growing up

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31 August 2015

Initially I typed that title to read, "growng up" so I might just be growing down but I'm not the subject matter at hand today, for once.

For a long, long time I think I've sort of felt like I've been firmly planted in the baby and toddler trenches and while Julia isn't even into the wilds of kindergarten yet I have to admit that the two (maybe three?!) older kids are most definitely not toddlers and they are growing up.

Duh, it happens. And I know that and it's bittersweet but right now it feels mostly sweet as they sway further and further into uncharted independent territory. Territory that I like to call, "Pleasantville."

The other night a child that would normally throw a long and loud fit until parental assistance came stumbling into their room did the unthinkable. They quietly came into our bedroom to calmly inform us that they had wet the bed. I was so shocked by said child's calm demeanor that I was sure I was dreaming some bizarrely unrealistic and pleasant dream but nope, real life.

The next day we were going somewhere as a family when two children got themselves dressed. This isn't terribly out of the ordinary but they normally need to be redressed in something a little more size and weather appropriate but this time only their shirts were backwards and their shoes on the wrong feet so, we let it be. 2/5 of our job? done!

I could lie and say that I recently had to pack up all the newborn clothing because Bosco is in solid 0-3 month sized clothing now but the truth is that I just stuffed all the newborn clothing in a sort of empty dresser drawer but still, he's growing up.

And a few weeks ago I bought Simon some new (no holes! above the *gasp* knee! ever so slightly fitted!) shorts and he tried them on and he proclaimed with great disgust, "I feel like eye candy on a pleasure yacht* ... "


... so I guess you could say that he's growing up too.


*I have no idea what a pleasure yacht is either

dining room tour + table

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28 August 2015

Jazz hands, folks.

Slowly but surely I'm hoping to e-walk you through our house. Today, we've got the dining room on deck. I say tour with my tongue stuck firmly in my cheek because it's pretty small. But, tour it is.

We'll pretend I was going for a minimalist chic look with the sparsely decorated walls but they'll probably stay that way until we move out ...


This used to be my least favorite room in the house. There are no windows and it was painted a hue of blue that made it feel even darker than it was on it's own but then Simon painted it white and Ezekiel and Stearns sent this Driftwood Shaker table + Cape Cod benches of my dreams and suddenly I'm looking for excuses to hang out here.


I've wanted a farm table with benches for a long, long time and well, now that my dream as come to tangible fruition it's all downhill from here - I suppose.

I'm not sure our old Ikea chairs do the table justice but they'll do for now ...


I actually successfully put the table together myself (not impressive, it was super easy) and tried to screw the bench legs onto the bench "skirt" (new terminology for me) by hand with the "help" of Phoebe, Theo, and Bash which had Simon looking at me like I had 15 heads when he busted out his drill and hand them all up and running in under a minute. Oops!


When I first got one of the benches together the boys were so excited exclaiming, "oh! it's a little table for US!"

sort of, little men.

One of my favorite features of the Capecod benches (and all of their benches) is that they have adjustable legs ...


which is nice for those uneven outdoor surfaces or if you have a tile floor to wrestle with. Also, there will be no scratching of the floor with those leg pads (technical name, I'm sure). I also love that I can tuck the benches under the table which at least discourages Phoebe from climbing up on the table. Discourages is the key word.

Ezekiel and Stearns is based out of St. Louis and is an artisan custom craft furniture maker that makes the most gorgeous pieces. When possible they use naturally fallen timber and for every piece of furniture they sell, they donate to the Plant-It to have a tree planted. Smart.

They make incredible farm tables, chairs, benches, and a whole variety of timeless and classic home accents (sofa table, coffee table, writing desk, tv stand, storage benches and the list goes on and on!) and if you don't see something that fits your exact specifications they will work with you to create a custom design. Fancy, fancy. You can see some of their awesome custom designs along with some glowing reviews right over here!


I've been looking at new dining room tables for quite awhile and I can say, without bias, that they have extremely fair prices with free shipping on everything! every day! Which will save you many dollars and they are offering all Camp Patton readers $100 dollars off any farm table with the code Patton100. If I absolutely had to choose a second favorite table after the one we have I'd go with the Nantucket Farm Table.

In addition to the generous promo code Ezekiel and Stearns is giving away a $250 credit for you to use toward whatever inventory you'd like! Get after it and have a very happy weekend!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

to be filed under: important

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27 August 2015

Oh, what a day. And it's stillllll going strong! Simon was going to take Julia to school this morning (which is the BEST because as much as I love dragging alllll the kids into her classroom where she may or may not cling to my leg for dear life while I'm wearing Bosco and holding Phoebe ... it's nice to not do that too) but his car wouldn't start (please! don't be biting the dust for good, dear Jetta) so quickly! quickly! I had to get all the kids up and ready to take him into work. A few miles down the road {where I got embarrassingly lost and somehow found myself in a long line of traffic only to find that I was being funneled into a high school parking lot with um, students in my mini with my childrens) after he'd been dropped I heard Siri talking mysteriously from Theo's perch in his car seat and saw that he had Simon's phone which must've dropped when he hugged Theo goodbye? So, not exactly Simon's time to shine but I think he'll make it and we'll make it too. I'm sure you're glad you know all of that now, aren't you?

I have a nice potpourri of all over the map today ... it smells wonderful. I promise.

Other than our wedding album and a canvas print the photographer sent us ... I've yet to print any wedding photos to hang around the house. Love sweet love!

So, I thought our anniversary might be an appropriate time to do so ...


{medium: metal}


{medium: wood}

and because we love our kids TOO ...


{medium: wood & wood}

... InkDot did a phenomenal job printing these both on ready-to-mount metal and wood. I just wish I'd done more more more. Next time!

They do Instagrams too! I can't wait to get a photo of allllll the kids and would I go so far as to have them print it on a cell phone case? I might!

Anyway, Happy belated Anniversary - Simon! Now, can you please hang these and settle the dispute between our little weirdos, Julia and Bash, over who gets the wedding photos hung in their room? Danke. And many more dankes to InkDot!

I just recently discovered girlfriend jeans and I read many, many rave reviews so I bought a pair and this is the 6th? 7th? day in a row I've worn them. They are basically a more fitted (less atrocious baggy bottom) boyfriend jean. Heart.

Oh! Here's a stellar roundup of books on motherhood from one of my favorite bloggers. Go read it and them.

And speaking of books ... Theo's been rising and shining very bright circa 5 (or earlier, bless his crazy little heart) so I've been falling asleep in a matter of seconds at night/my reading time and am still plugging away at The Royal We but after reading so many glowing reviews of Jen's book ... I think that's next.

I love Kate's new "Fresh in Fifteen" series but I think I'd need fifteen hours to look as fresh as Kate does after her fifteen minutes. In fact, I know. I saw on IG that she found some cute ear climbers from Shopbop .... maybe those would help me out a bit? doubtful.

I don't know about you but I'm a big {platonic, not creepy} fan of the next Bachelor. Real big.

And now I'm off to await an email or a message from a carrier pigeon from Simone letting me know he's ready to be picked up from work. Let's hope I don't get lost and end up enrolling in Rambling101, okay?

Okay.

Phoebe-Phoebe-bo-be-be

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26 August 2015

the other night Simon randomly said, "I don't know why but Phoebe is just extra endearing to me right now."


And I had to agree. But!! She's also that crazyhorse age that can drive you insane with all of the monosyllabic demands, grunts, and strong opinions that she can't articulate. Yet somehow despite her Terry Bradshaw hair and her myriad of hourly frustrating moments ... our little 16-month-old spitfire still manages to make a mother laugh. And a father too, of course.

So, I wanted to pen a little post dedicated to all of her current quirks that only a parent would/could care about. I'm sorry. Sort of. 

She seems to be over her yellow sweater obsession but she's now hooked on wearing her swimsuit top like a purse all over the house. Or just any bag/purse in general. Or my flip flops on either chubby forearm. She pretends like she's leaving and gives everyone a kiss and then toddles away for a 4 second trip to the other room. Repeat.

and repeat again.

She has a strong attachment to all of her shoes. And mine too and there's a reason I can never ever find two shoes that match ...


Whenever she wants something she skips please and goes straight to "thank you" (ahem -- more of a "duh-doo") in advance because she assumes she'll get it and is already expressing gratitude, I suppose.

Or if she's caught holding something she shouldn't (a fork she thieved from the dishwasher, perhaps) ... she'll hand it back with a hearty, "thank you" ... as if to tell me that I should be expressing gratitude for her generosity.


If you're a rascal and you know it ... throw me a side eye with a side lean on the bed.

For the most part ... she's usually pretty nice to Bosco and whenever she lays eyes on him she tells everyone in the surrounding vicinity to, "shhhhh" which is ironic because he sleeps much better with a lot of noise but it's the thought that counts, Officer Quiet. She still bops him on the head to keep us on our toes every now and again and whenever she does it she immediately puts on her most surprised face .... ever


who, ME?!

yes, you.


not ashamed. Just a quick and spontaneous game of peek-a-boo.

Julia elaborately makes her bed every few days with jewelry on her pillows, shoes on either side of the headboard, dolls galore, and blankets folded just so. Phoebe takes GREAT pleasure in hurricaning through and demolishing the display which sends Julia into a fit of delight ... as you can imagine.

If Phoebe is feeling especially sassy and gets caught doing something she shouldn't (namely figuring out a way to grab my phone or keys or any of the boys' trucks/toys) ... she shoos the parental police away with a flick of her hand and sprints off with her illegal treasures laughing all the way.

We tried putting her in the church nursery over the weekend but got called 30 minutes into Mass that ladybird was not having it. So, back to our pew she came where she fought for her right to tear hymnals into a million little pieces. 

She can hold her own with the boys and if they do something she doesn't like, she goes straight for their arms ... with her teeth. Since they both have short hair she can't default to her usual hair pull and opts instead to bite them good. When they cry she just walks away ... unfazed.

When Simon is gone she is a big fan of looking at photos on the fridge and the wall, pointing him out, and talking about, "dada" ... never ever a mention of, "mama" but ... we like to leave a little room for improvement in the Patton household. 

She's the only child that doesn't wake up in the worst mood ever and I think she knows I appreciate that ...
 

... mama didn't raise no fool.

She's pretty much the best. Usually. And if any other Patton kids are reading this ... you're the best too.

;)

master upgrade

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25 August 2015

Big news in the Patton house! Much to Simon's delight ... we graduated from our full size bed ALL the way up to a Queen. Fancy fancy. Nothing larger than a full size box spring would fit up our attic stairs in the old house and I didn't mind it but Simon claimed his feet hung off the edge and that he had to sleep diagonal and martyrdom was his. So we were using Simon's mattress from med school which was fine but he talked about maybe getting a new one but the thought of trotting off to a mattress store with all of the kids kept that talk from turning tangible. And then in a fortuitously timed twist of events, Leesa (sponsor of this here blog post) asked if we'd like to try out their mattress. Why, yes - we would!


The kids were big fans of the mini fridge sized mattress box. Phoebe and Bash used it to have seated kRaZy face contests. Theo used it as a vanity.

I enlisted the help of my lovely assistant to help me get it set up during naps last weekend ...


in action. knife and all.

And here's how it went down ...


We were both a little skeptical since it was in such a small box but ....


{bed frame found here}

It puffed RIGHT UP.

Vanna said, "get a shot of this .... the Leesa magic is happening RIGHT NOW." So I did.

I enlisted the help of my other lovely assistant to take the mattress on it's maiden resting voyage ...


SOLD.


100%

Simon (sadly!) has the lower back of a 90-year-old and is understandably a tiny bit picky when it comes to mattresses but he's had no complaints and nothing but good things to say about our new Leesa mattress thus far.

Here's the deal with Leesa:

+ they are a lot like the Warby Parker or TOMS of the mattress biz because for every ten mattresses sold, they donate one to a shelter
+ Leesa gives you 100 nights to try your mattress, risk-free!
+ the ten inch mattress comes in all sizes and and is crafted with three unique foam layers (one 2" memory foam, one 2" Avena™ that’s perforated to keep you cool as the other side of the pillow - and it does!)
 
In the market for a mattress and curious to try? Well, Leesa is giving a generous $75 off the first 20 readers to redeem the promo code: CAMPPATTON by clicking here.

And, tell me ... will we regret not going full on King? So many couples we've talked to say they couldn't live without a King but we are mean parents and only occasionally allow Bosco in bed with us ... no other kids. Ever. But ... maybe we just don't know what we're missing? Enlighten us, please!

oops, we did it again

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24 August 2015

... or alternatively titled, "sand in our van" because .... our minivan is more like a mini beach at the present moment.

Fiesta forever.

We can't help ourselves ... we went back to the beach again over the weekend but this time we went a little further over to Anna Maria Island which was (still is, I'm assuming) gorgeous. We can pretend it was because we wanted to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary with the kids but I have to admit that maybe because I grew up in New Mexico and a beach the Rio Grande does not make ... but I feel kind of starstruck every time I see a large body of water.


{those glasses are just from Amazon ... knockoffs 4ever, bb}

You can't really tell in the photo but we lathered the sunscreen stick so thick on the kids' faces that it looked like we were having our own personal family dia de los muertos.

But, no one got burned! or even a hint of tan. SUCCESS.


Patton children playing nicely with our friends' children. For 3.4 seconds. And then a Patton child caused a fight scene.

Bosco made things a little more interesting this time around and decided to skip his beach nap and scream + scream for some minutes + some more minutes but we all survived.


"nobody puts baby in the corner of the umbrella shade."

Our mighty umbrella opener/wagon puller/chair carrier in all his glory ...


Sebastian had VERY little interest in swimming last week but this week he couldn't get enough of the water and at one point paddled up to me with a big smile and said, "excuse me mommy ... I think I'm drowning right now" ... still smiling. Methinks we'll have to hit up a little vocabulary lesson with the first definition we go over being, "drowning".


S.O.S.

Theo is very happy to stay landlocked ...


with his floaty on just in case the water spirit moves him.

A rare photo of Phoebe being oddly still and not running around in search of a sibling's castle/life to ruin ...


Statue Phoebe turned into Puppy Phoebe ...


... care for a little margarita with your salt, Mz. Manners?

And the matriarch and her shadow ...


... Phoebe rarely leaves my literal side these days which is sweet and endearing but I am thankful that she takes can occasionally be lured away by the promise of food + drink and has some needs by way of sweet, sweet sleep in her sweet, sweet crib.

Anyway, cheers to six years! Surely the traditional gift has something to do with water + sand, right? Right. Romantix-R-us. 

all over the place

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21 August 2015


I snagged this from Simon's brother's wedding photographer's site ... sneaky. Anyway, it's Bosco (obviously) meeting his Great Grandma Patton for the first time with Simon's dad in the background (so, four generation!) at the rehearsal dinner. And my wineglass. Frame and blog worthy, I thought.

If you're not on the Snapchat bandwagon yet ... this hilarious AND helpful post will convince you. Probably. Maybe.

After trying and hating close to a million (really) pairs of denim shorts ... I found some winners. Appropriate length without looking like glorified capris and a flattering back pocket situation. They are on sale + 40% off of the sale price with code bday. These look awesome too (because you can't argue with a drawstring).

We keep getting the former owner's catalogues in the mail and they are all screaming, "CHRISTMAS!!" which is insane but that's how the world works these days. I refuse to go into freak out mode until December 21st because Prime, baby BUT last year I used this website to get some cash back and it WORKED. My brother was right. For once. (Just kidding, Dan)

Please tell me you've watched and obsessed Friday Night Lights as much as I have? I hope so. Well, this super scientific quiz will tell you which FNL guy you should date. No, I don't need a life. At all!

One of my favorite people on the internet suggested this book and I bit. And it's good. Real good.

I'm always a good 6 months behind the curve on almost everything and so it would make sense that I started the 21 day fix on Monday. I'm really loving it and I know it's not for everyone but it's helped my energy levels a lot. I never understood why my mom was always talking about needing more energy when I was younger and now .... I get it. The only problem is that the kids + Simon love the shakes a little too much. I'll write a whole post when I'm done ... if I'm brave enough to post before + after pics. We'll see!

Okay. Tgif. Friyay. All of that. And a bag of baby carrots.

old house pics + how to show your house with children while retaining a small shred of sanity

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19 August 2015

I'm sure no one cares but I wanted to post the realtor's pictures of our old St. Louis house well, just because. I love seeing photos of other people's houses because I'm a bit of a nosy creep so if I have any similarly curious brethren out there reading along .... this one's for YOU.

And also ... I hate doling out tips! and advice! because the older I get the more I realize I don't know anything about anything but I was thrown some helpful advice when it came time to sell our house and so I'm just passing the good word along in the terrible event that you have to show your house multiple times while housing/feeding/clothing small children. Me and run-on sentences .... we got a GOOD thing going, don't we? I know.

Okay we'll start here ...


In alllll her glory. I suppose.


The living room. It will forever drive me a teeny tiny bit crazy that the left cushion on the couch front and (not centered! the horror.) has the zipper showing. Okay, not forever. I might already be over it.


(right off the living room) ... the photographer labeled this, "the music room" .... hearty laugh.


you'll never guess!! .... the dining room.


the sad kitchen that is no longer painted my favorite shade of aqua. crowd hiss forever.


Theo's room. And also the room that housed all of my clothes. And Phoebe's clothes. And theo's clothes. Such a helpful room!


bathroom, baby. Definitely needs to be updated ... but it wasn't the worst.


Another view of the living room. I knew you were itching for another slash ... accidentally threw this in and I'm not deleting.

Sebastian's room ...


the bed needs a bed skirt and I think the photographer flipped the comforter up like that? Maybe he was offended by the white sheets? Not sure.


The attic where the girls slept. Also where many dirty shoes walked, apparently.

(you might be wondering but probably not - why the boys didn't share and the girls got shoved in the attic? Well, because the boys are THEE LIGHTEST sleepers and we are enablers, I guess. Julia wanted to sleep upstairs with Phoebe in her toddler bed and it worked well to have Phoebe upstairs because she napped twice a day up until we moved anyway ... the boys share now and it's going semi-okay)


The other half of the attic (separated by swinging doors) where Simon and Grace slept. Or Grace didn't sleep while Simon was at the hospital.


The basement. I know it doesn't look like much but it was in VERY shabby shape before thanks to multiple pet stains from the previous owners and some really depressing dark beige walls so we put in new carpet and painted it white and light grey (pictured as beige -- WHY WHY WHY)


basement bathroom. Simon ripped out the dated (but useable! so we gave to Habitat for Humanity) toilet and vanity and light fixture and put new ones in ... wish I had a before photo for you. Just pretend you're impressed, okay? thank you.


And the backyard. My one big BIG thing when looking for a house down here was a fenced in backyard without death steps because getting outside with the kids was tough especially when they hit the "must scale stairs" age. Anyway, we lived. Obviously.

And now for my fire hose of wisdom ...

1. Get rid of everything. Really. Down to BARE BONES. Explain to your poor children that they can pick a few precious toys to keep out but the rest will have to be packed away for the move and some might even be given to other girls and boys. They'll be fine. I'll admit I haven't read the decluttering bible of the year but ... I do love a good run to Goodwill and we made MANY. We had (still have/kept/brought down here) a lot of craigslist/Ikea (not the cool Ikea stuff, not cool at ALL) furniture so it was easy to part with a lot of it and we saved a lot of money moving because we had significantly less stuff. Difficult math there, right? Anyway, the less you have ... the easier it is to clean on the FLY. And the house will show prettier and people can picture their belongings in said house instead of the basketS overflowing with your hoarder  of a 4-year-old's toys (euphemism for j-u-n-k).

2. Empty one drawer in each bedroom + the kitchen. This was Simon's idea. We had an empty dresser drawer in each bedroom to throw things in a hurry. While it's tempting to stuff the closets ... potential buyers are totally going to want to check out the closet space situation but if they want to go peeping in your dresser drawers (that don't come with the house) ... that's their problem. And we had an empty drawer in the kitchen to toss the random crap that would accumulate on the counters. It was a lifesaver.

3. Be flexible. I know, I know you can just straight up tell realtors that nap time is if off limits and that you NEED 24 hours notice before a showing but .... we needed to sell our house because we had to move by a certain date so I just tried to roll with the awful. There were times that I had to carry all the kids out one by one because the showing was during naps and I forgot my shoes inside and ... shudder. But, you do what you gotta. I did say no to the crazy "we'll be there in 15?!" requests because ... I only hate myself SO much.

4. Hire a cleaning pro. We hired a gal to help with the deep cleaning before our two open houses and it was worth every single penny. I hid behind the excuse that Simon was working a lot that month but ... no. She did a zillion times better than we could've done in probably 1/10th the time it would've taken me. So worth it.

5. Open houses. They were tough because they fell right smack in the middle of naps but it's such an easy way to get a lot of traffic. I know some people ONLY do open houses and don't even allow private showings ... personal preference!

6. Stack the showings. If I had multiple calls for showings on a certain day I would request and see if they could all come during the same block of time. That way it looked like there was lots of interest and ... one less hour we had to be out of the house. So smart, that Grace. 

Our house sold in three weeks which is when the real fun began with the trillion (maybe more) inspections and repairs and then packing began in earnest but ... we were grateful it sold, period because we all know how fickle the real estate market can BE. I'm sure I'm missing some good advice ... in case you're a house selling veteran and want to lay it on us, please do.

I'd love to ramble on and on and on but I won't.
However, tomorrow is another day.
Wide eyed, no blink smile.

Treasure Island

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18 August 2015


Let's hear it for the go-getters! After living here for 1.5 months we finally hit up the beach with the whole crew. 

We drove over to Treasure Island in St. Pete with some friends and it did not disappoint. 

It was so relaxing. I was able to kick back with a book, take in the view, and watch the kids frolic around in the waves.

L to the O to the L.


Can you spot, baby B?

No, I think I sat for a total of twelve minutes and eleven of those were in the sand with Phoebe in my lap because baby girl loves the pool but does not trust the waves ... or the seagulls.

Some kind fellow beach patrons brought some shells with snails inside (I think? I'm not well versed with sea creature speak) and the kids loved their temporary pet situation ... until they forgot about them.


Phoebe like  .....


.... "YEAH RIGHT."

Bosco was a little dream baby for once in his long life and slept the vast majority of the time (we brought our old lamb seat because it folds down flat and the cover can be washed ... it was perfect) ...


Nell sent him this sweet little sun bonnet and Simon says this photo will make the readership throw up in its mouth but let me post it anyway. Love sweet love.

After Phoebe decided to venture into the water with Dangerous Dad and got her flowing locks wet. Never will she ever again ....


Recovery took a solid 22 minutes. Not even the allure of a selfie with the safe parent would soften her stone cold stare.

More snail obsessing.


Phoebe couldn't even feign interest.

Like Father, like daughter ....


but I'll give you one guess who came home with a sunburnt back. Just one!

The quadruple jogger of my dreams ...


Look at those polite Patton kids ... letting the rightful owners sit in the actual seats. Raising them right!

And thank goodness the kids wore hats for at least SOME of the time ....


... because there was a weeeee bit of parental miscommunication over who was in charge of lathering a few of the kids' faces. A mistake that only has to be made once! Thankfully we pitched no fewer than three shade shelters and called it a day shortly after noon.

We are in that sweet little spot where none of the kids require morning naps (Bosco sleeps where and when he pleases which is just fine by me, for now) and I had great expectations for the beach and for once in our lives we came prepared with the recommended gear (wagon, umbrella, chairs, food, toys, and a zillion other things) and those great expectations were met. And now I'm just hoping Julia will settle for a beach morning birthday vs. the elaborate Disney World party she's been talking up for months. And months.

Appendages crossed.

*fancy cellular photos thanks to this waterproof contraption Simon smartly insisted I use {found on Kayla's blog!}

 

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