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15 January 2015

Some days I feel like I'm eerily close to what some might say is, "on my game."


Suited up, smiling wide, and ready for chaos cubed, like so.

Simon's on a 24 and Sebastian has been asking for the funner parent all day long? No problem! I'll just feed a hangry Phoebe bits of banana for her aperitif in between looking for Theo's only pair of shoes that fit (in the closet! WHAT) and changing a few explosions that I refuse to let get in the way of my end goal: cozy dinner for six in the hospital cafeteria. I anticipate and stop the "no I want to open the car door!!!" scuffle before it inevitably erupts by negotiating who will perform the coveted and exotic task now and who will do the honors at the hospital and I even remember to pack spare diapers and a pack of wipes with more than one dried out lone soldier inside. Everyone woke up tragically early from their naps but the quiet kids and the beat of the top 40 drums that fill the van is enough to charge my batteries for a few more hours. She's an animal; albeit rarely.

And then other days are gameless. By the time Simon is on his way home and I do myself the favor of glancing in the mirror I'm beyond horrified at the reflection.


Like so, but one hundred times worse.

Even though he's seen me in some less than glamorous states (see hourS of struggling to push out babies) I ignore hour eleven of the cabin fevered whine to do something about the mop of unkempt straw + winter ghost face + wait, what am I wearing?! that is making baby pusher Grace look downright red carpet ready because unlove at 99,999th sight could be a thing! Pre-kid Grace wasn't going to look like this ever, let alone 8.5 generous months post-baby! Scoff. The kids have conspired to each take a time slot to fulfill their tantrum obligations so that the entire day is covered in fun and how many square meals a day do small children need to stay alive? Because some days they like to push into the double digits. I'm out of strikes before the day even starts because ... No Game.

But the rest of the days fall somewhere in the middle; somewhere in the "baby bear's chair/porridge/bed" category.


Just right ...

... below average.

I might manage to keep a crooked lid on everything until 6pm when I struggle to peel one potato for our bi-weekly "fancy" dinner of: chicken, potatoes, and vegetable {singular} because suddenly everyone has emergent NEEDS. Or I might realize the day is going a little bit too smoothly solely thanks to an army of screens blaring Barney, Thomas, and/or YouTube Frozen toy reviews (ahem, Julia Grace Patton) so we call it a draw. My mediocre might be someone's lowest standard that they ever deign to graze or maybe my game days are appalling to the veteran ranks of moms but for now it's the the rule and not the exception peppered in with a small handful of those "toe touch, clap clap" days and a hopefully even smaller smattering of the defeatist days of doom.


And I'm okay with that for now.

"Aim low and you'll be less disappointed."

- an old faux parenting proverb

47 comments:

  1. Stop the Phoebe pictures, I can't stand the cuteness!!! Jk, please don't stop!

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    1. ha! as long as she's the only happy child when I grab my camera --- I will!!!! :)

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  2. This is pretty much my life....and the 3rd trimester blahs are keeping my standards nice and lowlowlow. Laying on the couch at 10 a.m with the at-home littles jumping off my enormous abdomen? At least I managed to make it out of bed and to the couch. Parenting exhaustion FTW!! Right?

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    1. haha --- well you have the pregnancy excuse -- Couch AWAY!!! Those blahs are rough - yet, are always forgotten postpartum --- funniest phenomenon ever!!! (okay maybe not funniest .... )

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  3. Phoebe in that hat! TOO CUTE.

    Also, this is totally unwarranted advice but I'm feeling generous. ;) Feel free to ignore though... Anyway, you mentioned chicken, potato, and vegetable - an easy meal I make in the crock pot is throw in some potatoes, onions, carrots, and then a whole chicken (with some garlic inside if I have it). Season liberally with Johnny's or some sort of all-purpose seasoning. No liquid needed. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for about 4-6. Again, you may not care and I think I remember you having an aversion to crock pot cooking, but it's the only way I will cook chicken because it's so quick, easy, and the husband likes it. :)

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  4. Have little kids watching you tube toy reviews become the new thing? My 4 year old daughter does this every day now or she watches people play with the toys. It's so weird! haha. I think I need to rethink my career and start making these types of videos!

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    1. HA!!! that makes me feel better. I think it was a very weird Google search that she lucked into .... but she's obsessed.

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    2. My almost 4 year old does this too! Have you had the pleasure of hearing "Hi guys!" in every single video from Disney Collector yet? Or people opening Kinder Surprise Eggs? Such a weird thing but he loves it!

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  5. OK THAT ONESIE THOUGH. Dying. Actually dying.

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  6. First 24 hours back at home so I'm eating this right up. Lowest of standards will be had around here for at least three months, at which point I'll re-evaluate my game plan.

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  7. My 4yo is obsessed with YouTube....watching the most random things, like people opening PlahDoh eggs (what the what?!) or people playing with Legos. Whatever, little dude.

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  8. Oh my goodness, those pictures. I'm pretty sure Phoebe and Theo could make the appropriate face for all of my emotions.

    And claps you, lady. Those four kids are so lucky to have you as their momma and I hopehopehope they inherit your sense of humor! This post both intimidates me and gets me so excited to have kids someday. In the meantime, I'll just celebrate my needy dog's 5th birthday today. Ha!

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  9. Okay, how pathetic is this. I was reading this just thinking, "man, she's killing it! Left the house, cooking dinner, packed the wipes!". Your mediocre is my high. I can't tell you how many times Daniel walking through the door finally triggers me to assess my appearance. I hear the front door open and I'm scrabbling into the bathroom to brush my hair really quick before he makes it to that side of the house. AND I'm pretty sure I said "Aim low and you'll be less disappointed." to Daniel the other day in one of my whiny rants. xo

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    1. And I mean how pathetic am I, not you. Hope that didn't read weird! 😣

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    2. haahaha oh, I was killing it!!!! my once every three months hunt and kill :)

      So funny because your insta + blog I always think I gotta get it together like JENNA!!!!!

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  10. We are having one of those hitting-the-lowest-expectations days over here. This post made me feel better...like I only have 2 babies so i should pull myself together!

    Elise

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    1. oh gosh - don't say two!!! it's all hard. Even in my favorite season (summer!!) with two kids -- I remember having incredibly incredibly trying days!!!! It's tough. They can team up!!

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  11. This is perfection. I don't have kids yet but when I do, I hope I can do my best and be happy about it.

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    1. oh thanks Kristin!!! Maybe I should put a warning sign on my posts that might be boring for non-parents (which would be the whole blog ha!!!)

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  12. so good and definitely comforting for me to read! I feel the same way some days it's I am ready for life and others I barely make it to the shower !

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  13. You are doing such a great job! Everyone is alive and kicking, and you wrote about it, PLUS you took photos. Ever. WIN WIN WIN. (And as I type, I am about to go proclaim tonight to be a "leftovers feast" for dinner, so your fancy dinner is looking Super Fancy from here.) :D

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    1. aw thanks Melissa!! YES - I hated leftovers as a kid but suddenly LOVE them as an adult :)

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  14. We are all about the low standards. Imma gonna cross-stitch that proverb ;)

    Loved this post, Grace!

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  15. This was great and such a true assessment! Hope today was a game day for you.

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  16. OK Miss Grace...here's the thing. YOU make it through the day with children fed, bomb diapers changed, everyone held for approximately 42.3 seconds nap or no nap and call it a win when you get them to bed for night night. Yu do your BEST and your BEST is ALWAYS good enough, shitty day or no. You are loving those babies that God blessed you with while supporting a husband who is helping to bring new life into the world. THAT is an awesome responsibility and a tremendous honor. SO you don't look like the pages of Vouge of Harpers right at this moment, not to worry those days will return before you turn 40. I promise you.

    So ONE DAY AT A ATIME!! One diaper at a time. One story book reading, banana feeding, boys stomping on each other crisis at a time. You got this Chica. You were made for this moment with these four souls. Love and hugs from VA!!

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  17. Yes. Very yes. I think you wrote to my heart on this one. It's always a blessing when the kids don't throw in a sickness to boot on those days in which we deem 'low' already. Cause then they cause us to redefine our standards (once again). Thanks for sharing the ache with other aching hearts!

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  18. Oh my Lord Phoebe is just delicious. And: it's January. Be kind to yourself. Survive. The end! ;)

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  19. Phoebe! THOSE CHEEKS. Gosh, I have days like this and I only have ONE kid. Ha! I think the only goal in January is just to make it through the month. You can do this!
    xo
    Kristina
    www.eccentricowl.com

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  20. Always a comfort to read. Alllllways. I think that it's again one of those "you do what works for your family" kind of things. I have a highly extroverted friend. She and her little nugget NEED to get out of the house every day or the crazies set in. I think the craziest thing about motherhood for me was just how darn hard it got to leave the house. An hour and a half of prep is downright speedy for us! Combined with my introverted nature, meh. Definitely not a daily occurance. Don't even get me started on my lack of ability to meal plan. We frequently have entrees and our "side" - usually carrot sticks and hummus. Or some fruit, or anything I don't have to prepare. You're doing great! We all are.

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  21. Your writing is extra on point with this one, Grace. Nice job!

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  22. Awesome post. Fake it till you make it, they say. Right?

    Also, the meals. OMG I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I have a cousin with a 5 year old girl & 2.5 year old boy & she works 3 days/week and she cooks every night! I'm like, "What the heck is wrong with me that I serve my kids cereal for dinner 4 (okay, 5) nights a week? Why can't I get it together?! And when on earth are my kids* going to progress past the granola bar/chicken nugget/frozen pizza diet?!"

    This post made me feel better about my (self-perceived) inadequacies. Solidarity, Grace! :)

    *identical twin boys who will be 4 next month and also could watch hours of Play doh reviews on Youtube. WTH!!

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  23. Baby #2 is two weeks away and I feel like some of my days are like this already...it's very comforting to read that my low expectations for the next few months are shared by so many other moms.

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  24. Awesome. SO many days I have aimed the lowest of the low, because that's all there was to do! Even now, when I don't have little people anymore, things get crazy busy in a different kind of way and the best I can do is a last minute load of laundry so uniforms are clean and a delivery order from somewhere not home cooked. You just keep chugging along! And the cooking - I LOVE to cook. It's a serious passion. But there are some days where I think if I have to come up with one more idea for dinner or grocery shop AGAIN because all the milk and fruit is gone, I'm going to scream.

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  25. Pretty sure Anthony is routinely appalled by how awful I look. Pretty sure it's worse than watching me birth. Should I confess this online? #thingsonlymysistersknow #andnowallofyou

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  26. Where is Phoebe's onesie from?! I die!!

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    1. http://www.littleadi.com/collections/onesies/products/infant-mama-said-onesie

      :)

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  27. I love this! Especially identified with this line:
    "I even remember to pack spare diapers and a pack of wipes with more than one dried out lone soldier inside."
    The fact that moms of babies know exactly what you mean about the lone soldier is just too much:) Thanks for sharing this!

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  28. I think you are wise beyond your years, Grace Patton!

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  29. These posts make me feel like I am in good company. I seriously want to write some version of the above in the "reason for being late" column when I get the 2 big ones to school late (almost everyday). I love all your corresponding pictures of the kids. Phoebe's nickname should be Cheeks McGee, so adorable!

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  30. My husband and I are in the stage of "talking about considering having kids" - a stage I hear is quite short - and we've been tossing around potential baby names. Yesterday I innocently asked my husband what he thought of the name Sebastian "and then we could call him Bash" (because I'm soooo clever to think of that!) and he really liked it. anyway......thought you'd appreciate that.

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  31. THE YOU TUBE VIDEOS!!!! So weird. So weird that they like them. Marley has started describing her toys to an invisible video camera in a creepy sing-song voice…I'm so proud.

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  32. I love this... your humor, your honesty. I feel like this and I only have two kids!

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  33. Scrolling back through old posts and I had to comment - I knew this family in college. There were 5 sons, and I went to school with the 4th. The older 3 are 2 doctors (Emergency Med and Internal Med) and a rocket scientist. Not kidding. The 4th will graduate from medical school in May, and the 5th will graduate from pharmacy school not long after.

    We asked his Mom once what the key to raising such successful boys was. Her answer? "Low expectations." Clearly you're in good company.

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