Monday, January 31, 2011

There's a new girl in town.

And my boys are smitten.

Nora-Boo has come over to play a couple of times this week and she goes home with no shortage of smooches from my menfolk.

And when she's nice, we even feed her. It's one of the perks for outstanding behavior in our babysitting policies.

Now this little wild tike....he just won't be turned down by any ladies.
Persistence is key.
The competition is brewing already. Lil bro- 1, Big Bro- 0.
Oh but wait, it looks like the girl's got her eye on Big Bro anyway.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

End of the month review: January.

So I haven't completely forsaken all of my New Years resolutions yet, and for me, at the end of January, that's BIG NEWS! I don't think I've ever made it quite this far.

The update on my Areas of Balance - the 2011 theme. In no particular order.

Spiritual: Reading the Bible in a year
Not gonna lie. A bit behind on this one BUT I'M NOT QUITTING! And by behind, I mean by 81 chapters. But those are just numbers. And it's only January. Plenty of time to catch up. I like to cruise through at my own pace obviously.

Physical: at least 3 days exercise
BOOYAH!! This one's a winner. Started P90x and while I feel no pressure to accomplish this crazy man's torturous dvd's in 90 days, I do plan on sticking with it for as long as I can handle his face. Been averaging about 4-5 days/week. Oh, and my muscles are HUGE.

Work: Grace Graffiti work schedule
The GG girls are having regular staff meetings which is F.U.N. We're such big girls. We have agendas and everything. Sometimes we even use big words like "finances" and "merchandise".

Family: date day
Best day of the month by far. Spent the gorgeous afternoon at the beach playing in the sand and flying kites. Ended the evening in the Village having dinner at our old fave Barbra Jeans. Just the 6 of us.

Marriage: date
Ummmm....somebody (I won't name names) gets a little sleepy on our Saturday night Red Box movie dates and has yet to finish one of these rented flicks. We may have to opt for actual babysitting and an out-o-house date in the future if I'm to keep my eyes on the prize. Dang narcolepsy.

Money: budget
Done. February's chump change is already allotted so don't go trying to sell me any girl scout cookies.

Home: order
Getting there. The Husb has taken on some things I was beginning to loathe (i.e. menu planning and grocery shopping). I feel like I had a good hold on laundry (at times) and the chaos of the house will always be with my crew so I just have to manage it. Some days better than others.

It's off to February we go...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Feelings. Nothing more than feelings.

So it's finally happened. I knew it would one day. And I did think sooner than later for the sole fact that Sister is a girl. It's rooted in the DNA I guess.

But I still hate it.

And I still want to protect her from everything imaginable.

But I can't. And I won't. Because Sister's got to learn some lessons...even the hard ones.

All it took was one comment. One comment from a good friend. One comment that opened her eyes to the fact that friends aren't perfect. And neither is she.

She cried a bucketful of tears in someone else's arms. Someone other than me was her first responder. And that was ok.

There was no opportunity to talk about the day casually or get more details of anything important because the noise level in our house is uncanny. Completing a sentence that can be heard by another rarely happens before 8pm. It's life as we know it.

After dinner, I took Sister to my bedroom for some quieter "girl time" (despite the knocking and screaming on the other side of the door). It was then that I could finally ask the probing questions. Get the details. See the raw emotion. Find the "lessons" to be learned.

I learned something myself. I learned that I've got a smart little girl. A girl, though imperfect, who sees the good in people and whose greatest desire is to show kindness to others. When either of those doesn't happen, her world cracks. She gets disappointed in herself as much as she does others. Unfortunately I think this is the first crack in her world of many. And I hate that.

When I asked her what she learned from this whole situation, she said, "That I need to be the best friend I can. That I can tell things to big people I trust like my teachers. And that I need to tell you everything."

Yes ma'am. I'll take #3 with a hearty helping of grace (and plaster) in the future please.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The chokehold.

It has been a doozy of a couple of months. Someone, and typically more than just one, has been sick at all times since mid-November. And of course this is coming off a strong 6 months or so that no one had even had a cold. I should never have called that no-hitter...

Wild Man started us off with the first hospital stay. He's a barfy little tike anyway, but when you can't keep down a 1/2 tsp liquid at a time over the course of a couple of days, doctors seem to get a little nervous. We just thought he wanted to drop percentiles from the 5th to the negatives because he's crazy like that.

Then the rest of the kiddos went down as is typical when you run a daycare like we do. And we like to take others down with us.

Grandparents, you're welcome.

Then Tiny Miss increases our medical debt even more earns herself a hospital stay with a beautiful case of pneumonia. And it was even more fun visiting lots of doctors offices across Georgia as we traveled for Christmas. Funny how each one just told us she "probably has the flu" (despite the 3 failed flu tests) and would be good to go in 24-48 hours. About 384 hours later when we're finally back home to a REAL doctor, she gets sent across the street faster than I could say "What's the prognosis, Doc?"

Then the rest of the kiddos went down. And the grandparents too.

You're welcome.

So health is now on our side and we've built a large plastic bubble around the house because it becomes Wild Man's turn again.

My dude has puked more in his little lifetime than our whole entire family times 1000. He's growing and he's happy (occasionally), he's gorgeous and he's bull-headed. But the dude can't keep his lunch.

Or breakfast. Or dinner.

So, after nearly 2 years of guessing and trying a few meds here and there, we've now gotten a top-notch doc on his case in Savannah. Now, dude's going to have to get an endoscopy in order to biopsy his esophagus and small intestine.

Not fun.

But we're hoping to gain some answers through this test and get this boy on track to a much healthier life.

Because every little boy deserves to keep his lunch and not let that BULLY steal it from him anymore.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Do your best and forget the rest.

Who said P90x was just for lazy couch potatoes ripped machines like myself? I'm thinking the offspring here is gonna be pretty ripped and then I'll likely get the Parent of the Year award for subjecting them to such quality workouts.

Obviously I'm getting pretty intense workouts myself with all the camera holding and water fetching I'm doing. It's part of my selfless mom duties. I've got the guns to prove it.

My little Tarzan and Jane.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


It has been a week of peep separation. The Akins 6 does not work well when separated. Everything gets thrown amuck. The days are decided hour by hour. The house is in full disarray. There are no meals, only food.

But there are many bigger peeps that help us out during those times and bring a tweed bit of control back into our lives, and for that, we are thankful.

A sweet release from the hospital for Tiny Peep + Parent and we were once again singing, "Reunited and it feels so gooooooood."

Now, Mama Duck can relax. All peeps are accounted for and under the same roof.

And life?

It is good.

Because I get to spend everyday with these 'lil peeps.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wrong I tell ya. Just wrong.

Tiny Miss can rock a pair of jeggings better than her mama.

And she is P.R.O.U.D. of it!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Proverbs 32 Husband

I found this hidden Proverbs chapter in the New Theological Suzy's Book of Disputed Additions. I found it to be spot on.

Proverbs 32
A husband of noble character who can find?
He is worth far more than a big flat screen tv.

His wife has full confidence in him
and lacks nothing of value 'cept some cooler, less mommish clothing.

He brings her peanut M&M's, not fancy Godiva chocolates
all the days of his life.

He selects Polos and Dockers
and works with snot and spit up on his shoulders.

He is like a Chrysler Town & Country minivan
bringing his food from Publix.

He hits the snooze button countless times while it is still night;
he frets over breakfast until deciding on a spoonful of peanut butter
and portions cereal bars for his four hungry hoodlums who pull at his pant leg.

He considers a deal at Home Depot and buys it;
out of his earnings he plants a bush or two around the house.

He sets about his work vigorously;
his arms are strong from holding twins all night.

He sees that his investments have all lost money
and his lamp gets turned off the second his head hits the pillow.

In his hand he holds the remote
and grasps the coffee cup with his fingers.

He opens his arms to the mini-me's running all around his feet
and extends his hands to Mr.Biggles only to get his eyes clawed out.

When it snows, which it hasn't, he has no fear for his household
for all of them are mostly unclothed anyway save the occasional diaper.

He has never once made the bed;
He is clothed in Jos.A.Bank garments for work that his mama buys.

His wife is respected at the local Target
where she takes her seat in the Starbucks fretting over the latest Mossimo jeans.

He makes a mean burger on the Weber grill
and supplies a side dish of fried taters to go along.

He is clothed with a hoodie and track pants;
he can laugh when the noise level of the house reaches uncanny decibels.

He speaks with patience,
and calms the wifey down off the roof after a long day with screamers.

He watches random detective shows
yet refuses to eat the bread of MTV idleness with his wife.

His children arise and yell out "Daaaaadddddyyyyyy" from their cribs;
his wife also, nudges him to get the babies so she can sleep.

"Many men do noble things, like cleaning and grocery shopping and cooking,
but you surpass them all with your Jeep wranglin' self."

P90x and the South Beach Diet are deceptive, and hotness is fleeting (though not yet!);
but a man who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Honor him for all the times he's been injured wrestling 20 and 40 pound toddlers
and let his works bring him less furlough days in the future.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Year of Balance

It's a new dawn.
It's a new day.
It's a new life.
For me
And I'm feeling goooooooooood.

Thank you Mr. Buble for crooning me a songspiration for this 2011 year.

Change, it is a comin'. I've got plans. And unlike every other year, I'm going to try and not set myself up for failure. Because me, once overwhelmed, equals paralyzed, equals quitter. Let's just not for this year. Suz needs a win.

I've never themed my years before, but since I spent all of December saying, "I feel so out of balance!", it became my mantra before this year even began. Thought I should claim the good and get some balance going whilst currently unparalyzed.

Accountability is what's going to win this. And while I think I can hold myself accountable in my own mind, we all know that doesn't work for long. So I'm putting pen to paper (or fingers to keypad really) and putting it out there for my eyes to witness and anybody else's who happens to come across this little blog (you 4 faithful readers rock!).

At the end of each month I'll do a synopsis of each of my Areas of Balance (my creativity has obviously been tapped) and see what's working, what needs a little help, and what I may be bombing on. Feel free to join me with your own AOB's and/or lend some advice this way.

Here's the foci for 2011 in no particular order. I'm keeping it simple. And while I have personal smaller goals under the big headings, I'm just limiting the lofty goals to ONE per AOB.

Read the Bible in a year. Found a great tool (via Annie) that allows 5 slacker/catch-up days a month. You are speaking my language, dear Bible tool.

Definitive weekly exercise plan. This will change up a lot which is what my BORED WITH ALL THINGS EXERCISE self needs. 3 day minimum. 5 day preferred.

Allocate specific time/days weekly to work just on Grace Graffiti - the little side business dream that sprang to life in 2010.

Once a month, Akins 6 only, pure fun at tbd location.

Creativity on the dating front. Once a month.

Beginning the year debt-free. Detailed monthly budget and sticking to it.

Cleaning plan. Daily. Weekly. An out-of-sorts house = An out-of-sorts me. This includes the business of the house also: menu planning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc.

So there I/you have it. Layed out for the world to see.

Ok, 2011, big bear hug just for you. Here we go...

Monday, January 3, 2011

If I knew then what I know now...

I would have never believed it.

11 years ago I acted on what would become the craziest and most life-changing decision I would ever make (to date). I had just graduated from the University of Georgia and was offered a job working full-time at the camp I had worked at the previous 2 summers. It sounds like a no-brainer decision to make since it was the only paying job I had been offered post-grad.

However, there was one catch.

The ole ex-boyfriend.

Gah. They always get in the way.

He just so happened to have graduated a wee bit before me (something about studying when he was supposed to and passing required classes. Dang overachiever) and he too got a full time job offer on the same little island that beckoned me.

So he was established there. A good 6 months before me. And thus begets my quandary.

Paying job/free place to live/5 minutes from beach/office overlooking marsh & river/won't have to mooch off parents VERSUS ex-boyfriend lives one street over and it's a very very very small island.

So I packed up and headed south of course.

I arrived on January 3rd, my boss' 36th birthday. His family (who was also housing me) had a little dinner party that night to celebrate. I remember his mom getting a little sentimental towards her boy and I removed myself to the dining room (aka, my bedroom) to have a good cry. Having just moved away from home for what classified as "forever" to get my big girl job made me quite a bit weepy. Clearly I've made a terrible decision. Surely I can tuck my tail between my legs and drive back home. Certainly I was out of my mind to move one street away from a seriously bad breakup.

Yet I stayed.

And the job was the best job I've ever had.

The ex won me over and dropped to his knee 2 years later with a fatty diamond. (Well, really, he didn't drop to his knee because he was all cozified on a blanket on the beach but since boys are supposed to take a knee and I'm a rule follower, I've changed the details in my mind to fit accordingly).

We enjoyed marriage for about a minute and a half before we added....and added....and doubly added some sweet little blessings we like to call "our hoodlums".

Now, had you told me all of this 11 years ago, I would have laughed in your face. Much as I did my college roomies when they proclaimed to me, "You do know that when you go work down there you are SO going to date Carter." Hahahahaha, they were so funny! I told them I was 100% confident of one thing only: I would NEVER date that boy.

Nope. Never. No how.

And I didn't.

I just married him.

Booyah, roomies.