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.


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.

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!


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.

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?


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.