volumizing product powerhouses

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31 March 2015

I really have no-ho-ho-ho business writing about hair care. Ever. {But that's never ever stopped me before!!!} The last time my hair was cut by a professional {aka not me and my subpar trim jobs} was during my first trimester with Phoebe and it shows. Postpartum hair loss doesn't kill me as much as postpartum hair regrowth does because I've earned myself a graduated bowl cut that sits real pretty directly on top of my head ... like a crown. The bowl crown grows like a notweed and taunts me daily. I suspect it will grow long enough to blend in with the rest of my hair sometime around 2025ish.


I am a hair product review reading junkie and a total sucker when it comes to trying the latest and greatest. I also subscribe to almost everything Kate recommends because have you seen her hair? Plus she's a professional. So, I have the greatest of faith in the following products and a little tiny bit goes a very long way when it comes to every single one of them.

My hair is really fine (a nice euphemism for thin) but I have a lot of it BUT it doesn't matter because it's flatter than Simon' 19-day-old Cherry Coke in the fridge so I'm forever on a quest for volume. Forever. So ... if you were blessed with voluminous locks of lovely ... these might not be for you! I couldn't tell you because I'm on the side of the fence with the less green grass. Aren't we all?

Okay ... heady foreword over.

Forging onward.

1. Pureology Hydrate Shampoo - At the beginning of this pregnancy my hair turned into an oil factory. I tried every clarifying shampoo under the sun and the vinegar rinse and and AND. So then I was that annoying friend that SOS-texted poor Kate and she said my hair was probably dried out and overcompensating with extra oil. Duh. She recommended this shampoo and my hair was transformed overnight. I only wash my hair every 3rd or 4th day (I know some of you can go WAY longer and I applaud you) so this bottle has lasted quite a while despite a few spills a la my offspring.

2. Aquage Uplifting Foam - Another Kate gem. I put this on my roots right before I blow dry it after I shower at night (boo - I've turned into a "shower after the kids have gone to bed" person because I don't trust any of the kids to be left alone during a potential daytime shower, for good reason and Theo's room shares a wall with the bathroom and even if I showered at 4:55 in the am .... he'd be up and crowing - WHO CARES? sorry). Then I just put my hair in a loose braid to sleep. I've had the same bottle for well over a year and it's still fairly full. So very worth the price.

3. Conair Infiniti Pro Dryer - my old hair dryer was older than my relationship with Simon ... much older. And it was a ticking fire hazard and probably kept the neighbors up at night because it was LOUD. I read about this on Kilee's instagram and she has the best hair and sang it's praises and I have loved it. It works really quickly and is relatively quiet and does a great job of getting impatient Julia's hair very dry, very quickly.

3. Mitch Stone Essentials Lustre Drops - I read about these on a few blogs of bloggers with bomb hair and had to copycat. I just put one or two drops in my hair after I blow dry it and before I braid it. And sometimes if it gets static-happy ... this will tame it without weighing it down and looking like a grease bomb. It gives my hair a little shine and tames fly aways. 

4. Kenra Volume Spray - Yet another Kate find. I lightly spray this on before I curl my hair which is probably terrible to do but ... I do it. And the curl holds well without looking like banana/barrel curls that would've been appropriate at my high school homecoming dance. It isn't sticky and even though it says "extra hold" it doesn't make my hair feel stiff. At all.

5. Cortex Ceramic Curling Wand - I should probably use a bigger barrel but this works for now and it's super hot and works quickly. I still don't really know what I'm doing with a wand but I do curl away from my face and do different sizes of hair pieces so it doesn't look too uniform but I still probably fail. I've tried several wands and this is my favorite by FAR.

6. Big Sexy Hair Powder Play - I've probably blogged about this more than I've blogged about all my children altogether but it's that good. I just sprinkle a teeny tiny bit on my roots and work it through and voila! volume! I use it on the kids' hair (minus Phoebe) too while Simon rolls his eyes in my general direction.

I don't feel strongly about a particular conditioner (I'm using this now and it's fine) but I've been buying those little 99 cent Keratin masque packets at the grocery store and have been liking them well enough. And I was sooo excited to try this texturizing spray that I've read so many rave reviews about but before I had a chance to use it ... airport security took it. My fault. But ... seriously. It did smell amazing. Anyway, I might have to give it another go.

Any volumizing magic tips and/or tricks that I'm missing?? I hope so. Let a lady know.

... we're gonna have us some fun.

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30 March 2015

I hate to throw TOO much spice into your otherwise inevitably humdrum Monday but mom bloggers gotta mom blog about spicy things and sometimes they've gotta a weekend to recap with photos and captions. Extra spicy. You were warned.

Julia warming up to go "trick-or-treating" at the Easter egg hunt at school on Sunday. The reason for the season, folks.

Even with Simon working long after I'd gone to sleep Friday night and getting up to go back to work well before anyone was up for a quick 24 hour shift on Saturday morning ... we still managed to make the most of Sunday a la house projects and house projects. I'll keep those to a maximum, worry not.

Simon kept busting out power tool after power tool while I was like, "anyone care to admire the closet {singular} I organized?!"

Sebastian wakes up every morning asking to make cookies and so after months of saying the requisite, "we'll see" (meanest mom) I finally obliged on Saturday ...

I'm sure this makes me less of an American and the polar opposite of a foodie but I prefer my chocolate chip cookies to err on the fluffy and cakey and not very many chips side. Basically I just add cornstarch to ye old Toll House recipe. Yawn.

Not pictured: the cheerios I ate with chocolate chips sprinkled on top while the cookies were baking. I didn't come close to failing my gestational diabetes screening like I normally do so I'm living it UP for the next trimester. My postpartum self might be flipping my current self an angry bird. Maybe.

Okay, Grace. More spice!

Ah, here we have Theo finally happy after I gave in and gave him a "blue" straw ...

Isn't his blue shirt nice too?

Probably thee most exciting development went down in the bathroom because we had the bath and shower reglazed (technical term, I think?) ...

hashtag no filter.

Now if we could just reglaze the entire house .... we'd be good. No, but it made a WORLD of difference ... because when we moved in it was a lovely shade of tannish gross (aka old) so ... now I want to take the bathroom with me because while we're stressing about every last square inch of paint around here I'm looking at potential Florida houses with electric blue and/or (really!!) lime green interiors and archaically wallpapered walls. A blog post for another time. Get your eyelid props ready.

Anyway, the kind gentleman that did the glazing had to wear this getup ...

... and you know how much Phoebe loves strangers so THIS ... this sent her into a frenzy ...

She be like, "WTF"

I honestly wasn't sure she'd make a full mental recovery but soon she remembered that the kitchen she loves to destroy was still there ...

... and she found Simon's toothbrush and and went to work happily cleaning her toes so, she's good now.

And I hate to end on a somber note but ...

... goodbye my aquafresh lover. Goodbye my friend.

And aside from a most disastrous church performance by certain children on Sunday .... that was the freakin' weekend.

I hope yours was similarly wild and all kinds of cra to the zy.

26 weeks

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27 March 2015

 three tops c/o Golden Tote (post sponsor)
support tank (not pictured :)) c/o Blanqi

Well, I'll be 27 weeks tomorrow but who's counting? Me, baby, me! Come on now

I might be the world's biggest fan of maternity clothing just because I think it suits my bump and body the best so I was pleasantly surprised when Golden Tote and their fun concept and service was able to come up with a tote full of clothing that was so bump-friendly. While there are lots of similar services floating around out there right now, Golden Tote is a monthly tote service that lets you choose two items and then surprises you with the rest based on your specified and requested style profile. My stylist was cognizant of my pregnancy and even stretched me out of my style comfort zone a bit which I appreciated because I can get outfit rut-happy pretty fast. And as someone that rarely to never shops anywhere but online I appreciated the convenience of not having to leave the house while having someone else do the "is this in style?" legwork for me.

The founders are clothing designers from Los Angeles and are able to score deep discounts on fashion brands and have even designed some of their pieces themselves. I was so happy with the quality of every single piece and am already thinking ahead to the fourth trimester of the nursing tank and my postpartum self is already appreciating the loose and flowy tops included in my tote.

My large tote (5-6 pieces) included the three tops pictured a la Grace above along with the blue dress, vest, and black and white striped top. Not bad for $149 (totes are valued up to $600 so odds are very good that you'll come out WAY ahead). There's also a smaller tote option that will get you 2-3 pieces for $49.

The next tote will be released on Monday, April 6th (although there is a bit of March inventory left!) and you can check out past totes and browse their inventory here!

I'll only subject you to a quick (ha!) paragraph about baby #5 but I have virtually no complaints. My usual back pain hasn't set in quite yet and the occasional fatigue is my biggest issue which really isn't even an issue at all. I'm still pretty confident in my guess that it's a girl because I feel like I'm carrying e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e (face, legs, face) like I did with the girls but my cravings for sushi and salt are giving me slight pause as that's all I wanted with the boys, so! We'll shall see, won't we?

We shall.

p to the s ...
27 weeks with Phoebe/Sebastian/Theo
26 weeks with Julia

prepare the way

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26 March 2015

For quite some time I was pretty determined that we would make it to Sunday Mass together as a family. Even when Simon's weekend schedule got rocky we managed to make it work and I would either bring the kids to the hospital chapel on Sunday morning for a little game of church roulette (will Simon be free to come downstairs to meet us? or not?) ... or we would go as a family to a later Sunday evening Mass at a small local college where we didn't stick out at ALL. Until this winter when we went soft or we got smart ... depending on how you look at it. Simon and I started splitting up and taking one or two (or no!) kids at a time to church on Saturday night/Sunday morning and it was great. No complaints. We still do it if Simon is working on Sunday but now that the weather is a little less hateful we're back in the habit of hitting up the easy breezy 30 minute hospital Mass with all the heathens in tow. Look at us go. I know. But, I'll pretend we do it for Simon's well being on the weekends he's coming off a 24 hour shift on Sunday morning and not for my sanity in the pew. Not at all.

For better or for worse, we've started having the kids pack their own little church bags so that I'm not throwing a baby wipe at all of them by communion and hoping (in vain) that they'll suddenly strike up an interest in wet origami.

It's actually worked out really well despite last week's loot ...

Minimalist Julia: forbidden markers + pen + crayons, my missing sunglasses, a rosary, a Julia bracelet (made by Simon, the favorite parent), a book of Frozen stickers, old fruit snacks, a paint sample stolen from Sebastian, a stuffed dolphin, and a princess sticker book.

Unpredictable Sebastian: five various toy modes of transportation. None of which made noise which cannot be said for the week prior ...

Materialistic Theo: a crumpled up page ripped out of a Costco travel magazine.

Theo was territorial about his lone treasure and Julia didn't dare to show me her writing contraband and Sebastian never even opened his bag but was just happy to have something that neither Julia nor pesky Theo could touch. We'll see how long it lasts until I start resorting to my sorry bag of lone-diaper-and-three-wipes tricks or the kids miraculously start paying attention ...

... imagine THAT.


spring break and better internet

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24 March 2015

The big kids were on spring break last week and even though they only go to preschool two mornings a week ... it made a world of difference having them home. I wish I could say it made the cozy and fun kind of difference but instead we took a little trip ...

destination: Crazytown,
population: mother and ducklings Patton

I think it was just the perfect storm of some weird patch of painful pregnancy fatigue (totally fine now!), Simon's current time consuming rotation (this is the last week!!), and Sebastian's new found penchant for skipping his nap (I'll just keep lying to myself and silently chanting it's, "just a phase! just a phase!), but even after hitting up parks and playgrounds on the daily we were alllll craving our usual sructure like the wild and free spirits that we Pattons tend to be ...

Simon says I repeatedly dress like the kids like lumberjacks but I have no idea what he's talking about. At all.

I think the low (or maybe high!) point was when Julia and Sebastian were playing "dentist" and all of a sudden Sebastian had cut off a very visible and sizable chunk of Julia hair. 

Anyway! I'm going to have to get my summer routine ducks in a row real quick or figure out a way to synchronize our "quality time" love language or something. Something!

But let's celebrate the blessed end to the "break" by going elsewhere(s) for the day, shall we? Yep.

As more and more blogs seem to be posting less and less I'm always so happy to find a new-to-me blog to archive stalk. Her gram game is gorgeous too.

I've typed it before and I'll type it again but if I were forced to reading nothing but Rachael's writing for the rest of my days ... I wouldn't complain one single bit. Ladybird's got talent.

This made me laugh {language alert though}

This made me feel so much better about the SOS texts I routinely send Simon

Julia has been starting to voice her strong opinions about jeans vs. leggings (something I've read is commonish with little girls? or maybe she's a special breed of crazy like her mother dearest) and is pretty adamant that jeans never touch her legs ever again but has been shockingly okay wearing these, thankfully.

In that same picky vein, I've been on the secondhand hunt for some flower girl shoes for J that didn't boast sparkles or bows or massive flowers and finally found these in a fit of 3am insomnia ... not secondhand but they can double as Easter kicks and if she's feeling festive .... baby #5's baptism? I guess.

I'm going to force myself to stop Zillow trolling Tampa houses and start this book tonight but not! before! I do the workout that never ever gets any easier. Weird.

Haaaaaave a good one.
Extra a's for fun.

restoration Patton

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23 March 2015

Last spring in between call weekends and call weekends and Phoebe's birth and call weekends Simon trotted off to nine different fellowship interviews and I really am so sad that spring is over.


And this spring's ongoing "thing" in between call weekends and call weekends and call weekends is a lot easier on the family and I'm holding my breath but (switches to whisper) the weather has been so much more cooperative and pleasant, so far. 2015 > 2014, 100%. Also .... aside from a month of nights - Simon only has four more call weekends to go. Fancy THAT.

But ... back to the Camp's spring fling. We're in the thick of getting ready to list our house in a couple of weeks and I'm trying really hard not to have nightmares about an interested party needing to see it during nap time ... the nap time that starts in six minutes. It's totally going to happen and it will be fine! And! I've been comforted by tips from house selling veterans like, "throw everything in the washing machine or dishwasher! no one looks there!" ... GENIUS.

But before that three ring circus of fun begins we are in semi-frantic mode trying to get the 80 year old house to "sparkle" as our realtor says. It's funny how many things we totally ignore until looking at the situation through a fresh set of eyes and ... commence minor freak out. Sort of. We got the ball rolling early but with many, many, many walls covered in Crayola murals ... we've got some work to do.
Or ... more work. As lots is already done! Thankfully. Simon has been working on the house as much as his work schedule allows while I've been going about my regular purging business. We make a great team.

Magic Erasers will easily get crayon off of walls but not pen. So - a lot of rooms are getting touched up or repainted entirely. Julia did a number on the attic walls that only took five new coats of paint to cover.

Not pictured:

bye bye beige-bombed basement - we painted it white and super light grey {new carpet to come this week ... we were those sucker first time buyers that were totally cool with their pet stained carpet ... and are now the ones replacing it ... we learned, I hope!}

hasta la never to the outdated bathroom - Simon replaced the sink and the toilet in the basement bathroom, painted it white and it looks a million times better.

Aaaand a new walkway out front. Again - the idiots that were fine with crumbling stones leading up to the house when we bought it. We left that to the professionals and hopefully it upped the curb appeal a couple of points. 


adios Aquafresh kitchen ...

... this one I'm genuinely sad about. The kitchen is on the smaller side and was beige (so much beige! everywhere) so we painted it aqua when we first moved in and I've regretted it zero times. Our realtor (rightly so, I'm guessing) doesn't think potential buyers will appreciate the color so ... light grey it is. If the new owners hate light grey as much as I hate beige .... bless them.

And some unexciting but necessary touch-ups in the boys rooms ...

{stellar lighting because this was taken very early in the morning}

this too.

Also ... Theo is expecting a baby named, "baby" sometime this summer. Admire his bump and glow, thanks.

The kids have been super helpful ...

no, it's probably a minor - nay! a major miracle that a gallon paint hasn't been tipped over because you can only accomplish so much during naps.

Odds are real good that I'll force feed you the final photos once the house is up ... I just like to keep you posted on every little mundane detail around here.

I'm sorry. Sort of.

payback's a pc

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22 March 2015

My puns need work. 
I know.

I have to admit that when it comes to using the laptop here at home ... I'm the biggest hog. I hide behind the excuse of the blog and the fact that I'm at home the most but Simon has always been a great sport about "firing up" (in quotes because it takes about 20 minutes to do so) his aged dinosaur from med school to work on projects and presentations when duty calls.

Until now! Since the kids and I reap 99.9% of the blog's product review rewards I thought it was Simon's turn to have some fun at the expense of his wife's time consuming {"just a few 200 pictures, real quick!!"}  hobby. We had the fun opportunity to test drive HP's new Sprout which makes my little laptop look like a flip phone thanks to a screen the size of Texas and all of it's capabilities. I'm scared my kindergarten tech-savvy self will only ever scratch the surface of it's full potential. And after watching the older kids help Simon take the Sprout on her maiden voyage ... I'm fairly certain even kindergarteners could teach me a techy thing or twelve.

Look at Sebastian working that, "favorite child" angle ...

... hard.

Thanks to a huge 20 inch touch pad, a stylus, and a built in 3D camera (that basically acts as a lightning fast scanner for anything that will fit and sit on the touch pad) the creative possibilities for not only the kids' activities but also potential blogging graphics and Simon's work presentations are virtually endless.

Bash is SOLD.

They tested the waters by scanning one of Phoebe's bottles and the kids hands because we crazy like that ...

... and then Julia did a phenomenal and thorough job of painting their nails.

I know you'll be waiting with baited breath for any project updates so I'll be sure to keep you posted. But for now I'm more than a little thankful that when I'm hunting around for an old photo on the laptop I can rest assured that all of Simon's surgery presentation pics are safely on his new mothership.

More than a little thankful indeed.

Happy Monday Eve.

you've come a long way, baby

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20 March 2015

or ... babIES.

or ... flashback Friday.

I'm in a constant battle ... or maybe more of a war for disk space on my laptop and just need to put everything on an external drive {tonight! after the kids go down! orrr tomorrow!!} and so I'm always going through my photos to see if I really need 99 photos of baby Julia in the bumbo demolishing frozen raspberries for the first time. The answer was always yes! until desperation got the better of me. Dee-lete x 97. Saved two because I'm real sentimental like that.

But I happened upon these rubies {why I made these collages is beyond me but I'm sure made loads of sense at the time .... loads} and had to recycle and repost.

uncanny? apparently I thought so.

And I remember thinking Julia had NO hair but she's just a month older than Phoebe is right now and I think it'd be generous to say Phoebe has half as many locks. Perspective for the dubya ... I guess.

And moving onto ...

Any Downton (season 2, I believe?) aficionados?

It might be VERY safe to say that Theo could and should get voted, "most changed" in the Patton child yearbook in his short two year earth tenure because .... holy Theodore Button.

Now to find doppelgängers for the other two ... which could maybe just be each other in both looks and personality as Phoebe is permanently parked either outside the locked bathroom or the locked pantry ... Sebastian's former favorite haunts.

Enough excitement for Friday!

Have a decent weekend.

alternatives to flip flops

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19 March 2015


I might be jumping the gun here a little bit because ... March! It's a wildcard. Two Marches ago there was a gross blizzard at the END of the month here in St. Louis only to be followed by a less gross but still gross blizzard at the beginning of MAY (sinful, sinful weather) so to start rushing and packing away the boots and cold weather necessities would just be stupid but during a week like this one (50's and 60's - the weather gods are smiling VERY WIDE on us right now) it's hard not to get into summer weather/less depressing state of mind. Plus it was 80 (!!!!!) on Monday and we went and had ice cream outside in short sleeves after sundown serving as a reminder that the best weather ever awaits us all. So, tolerate me. Please?

Or at least bookmark this post until mid-June when all of these will go on clearance and the stores will start putting out their fall attire. Gross.

I have to add that I'm an authority on nothing -- especially style! And while I don't think it's necessary to get completely decked for a grocery run when you have little kids to get dressed and ready TOO ... it's nice to put a semi nice foot forward and feel slightly more put together than the old yogas and flops routine I tend to fall back on too many times a week. With that said (Harrison style) ... odds are good I'll still be rocking my 3-year-old faithfuls more than I'm not this summer. Hypocrite gone wild.

1. AE Huarache Peep Toe Flats - these have passed the comfort/blister test with flying colors and my low style standards say they look decent with pants and skirts ... win/win.

2. Kenneth Cole wedges - don't trust the photo - they look hideous, I know! They aren't as high in real life and I keep catch myself wearing them around the house even after I'm home because they are super comfortable. These might be my favorites of the bunch. Maybe!

3. Slip on sneakers - trendy trendy trendy but sometimes I'm a total sucker. These are a little bit wider than some (cheaper) styles I've tried which lends to a higher comfort factor. And they spice up the majority of my snoring outfits.

4. AE Colorblocked Peep Toe Flats - just as comfortable as number one but if black is more your speed then these might be for you. Also, I'm wondering if I'm allowed to shop at American Eagle at the tender age of 31.

5. Saltwater Sandals - Odds are great you already have a pair but they are well worth the price tag and if you're like me and like to match your kids footwear ... you're set.

6. Target Glitter Sandals - I don't actually own these but love them and am guessing they were a huge hit last summer if Target brought them back again.

Honorable {but pricier} mention: the sandals I swore I'd never ever wear because my my mom owned three pairs growing up. Yep, trendy as bleep but they are super comfortable and Pinterest tells me I can wear them with socks during the colder months. More bang for your buck, folks.

Any I missed? Dumb question. I missed millions, literally - I'm sure! But any pair that you love and swear by ... I'm all eyes. I saw that Tevas are making a comeback? Fifth grade Grace in all her neon braces and ginorm maroon glasses is ecstatic about THAT.

a tale of two parents at the park

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17 March 2015

It's funny the stupid things you start to care about once kids come on the scene a la parenthood.

Grocery stores that aren't overly zealous about keeping their car corrals cart-free and therefore much easier to transition children from car seats to cart? I will drive many extra minutes to give you my grateful business with my little cherubs in tow.

Grocery stores with a reliable supply of free cookie samples for said cherubs? Again, I will find you.

Any and everything with a drive-thru? You're the best {stillllll waiting on the post office but - Picky Patton here}.

Waiting rooms with toys, no matter how germ-infested? Come to mother dearest.

Enclosed playgrounds sans wood chips with a smaller structure for smaller kids? Gold.

I used to think a playground was a playground was a playground but I've come to know and appreciate that I was oh so wrong. One thing I will miss when we move is the overly impressive glut of fancy playgrounds here in St. Louis. It's almost like they're all in a silent but deadly playground competition for best and most wonderful playground because we keep finding better and better gems.

Plastic bear - built to scale ... kept Phoebe Badger and her stare entertained for five minutes aka an eternity in baby time.

So last week after naps and dinner when the kids were in rare crazycake form and I knew Simon was working a 24 the next day and the anticipatory dread was reaching new and happy heights - I loaded them all up and set up camp at the park nearest to the hospital so that we might transfer the parental duties and power as soon as humanly possible. My heart and its generosity knows no bounds.

Julia thought I was taking her to a business {casual} meeting and dressed the part but was surprised when tackling her brother wasn't on the agenda and found herself sitting smiley in timeout.

Anyway, Simon came bearing gifts of pizza crust {Phoebe's favorite - he ate his pizza in the car so it was sort of fresh, judgers} and M&M's and was treated like kid royalty upon his arrival.

I'm always on the mamarazzi prowl and was later looking at photos from the SOS sojourn and had to SALTS (smile a little then stopped as opposed to LOL) because here in all her go-getter mom glory we have the two photos Simon snagged ...

if you give a Phoebe a pizza crust ...

Anyway, we have Mom on her park perma-perch.

And then we have Simon ...

lazy and uninvolved.

Opposites attract and it takes all kinds and a bevy of other excuses.

But I know other moms can relate.
Or I think.
Or I hope.

{lazy dads ... you're welcome in my corner too. I'll bring extra chairs}

mom's guide to exercise

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13 March 2015

or ... a clueless mom's guide to exercise with little kids underfoot.

that's sort of better.

Oh, I know I've already written about my favorite workout DVDs and to be honest I just got very winded bringing a smallish load of laundry up one flight of stairs so you might be thinking I have no business soliciting ANYMORE exercise advice but! Bombas {post sponsor!} kindly asked if we'd like to team up and after reading about their company and mission ... I said I was game. And if I toss in one more sports reference ... that will be three strikes and you're allowed to click out.

Since we've (sadly!) outgrown the days of wogging around the neighborhood with the triple jogger and all four kids are still at home most days of the week, I refuse to use afternoon nap time to work out, and I have a tendency to gain three pounds by just thinking about chocolate when I'm pregnant ... I've had to be disciplined and creative this winter with the caloric burn situation. Here are a few things that have helped me sort of succeed ...

The matching socks? intentional.
The matching shoes? totally unintentional. someone stage an intervention!

1. keep your standards low - this is actually my motherhood mantra as it applies to virtually every situation one might encounter as a mom. I'm actually quite pleased with myself if I make it through a 27 minute DVD with fewer than five hits of the pause button. 10 minutes? Great! It's so much better than nothing and I've found exercise to be (sort of - SORT OF) addicting so if I only do 10 minutes one day odds are good I'll bump it up to 20 the next. In this same vein - I have no problem with putting PBS kids on for the older kids if "monster" just isn't cutting the entertainment mustard.

2. be consistent - it took Phoebe a week or two to understand that I was going to be selfish and look ridiculous while following the poised instructors' leads on the screen and she would constantly whine or try to scale my leg but she eventually gave up and is now happy to crawl around the basement and unwittingly play "monster" while the kids act scared of her. I try really hard to work out when she's taking her morning nap but sometimes I want to get the breakfast dishes/disaster cleaned up instead.

not pictured: my bonbons, chaise lounge, champagne and would a mother's helper be pushing it?

oh! she came and whisked them all away ;)
(side note: Sebastian saw this photo and asked if I was dead)

focus, Grace

3. eat first - if I don't time will run away from me and I'm kind of a hangry monster and soon every little kid squabble is exacerbated tenfold and I'll give up after the 3 minute warmup.  And everyone is different but I have to have protein in the morning or else I'll eat junk the rest of the day but my self-discipline is deplorable ... I'm sure you're different.

4. shoes + socks - I blogged about this over a year ago but one of the very first things I do when I wake up is put on my socks and tennis shoes in the morning because I know it sounds silly but it significantly ups my odds of sneaking some exercise in.

This is where Bombas socks comes in! Similar to the concept of Toms and Warby Parker - for every pair purchased, Bombas donates a pair to someone in need which is genius because socks are the number one clothing request at homeless shelters. I was telling Simon about Bombas and I know I've mentioned it before but he volunteered for a year in between college and med school at a shower facility for the homeless down in Puerto Rico ...

... where he kept his haircut real high and tight.

Anyway, he emphatically agreed as he would often get men suited up for interviews and socks (understandably) just weren't something that are donated as often other articles of clothing. Bombas has donated over 300,000 pairs since their inception in October in 2013.

I always thought socks were socks were socks but Bombas has tested over 133 different tensions to get the right feel and to ensure that they'd stay up. And they do. Their ankle socks do not fall down thanks to a special blister tab and I may or may not have deemed them my house socks because they don't slip or have that weird and annoying toe line hem situation like every other pair I own. Sebastian has an impressive collection of rejected and discarded socks under his pillow (?!) but refuses to take these off and I won't tell you how many consecutive days he's been wearing them ...

Simon wore pair of the calf socks the other night ...

... and said he was the TALK of church basketball. He also wants everyone to know that he is not flexing in this photo.

Back to the post subject at hand!

5. switch up the routine - I get into bad ruts and just do the same DVD over and over again but have recently found a whole wealth of awesome and quick routines on Pinterest. It helps immensely if I can stay standing for the majority of the workout because otherwise it's just a very obvious invitation for kids to crawl ALL over me and #5.

Helpful? I hope a tiny bit.

If you're curious and would like to at least try a pair or three of the Bombas socks .... feel free to use the code: CAMPPATTON20 for 20% off your first order of any size.

It's rare that I use my own discount codes but this will be an exception because my expectations were so exceeded and it's rare that Simon says more than one positive sentence about any article of clothing he wears.

Thanks for reading and happy weekend!

tropical pineapple smoothie

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12 March 2015

I guess that's kind of a redundant name? But, c'est la craziest vie. Let's roll with it. Or .... blend with it. Even worse.

These won't be winning any sort of "sneaky kale" health awards. At all. But they are packed with vitamin C because of one very transparent ingredient ...

I saw a smoothie pic on Instagram with a plastic straw and several people lambasting the poster for using ... plastic. The horror. So, I'm sorry if this offends you. Sort of.

Anyway. You know how smoothie "recipes" go - nothing is ever exact because please tell me you aren't busting out measuring cups for smoothies? I hope not. But here's what I've been pretty consistently doing when we're at the weird point in the day that the kids are hungry but it's even too early to consider a geriatric-timed dinner but we've already all had a snack and second lunch. You know that time.

~ one cup frozen pineapple (or "apple sings" if you're Sebastian) chunks
~ one cup greek yogurt (we use vanilla because that's what Costco sells)
~ one and a half cups (??) almond milk (unsweetened vanilla because again, Costco)
~ one ripe banana
~ one packet or Raspberry or Tropical Emergen-C

Just blend!

Phoebe is especially fond of my creativity in the kitchen ...

did I give her a handful of semi-sweets to tide her whine-ness over until I got the smoothie made? MAYBE. Maybe.

I'd like to say something in conclusion like how much ALL the kids love them or something sunshine-y like that. And all the kids DID love them for a few weeks until Julia watched me make them and realized pineapple was an ingredient ...

... and then changed her logical little mind.

Parenting ain't easy.
Or something.

kid quirks

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11 March 2015

Way back when I was little {but not too little! because I have vivid memories of this!} I used to have to be holding my mom's earlobe to fall asleep. Low maintenance, easy going, and normal? All me. My kids' bedtime routine consists of a swift teeth brushing and ensuring that all the sound machines are set to the highest possible volume so ... earlobe lullabies are not a Patton child quirk ... quite yet. And I hope they don't get any crazy and coddled ideas when they suddenly learn to read and randomly decide to peep this post.

But, anyway! The kids do have quirks ... sort of. I guess.

Let's explore them.

Shall we?

JULIA. I've already typed at length about her hoarding but that's probably her biggest bizarre factor.

"look! I have the biggest hand in the WORLD!!"

She also refuses to sleep with any sort of blanket over her body ... no matter how freezing the house is and is such an incredibly deep sleeper that she routinely falls out of bed (onto the carpet but has fallen asleep on the couch and fallen down on the wood floor more than once, oops) and just keeeeeps on sleeping.

It's great.

BASH. Calls everyone, "kids". Me + Phoebe? "Hey kids!!" Julia + Simon? "Wait up for me, kids!!" etc etc.

And is very particular about having two teddy bears and three certain blankets draped over him before he goes to sleep. If I'm in a rush and forget even one of these five elements .... HELL to pay. He's also been known to stick his hand behind a mirror and get very, very confused when it doesn't appear on the other side.

THEO. Is very reticent to leave the house without a hat. A beanie sufficed during the colder months but now that it's warmer he's changed up his look a bit.

He's obsessed with tidying up and puts he and his siblings dirty utensils back in the silverware drawer after most meals. Sebastian went through a similar phase (emphasis on PHASE) so ... I'm just enjoying it while it lasts.

PHOEBE. I'd say she's your pretty standard 10 month old. She's terrible about eating food in her highchair but once it's on the floor and I'm sweeping it up into a pile and it's trash bound? She goes immediately into Parkour mode to get it all in her mouth. Why? why why why?

She's also going through a very serious stranger danger phase and odds are very high that if an unfamiliar human looks at her for a beat too long ...

She'll throw this shade their way.

And then burst into such a loud fit of tears that makes anyone within a five mile radius wonder if there's a baby being starved and/or tortured around the corner.

It doesn't make checking out at the grocery store awkward at ALL. Ever.

Anyway, my very favorite posts are the ones with lots of comments from you because those are exponentially more fun to go back and read.

two favorites:
"I knew I was in labor when ...."
and of course ...
baby names!!

So if your kid has a quirk .... I'd love to hear it. I feel like the Pattons are pretty boring ... there's got to be some pizazz out there, right?!

RIGHT? I hope yes.


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