Saturday, July 23, 2005


This is my boy. John. Or John M. Or John-John. Or Booger. Whatever you want to call him. Do you want to swallow him whole? Me too.

John showed up in our lives last September. We can't figure out how we ever made it without him. You see, after our two girls (the last of which we had over 7 years ago), we didn't think we'd have any more children, but John decided he wanted to see the world. So, he picked us to show him. He's named after my dad and it's funny because he looks a lot like him and has qualities about him that remind me of my daddy. We went to Austin, Texas on vacation and brought him with us and he was perfectly content to just sit in his car seat while we traveled. He sat there for hours without complaint. My dad loved to travel, so I'm thinking there's a little piece of my dad in John that likes to travel too. He also has a general sweetness that my dad had and he's a rascal too. So, my mom and I like to think that we have a little bit of big John M. here on earth with us, in little John M. He has made all of our lives complete. Mine, my husband's, and my daughters'. John constantly entertains us and makes us laugh. If someone is having a bad day, they come and take John and watch him for a while and he'll cheer them up in no time flat. He loves to give big open-mouthed kisses. And he'll even pull your hair as a bonus. He's just started to say 'uh-oh' and wave 'bye-bye' so we think he's the smartest baby to ever crawl the earth. Yes, he's spoiled. But HOW did we ever make it without him?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Trying to notice the clouds

When I was driving home yesterday (I have about a 35 minute commute from downtown Baton Rouge to my babysitter's house), I was doing my daily worrying . . yesterday, it was about money for school uniforms for my girls, and shoes, and booksacks, and whatnot. Thinking of how I can juggle money around to get these things without adding on to my growing credit card debt. There were endless possibilities, not excluding the possibility of having a big BINGO win and getting some extra cash. Then, I remembered 'Oh, don't forget to notice some natural beauty; something you take for granted every day'. 'Notice the clouds, dammit!'. You see, sometime a couple of years ago I read a magazine article about taking time out to smell the roses, appreciate nature, etc. I'm always in such a hurry to do a million things that I rarely take time to NOTICE. I don't notice anything unless I have to. If someone else is driving somewhere, I never know how we got there once we arrive. If there's an email at work that doesn't shout out my name, I don't notice it. I have to force myself to notice. Well, in between work and home, there's a lot of beautiful, uninterrupted country sky that I should appreciate. Only I'm usually too busy worrying to pay attention. So, yesterday, I made myself stop thinking about the money-moving and look at the clouds. Look at the different shapes and colors. And think about how lucky I am to have this moment to myself. And just the ability to see . . to see the beauty that's around me. It always makes me feel better and a little refreshed. I tried to see if I could find pictures in the clouds, like my daughters do. That one kind of looks like a sheep or a bunny or a . .
boot. Boots . . hmm . . shoes. Shit! How am I going to pay for the girls' new school shoes?!!! Oh well, at least it lasted for a few minutes.

Dollar Tree

(I found this cute little green frog on the internet. I'm trying to figure out how to get him on my template. But so far, no luck.)

My girls, Anna and Emma, LOVE the Dollar Tree. You know, where every single thing in the store is only a dollar. I'm mentioning this now because we went there yesterday. I had gone the day before (Yikes, Dollar Tree two days in a row!) and had forgotten some things so I told them I would go back and bring them. I let them spend $5.00 each. I know, I'm a sucker. I've done this before and it usually turns into a greedfest, with them asking if they can have just one extra thing . . or maybe two, and then I get aggravated and want to say 'forget the whole thing'. So, I told them ahead of time, y'all each get $5.00. If you ask for anything extra, that $5.00 will go down to $4.00, then $3.00, etc. Well, this kind of stumped Emma. She was full of questions, which is par for the course for her anyway.
Emma:'Mom, what if I have just four things and I ask for one more? Does that count?'.
Me: 'No, Emma, only if you ask for more than five.'.
Emma: 'What if I have five and then I put one up, and then want to get one more?'
Me: 'No, that's still just five, so that's okay'.
Emma: 'Okay, well what if I have five and then change my mind about two of them, can I pick
two other things?'
Me: 'Yes, Emma, as long as it's NO MORE THAN 5!'
Emma: (real cheerfully) 'Oh, Okay!'
This conversation may drive the average person crazy, but I'm pretty used to it so I just go with it. I figure I'll be used to these conversations for quite a while b/c my little one isn't even talking yet. So, maybe in about 10 years, I'll be back to normal conversation. Well, not 'normal', but closer.
So, we went to the Dollar Tree and they each ended up getting six things. Don't ask. But it did involve Emma 'needing' batteries for her fifth item. I knew that little booger would get around the rule.

Jolie's take

"But I HATE 9-5. It sucks so much of your life time. I mean, it really takes over your life."

This is a quote from my friend, Jolie, who now lives in NYC, but grew up in New Orleans,
and lived in Baton Rouge for a time. She worked here with me for about 3-4 years and I'm
so lucky to have gotten to know her. We've stayed in touch over the years and she always
makes me laugh; she just has a 'way' about her, you know. Anyway, she did the 9-5 over here
for years and couldn't stand that type of life. She went back to school (U.N.O.) to get her
Master's degree in Urban Studies, and then on to C.U.N.Y. to get her Doctorate (Gosh, I hope
I got that right). Right now, she's working temp jobs in the summer to save up some money,
partially to come down and visit family/friends. I sure hope she's saving up a lot
b/c I want to see her badly! Okay, I digress . . Jolie usually gives me a different perspective on
life, as she did when she wrote what she did above. That '9-5' has been my life for about 14 years
now and I'm so caught up in it, that I don't even notice sometimes how much of my life it sucks
up. I definitely wish I had more flexibility, but for now, I'll just have to adjust and make time
where I can. But life shouldn't be that way. Family . . people, in general, should be first. We're
just stuck in a rut where money is what rules our lives for the most part. And if we want to own
our own house, and drive a car that's not on its last leg, and let our children participate in various
activities, then we have to work. That's life for now, suck it up. I know. Which is why I'm trying to
learn acceptance of things the way they are now. I'm learning to appreciate the important things in
life, playing with my girls and my baby boy. Watching them play with each other, listening to their
conversations, just looking at them. Really talking to them. I have to work it around this damn 9-5
job, but so be it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Beautiful Soul

Last night I had a dream about my daddy. He died, suddenly, a little over a year ago, when he was only 58. I dream about him every now and then. Usually, in my dreams, he just shows up somewhere to talk to us; my mom, sister, myself . . But last night in my dream, it was as if he was speaking to me, in my thoughts. He was telling me to help my mom, that she really needed help but wouldn't ask. Then, he called on the phone and spoke to me about this same thing. I could hear his voice, his tone, his unique was of speaking, that I haven't actually heard since early last April. It was the greatest feeling. I miss it, and am lucky to have it, if only in my dreams.

Welcome to Frogola . . arghh!

This is my daughter Emma welcoming you. This is my only entry thusfar and I love this picture, so I thought it would be a nice, scary opening for my blog.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

100 Things About Me

1. My real first name is Suzanne, not Renee.
2. No one has ever called me Suzanne, except my orthodontist who used to call me 'Suzy Q'. I have no idea why.
3. I was born in 1969.
4. I'm a Scorpio.
5. I have one sister, Kelli, who is only 15 mo. older than me. I have no brothers.
6. I only have one uncle (my mom's brother), and no aunts. My daddy was an only child.
7. I'm left-handed.
8. When I was three, I used to pull my hair out and scream 'Love me, mama' at the top of my lungs.
9. I still do that some days . . okay, not really.
10. I was born and raised next door to the house I live in now.
11. I never called my grandfathers 'Paw-Paw' or 'Grandpa'. They were Pod and Hard-Head.
12. Both my grandmothers, I called 'Maw-Maw'.
13. I have a degree in Advertising.
14. I've never worked in Advertising, except the summer of 1991, when I interned in NYC.
15. While in NYC, I'd eat every other meal at the Lyric Diner. (I ate about 50 club sandwiches from there, during my stay.)
16. My husband and I met in Advanced Math class my senior year of high school.
17. If you would have asked me the last person on earth I thought I'd marry that year, I would
have named my husband.
18. Our first date was on April 4th, the same date as my mom and dad's first date about 30 years before.
19. I drank way too much my first year in college.
20. I had my lowest GPA ever my first semester in college. Go figure.
21. I made my best grades in my Philosophy classes. I think I missed my calling.
22. I've had really short labors for my kids. My longest was 7.5 hours and my shortest 4.5 hours.
23. I don't think I have a favorite color.
24. If my first born was a boy, her name would be Adam.
25. If my second born was a boy, her name would be Jacques.
26. If my third born was a girl, his name would be Lila.
27. My third born is named after my dad, John Morris.
28. My mom and dad met in 1st grade.
29. I have way too many gray hairs to count.
30. I've had gray hair since I was 19.
31. I have 16 years until I can retire.
32. I can't play any musical instruments.
33. My favorite flower is the tulip.
34. I carried plastic tulips in my wedding. Tacky? I know.
35. One of my best friends kicked me out of her wedding a couple of months ago.
36. At one time or another, I had many Dr. Seuss books memorized.
37. I once had a mole removed from my butt (TMI).
38. My tubes are now tied!
39. I have bad vision (20/250, 20/400) but have stopped wearing contacts or glasses.
40. I took Spanish for two years and can only say phrases like 'the bull is black', etc.
41. My favorite movis is 'Goodfellas'.
42. Did I mention I love Kenny Chesney?
43. I know the words to almost every Kenny Chesney song.
44. My parents took us to cool concerts growing up. We saw Styx, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, etc while elementary school age.
45. I remember smelling pot and having no idea what it was.
46. I've never even smoked one cigarette.
47. I could live off of french fries.
48. I've won many 4-H awards in my lifetime.
49. We own cattle.
50. We own horses.
51. If you ask me anything about raising cattle or horses, I can't help you.
52. I love to pick pecans.
53. I love BINGO.
54. I think I'm about 30 years too young.
55. I've always wanted a swimming pool in my back yard.
56. I had one once, but it got a hole in it and Wal-Mart wouldn't take it back.
57. My oldest daughter's middle name is after my mom, Adele.
58. I can never remember how to spell diarrhea.
59. I have a lot of that word I can't remember how to spell.
60. I don't like Chinese food.
61. I love to travel . . just about anywhere.
62. My parents took us to almost every state in the US, when we were growing up.
63. I've never travelled overseas.
64. I'd love to go to Greece.
65. I could go to Disneyworld every week and never get tired of it.
66. I want to marry Mickey Mouse.
67. I love water parks.
68. I love amusement park rides, but have to scream on every one, even the teacups.
69. I don't like tea.
70. Or coffee.
71. I've taken a macrame class.
72. I love Photoshop.
73. I design some of the web pages for the State of Louisiana website.
74. It's my favorite part of my job.
75. I used to work in Purchasing.
76. My favorite thing I ever purchased was bull semen. Oh, and once, a mechanical vagina.
77. We have a cat named Pearl.
78. I don't really like cats.
79. I like gardening, but am not particularly good at it.
80. My favorite thing to plant is agapanthas. I also love hibiscus.
81. I went to Arkansas on my honeymoon.
82. I love the casinos and playing Blackjack.
83. I can't make a gumbo. (I should be kicked out of Louisiana).
84. I like playing Bourre.
85. I just had to look up how to spell 'Bourre'. I wanted to put Boo-ray.
86. I have fat feet.
87. I don't wear eye make-up.
88. I went K-12th grade at the same Catholic school.
89. My kids go to that school now.
90. I like Country Music.
91. I've never been to Jazzfest, but I've been to the French Quarter festival.
92. I like to fish, but won't take the fish off the line or bait the hook myself.
93. I have to fish with a friend.
94. My daddy caught a gar fish one time, and I almost jumped out of the boat.
95. I've never broken a bone. I've only fractured my hand once.
96. I wrecked 2 red cars within a few months of each other. I drive a white car now.
97. I like cotton underwear. (more TMI)
98. I never babysat once growing up.
99. I like onions on anything.
100. I like when I get to the end of a list.