday to go to Mass with him he took it in stride said it would be fine which is exactly the opposite reaction I would've conjured. I think I would've fallen to my knees and begged, "please change your flight?!" on rapid fire machine gun repeat until he agreed.

Here's a sampling of the photos he threw my way over the course of his stint as, "make Grace's job look REALLY easy ... "

Just a little trip to a Costco ...

in the pouring rain with two carts.
Never would I ever.

He not only purchased provisions for the week but also the Lego movie for the kids ...

... for a little movie night on our palatial futon.

He wrote, "I hesitate to send you this ... "

because Theo's shirt but I was impressed he got her hair into a ponytail and that he found both of Julia's prized leopard shoes to go with her athletic shorts.

He kept everyone well fed ...

He sent this snap with the caption, "#hundredwidowers"

I know I've asked you this before but ketchup on mac and cheese? NO. But Simon and his refined palate can't be stopped.

He shot this photo my way ...

with, "RIP in 3.1 days"

And plenty of kids pix ...

"1/4 of what's going on around here."

He called this, "one hundred pounds ...

... by Joules" (because she's wearing a Joules dress .... GET IT?)

And a little checkup for Phoebe before church ...


When I asked how Mass went and steeled myself for a whole bevy of scary answers he said that they were ....


of course they were, those mother-hating little angels.

And then on Sunday when he started shooting me shots like this ...

complete with super sweet videos just as my flight home kept getting pushed back and back and back I came thisclose to losing my cool but I didn't and I made it back to reality. (And thank you Colleen for saying hello!!!)

Simon had all the kids dressed in coordinated outfits (someone asked if I had those laid out for him ... so many laughs ... that kind of foresight + Grace are not exactly familiar friends ... or even acquaintances) and waiting at security when I landed.

Julia - RAN up and gave me a huge hug and proceeded to perform all of her dance routines throughout the airport.

Sebastian - greeted me with a furrowed brow, "when me go on airplane?!"

Theo - totally gave me the silent treatment ... complete with a look away. He warmed up eventually and then couldn't be pried from my hip but ... he is GOOD at pulling off the cold shoulder. Future romantic interests, be warned.

Phoebe - happy, happy, joy, joy. And then fell right to sleep.

Simon's conclusive takeaway from the weekend was this, "you have to budget four hours to get ready to get out the door or you will never leave the house."

True that forever and ever, amen.


  1. Ohh my insomnia induced checking of the blog feed did not disappoint. This is pure gold! Laughed the whole way through. PS - Way to go, Simon!!

  2. Awww...when I came home from two days in the hospital, after having son #2, my oldest (who was 16 mos.) gave me the cold shoulder, too...and then couldn't be pried from my hip! My husband had just returned from 4 months of Navy deployment a few days earlier, too, so he had to sort of get to know his dad again. That poor little guy didn't know what was going on!

    I love the pic of the kids on the futon under a blanket, watching the Lego movie. "Family movie nights" are some of my favorite memories from when our boys were young. (Cherish every minute! It all goes so fast. My baby just left for his senior year of college!)

    I'm sure Simon appreciates all you do, even more than he did before. :)

  3. I've said it before- Simon needs some BBQ on that Mac. And omg what a super dad he is. Love this 😍

  4. Why, why!? do they always act like angels for the hubby? They make me out to be some kind of liar with all the "woe is me" stories I lay on the man. Glad he survived the weekend!!

    1. It's because they're not USED to having dad around so much, so they're not as clingy as they would be to mom, and he can get so much more done! Mine are always amazing for my husband and he like, cleans the entire house and does all the dishes and laundry if I'm gone for more than a couple of hours. I used to feel bad about it but then I realized that if he were home with them full-time, he'd probably stop being able to get so much done pretty quickly!

  5. Clap, clap, clap! Crack open a cold one for you, Simon!

    Fave photo is from movie night. Too cute! I actually really enjoyed the Lego Movie at Chris' aunt's house this week.

  6. I just love your guts! You and fam are truly amazing! Thanks for always keepin it real.

  7. I don't think my husband would have lasted 8 hours!! There would never have been a grocery store run, just drive thrus and delivery! Simon gets the thee all be all award!

  8. Not only did he live to tell the (hilarious) tale, but he has photos and smiles to prove his success! Way to go, Simon.

  9. I can't even handle the cuteness of the futon photo. My ovaries twitched when I saw that one.

    Also, has J already come up with a dance routine to go with the "Everything is awesome!" song?

  10. "Mother hating angels" - made me laugh out loud. So true. And I love ketchup on Mac n cheese, too, but most of the time I'm too embarrassed to tell anyone that. ;) I'm fairly new to your blog...loving it! :)

  11. Simon, you're a champ and a truly loving husband. You know your wife had a well earned weekend of relaxation replete with adults pawing at her for attention, blogging tips, and a hopeful glimpse of the famed queen of blogdom that she is. :) way to take four for the team, and redeem yourself-the medical profession-after night float. You deserve a big high five. Catch that one? Grace--you married a winner but next time you should abandon all the children and escape with Simon somewhere remote and romantic instead of into our clutches!! #jk/notjk/howamidoingonhashtags?

  12. My husband used to put ketchup AND hot dog slices on his mac and cheese. I vetoed that because gross. Yuck. And gross again.

  13. That is so very impressive!

  14. Impressive, and great for you to be able to get away, and now that everything is alright at home :). Just a quick side note question. How does one push 2 carts at a Costco?

  15. I think it would be poor form to compare how my own husband would do in a similar situation (though come to think of it, he'd probably just take them all camping for the entire time--problem solved by getting away from all attempts at civiized living), but I must say, that is some impressive solo parenting for ANYONE, regardless of sex. Props to to you, Simon.

    P.S. I was so in love with your Instagram photos while you were gone, Grace. Vicarious living for those of us still at home in the trenches.

  16. I'm glad they did so well. Did Simon make any comments about how he's glad you're at the helm most of the time or do you think it made him wish he was home more?

    When I got home from Edel Joseph, 13 mo, looked at me and then looked away, like he was so over me. He didn't smile or anything for hours. It wasn't until I nursed him that he finally forgave me for being gone for 5 days.

  17. What a wonder of a husband you have for yourself! Four kids for four days AND a sense of humor!? I am in awe of The Simon.

  18. I'm most impressed with 4 kids and 2 carts at Costco! How they heck did he pull that one off?

    Surely he hired some weekend help and conveniently edited them from any and all photos....

  19. "Mother hating little angels" made me nearly spit out my cereal.

  20. You guys are SUCH an awesome team. I think MANY more babies are in order....

  21. GO SIMON. Husband's who hold down the fort and are like, "It's cool! Go have fun!" when we're off are my fave.

  22. Simon wins. Costco with two carts!?! I can barely steer one cart, with two kids and nothing in it-but way to pull it off! And a movie night, and matching outfits for pick up, and lone parent mass!?? I would say he wins the blog husband award, but let's face it, that ketchup Mac and cheese fiasco just lost it for him.

  23. Can I just quit my L&D job and come be your personal nanny? I'm kind of obsessed with your cute kids. I never fail to laugh when I come read about your camp of kids!! So glad you had such a good time at the event. And of course dads make it all look easy :)

  24. Wow! He is a saint! Very impressive and I bet it makes you want to get home to him that much more? ;) curious, did you consider taking Pheobe? Isn't she still nursing? No judgement- id leave all my babes too if I could!

  25. Hahaha, of course. Mother-hating little angels.

  26. Way to go simon! I am doubtful if my husband would be able to handle our one son for that many days if I went away.

  27. What an amazing man. I get groans when I'm going to be gone for 3 hours after work and hubby has to watch our ONE. Ok, maybe not exactly but I can only imagine his face if we had four and I was going to be gone for a weekend.

    Your kids are toooo cute. I love that Julia dances through life.

  28. I'm just cracking up over here. Love those kids! Especially that picture of Phoebe's "checkup." Great job Simon. :)

  29. Dad of the year right there! Color me impressed!

  30. I'm a fairly new reader and spent my 2 1/2 hour flight delay a couple weeks ago just going through your Julia Styles and Simon Says posts. I'd like to say that I didn't start cracking up in the middle of an airport, but that would be a total lie.

    Anyway, not only am I super impressed by Simon's ability to color-coordinate and get to the airport on time, but I *LOVE* how 9/10 of the pics you take of Julia have her mid-dance, lol.

  31. "Those mother-hating little angels"

    Hahaha love it!


  32. "Mother-hating little angels" is right. My husband handles our (2) kids with such ease it makes me look TERRIBLE. Yesterday he managed to grocery shop, put up a swing set (!) and keep the kids alive. Most days I barely manage to get us all dressed and fed. I'm going out of town for 5 days (leaving TOMORROW!) and leaving him in charge of a 2yo and 7mo. He has is all worked out...when he leaves for 5 days I'm all counting. the. hours.

    Whatever, it's why I married him. (I just can't figure out why he married me!)

  33. Simon for the WIN, now that shizzz is impressive and also why oh why are the precious wee ones so perfect for daddy like ALWAYS? I just don't understand!!! Also, the smell of ketchup on mac and cheese makes me want to vomit all day long....gross, Simon, just gross!

  34. Bahahaha this is awesome. Cheers for Simon!! I'm going to have to show this to my husband, he can't even take care of our DOG for a night by himself!

  35. My husband makes it seem blissful when he's alone with the kids. I think he actually enjoys it.

  36. Ha! That is so great! Paul literally texted me in Texas: "Does Max have pants?" So I laughed at Julia wearing Theo's shirts, apparently Dom wore his shirt backwards to Mass, but at least they survived!

  37. Two carts at Costco and taking all the kids to mass solo- how in the world? Wow, definitely super dad!
    And I completely agree w/ you about the mac n' cheese + ketchup. Kraft mac n' cheese is on a level barely above condiments, so it's like eating two condiments!

  38. Can TOTALLY relate.

    Awesome daddies are awesome but HOW IN THE WORLD are kids angels with them??

  39. Love Julia's smile (and crazy hair!) in all these pictures! She looks so happy!



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