jumping the weekend gun

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30 June 2017

1. Original post title: jumping the Friday gun because I started this post on Thursday but we all know how those best laid plans tend to go ... SO. Weekend gun jumping it is.

2. I managed to leave the house twice with kids in tow this week and my big takeaway is/was that I will forever miss the minivan's sliding doors. We upgraded (or downgraded - depending on who you talk to) to a suburban and even the kids are having a tough time with the transition as they all call it, "the new van" (despite it being 12 years old just like "the old van"). Anyway, I've found myself getting a little bit frustrated at how little I've been able to get done or the state of the house (hurricane meets tsunami) by 8:03 in the am but then I remind myself that Abe isn't even three weeks old and force a figurative chill pill down the hatch. I've never looked back at the newborn days and thought, "I wish I'd cleaned/stressed/done MORE" so -- chill pills for all. Or all for me.

I think Abe is good on the chill front.

3. I have managed to do some reading this week and finished The Identicals which I've decided wasn't my favorite Elin book? Which means I still liked it but it just wasn't up to par with her others - in my esteemed opinion. I started The Shark Club (the author is the daughter of Sue Monk Kidd who wrote The Secret Life of Bees) and so far - so great. I'll let you know how I like it when I finish it though. Also, I was SO excited to get a copy of the Blessed Is She planner in the mail yesterday. It's gorgeous and super intuitive and makes me really excited to get my life together. In August.

4. I can't believe we are already down to just six guys left on Rachel's season (but um - I've heard pretty much zero words from Matt and Adam .... may as well be four?) and I'm still on Team Peter. And Dean. And Eric. I'm just not a fan of Bryan. At all. I kind of like Peter for Bachelor and Sharleen pointed out that he could potentially be less into her as she is into him? Things that'll keep you UP AT NIGHT.

5. L-l-l-l-ast call for this sidewalk sale full of clearance goodness. I wish they carried newborn sizes but I know Abe will fit into the 0-3 month stuff just as soon as a blink so I think we'll allllll survive.

Here he is in a 0-3 month tee. Funny story - I took this photo before I ran to the store with the girls and while I was gone Simon texted me the exact same photo that he'd taken of our little cherub. Great minds, great minds.

6. I know it's WAY overhyped by almost everyone but I'm still hoping this gorgeous top and these cute (and seemingly comfy) shoes go on sale during the upcoming (and overhyped) anniversary sale. I saw someone wearing the sandals on Instagram (I've become that person) and fell in love. With the shoes. Not the shoe wearer. Also, 1/2 off everything (even clearance stuff!) at LOFT right now with code: SPARKLER. If you need cute but inexpensive sunglasses - theirs are the best bang for your buck, says I. ALSO ALSO 1/2 off everything over here as well! Yes, even clearance (again) with code: FOURTHFUN.

7. As Simon handed Julia a container of Costco-bought cinnamon rolls for her last-day-of-camp party this morning she was quick to tell us that so and so was bringing, "HOMEMADE blue and red rice crispy treats" (with no hint of jealousy/malice - or if so she hid it well) so I've got big plans to make HOMEMADE watermelon star cutouts for the 4th. Look out.

Happy Fourth of July - if I don't talk to you before then :)

Linking up with Kelly!

seven things

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23 June 2017

1. I've got about a million (or five) blog posts I would love to sit down and pound out (birth story included) but I'm enjoying taking it as easy as possible while not letting the laundry pile up to our lashes and making sure everyone adjusts to life with a new baby accordingly. I'll be back in regular blogging action in no time, like it or not.

Abe is anxious for my return.

2. Overall, everything is going well thanks to Abe being a champ of a night time sleeper, Simon having some time off, and my standards bar staying nice and low (lower ... lower ... lower ... THERE! that low).

Mom's glasses, Abe's paci, and 1/10 of his truck book collection - a simple man with simple needs.

3. A wonderful article on how Joy is doing these days (and a big Happy Birthday to her mom today!!)

4. I haven't made a ton of headway on my current book (although I am enjoying it) but Simon and I watched Age of Adaline and Captain Fantastic this past week and were pleasantly surprised by both (I'd especially recommend Captain Fantastic :)).

5. Did you see my play kitchen makeover on IG? I'm going to blog about how I did it and alllll the things I'd do different but the original kitchen is on crazy sale right now just in case your life has a big fat play kitchen hole that needs to be filled ...

6. Extra 50% off clearance at J.Crew Factory right now with code: CLEAROUT

7. and!! Primary (quality baby/toddler/kid basics - we are big fans) is having a sidewalk sale and new customers can get an additional 25% off with code: welcome 25

and that's all she typed. over the course of three hours. Mavis Beacon would be so proud.

Linking up with Kelly :)


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15 June 2017

Someone's got a birthday today and it's not me, Simon, Julia, Sebastian, Theo, Phoebe, or Abe so that must mean it's Bosco's big day. I think he sort of gets it because he keeps flashing me a pointer finger. Toddler Einstein? You thought it first.

Bosco's had his little world rocked this past week and has definitely thrown his allegiance over into Simon's court but he's been very sweet with the, "baby! baby! baby! BABY!!" and asks to "hold! hold! hold! HOLD!" him alllll throughout the day.

I've mentioned a few dozen times that he is truck obsessed but even if I mentioned it a few hundred times I don't think I would be able to properly convey just how deep his affection and obsession runs. He's started seeing trains and cars and boats and planes on the side but his one true love remains. Trucks + Bosco FOREVER.

Obviously he's my child and I think he's super cute but I think because he says hi to anyone within a 100 yard radius he gets lots of smiles from passersby. Said enthusiasm for greetings galore also makes him the slowest walker ever - which makes up for all the times he sprints away from me while proudly yelling back, "hi Ma!!" in my direction so I'm sure to notice his antics.

He loves all of his siblings and loves nothing more than to be included when they play but he has a special bond with Julia and often pushes siblings off the couch to get a better look of photos of her hanging on the wall. They share a love of sleep and (fingers crossed I don't jinx it) has to be woken up every morning and is more than happy to go down for naps and bed at night.

His version of a tantrum these days involves him putting his forehead on the ground for a split second before he forgets what he's mad about and moves on with his day. Let's hope it stays that way.

He's got the sweetest temperament but is showing signs of his two-year-old spice SO let the games begin, "Offy" (as Phoebe logically calls him) ...

... Happy, Happy Birthday sweet Bosco! We're so happy you're ours.

Bosco's birth story here!

and the next little Patton is a ...

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11 June 2017

BOY ...

What did I tell you? My intuition was on the lettuce for ONCE.

We are SO happy he's here! We feel very fortunate to have another precious little baby in the Camp fold. He's healthy, seems happy, and has no neck. I feel like I can't not blog the birth story after pounding out five other novellas but it'll take me a minute to find a glimmer of retroactive humor in the odyssey that it was. How's that for a dramatic cliff hanger? Bad, I know. And it wasn't that crazy.

He's almost a full pound bigger than my biggest baby and I'm not exaggerating when I say the hospital hat keeps popping off his huge head because it's well, huge. I know eight pounds isn't HUGE but he looks big to me. Felt big too. L to the O to the L.

Anyway, I've got some pain meds to pound, a baby to stare at, and some hospital food to inhale. I have way too much footage of the kids' meet and greet to share soon and VERY soon.


Grace & Abe (the babe --- first and last time I do that, promise


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08 June 2017

1. Throwing it back to Mother's Day 2k17 because while deleting photos off my phone I just really felt like this one needed to live in blog infamy. Theo's winning smile, my chipmunk cheeks, Bash's photo ready pose, Bosco's dgaf attitude, etc ... I do have to sing the praises of my maternity dress (that is ALSO nursing friendly) that Mayarya sent and I love. The sleeves really seal the deal for me.

2. If you aren't following the Camp over on Facebook or Instagram you might've missed that Lily Jade is giving away a diaper bag of your choice (!!!) over on this post from the fall. Scroll to the bottom of said post and enter away!

3. Bachelor, bachelor! Simon watched with me this week and shared my confusion over the whole Eric situation, "it just seems to be edited poorly - what are they trying to get at?" but we both agreed Lee needs to GO (especially in light of the tweets that were recently uncovered) and good riddance to Lucas and Blake + Blake's diet. As always, I loved Sharleen's insights and was SO happy to hear Ben on Juliet Litman's podcast this week. I do have to say that I heart Rachel - best bachelorette of all time? PERHAPS! Perhaps.

4. books! I'm still reading China Rich Girlfriend -- it's dragging a teeny tiny bit and I'm joining Simon's book club he is in with his college friends (they Skype once a monthish) with this book because Simon said it involves "romance" and he thinks I might like it. But then he admitted last nght that he's halfway through and it's kind of boring - great sell. Can't wait to dive in!!

5. I've hunted and gathered all of the ingredients to make this fluffy slime with the older kids but haven't gone through with it yet. I will! I will. Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day when Simon is around ...

6. On the steal/sale front I noticed that this bell sleeve poplin top was just marked 40% off (love the slightly longer length - so many croppy shirts lately) -- it's SO pretty. Also - super limited sizes and colors but these cat flats that both of the girls loved/love are 47% off over here. And finally! If you're in the market for a Father's Day Fitbit - there's some great deals to be had over on Amazon at the moment. You know how I feel about them ...

7. I somehow finagled Simon into watching Me Before You tonight so off we trot. Or sit, I guess.

Happy (almost) Friday!!

Linking up with Kelly!


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05 June 2017

This is going to be all over the place. But we'll start with a guest bathroom selfie. Woo to the HOO.

I've been staunchly anti-ruched shirt but can't seem to stop wearing this one along with my last fitting pair of jeggings. Day after day after day after day.

+ Isn't it funny how you can fixate on a due date for nine months but then forget it semi-shortly afterward? I tried really hard to remember all the kids' due dates and and if I was successful this is when everyone came on the earth side scene:

Julia: 38w2d
Sebastian: 39w5d
Theo: 37w
Phoebe: 38w3d
Bosco: 38w2d

SO! I fully expect this baby to break the mold and go the post due date distance.

+ I'm still thinking boy but only because this pregnancy has felt so similar to Bosco's (which felt similar to Julia's which is why I thought he was a girl so .... ) but maybe that's because the timeline/time of year is almost identical. I don't KNOW. We'll see, won't we? I took the girls to get our nails done (their little lives were MADE) over the weekend and ALL the nail gals said I was definitely having a boy so, will they be right? I don't know.

+ Maybe it's because of my age (34 this summer - not ancient but not a gestating spring chicken) or because it kind of felt like I went through two first trimesters due to the miscarriage but it's definitely been the hardest pregnancy by far (but, do I always think that? I might) and have been reliant on naps and lots of walks and popsicles to keep me afloat. But, on the flip side - not that we've never been super excited for a new baby but with the kids being a little older and seeming to "get it" this time around - I feel like the family as a whole is the most excited we've ever been for a new baby. So - it all evens out, right? Right.

+ I think I'm making up for a lack of any realistic nesting with Bosco since we were in that wonderful transitional high rise apartment when he was born but I've been on a nesting/deep cleaning spree for a few months now. Julia has caught on and diligently folds all of her and Phoebe's blankets every morning and it got to the point that Phoebe was even scared to sleep under her covers (we set her straight, worry not) because she knew Hurricane Julia would be blowing through bright and early. Simon sent me a picture of Sebastian Swiffering the top of the piano a few weeks ago and it was the teeniest wakeup call that maybe (just maybe!) mama G needs to chill.

+ We're still not settled on names but I think we've got some solid short lists to fish from on the way to the hospital. Does that stop me from scouring Kate's site at 3am every other night? NO.

+ I spent the majority of Friday in the hospital for a suspected DVT (and no, no DVT - thankfully) because my right leg swelled so bad that my ankle was spilling over my shoe (I know! gross imagery, I'm sorry) and it was tingling and for the first time ever I'm dealing with pretty ugly varicose veins (just in my right leg ... so far) and then I realized that I hadn't felt the baby move all morning and it was a bit of a cluster but all was well and the nurses and doctors were SO nice and it made me a lot less apprehensive about delivering in a new hospital with an unknown on-call attending (just how the practice works - not complaining)

+ You know what? I could go on f-o-r-e-v-e-r but I won't. I will say this has just been the pregnancy of the everything. The pregnancy of the nap, the misery, the joy, the veins (lol but it's true), the worst nausea, the craziest dreams, and the greatest anticipation. I had an ultrasound while I was getting checked out on Friday and the baby was already measuring seven pounds, fourteen ounces. My biggest baby was Sebastian who was seven pounds and thirteen (twelve? no, I think thirteen) ounces so - that was fun to hear. Ultrasounds can be way off but Simon says studies have shown the way the mom feels is really the best "gauge" and this mom says this baby IS the biggest. With two plus weeks to go. :)

That's all. For now. You know I'll keep you all in the loop like I always do. Thanks for sticking around (if you have!)



oh! these are fun comments to read and here are all the birth stories THUS FAR :)

quick takery

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03 June 2017

1. You know I was tempted to dedicate an entire post to our inaugural summer beach trip ...

... but I didn't. I was kind of dreading taking Bosco since I thought he'd just sprint into the water with me waddling behind but he was only interested in ruining strangers' sand castles which felt like the lesser of two evils at the time. Also, the irony is not lost on me that the youngest is the only one not wearing a floatation device - but again, only one not touching the water.

2. Onward. Let's dive right into the important stuff a la Bachelor. Praise the good Lord Jones is back on the recap scene. I also thoroughly enjoyed Ashley I + Ben Higgins' podcast this week ALONG with Kaitlyn's. I'll actually be starting one next week myself. JK.

But, boy was I wrong on DeMario. Oops! I'm still all about Peter and she seemed to be really into Dean but he is seven years her junior (maybe not an issue) and I'm hoping Kenny gets more air time next week. I know I'm not alone in hoping that Lucas goes all the way. JK x 2.

As always, I love Sharleen's insights and I'm so glad she's posting on Flare and her personal blog. Franchise fanatic forever.

3. I'm guessing you saw this floating around Facebook this week but it gave me a good chuckle (language warning). And much more importantly - hopefully you saw this too - grab your tissues.

4. I'm still reading China Rich Girlfriend but I couldn't help myself and preordered the new Elin Hildebrand book -- SO excited to read it.

5. Hopefully I'm not the only one that's been impatiently waiting for over a year for these to come back in stock? Bonus! They're an extra 20% off with code: SWEET.

6. This sale is still going strong for 1.5 more days - I was REALLY hoping this pretty number would magically get added to the sale but - nope. Maybe later in the summer. Also, I'm totally that mom already scouring sales for school shoes already since I waited until the last minute last year and regretted it big time. Lots to choose from (dress code depending, though!).

7. I was really happy and very pleasantly surprised to see that Everlane added a bunch of kids' styles to their "choose what you pay" section because well, duh. I just had to bid a temporary farewell to my favorite tee of theirs but can't wait to make its acquaintance again in a few (several? most likely) weeks time.

Alright, I'm off to finish up my last (I promise this time, Simon) pre-baby painting project. Gird your excitement.

Happy Weekend.

(linking up with Kelly!)

labor + delivery hospital bag essentials

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01 June 2017

Let's just rename the blog, "Camp Hospital Bag Checklist" because how many of these am I going to pen? Well, I don't know. I'm a lover of lists (but not more than Simon - he REALLY loves lists) and checking things off lists and Simon suggested that maybe I pack a hospital bag the other night and so - here I am. Bringing you along for the ride. Again.

Giddy Up.

Alright, I like to break this down into two different bags. One bag that you bring in when you initially check in that contains the immediate essentials (so think like a big purse or tote or maybe even your diaper bag that looks like a purse) you'll need during your delivery. Leave the rolly suitcases in the car and bust those out in your recovery/postpartum room. Not that I'd know anything about this but I don't imagine checking in with a suitcase fit for European travel only to be sent home because you're not technically in labor? Not fun.

So, first bags first.

1. bag (duh) and birth plan - (I like to laminate mine but - personal preference!)

2. electronics:
portable charger/battery - this one in particular kept my laptop and both of our phones charged for a five day trip recently and is well worth the money so that you don't have to wrestle with short cords/finding outlets etc etc etc.
+ camera
+ computer/iPad/something - Simon and I have always had time to watch some shows (thank you epidural) but maybe you'd enjoy some light reading? I don't know - but I'm always happy to have my laptop along for the ride.

3. the obvious wallet/insurance card etc -- I'm sure you're on the ball and pre-registered but in the event that you didn't ... make sure to have this stuff at the ready or you'll be kicked out. No, you won't. But, it will speed up the process. I think.

4. nursing bra - I never have to foresight to put one of these on and am awkwardly wrestling with a non-nursing variety but I'm thinking one of those sleeping nursing bras will make all the convenient difference this time around. Right?

5. Chapstick/lip balm - my lips always get dry. I don't know why.

Bag numero dos (rolly suitcases 1/2 off today if you're in the market!):

6. stretchy swaddle (2) my super talented friend Nell recently started making the best, biggest, stretchiest swaddles in all of the baby gear land. I used to be a big muslin swaddle fan but once you go stretchy - you don't go back. At least I don't. One of the reasons I can't wait to find out if this baby is a boy or girl is so that I can order from her newest inventory of patterns. She has the best eye. edited to add! Score 15% off any swaddles with code: grace15! go go go ! ! !

7. nursing tank/bra - I'm not an expert here and have always just worn the basic Target tanks but I'm going the slightly nicer route this time around so we'll see if there's a big difference.

8. toiletries (especially chapstick/lip balm - another favorite) - just bring them all. I like to collect samples (one of my many varied and cultured hobbies) and throw those in my bag so I'm not juggling full size bottles galore. I like to take advantage of the shower with only one child to worry about but I always assume the quarters are going to be more spartan dorm room rather than luxury hotel and I generally assume right. BYOBottles of shampoo/conditioner/soap etc etc etc.

9. leggings - I'm trying these for the first time ever and I'm a LOT more excited than I should be about dedicated postpartum leggings.

10. going home outfit - Or two. For the baby. Maybe it's just my luck but it feels like sometimes it takes an eternity to get all of your paperwork in order to leave the hospital and odds aren't bad that your new little bundle of joy will soil the first outfit by way of a blowout or projectile spit up - or maybe that's just Patton babies? I'm bringing a couple of these sleepers but hope they aren't too hot for Florida in June.

11. cardigan/robe - I'm always freezing and I've found a sweater or robe over a nursing tank is the best immediate postpartum uniform around. Although, if you want to stay gowned up - go right ahead. I've always had great luck finding super soft open/longish cardigans at Forever 21 of all places.

12. pacifiers galore - the baby-friendly hospitals don't offer these (unless you ask, I think) and lots of people say to wait two weeks but sometimes the baby just needs to suck and you need to take that well-deserved shower and the baby-friendly hospital doesn't have a nursery and so - hello pacifiers. I like to bring a variety. I'm one for five on pacifier lovers SO I don't think there's any rhyme or reason to it (not a pacifier expert).

13. nipple shield - these has saved me every single time. Hospitals have them but it's not a bad idea to bring your own in case your nurse is super busy or you get charged $60 for a $4 piece of plastic.

Actual photo of me laying things out to pack. Not pictured: birds chirping and harmonizing outside the open windows with whatever ditty I'm whistling to myself.

+ your own pillow(s). I saw a new mom loading up not one but two pregnancy pillows after being discharged from the hospital the other day while I was there for an appointment. No shame - do it up if you need to.

+ your own snacks - I've always lucked out with great cafeteria food but I know that's not always the case so ... it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

+ a Boppy or similar nursing pillow - for you and any siblings that might need a little extra help when holding the baby

Alright. I think that's it. I think. I know there are rare cases where people do live hours from the hospital but if you forget something essential - I'm sure someone will be happy to trot on home to retrieve it for you.

Happy packing/birthing!!!


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