The Feral Cat stage of life right now.

Believe it or not, after I posted about Collin’s grand front teeth busting, and everyone getting sick, both Collin and myself got sick– again. For 2. more. weeks.  So that was fun.  And I’m gathering from my social media outlets that 90% of America and their children were sickly too, so I hope everyone else is on the mend.

This past weekend was the first time we exited the house as a family and the sensory overload sucked the life out of me, so I spent all of Sunday like an 80 year old woman bent over her yarn and crochet hook.  You can bet Mass was extra exciting for everyone sitting near us. I’m a really fun person, I promise, but mostly when I’m not in the third trimester, and more when I’m at Hobby Lobby in the pen and ink aisle, alone.

property of Carolyn Svellinger
How are Collin’s teeth, you ask? I still don’t have the heart to gross anyone out with photos, but he’s been great at chewing carefully and I can’t believe we’ve lived to see the day 2 weeks after the accident. So far, no discoloration of his worse-injured tooth so I have hopes he’ll get to hang on to those puppies til they fall out naturally.

Aside from wishing I could take off my legs and put them somewhere until I give birth in April (Maybe Easter Sunday!), everything’s looking good, baby-wise.  I’m in the irritated feral cat phase, and being pleasant is just hard to come by.  My children want in my personal space and I’m like GERROFFME!

It’s a great spiritual failing on my end and when I try to read some of the lovely, uplifting Christian books and posts on focusing on Christ, and contemplating Mary’s journey through her pregnancy, my eyes pretty much roll out of my head, up the street into a body of stagnant, muddy water because the fluffiness is too unreal for me to glaze over.  I usually settle for some to-the-point Peter Kreeft because feral, irritated cats DON’T WANT TO READ METAPHORS ABOUT DEEP VALLEYS AND ROLLING FLOWERY HILLS AND DOWNY PILLOWS.  Feel sorry for Craig, guys.

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Those who know me well will tell you that this is the face of total sarcasm.

There’s also Jen Fulwiler’s recent talk she gave at the 2015 SEEK event.

She distracted me to think about times when I’ve tried to avoid my own, authentic self in attempts to fill what I perceived was the ideal Christian woman, wife, mother, or PERSON in general; and of course after failing to fill those ideals, I’d become frustrated and perhaps bitter or resentful towards those who look like the sun shines from their every pore –and they’ve got checklists and goals and cute little knick-knacks hand-made for every milestone, hour, and quarter-birthday that each of her 27 children celebrate each week (Total made-up person, fyi. I don’t know anyone with 27 kids.).  Jen Fulwiler reminds us in her talk that without the diversity of each person, the Church would not be perfect.  That when we stop and look in the mirror and accept that this reflection could be just like Mary, the mother of God in the world today, we only need to choose how to move forward embracing our own unique gifts and talents, we are fulfilling precisely what the ideal Christian woman should be: YOU. ME.   Such a powerful talk- and boy, the weight of feeling like I have to fit into plastic pants is totally removed.  Shew.  Here’s her 30 minute talk, if you’re interested: Girl on Fire

That’s it. I’ve been working on a mountain of a post about Emmett (just turned 4, a year after he was diagnosed with Autism), but it’s so long, no one but my own mother will read it, so I’ve got to figure out how to break it up and make it readable. And yes, he put these words together without seeing them somewhere else in the room, and without my help.

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Until then, happy days to you.
OH! Also, if you’re looking for new blogs of varying styles to read, go visit Bonnie right now.  She’s got a wonderful list of Catholic bloggers (and a few non-Catholic) that I delight in exploring every year. It’s also kind of a blogger award thing, too.  And you can vote if you see my blog listed and are feeling nice. If not, no hard feelings- I’ll never know, and I’ll keep on clacking away at my keyboard regardless :)


The party don’t start ’til someone busts their teeth.

I feel like the new year is starting just this week for me and mine.  Beginning right after Emmett’s birthday, The family Svellinger kind of unraveled with a trip to the ER, fevers for everyone, and then a nice and gory busting of some two front teeth. It’s a photo documentary you want, you say? Well sure, iPhone-ready mom’s got one right up her sleeve. No one has time for reading these days anyway.  But just in case, you’ll find some words there, too.


So remember our Emmett, right?  He was diagnosed with autism one year ago, on par with the developmental level of an 18 month old (though we could have easily argued younger than that). And while the idea of celebrating a birthday party piques his excitement, we’re not sure he understood it was HIS birthday.

He’s not much interested in the idea of unwrapping presents, so we joined his cousins for a few hours at an indoor play place filled with enormous inflatable shark-slides and jump houses.  His cup of tea.Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Every child’s cup of tea, if you ask me.

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Then we annoyed the restaurant workers at a local pizza place decorated in vomitable carpet (as if the above is any better, really) by coming in on the Eve of Christmas Eve to eat a pizza, enjoy the BEST COOKIES EVER and sing happy birthday to our sweet 4 year old.  Apparently, no one goes for pizza the 23rd of December.
Except for us.

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All was fine and dandy. Christmas Eve came the next day and we spent the first half of the day with my Dad’s extended family.  But it was on the drive to Craig’s parent’s house that evening when I started feeling party-poop-ier than usual.

You’ll see no pictures of the boys joyfully opening presents here, because I was busy trying to understand a ridiculous pain that started piercing my lower chest, radiating through my back, in between my shoulder blades, down my arms, making them feel like rubber, and then aching up into my jaw. This sharp pain, accompanied by an intense headache, sudden, out of the blue cough, and a creeping fever.
What is this? Can’t be heartburn, I’ve been through three pregnancies and done bff’d the heartburn.
It’s not my stomach. It’s not muscular.
It felt like my lungs were the only parts left to consider. I couldn’t move any more, and started to hyperventilate and cry in anger and surprise.
I’m the typical mom- I don’t get sick, my children do, my husband does, but I generally don’t.  I was angry at myself for having a foreign pain.

We make it back home and suddenly I’m remembering Jennifer Fulwiler and her pulmonary embolisms, so I called my OB hotline and they told me to head into the ER because if I was dealing with a blood clot, I could drop dead at any moment, and that wouldn’t do well on Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning for that matter.
Re-cue photo documentary back into the story:

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I thanked every hospital worker for being there for crazies like me who came in on Christmas Eve– and the halls were buzzing with all sorts of shouting crazies. Seriously, doctors and nurses are heroes.
I tested negative for the flu, good-to-go on the EKG, negative for chest x-ray of my lungs, but then something funny came back in my blood work which couldn’t rule out the existence of blood clots.  Ugh.  So at 3am on Christmas morning, I was laying there like a crazy person, baby in my belly covered up, getting a cat scan of my chest.

Aaaand nothing.
I was given some Tylenol (for the first time in my entire pregnancy! For some reason, I’m proud of that.) and the chest pains subsided.

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I knew I could never marry a man who wasn’t still handsome at 3am.  I’m glad his standards are different, however.

4:30am Christmas morning, we crashed into bed with our sleeping babies, and I was told I simply had some random virus and unexplained chest pains. The next morning, the pains returned but went away with some more Tylenol –and slowly but surely, heartburn started rearing its little pissy head.


Probably. Spawn of satan, that indigestion. Seriously, what IS THAT? Who gets that on a regular basis? Because it’s awful.
Unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
No thank you.
Regardless, thank YOU, hospital workers, for being there on Christmas Eve for ludicrous pregnant women like me who don’t know indigestion when it hits her.

So with that drama under our belt, we missed Christmas day mass, sleepily opened unwrapped presents and made a mess in my parent’s living room.

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Then, Collin got the sickness love as I continued to feel tired and head-cold-y. Commence super-cling-on-whiny mode from Collin for 24/7.

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Then New Years Eve we partied hard down the gargantuan aisles of Costco in search of gargantuan pillows because I’ve reached the sleep-sitting phase of my pregnancy, else I wake jolting upright to save myself from choking on my own bile. Costco provided some good fluffy-yet-supportive ones.

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Happy 2015 (live from my pajamas at 8:30pm):

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We made it to Mass (hooray!) for New Year’s day and I got to wear my green maternity dress I’d saved for Chirstmas- but no photographic evidence because Emmett was audibly not happy about being there at all, and Collin was continuing his newborn cling-to-mom thing, so that was kind of a circus act and we tore out of there in a hurry.

Then guess who came down with nice n’ hot fevers that afternoon? Sirs Lexington and Emmett, naturally.

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Baths and bedtime came, and I prepared to be up nursing fevers that night, but not before blood-curdling screams were filling my ears and I find Collin face down on the floor, blood pouring from his mouth. Flowing. 

Yes, we busted our two front teeth and made them all wiggly, and made mom so nauseous that she became utterly useless and pathetically ill –and the blood and the smell of the blood. Everywhere blood. I’ll spare you the photos that I couldn’t muster to take, but Craig could.

Craig consulted with his mom, and my parents, as I could scarce utter a word without my ears ringing and feeling like I would pass out, and we decided to leave a message with the dentist –of course the next day was a Saturday and the dentist office would be closed–, and sleep it out.

Collin passed out, and mouth breathed his bloody breath on me all night, and Emmett and Lexington ran a boiling fever and night time anxiety and nausea got the best of me as I sat in bed on the brink of consciousness thinking about what might become of Collin and his potentially dead teeth. It took me a while, but I realized I must have a psychological hyper-sensitivity to mouth injuries: lengthy personal history of tooth injuries and orthodontia work.

The next morning, Craig took Collin to the dentist and I continued to be light-headed just thinking of it, but dentist summary short, everyone thinks he’ll be okay.  It’s a regimen of mushy foods and eating like a 6 month old for the next few weeks- and we’re trying to capitalize on the achy teeth and the head colds by weaning our C & E from their beloved pacifiers.

Today’s Monday, and the blood’s gone -my mom’s sick now- but the blood’s gone. Collin’s not as clingy, Emmett’s still sickly, but his fever’s down, and Lexington’s back to “work” on his LEGOs and I feel like the new year is just beginning for us.

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In the grand picture, I know these are tiny events of dust. I’ve got to toughen my mama skin because, HELLO THREE BOYS WHO LIKE TO RUN AND JUMP, and there are others among us morning the loss of their beloved angels.

Anyway, I’m gettin’ back to it, late as usual.
Here’s our virtual Christmas card I never got to share-  I can’t convince myself to do the real thing, like with the stamps, and the mail.  I hope YOU are starting your year off counting your blessings, or at least finding a place to re-start it slowly and refreshed.

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Here I am! {Convos with the Bros.}

If you’re following Svellerella on Facebook, you’ll have noted I took an accidental-on-purpose blogging vacay this month.  If you’re not following me on FB, go on then and do eet because that’s where I share my extra/side/extremely glamorous behind-the-scenes info and give you all heads ups about the giveaways and stuff I’ll be doing in the future. I’m also super active on Instagram posting all the pictures of my children like a big ol’ PARENT.  Or don’t follow, that’s fine. The blog still turns, but won’t be returning to its full-throttle excellence until January.

The accidental-on-purpose blogging vacay has been great.  It’s good to know I can step away whenever and not feel like the internet will break if I don’t blab about nothing to no one on it.  But I guess I am a true and blue blogger because the itch to type remains, and here I am to scratch it.

Craig, myself, and the brothers three are still here, enjoying our family, and happily NOT relocating for Craig’s job.  I’m relieved and feel like I can breathe again, and have a baby in the springtime.  Meanwhile, we’re on a house hunt which we’re hoping will end by the summer. I’m so excited about this owning-a-home part I cannot squeal girly enough. Don’t worry though, I’ll make sure to wax and wane about it over the months to come. Craig’s doing great, and he’s my knight in shining armor who showers me with bags of mini Twix when he knows I’m stressed out.  A husband to a fourth-time prego wife knows better by now, and boy do I feel like a dainty hippo princess.

Why am I blogging right as Christmas falls upon us and everyone has so much free time to read blogs? Cause I wanna.  And for two other reasons: Emmett turns 4 next week, so I have to do a little birthday post for him.  And secondly, Collin The Terrible Two Year Old is talking so much I’ve got to take some of this down because um, he’s my child and I think everything he says is angelic and cherub-y, of course.

And don’t worry, Lexington won’t let anyone forget him without a fight.

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Lexington: Collin, go and get that LEGO, right there.
Collin: I can’t do it, bro.

Carolyn: Collin, what color should Mommy paint her toenails?
Collin: uhh. BLACK.

Carolyn: Collin, are you kidding me? You pooped again! WHY!   ((seriously it was like #5 for the day))
Collin: Uh, cause, Momma.

Lexington: *takes walk of shame to the corner*
Collin (spectating): Not good, bro. Not good.

Collin (every morning): Hi, Mom. awww! Hug! Kiss!

Carolyn: No, not right now. You can have an orange later.
Collin: NO! BAD BOY, MOM! Oh-gee righhh NOW!
Collin: Not good, Mom.

Collin: Wetz watch Weh-monhead.
Carolyn: Lemon head? I don’t understand you.
Collin: WEH. MEN. HEAD! Righh dere! Wook, mom.
Carolyn: Ah, Robin Hood.
Collin: Sss’yes, Mom.  WEMONHEAD!

Collin to Nan (what they call my mom): Nan, Ban-dain on toes?
Nan: Yes, a band-aid.
Collin: A boo-boo? Aww. Okay, Nan?

Collin: One more oh-gee (orange), please, Mom?  Fank- youmom.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger


Lexington: Wait– WAIT. You and Dad are the BOSS?!
Carolyn: mm-hm.
Lexington: The bosses of this family?!
Lexington: Because you are married?
Carolyn: Yup.
Lexington: –and you are in LOVE?!
Carolyn: mm-hm.
Lexington: *slaps forehead* I just can’t believe it.

Lexington (at Target): Something smells disgusting. I bet it’s coming from that pink aisle with all the girl stuff in it.

Carolyn: Wow, it’s hot up here.
Lexington: I dunno about that, but I smell victory. …yep. Nothing but the smell of victory up here.

Lexington (to Collin): Here, I’m playing a little lullaby for you to get all snoozed and boozed and sleepy.

Carolyn: Did someone get into the dessert? I smell chocolate.
Lexington: Well, I don’t smell chocolate, but I do smell something delicious like potato-banana-breath.

Lexington: Mom, the world needs Froggy Town.

Lexington: COLLIN! Take your “no” voice and put it in your mouth.  Take your “yes” voice out.  That’s the voice I like.

Lexington: Once upon a time in a far away land, there was a town full of color and buildings but there was a black magic wand which made everything turn into dark, black, DISGUSTING …carpet! And there were spiderwebs crawling around spinning puke at everyone. And there was a mean doctor who made the mean spiders feel better.  And there was like twenty…nine spiders stomping.  And superheroes came to save the world. And the whole village turned back to what it was before. THE END.

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Emmett (upon first seeing the Christmas tree set up in my parent’s living room): It’s a very good Christmas tree! It’s ah-beautiful! You made a good Christmas tree! BEST Christmas tree! MERRY CHRISTMAS TREE!!

Carolyn: I love you, Emmett
Emmett: Yes, Mother.


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…more on Emmett later because his birthday is next week!  Talk soon!


Selfie times + a FREE illustration PDF just ’cause you’re great.

Good week to you all.

I turned 30 a few weeks ago. My thoughts about the big three-oh are inscribed here, forever and ever or until something like Revolution happens.  Craig and I loved that show. WHY was it cancelled!?  For my thirtieth I got the trifecta of the cliche Housewives of [enter your city] Spa day– which I’ve never in my 30 years gotten to do!

A prenatal massage (foxily covered by our FSA!) at the crack of dawn?  Yes, I’ve had one before; but at 30, and after having three children, I must say it was infinitely more appreciated and enjoyed.

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Breakfast at Starbucks with the obligatory free Birthday coffee and cake pop? Yes. Best believe I haven’t missed that one since they came out with it.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

An hour to write, uninterrupted? Hardly ever, but YES. That hour produced this post.

A pedicure? Check.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Lunch out with my baby sister? Amen.

[[No photo here because I was stuffing my face with Panera.]]


So I got to do all of dat in one day, and I was exhausted after it all. And then I was disgusted about being exhausted.  But the boys made it all worth it in the following hours and consecutive days by being screechy and pooping lots.  Scenes not shown in reality TV.

BUT, I know why you’re really here. WHO won my Favorite Things Giveaway?! I announced it on my Facebook page, and Rafflecopter has it displayed below the post.  There you go!

I really, really, really am bummed I couldn’t give to everyone, but there is something I can give- which won’t make up for the loveliness of the giveaway, but what about a free printable PDF of this little illustration I scribbled out?


Click here (or on the image above) to download your FREE Print :)

With all the snow hitting us and all the grams of the FOOT-age hitting –especially this lady– I just can’t get this line from Disney’s Frozen out of my head.
There you go! Love to you all– and keep your eyes open for a few more little giveaways.

HINT: Rimal Rit Raste. Comin back atcha soon :)