Tuesday, July 31, 2007

22 Months! (Making Us Proud)

Meredith running away with Olly's ball, after shoving Olly's dinner in her mouth very quickly, so that her hands would be free to grab the aforementioned ball.

Meredith and Olly: pictured here at peace, because Meredith has already stolen and eaten all the food (allowing him one final bite--notice how he looks like he's grabbing it on the sly? He's hoping she won't steal it from him). Please note Olly's precious England football mini-kit.

Meridy modeling the boots given to her at a garage sale. Mommy might not have chosen these for Mer, but oh how she loves them. (Note that the mental connection between grabbing one's neck and having one's photo taken is still strong).

Our fashion plate didn't want to take her new pajamas off, and did want to wear her tennies with the pajamas.

She posed this photo, arranging the step stool just so, and her bum upon the step stool, just so.

We love her.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Graduate

I am NOT going to even try to encapsulate all my feelings about Meredith's last year and a half in school in this post. I'm going to try to keep it simple.

Meredith has two of the best teachers on the planet. Ms. Sheena and Ms. Tasha have loved Meredith so completely and so well. I think it may be one of the biggest blessings I've ever received. Even though I've been lucky to have a short and somewhat flexible work week, it has never been an easy decision to have Mer in school. But I have never--for even a second--doubted that Tasha and Sheena cared for Meredith as if she were their own. I realize that's a strong statement. These women are incredible. Even though Mer wouldn't look at the camera for this picture, l love it because you can see that they love her.

Today the teachers planned a precious graduation ceremony. The kids, of course, had a great time, while everyone else spent their time crying or trying not to. And I am NOT. A. CRIER.

Meredith also has one of the coolest classes on the planet, as I may have discussed before. After finishing our amazing spread of Central BBQ ribs, brisket, pork, chicken, bologna, mac n' cheese, etc. (thanks to Charlotte's parents!), we indulged ourselves in the most beautiful cupcakes that I have ever seen in person. In cupcake? Whatever, I had to take a picture. Simone (Victor's mom) is one of the best bakers in Memphis, and while she's not baking for a living anymore, we still get to enjoy her mad skills. Have a sweet Friday.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Don't miss the fine print, folks. They ain't kidding about the ear plugs.

Thanks for the new dress, Marme!

The Papa Tops rocked...Johnny Cash style.

When Chris and Meredith disappeared for a long while, I knew they were probably having a wonderful time and that there was probably a mess involved. Right on both counts. Here, Chris draws the 17th of about 20 tattoos on Meredith. And, no, these are not special "draw-on-skin" markers and yes, there is still marker on her skin today.

Chris enjoyed telling everyone that Meredith had actually been the one to scrawl "DAD" on her back in purple ink.

Miles is in Mer's class at school. Miles' dad actually rocked with Widespread Panic (deejay), so if there were backstage passes at Rock n Romp, Miles would probably get one.

This backyard was so big, the playground equipment rivaled that of some city parks. Meredith just went up and down the ladder...over and over again...Much to the dismay of the 7 and 8 year olds who were taking care of more serious playground-related business.

It's all good clean fun.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Keepin' It Real

While sometimes I tend to saccharine sweetness on this blog, my ultimate goal is to accurately represent the joys and travails of parenthood and some of those of childhood, as observed. Or at least offer glimpses into both. And if there's anytime in a child's life that gives a parent the opportunity to jump off the saccharine train and onto the reality bus, I propose that it is those months around the magic year of 2.

As Josh observed the other day when watching our toddlers accost one another, "aaahhh...original sin."

Or as the old poem goes: "There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. And when she was good, she was very very good. And when she was bad, she was horrid."

Exhibit A: My daughter has literally started saying "mine" in her sleep. There was a bloodcurdling scream the other night, followed by a bellow of "mine!" This happened no fewer than 3 times.

Children, left to their own devices (or even exposed to our sad attempts at parenting) can be horrid. But, as the poem also alludes, they can be very, very good. And hilarious. And precious. And just when you think that you're kidding yourself by attributing the awful behavior to an incoming molar and that the truth must certainly be that you've bred a truly unkind and insufferable little human, the clouds clear, the tears slow and she walks to the corner under her own steam, saying she needs to go to "mime out" and, turning, looks at you and says, "I sorry Mommy" with no prompting.

What's brought this on? Observing Meredith with Walt and Nora. Listening to a chorus of "mines." Watching her apologize to Nora for her selfish behavior, and then lift the just-relinquished beautiful red plastic necklance right over Nora's little head AGAIN. So, in the interest of keepin' it real, hang in there toddler parents. I've got one too.

The following pictures are not offered as evidence of bad behavior. Those wily wee ones are too fast to allow their tricks to be captured on film.

In a moment of peace, Meredith said "thank you" to Walt everytime he dumped a cup of water on her head. Dozens of times. Lots of water.

They're sedate and manageable when watching good music. (Well, Nora always is).

This is the good music: one of the coolest sets of percussive devices I've ever seen.

This man had the truest twinkle in his eye I've ever seen. The girls were transfixed by him.

Precious Nora has entered the "no" stage (or so her parents say) but has not yet discovered the joys of "mine." Meredith will induct her into that selfish society soon enough.

Walt scores while Meredith is distracted.

And to conclude this unromantic post, I'll tell you that sometimes my daughter is also very strange (albeit preciously so). She has recently learned to say "cheese" when someone is taking her picture. However, some wires got crossed when she learned this behavior, because she seems to think that part of the routine is also to strangle oneself. She grasps her neck, while saying cheese, and really hurts herself if I don't take the picture fast enough. WHAT. THE. HECK.

And that's it for this edition of Alarming Toddler Behavior. I'll be back on the saccharine train next week.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I just thought this picture was kind of cool. All bleary...right after Mer woke up from a 3 hour nap. A 3 hour nap. A thrrrrreeeeeeee hoooouuuuurrrr nap.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Suggolympics 2007

This was supposed to be a post primarily about the incredible athletic feats performed over the fourth of July holiday during the Suggolympics extravaganza. Unfortunately, either there weren't many incredible athletic feats, or I was so busy performing them that I didn't capture them digitally. Hmmm...

There was lots of badminton, which I love because it's a great equalizer. I don't care how great an athlete you are, badminton will make you look silly. Silly though we may be, we are a competitive clan. Here you can see Lyndi and Matthew, standing in front of the scoreboard, debating the appropriate distribution of points for the game they just played. (We let folks assign points based on how hard they played, and how much athletic prowess was displayed in the process...it's, um, somewhat arbitrary).

There were also darts, and I beat Chris. So there's that story.

Chris made an appearance as Captain Olympia, so there's also that story. Sorry that I only caught this blurry picture. He is a superhero, afterall.

There was frisbee golf, and Chris also gave out points for anyone who successfully completed a reading on the conservative stance on global warning. If Sarah hadn't won the trophy last year, she probably would have won this year, just for being such a competitor that she actually read the article. (It WAS worth 200 points, and she DID read it WHILE playing frisbee golf). Heck, maybe she SHOULD have won.

But this year, the Suggolympics trophy goes to Matthew. He played hard, and his house needs some decoration.

Meredith didn't really get into the competition this year, so here's what she did over the holiday.

She sat on or pushed every rocking chair in Mountain View, Arkansas. My friends, that's a lot of sitting and pushing.

She took a walk everyday to get the mail with Keddi.

She was a true champ during the fireworks, insisting on sitting in her own chair and catching on quickly to ear-plugging techniques. I promise--there were some smiles in between the very serious ear-plugging efforts. Tia Sarah offered a comforting hand when she wasn't covering her own ears.

Mer ran around nekkid a lot this week. I'm not making any apologies; she was happy.

Reading the National Geographic with Papa is always a joy. Fish! Fish! Fish!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

(almost) Happy Fourth! and Happy B'day MaMoo!

We love the fourth cause the Sugg clan gathers in beautiful Calico Rock, AR, and competes with neighboring cliff dwellers for the most fabulous fireworks show. Egos are sometimes injured in the fray, but nothing more serious than that, thus far. Someday I may show you a picture of cousin Sarah and I frolicking with sparklers (our grace is astounding, I assure you), but you'll have to wait for that.

We also love the fourth because Uncle MaMoo was born that day.