Friday, December 24, 2010

Some mail for your mailbox.

Since the greater majority of you probably did not receive a Christmas card from us this year, you are in luck. And the fact that I only ordered 24 cards has been duly noted in my "Notes for Christmas 2011" notebook. Along with the fact that they weren't even cards. They were magnets. That's what I get for ordering online after midnight. But really, it was all in the plan. I wanted 24 people (including us) to be able to display our bootiful faces all year long. For the rest of you, you'll just have to settle for our bootiful faces on your computer.

Merry Christmas blog readers.

All both of you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Buster's 4!

Buster Boy,

My how you've grown.

I told you the story of your actual day of birth tonight at bedtime and that day seems like yesterday. I told you about how you came out of my tummy a very sick little baby and how Mommy and Daddy spent most of your "birth day" crying more than you did! But you showed us what a tough little booger you were and we can CLEARLY see that strength to this day. Just tonight, you whipped your Daddy in wrestling (but to your advantage, you're the only one allowed to kick, which ultimately won the match for you).

At dinner we went around that table and each shared our favorite characteristic about you. Big Sis said she loves that you are NICE (even gave an example of you sharing toys in the van without her having to ask). Tiny Miss said (through interpretation) she loves that you also have a Bunny lovey like her. Wild Man (also through interpretation) said he loves to wrestle you with shirts off every night. Daddy said you are the perfect mix of wild and sweet. I told you that I love how complimentary you are of people. You always tell me you like my shoes or my hair or my earrings and you freely give those compliments to others. (hint hint - the ladies LOVE this!)

You are at such a fun stage right now. You're not a toddler but not quite a big kid yet. You love baseball and monster trucks and are 100% boy, yet you crawl in my bed every morning when Daddy gets out and snuggle up til the sun comes up. For this, I'm planning to keep you 4 years old for a couple of years so as to avoid you leaving me for kindergarten. I think that plan will work nicely. You can already write your name well so there's no rush for school, right? :)

We had a blast with you today. Your birthday falls on a great day when Big Sis and Daddy don't have to be in school and the whole family can be together to celebrate. A morning baseball game with all your new baseball equipment, lunch at your choice of Applebees, Toy Story 3 movie time, and a monster truck cake to top it all off made for such a fun day.

Can't wait to see the Year of 4. I love you Buster Boy. More than words.


Here's the highlights from your day...

Favorite present from Big Sis - a REAL baseball helmet!

Yes, we have our own baseball team.

Water Break! It's been a tough game for the Cardinals (Daddy + babies) because the Braves (Mommy + big kids) kept getting home runs.

Look at those cute fans on the bleachers!

Mommy's attempt at monster truck building.

Happy Birthday buddy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Airing out my dirty laundry.

So I missed a day or three of laundry duty. I was waiting for the maid to show up and she bailed. Something about us not paying her enough. Whatever. So I had to hunker down and do it myself.

The laundry train showed up to help. Or actually, notsomuch help as to dump out 4 baskets worth of dirty clothes onto the kitchen floor. Pure awesomeness.

So I kicked them out. If I had done any laundry the previous days, they may have had clothes to wear. Thankfully, it didn't seem to hinder Tiny Miss trickin' out her board.

Clearly they were having the time of their lives.

And here's the end result. A couch of smelly freshness. Now I'm just hoping the maid gets her bohonkus over here to fold these clothes.

Friday, December 17, 2010

O Happy Day

I'm just glad Santa got an earful of what I get to listen to all day. I think he's going to bring me some earplugs in my stocking this year.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Big Launch

So I've started a business.

That sounds a bit huge for my liking.

Maybe I should say...I'm getting together with a couple of like-minded chicks, creating whatever we want and posting them for the world to see (laugh at? mock? love? be confused by? yes, probably, hopefully, who knows) and then purchase if they so desire.

It started as a dream between Kelly and I a few years ago. Her husband owned a business, and we always thought we could just open up a storefront of a bunch of stuff we wanted to sell and he'd take care of the nitty gritty details. We even had a name: SuKe Boutique. So we dreamed up millions of scenarios, looked at storefronts, narrowed our ideas down....and then came the Great Depression or the Great Recession or whatever it was that landed here like a thud and shut down production of all things coolness.

So we quit.

Before we even started.

Then, because we're dreamy people, we started throwing ideas around again, but this time with a changed up scenario of doing things from home. No more storefronts. We've got 6 more kids than we did in the beginning dreamy days so we had to accommodate their time-consuming tails.

We are crafty our heads. Grandiosely our brains. Creativity out the wahoo....stuck within our fingertips.

So we had to go bigger than SuKe Boutique and find the hands to create all of these ideas.

Her name is Whitney. Her craftiness levels nearing ridiculous.

And so it is.

The birth of Grace Graffiti.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Who needs counseling when you have the Christmas tree farm?

Christmas has arrived because we've made our annual trek to Webster's Christmas Tree Farm in Darien. The weather FINALLY cooled off and made it feel more wintry which is a good thing because Black Friday shopping in a tank top yesterday just didn't feel so wintry.

This little tree farm was marriage counseling in action for us the first year we went. I REFUSED, I mean ADAMANTLY REFUSED, to back down on getting a Frasier Fir. That's all I had known for 20 some odd years. The smell, the touch, the beauty. Frasier Firs = Christmas. (Yes, I know Jesus is Christmas but work with me here...)

The Husb so quietly, so meekly suggests we get something a little "softer" since we did have a crawling baby in the house. A nice cyprus perhaps? Yeah yeah pulling the baby card.

So we get a Frasier Fir because the Husb is a giver (thankfully ONE of us is!). We take it home. It turns all prickly, scratches up our sweet little precious 9 month old baby girl, gets stuck into every crevice of our burber carpet and thus ends its reign as THE TREE WE MUST HAVE. THE TREE THAT IF I DON'T GET IT I WILL CRY LIKE A BABY AND NOT BUY YOU ANY PRESENTS. (I'm sure those "exact" words were never said...)

So the Christmas Tree Farm is more than just an outing. It's a notch in our marriage belt.

And so are these little hoodlums we brought with us...

C'mon Sista, I'll show you the way...

The handsome boys that led the way. Wild Man was expecting ski slopes apparently.

This one here, with her plate of croup and a side dish of miserable, didn't want anything to do with this lame-o activity of hunting down the perfect Christmas tree. She informed us loudly and was removed from said activity and placed in the car so as not to disturb the neighbors who lived approximately 64 miles away.

But lo, the perfect tree HAD BEEN FOUND and MOMMY YOU MUST COME SEE IT NOW!!!

As usual, my flopping attempt at getting all 4 in a picture. They're just a walking Kodak moment.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A germy thanksgiving.

Give thanks in all circumstances, right? Well then. THANK YOU germs. You're awesome. We appreciate you hanging out this past month, and we especially thank you for hitting us hard right before the holidays. So sweet you are.

Though our plans of traveling to see family this week were cancelled per doctor's orders, we managed to squeeze tiny bits of specialness in an otherwise mundane day working at the Akins Clinic.

Like Big Sis here for example. See the joy in her face? She's loving spending multiple days bedridden with a throat full of knives and a stomach that apparently finds that to be unruly.

And Buster Boy. His fish mask not only keeps his croup germs from escaping his petri dish of a mouth, but apparently it doubles as a safety precaution when he's in the shop fixing tractors.
And oh sweet Tiny Miss. Her man voice and dog bark impersonations are spot-on. She's the puniest of the bunch in health, but the loudest in her demands. I really should speak with her agent about her insubordination issues. "Hold me now WOMAN!" "Give me some more water WOMAN!" "Get that darn oxygen tank outta my face PRINCESS!" She's a testy little thing.
And Wild Man. Prepping for his scuba test next week.

Though there's nary a turkey to be found in this house on this Day of Thanks 2010, I can be thankful that we thought ahead, celebrated early when my parents were in town and I actually cooked a turkey.

Or maybe I observed my mom cooking a turkey. Whatevs.

I tried. Really. I just felt like I was touching a naked old person's body and got a little grossed out. Mr.Turkey cooked himself up well and we enjoyed him for about 5 days too long afterwards.

So maybe it's a good thing we got all turkey'd out before today because nothing says Thanksgiving to me like a BLT and Doritos for lunch.

Amen and amen.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1 little, 2 little, 3 little Indians...

4 little, 5 little, 6 little Indians...

The whole Akins Indian nation arrived on the campus of Big Sis University to surprise her for their Thanksgiving lunch. Her class was the first to come down the hall at 10:54 am - really, who eats lunch at 10:54 am? - and she saw all of us taking up the hallway in front of the cafeteria. She had a mix of excitement, embarrassment and panic at how she was going to finagle her family into her schedule because if that Big Sis is one thing, she is a rule follower.

So she gave us a big wave and then walked right by, hightailing herself right on into the lunchroom.


Thankfully, Mr. Important Daddy got us in the door and yelled up ahead for Big Sis to step out of line and wait for us.

Step out of line????

She kept walking, she looked back, she kept walking, she looked back.

Finally Mr. Important physically pulled her out, letting her know she would not get into trouble. Really? Doesn't she know that if she gets into trouble she'll just get sent to her Daddy's office? She's got him wrapped around her finger so that really shouldn't be of concern, right? Her concern for rule following obviously was not a trait she got from her mother.

I am a sucker for cafeteria-style turkey and dressing and ate 3 trays worth. I was definitely not the mom telling her children to make sure and finish their food. I was definitely telling them to NOT eat the dressing and send it down the line to Mommy because they probably wouldn't like it anyway.

If I'm one thing, it's selfless.

The 14 minute lunch flew by with nary a fuss from the baby Indians. My mission was to keep their mouths full at all times with goldfish, granola bars and grapes (NOT the dressing - they probably wouldn't have liked it anyway) and I'd rate myself successful.

It was fun to be in Big Sis' world if only for a few minutes. Putting names with faces of all her little new friends and walking the same hallways she walks everyday.

I miss that little Indian.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's been a hard day's night, and I've been working like a dog.

Oh Beatles, you speak to me.

5 separate stomach viruses, 2 days in the hospital with an 18 month old, 720 loads of laundry on "Hot Water" setting, 5 depleted containers of Lysol wipes, 3 barf buckets simultaneously in use, and a most glorious husband who DOMINATED this house-o-horror.

Until 2 days after all was well. The last man standing went down.

It wasn't purty.

I looked around to see who was going to step up to the plate, grabbing this virus by the horns and banishing our house-o-horror of all germs.

Dang it if I wasn't the only person over 3 feet tall that can successfully maneuver buckets of vinegar and water.

And so it was. Stomach Flu '10 hit us again. As if the first round back in January wasn't enough.

I really need to find a new weight loss program.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spider Boys and Bat Girls

Too much fun at the annual Halloween Bash. We ransacked the neighborhood and took all the candy. Then ended the evening with much expected meltdowns so we knew it was a good night.

We managed to get most kiddos in this shot, though I know there were at least 3 more who were a little nervous about getting near some of those costumes and opted to sit out. I don't blame them. Brides. Scuba boys. Super E's. Penguins. Sharks. Spiders. Pumpkins. It was a rough crowd. So scary I could hardly stand it.

Not to mention those Spider Boys and Bat Girls. Eeeeeek!

.....and we're done. Let's get to trick-or-treating!

Tiny Miss enjoyed a yummy supper and then pranced her prissy self around the neighborhood. She didn't care a lick about going to the houses. She just felt all big girlish walking on the street as far as she wanted.
Wild Man had his fair share of cupcakes, plus an additional share, and then another. Hey, keep him happy. Our mantra.

Halloween turned luxury this year with a 3 year old behind the wheel driving himself to each house in the 'hood. Times have changed since I came along. Walking uphill, in the snow, both ways, to 72 houses, 47 miles apart. Buster's got it easy.

And who are these 3 teenagers? Weren't they just born? It's my Bat Girl and her buds Kendall and Eli.

Time to pull out all the Snickers and set aside for Mommy's "Stressful Day" stash!

Sneaky. Sneaky. Sneaky.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


He's honed in before I ever realize there's something up there.

He can see them when they are just a speck in the sky.

Nothing else matters when he hears the hum of the engine.

Dreams of piloting soon take over.

Glad we live near the airport.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Drug free. The way to be.

On the car ride home from school...

"So tell me something funny and something special that happened at school today."

"Ok, the funny was soooooo funny! My teacher said we were skipping PE today!" (insert obnoxious cackling for 5 year old and confused look on her madre)

"Hmmmm. Yes, that is absolutely hilarious.[?] How about something special?"

"YES! Very special. We learned about something."

"Oh really? What did you learn about that was so special?"


[insert obnoxious cackling for madre and confused look on the 5 year old]

"Drugs? Really? What exactly did you learn about drugs?"

"A LOT! First of all, drugs are like germs. You can't see them but they're really bad for you. Also [now looking at her brother in her teacherly kind of way], some bad people will try to sneak drugs into your Halloween candy."

"Wow. You sure learned about some important things in kindergarten today."

"I know. And Mommy? Just make sure you check my candy when we're done trick-or-treating to make sure nobody took a bite out of any candy they gave me. Cuz some people do that. They take a bite out and wrap it back up and put it in your pumpkin. That means there's drugs in it."

"Will do, Sister. Will do."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A farmin' we did go.

My favorite field trip of the year finally came around this weekend. I don't know why I love it so much, but it's just so fun and full of kid-ness and so fallish which we don't really have much of down here. It was blazing hot, as usual, but that didn't stop our sweaty selves from enjoying Poppell Farms, complete with a petting zoo, cow train, inflatables, hay ride, "picking" pumpkins, picnic and games.

My babies are getting so big!

Hayride to the pumpkin patch singing about 17 verses of "Old MacDonald had a Farm".

His sister started this organization of pumpkins and Wild Man was immediately drawn to the straight lines. He loves order. He is officially my offspring.

Tiny Miss picked up every single pumpkin in the patch. They were all mini like her and I believe it made her feel like a big girl for once.

The cow train. And heck yes, that's me and the Husb riding in there too. We ain't skeered to push children out of line to get our cow of choice.

We planned on taking everyone through the corn maze at the end but by the time the heat index settled in at about 95 degrees, we figured we could find other, more air conditioned, ways of torturing our children. So we headed home and 4 kiddos slept soundly the entire hour+ drive home. A much better alternative.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I need a spoon.

...cuz I'm about to eat up Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

MVP of The Invisibles

I have never known anyone so desperate to be on a "team" as little Buster Boy. Poor thing is counting the days until his 5th birthday when (he thinks) he'll be able to play REAL football on a REAL team and REAL baseball (he specifically says no t-ball....that's for babies) on a REAL team. He can't count much past 30 so I haven't told him he's got roughly 450 days until he's 5.

I'm sure that detail is not too important in this quest of Team-dom.

In the meantime, he's got his make-believe teams working for now. And surprisingly, he scores multitudes of touchdowns and hits multitudes of home runs in each of his games. I believe he's stacked his teams.

It really is sweet to see this little booger dress up every day in one of his uniforms, acting as serious as if he's in the Superbowl or the World Series, running laps around the backyard, making amazing tackles on invisible players and hitting faux balls into the outfield crowd of the giant stadium.

He is an athlete to be reckoned with.

We received sports cards in the mail yesterday of his two cousins dressed in their football uniforms looking like the future Bulldogs that they are. All 82 and 96 pounds of them. Of pure muscle of course.

Buster could not be outdone. He showed up in the kitchen this morning with his football uniform on and said it was picture day for the team. He proceeded to pose in the backyard (I didn't even have my camera yet) and I laughed just watching him decide which knee he should put up and the proper positioning of his helmet.

Here he is in all his football glory. All 40 pounds of him. Of pure muscle of course.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I love my Bubba.

Handsome little devil, isn't he?

Oh whoops. I should probably say handsome little angel.

Nah. I think I got it right the first time.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

LucKy 7

It's a dog-eat-dog kinda world at the ocean side soccer fields. Running in packs is common but one little wolf (ok, so she's more of an Angelfish) broke free from the pack of boisterous 4 and 5 year olds to score not 1, not 2, but SEVEN GOALS.

Sister came to win.

And win they did. Today we experienced much more a football-esque score than a soccer score somewhere in the upwards of 20 goals punched in by our little Angelfishies.

At 3 goals we were shouting "Hat Trick! Hat Trick!" At 4 goals we shouted "Texas Hat Trick! Texas Hat Trick!" (cuz everything's bigger in Texas) and by 5 we just looked at each other and didn't know what to shout. "Uhhhh, Texas Hat Trick plus 1??"

Oh well. Didn't matter. By goal 7, we were quite experienced with the "WOOOOOHOOOOOOO's!!!!!" and all was well.

Bright yellow jersey. LucKy 7 on back. A glimpse at one assist and two goals.

LucKy 7 from Suzanne Akins on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I need a system.

I thought my pulling 42 tubs out of the attic to wash, sort, sell, give away or hang up for this season was going to be a fairly quick task.

Fairly quick task it was not and the tubs are still in the middle of my family room. All kids closets and dressers are in upheaval as we try on EVERYTHING, trade out sizes, and do more sorting and giving away.

Organization is not my forte although I LOVE being organized. I frequent the few places of organization in my house to relax. Unfortunately those areas include my "office" (loose term for the area designated for my laptop and bills and other accoutrements) and though our finances are painstakingly organized, not much else in there can be coined "relaxing". The other organized area is the babies' room (sans the closet) but for some reason it just kinda smells like poo in there all the time which doesn't fit in to my relaxation quota either.

So I need a system. Specifically, a system that isn't too daunting. Not like those "Deep Clean Your House With These Daily Tasks All Year." That's not fun to me. Simple. One big swoop. That's what I need. Or 2 big swoops a year even. I can take 2 out of 365 days to have a house in upheaval. But we're inching past 10 days and I'm losing my marbles.

Maybe if I quit feeding the kiddos they'll stop growing so fast. Then they could remain in the same size clothes for longer than 3 months. But then they'd probably cry a lot. And then I'd lose my marbles anyway so I should probably continue to feed them.

Thanks for allowing me to think out loud on that one.

Send me links. Send me systems. Send me a professional.

I'm sending myself to a nap so I don't have to look at these tubs anymore.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Sometimes being a parent is the easiest job on the planet. Like, per se, when they're all tucked so nicely in all of their beds, fresh from the bath, sleeping soundly with nary a fuss or an attitude.

And then they wake up.

With a fuss.

And an attitude.

And being a parent is no longer the easiest job on the planet.

Today has been on the calendar for a month. It has been talked about for a month (or longer). It has been the source of much anticipation and excitement. It was to be a Summer Waves day. For free (thanks to our church renting it out). And since we were able to go only once at the beginning of the summer, we have looked forward to this day for a long, long time.

Especially Buster Boy.

But ye ole Buster Boy has been having a hard time as of late. He's coming into his own and having to figure out who he is separate from Big Sis since those two have been together his whole life. All 3 1/2 years of it. Until she ran off and left him for kindergarten.

Darn school.

We're trying to teach him to man-up (we start 'em early around here) and do things on his own. And he is getting better. He even went on a fishing venture this week all by himself with his buddy - no parents - no siblings. And he LOVED it.

But there are some big things he's still crawling up our legs about and we're just done with it. So he got an ultimatum. His first. Man up or no Summer Waves.

He manned down.

And let me tell you when we set this ultimatum, we never thought he'd choose AGAINST a day at the water park. But he did. And we had to follow through. Even though we had FAMILY plans FOR A MONTH to spend the day frolicking in the water.

So our family plans became 1/2 family plans. Daddy and the girls frolicked at the water park, while Mommy and the boys napped, mourned, and stared at each other in boredom all afternoon.

Jury's still out on if the lesson was learned. We'll find out next week when we run the same scenario. And if he quiver lip/puppy dog eyes me one more time, I'm through. Melt me like chocolate.

It would be so much easier to discipline him if he wasn't so darn cute.

Can you blame me?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome Fall. Or Autumn. Or whatever your name is.

Who am I kidding?

We don't have seasons in these here parts of south ga. We have summer. And then a little more summer. Then a few days of beautiful weather ruined by the sand gnats and then we're back to pre-summer again.

But darn it. I'm going to celebrate it nonetheless.

College football is in the air and this means it's time to change out the clothes from summer to post-summer (known to some as "Fall"). I don't know why I do this. It's pointless really. We won't be looking at long sleeved shirts for a good 2 months, and hoodies, OH MY DEAR PRECIOUS COZY HOODIES, not til Christmas....or after.

For some reason I feel the need to torture myself.

And I don't do this with my own clothes because the sad reality is that my little closet holds all seasons of my clothes. [insert violin music here]

Someday I will purchase clothes to update my 2004 wardrobe, but for now, it's the babies that come first. [insert "Hero" by Mariah Carey here]

So in my torturous assignment today, I got down 42 tubs of clothes out of the attic. And since the Twinzies are growing like weeds, I figured I should get out their current size clothes and their next size up. Of all seasons. And then wash them. All 42 loads worth. And then fold them. All 42 tons of them.

And really, I know I shouldn't be jealous of the wardrobe of a certain 17-month old.

But 30 PAIRS OF PANTS?????

Is it really necessary to house 30 pairs of 18mo size pants? Does Wild Man really need to wear a different outfit EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH?

I mean, I know he's a fashion-forward kind of guy...

I guess the hand-me-down stars were aligned when this pretty stack of 30 PAIRS OF PANTS (have I mentioned that yet?) came together and landed in one's wardrobe.

Since he owns about 27 more pants than I do, I think I may sell them on eBay as "Celebrity Child Sells Pants for Charity" because we know all those Jolie-Pitts offspring gotta do something with their pants, right? And why wouldn't they want me to make a pretty penny off their name, right?

And maybe, just maybe, I'll take that money and go buy myself a hoodie.

Circa 2010.

And then wait til it cools off in 2011 to wear it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.

"Look, Saracen. Run the post, run the slant, and they will respect you... run this pattern, and they will fear you!" - Jason Street

"Right here, right now, God has placed you to do what you do best. Go all the way." - Coach Taylor

"Too late, play's over. You waited too long to make a decision. Now we lost the game because of you, now we're not going to state, and now the whole town of Dillon hates you. FACT." - Tim Riggins

"Every man at some point in his life is going to lose a battle. He is going to fight and he is going to lose. But what makes him a man is at the midst of that battle he does not lose himself. This game is not over, this battle is not over." - Coach Taylor

"I know I'm far from the most talented player on this team, but it seems to me that we can either win together, or we can lose alone. And I just want to say it's an honor and a privilege to be here with y'all." - Landry Clark