Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Santaland Diaries

Riding Macy's wooden escalator to the 8th floor.
Making small talk with elves.
Going through the line not once, but twice (Elliot didn't get a good enough look at the trains the first time).
Not even bothering to get Harper out of her bear suit for her first ever Santa photo.
Capturing Santa's blank, creepy expression.
Having a random stranger on the subway refuse to let go of my hand after I let him shake it.

All worth it. Thanks, Santaland. See you next year.


Monday, December 20, 2010


Chris had a nasty cold over Thanksgiving.
I came down with strep the day he got better.
Harper has had a hacking cough since before Halloween. This week she started wheezing too.
Elliot's cough is finally gone, but came down with a 24-hour bug last week that made him run a fever of 104.
And since Thursday morning, my right tonsil has become inflamed and hurts so bad that it feels like someone is sticking a needle into my eardrum. I'm planning on calling every ENT in town this morning and begging them to see me.

Let it end! (Santa? Are you hearing that? That is officially my Christmas wish.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

They Like Each Other

Well, at least most of the time.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Tire Swing

Thanks for the picture, Jaime.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010


We got one moustache picture before Elliot opted for a clean-shaven look. After the ward party on Saturday, we headed up to Connecticut for some "real" trick-or-treating on Sunday. My favorite part of the evening? Elliot's enthusiasm over seeing stars. "Look, Mom. A star! A star!" Hmmm... he must live in the city.

It was FREEZING, so Harper and I only made it to a few houses, but the rest of the crew made it around the neighborhood. Then we all ate ourselves sick, took a few pictures, and drove home.

"It's me, Mario!"

Link Josh and Volk Caleb (Nintendo was big with the Kemsley/Patton's this year)

"Milk and Cookies"


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The View from Our Window



The crazy thing is, I'm so used to hearing fire trucks (there is a station down the street from us) that I didn't even realize our building was surrounded by them until friends started calling to check and see if we were okay. Then I looked out the window and saw this. Actually, I saw firemen climbing that ladder (to the 10th floor), smoke billowing out of the windows and bricks falling -- but couldn't pick my jaw up off the floor in time to get a picture of that.

Fortunately, smoke rises and we're on the second floor. Unfortunately -- we are stuck. And poor Jack R. is stuck with us. They aren't letting anyone in the building -- so if you leave you are out for good. And I don't have a good way to get any information. Right now I am just hoping that no one was inside that apartment at the time of the fire.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Harper Kate - Six Weeks


Harper Kate's Six-Week Stats:

Nighttime Sleep -- She's a champ. She regularly sleeps a 6 hour+ stretch. Chris and I can't believe our good luck. We have a six week old and feel human at the same time -- has that ever, in the history of time, happened before?

Daytime Sleep -- It is hit or miss. Sometimes she'll stay awake for an entire day, collapsing into frantic tears of exhaustion at five or six in the evening. Sometimes she'll nap for hours. This can be slightly frustrating as far as getting anything done during the day, but with the way she sleeps at night, who can complain?

Favorite Activity -- Hands down staring at the framed scrapbook paper I have hanging above the couch. Often I will sit down with her and she'll look up, focus on the paper and get a huge grin like, "yes! I have been waiting to look at this all day!"

Least Favorite Activity -- Tummy time. It is just such hard work!

Personality -- She is social, social, social. She's been smiling since three weeks and has recently started cooing. She loves to stare at Chris and I and talk and talk. She continues to be easy-going and sweet -- though she is a bit more vocal about her dislikes these days (ie, tummy time).

Me -- I'm definitely still figuring this two kid thing out. My house is a wreck. We've been eating Trader Joe's frozen food for every meal. And I literally wore the same shirt for 48 hours straight this week. And all I can think is, "my mom did this nine times. NINE TIMES!" Amazing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"We both fit!"

Elliot is not yet willing to give up his crib, but he has informed me that he is open to sharing it.


Sunday, October 10, 2010


Boy, do I miss it. Harper gave up sleeping during the day about two weeks ago. She gets by on 10 to 15 minute catnaps all day. This is a complete pain in the butt, but I thought, hey, at least she sleeps at night. As a newborn, she slept five hour stretches. Sometimes six. Then she went down to four. Then three. And the past couple of nights I haven't gotten more than a 1.5 hour stretch of sleep. So now I have a very good-natured little girl that never sleeps. And she has a mom that turns into a crying, crazy wreck on no sleep. And that mom has a husband who goes back to work this week.

Kill me now.

(I should add that I at least I don't have two other kids that have the flu right now. E, you are my hero.)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Apple Picking

We went through a hay tunnel, climbed a hay pyramid, jumped in a bounce house, rode on a pony, lost and then found our camera, and changed a $50 diaper (the charge for returning our Zip Car late -- good thing Harper is worth it.) All in all, a great day.



Friday, October 1, 2010

Elliot Has Been Abducted by Aliens

Or, at least, I'm pretty sure that's what has happened. Because last night my super-picky-eater-since-birth, scream-through-meals child ate his orange chicken without complaint, asked if he could please have some asparagus, and then said (and I'm not kidding), "thank you, Mom, for making me dinner."

The aliens can keep old Elliot. I like the new one.

(On a more serious note -- thank you Manhattan First ward for being the best ward in the church and providing us with two weeks of meals after Harper was born. I MADE Elliot eat every one and he's been a good sport about trying new foods ever since. You guys made my year! And have very likely saved Elliot from scurvy. I love you.)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Harper Kate

Is, so far, one mellow little soul. She rarely cries, tolerates her brother's "caresses" like a champ, and only wakes us once or twice a night. And I love, love, love her for it.



Elliot's Version of "Snuggling"

"I AM being soft!"


Elliot's First Yankee's Game

They only lasted three innings, but Elliot drank lemonade, ate cotton candy, and yelled, "go Yankees!" to his heart's content. Good thing his Red Sox fan of a mother wasn't there.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Harper Update

She had her first doctor's appointment today. Here are her stats.

Weight: 6 lbs 9 oz
Height: 19.5 inches
Head Circumference: 13.5 inches

And this is what she spends most of her time doing these days:


Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's Official

We like her.

A gift from her brother -- "Pink Nolan"

This picture just cracked me up.

She's already discovered her thumb.

And took her first bath in stride -- not a single squeak.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Harper Kate

In case you haven't found out via the 17 other forms of media in which we've announced her arrival, Harper Kate Patton was born September 8, at 5:52 p.m.

She weighed in at a solid 6 lbs. 11 oz.

The delivery went as smooth as humanly possible and Janelle is feeling pretty good.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

No Baby

I still haven't had this stinkin' baby. Just in case you were wondering.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our Grumpy Looking Baby

We are hoping that she is cuter than this. Or at least happier looking. And that, either way, she comes out soon!


Monday, August 9, 2010


We beached, we crabbed, we biked, and we relaxed. And we weren't ready to come home.


Also, I never quite realize how big my family is until I see a picture like this:


Sunday, August 8, 2010

36 Weeks Pregnant

See? I really am pregnant.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Taste of Summer

New York City public park water. Who says kids can only build their immune system up on farms?

Thanks for the picture, Jaime.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Behavior Issues

As I mentioned earlier, we've been having a big problem with tantrums around here. They happen 2 or 3 times a day, most often when we are leaving someplace he would rather stay (like the park). I've tried to ignore them and I certainly don't give into them -- which means I am frequently shoving a thrashing toddler into a stroller. I've been taking this approach for about a year now -- thinking at some point he would figure out that he wasn't getting anywhere with his behavior and give up. But, of course, this is Elliot and, if he is anything, he is stubborn. Lately he has decided that he doesn't like it when I ignore him, so he has starting escalating his behavior -- by hitting me, kicking me or scratching my face. I think I need to escalate my approach in response -- with some seriously negative consequences. Hit him where it hurts, so to speak. I just have no clue what those ought to be (and yes, we already do time outs). Any thoughts?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Linea's Graduation

Linea rocks. Here's why:

She is an unabashed nerd who is not ashamed of her love of all things fantasy or Nintendo related.
She runs circles around the rest of us smarts-wise.
She thinks the Quill and the Sword (you know, that club where people dress up in chain mail and fight with wooden swords?) sounds awesome. She may join.
She's funny.
And she is the first Kemsley girl (myself included) that my parents are truly sad to see leave the home. Who knew a 17 year old could be so pleasant? None of the rest of us want her to go either!

Random Note: During her graduation, we learned that the term "bored to tears" is not just a figure of speech. See the picture of Josh below.



Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Just to Make it Clear

That my kid doesn't crap rainbows (as a friend put is so well on her blog), this is a photo of what we've been dealing with lately. On the upside, my "forcing a screaming, thrashing toddler into a stroller" skills have been totally perfected.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Saturday Afternoon

I like these people.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Elliot's Third Birthday

Painting cars, racing them on a track, hanging out with friends and eating pink (at his request) cupcakes -- all in all, a good birthday.



Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Is, I think, a phonetic spelling of the sound people with it make when they cough.

I am one of those people. After three days of unsalted hospital food and doctors who only enter my room after donning full-on on haz-mat gear, I am home. Well, a home. I am being taken care of by my mommy (I promise I only call her that when I am sick) in Connecticut.

And I am glad I didn't (until now) know that pneumonia is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.

Phew. Thank you, antibiotics. I owe you one.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pineward Derby

Considering the fact that Chris and I are about the least artistic people around, we were pretty proud of our car for the Ward Pinewood Derby. Excuse me, PineWARD Derby.



Elliot and his friends Jack, Hudson, and Sawyer had a ball watching the cars race. They cheered and gave each other high fives, gorged themselves on cotton candy and just generally had a great time. Wish I had gotten a better picture, but this was the best I could do. Oh, and I had to include proof (albeit fuzzy) that Elliot does occasionally fold his arms for prayers.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Thoughts on a vacation:

1. Our son is a class A wimp. Even Dumbo made him whimper.
2. Elliot loves Oscar too much for him to live on the other side of the country.
3. The sight of Lightning McQueen in the flesh sends our son into literal spasms of joy.
4. Yes, he is kissing McQueen in that picture.
5. When Elliot is very excited, he likes to press his face against ours. We have aptly named this the "face press."
6. Monte Cristo Sandwiches are delicious.
7. Hot tubs are fun for all ages.
8. Frank's shout of "sping break" can cause you to make poor choices (like eating your entire Monte Cristo sandwich).
9. Germans need to start inventing games for six people.
10. Disneyland is a lot of fun, but probably even more fun if you aren't pregnant.
11. By the way, I am pregnant.



Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snow Day

Fear of snow pants conquered.

20 inches in Central Park. Fourth biggest snowstorm in NY on record.

20 inches of great snowman snow, that is.

I made a funny face to get him to smile. He just copied my face.

Pretty cool place to play in the snow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Two-Year-Olds Observations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

In the Egyptian Section (where many of the statues were no longer intact): "Where's they heads?" and "What happen his nose, Mommy? It get squished?"

In the Renaissance Sculpture Garden: (Mischievous smile) "They naked!"

We loved having Grandma Suzan visit!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Elliot has been wanting to build a snowman for ages. So when we awoke to inches of wet, wonderful snowman snow this morning, I was thrilled. Unfortunately, it turns out that snow pants freak Elliot out and no amount of coaxing would convince him to put them on.

Fortunately, Chris came up with a brilliant solution before he left for work. Meet Bob, our snowman.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Elliot Right Now

I usually try and keep the text of my posts to a minimum, so this one is a bit of an anomaly. Please forgive my self-indulgence.

Elliot Right Now:

Has started teasing. “Does the sandwich go in my eye? No. In my ear? No. In my mouth? Yes!” He also likes to tickle and squish people. The squishing is especially rough. After all, he weighs like 27 pounds.

Says every prayer the same way. “Heavenly Father, please bless Daddy. Please bless Mommy. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

Admits willingly to wrongdoing. Today he was at Chris's work-provided day care (Like I said, I’m desperately trying to get my MA thesis done) and when I met him for lunch I asked him if he was being nice to the babies. He said, “No. I pushed the babies.” We had a long talk about not pushing. Tonight, as I was leaving his room he said, “Goodnight. And no push babies.”

We made the mistake of telling him we are going to Disneyland in March. Now he asks to go every day.

Says “I love you” voluntarily. (Though he can’t quite get the “l” sound yet, so it is “I wove you.”)

Is constantly surprising me by the things he understands and remembers. We went to City Bakery on Saturday -- a place we haven’t been to since going with Jill and Jared a year ago and as soon as we walked in Elliot looked up at us and said, “where’s Oscar?”

Is always “still” hungry. Never just plain hungry.

Is tricksy. When it’s time for bed we hear, “I still hungry. I need a bath. I scared. I need brush my teeth. I need clean up my toys.” Sigh.

Still doesn’t want to ride in the stroller. Putting him in it is a battle every time. I used to think this was just a phase. Now I think it’s just his personality.

Loves music. I now have an Elliot playlist on my iPod. Recent favorites include “Life is a Highway” (from Cars) and the Veggie tales theme song.

Sits at the table rather than his highchair for most meals.

Throws fits: Before every meal, before baths, before naps/bedtime, when leaving the house, when leaving friends’ homes, when leaving for church (favorite quote, “I want a different church!”), when we turn the tv off.

Time-outs: Consist of screaming at the top of his lungs in his bed for a few minutes before calming down and asking to “snuggle.”

Would watch tv all day if we let him. (We don’t.) Loves: Curious George, Veggie Tales (“I want to watch the tomato and the cucumber” – I should tell him when he is willing to eat those things, he can watch them), Cars, Thomas, and Wall-e. And football. Seriously.

Thinks riding in a car is a special treat. Guess that’s what happens when your parents don’t own a car.

Knows where Magnolia’s (bakery), Planet Kids (toy store), and friends’ homes are. And tries to direct me to said locations. (“No, mom. I want to go this way.”)

Has the most ridiculously cute dimples ever. Gift straight from God to his mother, who is a huge sucker for dimples.

Lack of Blogging

Please excuse the lack of blogging lately. I'm am going crazy working on my Master's thesis and Elliot has inherited my tendency to blink any time a camera comes out. Busy mom + bad pictures = very little interest in blogging.

I will try to do better.