things I'm extra excited about

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30 September 2017

extra extra.

the photo that candid built.

1. London LittlesMy friend Janssen and her husband launched a line of kids' rain boots yesterday and as an unofficial connoisseur of kids' rain boots I'm here to report that they are GOOD. She didn't ask me to share and this isn't sponsored but if you've read her blog you know that she wouldn't put her name on anything less than perfect. If you follow the, "something to play with, something to read, and something to wear" rule of thumb for kids' Christmas gifts might I recommend a pair of rain boots? I might! I might.

2. Movies - I always feel way out of the movie loop so I get excited when there are flicks on the horizon that I've heard about AND want to see. I just rented The Big Sick but Simon and I decided that 9pm was too late to start a movie (L to the O to the L) so we'll watch it tomorrow and we're excited like the party animals that we are. I was hoping that Home Again would be out too but no luck, yet. Right now we're watching Grey's Anatomy while Simon tells me how unbelievable the entire show is like the grinch that stole vapid television.

3. Books - Well, one book. I just started Little Fires Everywhere and so far, so great.

4. Podcast - I'm starting one!

jk jk jk jk jk - gotcha! No, I probably didn't. It seems like all of Bachelor Nation has started one though and I might be the only happy human about that fact as they'll pull me through the Bachelor/etteless fall.

5. My little brother's wedding - it's coming up! It's a ten hour drive and I'm going to throw out the conservative estimate that it will takes us thirteen to get there. You know I'll circle back to report how laughable that estimate actually was.

6. Backyard Margaritas - we had them in Wichita and they were GOOD. Beerita, whatever - still good.

7. Shoes - allllllll the shoes on sale right now. Hunter boots! Ankle boots! Tennis shoes! You get the photograph.

Happy Weekend :)

Julia turns 7!!

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26 September 2017

"My mom never threw me elaborate parties but she was always sure to put up a celebratory blog post a few days after my actual birthday."

- future Julia

Her one and seven year pictures bear a striking "smile" resemblance. It was the best she'd give me and beggars can't be choosers, I suppose.

I'm going to have to argue with the old, "time marches on" adage because someway and somehow we've got a seven year old in the house and it feels as though time is doing more of a sprint around here. I remember feeling like we were "old" parents when Julia turned four and then five and then six and now SEVEN ... so I can't imagine what the high school years will feel like. Dentures + orthotic shoes, probably.

Julia has always loved drawing but this past year her works of art have taken on new meaning as she's started making herself, "drivers lisenses" and tucking them into her purse, rigid agendas for playtimes with her younger siblings, multiple heartfelt cards for the entire family and her friends ...

... and even room decor made out of pizza boxes she fishes out of our recycling bin.

I think (and she would agree) that she's earned herself an abbreviated stint in purgatory for the years that she's spending sharing a room with Phoebe. Julia is a very neat and tidy person and Phoebe .... is not. As soon as Julia gets home from school she runs into her room to survey the inevitable damage incurred by her roommate.

I see a lot of Julia in my former child self and I'm not sure if it's because we are both oldest girls or just that she's my child and the apple doesn't fall far from the mother tree but it's entertaining to relive my own quirks through a parent's eyes.

Ever since we moved to Florida she's been VERY dedicated to growing out her hair (you can see how short it was in her 5yo photo above) and has remained vigilant in her quest - only letting me trim it when absolutely necessary. She keeps a brush in her backpack just in case and is very proud that she can get the majority of her hair in a low ponytail all by herself. Emphasis on the majority.

We were in Wichita for her birthday and her Aunt Mary and Uncle Andrew very very generously rented a bounce house and set it up in their yard as a huge surprise for her birthday. She was so surprised and excited and I'm still trying to figure out a way to erase Sebastian's short term memory as he's expecting the same exact treatment (flight to Wichita and all). I'm enjoying the age where her biggest birthday present requests are a fidget spinner and a repeating bird although I might've rethought the repeating bird had I known what it was exactly :).

Happy belated birthday to our sweet, thoughtful, curious, and smart firstborn Julia Grace!!

Irma y mas

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18 September 2017

1. I've sat down to pound these out more times than I can count (lies! maybe three or four) but then Irma and um, excuses upon excuses got in the way. Better late (or extra early for this coming Friday?) than never, says I.

2. Speaking of Irma, I could and probably should dedicate an entire post to our time with her and her fickle antics but if I wait - I'll never do it so a take or two will have to do for today. So, we weren't too worried about Irma but as the track started getting closer and closer to Tampa and suddenly there was no bread on the shelves (of Costco! impressive, good people of Tampa!) and gasoline was becoming scarce we boarded up our house and loaded up on food and water. Simon prepared for the apocalypse by purchasing large vats of canned peaches (???), canned chicken, and canned salmon (more ?????) and we were all set to hunker down. And then we woke up on Saturday morning to alleged reports that the eye of a Category 4 Hurricane could come barreling through our county and we got a text from Simon's boss that we really should leave. SO! We did. We went to Orlando and stayed at a vacant condo (Simon's friend's friend's wife's mom's condo - you follow? me neither) and it worked out well because we could spread out and Diego had his own little area in the kitchen and the kids could sleep in the hallway the night the Irma hit (overkill? maybe! but the wind was alarmingly loud and I didn't want some flying gutter to shatter a window .. I know - overkill).

Sunshine after the storm. Our terrible view from the condo. 

As irony would have it I don't know if we were that much safer in Orlando (there were huge trees uprooted all over downtown Orlando so the gusts weren't messing around) but we felt safe on the 5th floor of a sturdy building where a tree couldn't crush our roof (a real fear at our house) and subsequently a Patton adult or child or dog.

3. We returned home after 48 cozy hours together to some very minor flooding and loads of fallen branches bedazzling our yard. We felt and still feel incredibly fortunate in the wake of so many people dealing with the horrific and catastrophic aftermath of both Harvey and Irma. Let's all pray that Maria behaves because I think everyone has hit their Hurricane quota for the year century.

4. I know everyone's talking about the new iPhones coming out (Ellen's take was hilarious - worth a watch) but you all know how I feel about my Fitbit -- did you see that they're coming out with a smart watch? One of the articles I read made a point to say how ugly the Fitbit Blaze is (the one I wear - L to the O to the L - I can't argue - but I still heart it) and that the newer Fitbit will be more aesthetically pleasing. Time will tell, I suppose. Punny? Never.

5. All you citizens of Bachelor Nation - did you stick it out to the boring end of BIP orrr jump ship? I stuck it out (barely) but was more interested to see where things stood with the Dean/Kristina/D.Lo love triangle post-show. After listening to multiple podcast (so many podcasts! Even Dean and Becca are starting their own podcasts!) interviews and watching their awkward body language on Ellen it seems like things may pick back up for Dean and Kristina? Maybe? I have to admit that initially I was excited about Arie as the new Bachelor (disappointed it wasn't Peter? of course) because I did like him on Emily's season but after reading a bit about some of his recent behavior - I don't know. We'll just have to see.

6. And on a less vapid note (forced/faux laugh) I've been slow to hop on the tied shirt trend (I was allll over it in middle school) but this version looks doable for an amateur like myself.

7. Oh! books! After a few people suggested Taylor Jenkins Reid's book, One True Loves that I'd already read I decided to try a few of her other books and so I plowed through both After I Do and Forever Interrupted. Enjoyed them both and now I've got to find something else to occupy my time that I should be spending sleeping/cleaning/etc etc etc.

Alright, have a wonderful rest of the week. I trust that you will :)

three months of Abe

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13 September 2017

"While I'm not exactly sure where the last three months have gone, I also can't quite remember life without this little baby" - me with every baby. Predictable as ever. 

While we had every intention of calling him Abe he still gets called Abraham, Babraham, Abey Cakes (??), and Abey Baby, more than he gets called Abe right now. Phoebe is constantly all up in his grill telling him, "you missed me - I know it!" (despite having just hassled him 5 minutes prior) and Bosco only asks to hold him when he's crying (convenient), the big kids like when he naps on their beds, and Simon and I still ooh and aw over him every night like he's our firstborn born just last week. We don't take photos of him like he's our first because I'm fairly certain these are the first non-cellular photos he's had taken by his doting mother. 

Bosco saw the camera, climbed into the frame, and went to work.

I have a distinct memory of craving a schedule and routine when Sebastian was 6 weeks old and Abe is more than double that age and we've yet to get that routine ball rolling. Soon! Soon. He naps semi predictably throughout the day but takes an especially long nap during dinner and the big kids' bedtime routine and perks up juuuuust as I start to think about doing something productive and stays up until Simon and I go to bed. If he wasn't consistently sleeping through the night (although! is it "through the night" if he goes to bed at 10:30/11?) I would probably be a little more motivated to be more regimented.

He seems to have such a sweet temperament but I'd be willing to bet most babies do and I always think every baby has a sweeter temperament than the last so - this sentence is essentially moot.

This photo is ever so slightly different than the first. Trust me.

Anyway, he's super chill in the car (which wins LOTS of points in my book because both of the girls were the opposite of chill and I've got the scarred drums of the ear variety to prove it), tolerates baths, and loves to be held and fawned over which is just fine by me. Usually.

And now for the fun part - which sibling does he favor? When he was first born I really thought he looked like a chubbier version of Theo (Abe weighed almost 2 pounds more) but now I'm thinking maybe a combo of Julia and Theo with a dash of Bash?

A refresher (I know we just did this with Bosco a couple years ago but humor me)  ...

Julia ...

Sebastian ...

(never has a child grown up to look so unlike his baby photos)

And Theo ...

Theo is 100% my side of the family slash Robin Williams lookalike.

And our sweet little Phoebe ...

glad I was diligent about those headbands to keep those locks out of her eyes.

And Bosco ...

I see zero of Bosco but maybe it's the hair/lack thereof?

I don't know.

I do know that there's nothing people love more than to stare at other people's baby photos - especially old ones. I'm no dummy.

Anyway, Abe's hair is lightening up and falling out at alarming rates and I'd be willing to bet that he'll be bald or blonde by his first birthday. Time will TELL.



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