Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tales of a Fifth Grade Suz

One of my favorite things to do when I get a few moments at my parents' house is to go through my old things. I come by my pack rat tendencies honestly. 

The other day I came across pure gold.

Love the fake lock and key. This was clearly designed by a nosy mother.
I also listed my favorite band as "Poison." POISON? Really? I had enormous tortoise shell glasses and twisted my loafer laces into curlicues.

In another "WHO DID I MARRY??" kind of moment, Lee asked where the name Soliel came from. UM, HELLO?    PUNKY BREWSTER?

I really was pigeon-toed, but not when I was 10. But I also could have circled "over-dramatic" "a tad boy-crazy" and "tendency toward verbal diarrhea" if those had been choices. 

Notice that I rated English a 4 [I do all right, but it's very boring]. There was a time when I didn't love English?? Impossible.

And there you have it.

Except all the parts that were too embarrassing to even photograph, like where I listed all the boys I had crushes on. And then marked them out and replaced them with other boys.

Those I'm going to work on getting a real lock and key for.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Boy Who Cried Marry Me

I have lots more to say about Christmas, but Lee reminded me on the way home from North Carolina that TODAY [for a few more minutes] is our engagement-o-versary, so I thought I'd share a story from December 28, 2003. 

So we were on our way back from this very same trip to see my parents, and we were talking about when we would be getting engaged. Although I knew it was on the horizon, Lee assured me it would be no time soon, and I was ok with this. I wasn't in a super big hurry, and besides that, it was nice to at least know that every time Lee bent down to tie his shoe wasn't going to be IT, you know?

Because Lee was one of those types who would all the sudden look deep into my eyes and say:

There's something I've been meaning to ask you.

And then:

What's for dinner?

You know the type.  Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be jokesters.

By the fourth or fifth time, I had about had it with the jokes.
But anyway, then we got stuck in traffic on I-95, got home late, had to cancel our family dinner plans at Ruths Chris, and picked up Papa John's instead. Engagement had flown from my mind.

So when he said he had one more thing for me, and it was IN the Christmas tree, I think I responded something along the lines of, What is it? Bird poop?

Or something equally enthusiastic.

And then he pulled out the ring box from among the branches.

What are those-- earrings? I said. More enthusiasm.

And then he opened the box and got down on his knee and said very sweet things that I also made sarcastic remarks about.

And then he opened up the box.


Exact words, people. I am nothing if not totally eloquent under pressure.

And then he asked me, and I wasn't sure when the part was when I was supposed to say YES. So we looked awkwardly at each other for a second and I think he had to ask me again. It all got kind of fuzzy after that.  And then champagne magically appeared from behind a chair?

I was too confused to even cry, and y'all, I cry a lot.

So that's the story. Not Publix commercial material, but memorable [to us, at least]. If I had it to do over again, though, I would say

[That's a weird looking word when you type it over and over, isn't it?]
And he definitely wouldn't have to ask me twice.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Library Field Trip

Yesterday we took one of my favorite field trips ever, to the Main Library via the Jacksonville Skyway.
We did this with an adult to child ratio of 3:8. 
Unless you count Maggie as an adult, which as of yesterday, I do.

It took all of our organizational efforts, Maggie acting as a human kid leash, and some major outside voices just to get the kids to the library in one piece, but it was fun to see them so excited.

The library was decked out for Christmas with several thematically decorated trees, but once we were there the main attractions were the books, any structures that could be inappropriately climbed upon, and the huge fountain on the terrace outside.

I didn't get any outside pictures because I was too busy changing poopy diapers and convincing MB that it is NOT ok to strip naked in public.
This argument took much longer than it should have because she already had her shirt off.
I mean, really.

It was a great day, but we all earned a long nap for this one!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


In our house, there are two statuses when preparing to go on an outing. 

There's ready
And there's ready spaghetties.

This, my friends, is the physical embodiment of ready spaghetties.

Consider yourself edified on this subject.
You are welcome.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

God Says

Lately Mary Bullock has been walking around the house telling us what God says.

God says we don't throw toys. 

God says you can't fight, guys!

I've been thinking of how I can work this to my benefit.

Well, God also says you have to brush your teeth and pick up your toys. How about those apples?!?!

Sigh. But anyway.

So yesterday was pretty much a mess from start to finish [or from start to when Lee, my parenting cavalry, walked in the door]. The baby woke up crying and pretty much cried all day [teeth maybe? who knows]. A host of small things went wrong in the morning, and then, when I finally thought I'd get a break, MB decided not to take a nap. For the second day in a row.

Instead of napping she proceeded to make a series of messes, just as I was trying to get the house back in order after my "sick day" on Monday. The last mess just sent me over the edge. Just as the baby woke up [crying, again], I discovered that she had taken four years worth of Christmas cards which I had saved and grouped by year [I love Christmas cards! I promise I'm not a hoarder], and dumped them into a jumbled heap in the middle of the foyer.  Because she wanted my basket to put her cupcakes in.

Her cupcakes, meaning the crumpled up napkins she said were cupcakes and that she was taking to school to share with her fwiends.

It was not a pretty scene.

I yelled.

I even-- oh my gosh should I admit it?-- I stamped my foot.

At a three year old.

Then they were both crying.

Then I cried.

It was ugly up in here.

I slammed my door in the face of an unsuspecting solicitor who knocked on the door of the wrong house at the wrong time. My wreath fell off of the door [which is probably just what I deserved but was NOT FUNNY at the time]. 

So then she went to her room [went, meaning, was escorted] and finally fell asleep until dinner time.

At dinner Lee asked her if she had apologized to me for dumping my Christmas cards.

I'm sowwy, Mommy.

I'm sorry, too, Mary Bullock. I shouldn't have yelled at you. It wasn't the right thing to do.

Yeah, she said, God says we shouldn't yell.

So then I cried again. Because she's so smart. And so right.
And because I love her so much.
And because who needs to keep four years worth of Christmas cards anyway?

Thursday, December 8, 2011


My FB status this morning:
What I just found in the garage: School House Rock DVD, every paper I wrote for Mr. Cockrell at NNSH, notes from the Milton class I took at UNC, all of my notebooks from grad school, every lesson plan I ever wrote at Bishop Kenny, and all of my old Mellow Mushroom T-shirts.
What I didn't find in the garage: Christmas decorations.
My advent activity for today: making paper snowflakes. 
My household goal for today: get out Christmas decorations. 
Epiphanic idea of the century: Take old papers. Turn them into snowflakes.  
More room in the garage: Check.
Advent activity: Check.
Christmas decorations: Check.
If you pass my house and see me turning the contents of my garage into snow, back away slowly. Check for crazy eyes. Come back with help and/or wine.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Santa Meet & Greet

I read somewhere the other day that you should definitely NOT make your baby sit on Santa's lap just to take a picture, especially if your baby is crying.

Just another in the long list of parenting tid-bits I will choose to ignore.

Mary Bullock didn't cry this year, but the look on her face is all: Mom. Are you sure he can bring me all of the Olivias? I'm dubious.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

For Caroline

Oooh, I have a lot to say about lunchboxes.

I have major love for Skip*Hop, which has been well documented.

But really if I had it to do over again, I'd go bento, which eliminates the need to bag everything separately!


Kotobuki 2-tiered Bento Box

But if you really must have a bag to hold the box itself, PBK makes a good combo.

Spencer Bento

Made to go in

Fairfax Lunch Bag

Just some suggestions!

He's Coming!

So I saw all of these kind of advent calendars start popping up on Pinterest in early November.  The sane part of me said: Suz, go to Etsy. Find. Purchase.

The insane part of me insisted I could make it myself, despite the fact the last time I used my sewing machine my efforts resulted in utter failure.

So of course I decided to make it myself.

Luckily, my mom came down for a visit before Thanksgiving and gave me the Advent Garland for Dummies tutorial.  The good news is, I did it!

The best news is that I can now work my sewing machine without sewing through my own finger. [I actually did do that right after my mom left me to my own devices. I didn't even know that was possible, but it is not a lesson I will need to learn twice.]

I liked the idea of having an activity for each day leading up to Christmas, so most of the bags were filled with a little scroll naming the activity for the day. The rest are filled with little toys and treats to give myself a break. I didn't want to stress us so much over the activities that we didn't enjoy the season! We already had to reschedule Decorate Christmas Tree, because we haven't had a single spare moment to bring our tree in from outside. Oh well.

I think there is one empty baggie still, and my new mission is to find it and insert activity: Put feet up. Listen to Bublé.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Key to his heart

Lee and I have a long, sour history with doors and locks.

The first time I locked us out was on our first date, which was an odd first date because we both already knew it was marriage and babies for us or nothing at all. There was never going to be any I-like-him-but-will-he-call-when-he-says-he-will? with us. Thankfully it was marriage and babies, because I had us locked out on the balcony of my apartment within about forty-five minutes of his arrival.

So what was he to do with me, the future mother of his children, besides give me a boost into my roommate's window, watch me tuck and roll, and wait for my face to reappear in the open doorway?

Lucky for me, the future mother of his children, that was the only option.

Then there was the time I locked myself out of my car on Valentine's Day at the gas station with my car running.

And then, there was this morning.
At 6:30am.
With the whole family in our pajamas.
And no spare key.

Thankfully, MB was easy to occupy while Lee pedaled the three blocks to his parents' house, woke up his poor mother, got a spare key, and pedaled back.

I would marry the one person who would get us locked out, he said when we were all back in the house.

It's not like you didn't know what you were getting into, I said.

Lucky for me, he loves me anyway. 

But from now on maybe we'll plant a key in the yard just to be safe.

This picture was taken on our second date, just a moment before I accidentally told him that I loved him. I really meant I love that you're here, but by then it was way too late for splitting hairs. This was obviously before I started brushing my hair, but after I started waxing my eyebrows, poor things.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dear Santa,

Here's what I want.

I want MB to believe the whopper we're going to tell her tomorrow about how a swingset landed in our backyard without our knowledge three weeks before Christmas.

And also, a special something for the [giant] elf who put it together in a day and half.

He's a pretty good one, if you have any permanent positions. His salary requirement is steep, and he'd have to work remotely, but I can send along his resume if you're interested. As far as I know, there was no cursing in this job! That has to be a plus, right?

In the meantime, I hope Gingerbread is sending good reports on us all. Mary Bullock, bless her heart...she struggles. But she means well. 



PS. I believe in magic.