3 years ago

A Svell Update in 7 quick(ish) Takes

Since Jude was born, time has grabbed me by the collar and dragged me around like a rag doll.  Here’s an (rambling) update! Linking up with Kelly :)

I. Jude was baptized on Mother’s Day and it was the best

Property of Carolyn Svellinger
Photo cred: my little bro, Philip. Jude’s Godparents, my Brother in law and my soon to be Sister in law are standing witness. I’m proud for Jude to have such strong examples of Christian faith. (this is the first time I got to hold one of our babies while he got baptized)


…even though I wore my first pair of spanx which did such a good job of holding postpartum me together that I didn’t feel my pants falling down underneath the shirtdress I was wearing. It wasn’t until we sat back down that I felt somewhat thug lyfe and realized my waistband had slouched to my thighs. hm. Shirtdress kept it a secret. But obviously I cannot. And unlike The Duchess of Cambridge, I did not look disturbingly fabulous, nevertheless my vanity has learned to shut up because how special is it to have your newborn baptized into the Catholic church on Mother’s Day? Most special. Best day.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger
One for the wall, folks. You. look. good.

My wish of a photograph of mama with her boys in one frame, granted.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Property of Carolyn Svellinger


II. Jude is either the best baby, or I’ve reached baby-whisperer status.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Aside from some breastfeeding frustrations which have mostly worked themselves out, he truly takes a sad song and makes it better. But that’s not why we chose that name.  FYI, there is the less musical but possibly more interesting Saint Jude, cousin of Jesus and patron saint of impossible cases. Just saying.
Other than that, he stops the ladies in their tracks at the grocery store, has started giggling, and his pretty dimples have turned me into the worst cheek pincher. worst.

III. Emmett has learned to burp at will.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Something we’ve learned from Emmett (4 yo with Autism, and recently discovered hyperlexia) is that when he wants to do something, he says “Hello, [insert action]”  e.g., “go to park!” and if there’s something he doesn’t want to do, he says, “GOODBYE, change your diaper*!”.
Craig and I use this way of speaking to get him to stop or start doing an action.  “Goodbye crying!” I’ll say, and he usually grows quiet.
So after sitting through Mass on Sunday listening to Emmett forcefully burp everything short of the ABC’s, we loaded into the car and asked Emmett to “Goodbye, burb”. His response:

*burps* “Hello, burp.” *burps again*

‘kay. Phase, pass soon, plz.
*[Yes, he’s still in diapers. needs larger ones asap. con’t find any. Another drama reserved for another day.]

IV. Lexington turned 6 this month and is facing the turmoil of balancing his inner dialogue with the outer.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

When asked to count silently** in his own head, he became distraught that his head preferred to be singing “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”

O, tumultuous year of 6.
**He often needs to know exactly how long a drive is going to take. So to help him understand the difference between minutes and seconds, we tell him to count to 60, fifteen times. Makes for a niiiice quiet drive. Never.

V. Collin says his favorite part of our new house is the snacks.


This year he’s picked up the torch of Accident Prone from Emmett. Which is fine. But I’m a wimp when it comes to dealing with blood– mainly, mouth injuries. I could lay down in overwhelm with the magnitude of empathy I absorb from Collin’s mouth trauma and sleep it off in PTSD land.
In January, he bashed one of his two front teeth inward.  Very slowly and painfully, it’s healed, but remained crooked and slightly wiggly.
Sunday (Father’s Day), he smacked his face into the tile floor and pretty much sealed the death deal with this same tooth.
I just want to swim in a pool of Margarita. But I can’t really, because it makes me sleepy and I’m not allowed to do THAT.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Since writing this post on Tuesday, we’ve had Collin’s tooth extracted.

The positives: I don’t have to LOSE MY MIND when I catch him trying to chew on an ice cube 5 minutes after busting his face. The pediatric dentist we went to was a child’s wonderland, painted and decorated to the nines in anything a child would think is amazing. The dentist and the assistants moved and talked slowly and in a way that a 2 year old can understand instead of scaring the crap out of him. (I have zero patience for adults who fast talk and use figurative language toward children anymore. It’s probably because we have Emmett.) All around, for a tooth extraction on a 2 year old, it was an excellent experience.

I said to him I said, “Collin, I’m so proud of you. You are my hero of the day. You did such a great job.  You had to do something very difficult today, but you did it!”
To which he replied, ” …doing a poopy?”
Resilient, my people are.

The Negatives: Collin will be wanting for the complete set of front teeth for the next 4-5 Christmases. My heart breaks for him.  My hair loses its pigment for him.
Growing up has become, for me, the understanding that I have to undergo the trauma of seeing my child in trauma, and then having to come home with them expending that tornadic toddler energy and having to cook dinner, and be up throughout the night tending a breastfeeder, never able to sleep it off. And repeat. FOREVER.
Boy, this is tough stuff.
And boy, this is how parents gain weight because the only consolation for me has been drinks of caffeine and sugar. And cookies. And the rare occasion of escapism…

VI. …which right now comes in the form of Netflix on my iPhone while I’m nursing Jude down for the night. 

Netflix is relatively new to me so I’ve lined up a bunch of shows to get me through nursing sessions and nightmares of bloody teeth.  I started with Once Upon a Time.  Aside from some painfully (o, the pain) bad acting, the story line is exciting and I lurrrrrve beating the fairytale backstory and afterstory horse to death. Who knew the worlds of Rumplestiltskin, Maleficent, Snow White, and Captain Hook and so many others could ever collide? I eat that stuff right up.  Plus, it’s super light on bad language and sex stuff.

VII. A new house, you say??? 

Whereabouts? The East side of Cincinnati.

Turns out, I’m a Westsider. And I miss it so-ho-ho ba-ha-haaad. 

On Instagram I bellyached about having to shop at an IGA where they manually enter each thing by item code and there are no touchscreens and they ask “paper or plastic?” But the whole truth of the matter is that there is a Target, and Kroger and Walmart and Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A and Chipotle and Jungle Jims and HOBBY LOBBY and Michaels and Joanns and The Sleep Number Store and hashtag somuchmore all within 20 minutes of me.  So be quiet, Carolyn.
Quiet, you.

But the house! The funny thing about it is that there are a few things absurdly reminiscent of BUMPY BRIDGE HOUSE.

The much loathed Bumpy Bridge House.
Surrounded by trees? Check.
Arbor Island smack dab in the middle of the back yard? Check.
Large spiders? Check.
Dark, dungeonous kitchen? NOPE.
Peeling laminate all over the counters and cabinets? NOPE.
Terrbile flooding septic system which backs up into the house? NOPE.
Roaches? NOPE.
Mice setting up living quarters in each of our vehicles? NOPE.
Floody basement? NOPE.
Big pond of death in the front yardNOPE.
Burgundy everywhere? HELL NO.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Surreal-ness. After being married and living in a different place nearly every year for 6 years, it feels weird to unpack into a place where we can say “Hmm, I don’t really care for it that way. Let’s change it, let’s build it, let’s fix it, let’s make it look beautiful.”
There’s something deeply satisfying about thinking of ways to organize and bring beauty to our home– and then doing it, which I’ve never felt I could while renting because my brain is small and I am limited by renter/ownership status of a thing. I know. I know there are books and blogs out there about that stuff, but it’s never been important enough to me. Until now. Here’s hoping that momentum sticks for the next 20+ years and I don’t keep the house stuck in a decorating era like so many poor, poor houses fall ill to. To? I don’t know how I’m supposed to finish that sentence.
It’s a great little house, and I’m a big fan of the kitchen and blue powder room. We are blessed and grateful.  Lexington’s still “imagination-ing” up a name for it. Stay tuned.


So that’s what’s up. Bye now.


  1. Love the update, your boys are just so precious! Let me know when you find the margarita pool, I will meet you there any time, any place.

  2. Trying not to end a sentence with “to” when it sounds completely appropriate to do so drives me crazy. Loved that you typed that thought process out loud! ;)

  3. East side is where its at! If you tell me the neighborhood i can tell you the cool things in the area. I’ve lived on the east side for 5 years and can’t even fathom moving to the west. Also once upon a time gets better. The cheese factor dissipates after season 2.

  4. Love your posts, your sense of humor and most of all just being real. My daughter (ASD age 12) knocked out both her two front teeth going into 5th grade–hang in there and congrats on the house :)


Add yours