Alyson's Suissical Life

I'm Alyson. This is my story.

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Backward Thinking: When planning a Redbox return, I felt a fleeting anxiety that I had not hit "rewind" on my movie. That was a strange throw-back.

[Comments] (3) On that note. . .: I'm back to the blog and intend to update more steadily than in the last five years. Among other reasons, I stopped blogging because I was overwhelmed by how popular blogging had suddenly become. Does anyone else get overwhelmed by the thought of an internet audience beyond a handful of family members and close friends? I like to be a bit more off the radar, I guess. But I'm back.

Dear Mr. Fellowes:: Is this Masterpiece Theatre or soap opera disguised in period dress? Downton Abbey, how you frustrate me!

First Sweat of Spring: I did some impromptu weeding of the garden today. Actually, first I locked myself out of the house and then dug around in the dirt while I waited for the locksmith to arrive.

[Comments] (1) Ratings: "Do I make the best guacamole in the world, Mom?" Atticus asks.

"You definitely make fabulous guacamole." I assure.

"Well. . . I am for sure in the top three."

[Comments] (1) note to winged neighbors: Neighborhood birdies: please continue to enjoy the birdseed feeders. But please. The strawberry patch is not for you.

[Comments] (3) A Little Spotlight: Yesterday we were at the park with our friends when a news reporter came to get the local buzz on potential snowfall. I thought I'd share the link . Even though we didn't get snow this morning, we were on TV last night at 11pm (you can watch the video at the right). Samuel's response to being a star: "Hey, they changed my voice!"

White Christmas: Just got back from spending the week at a beach house with my in-laws at Cape San Blas off the Gulf of Mexico. Despite December temperatures of 45-55 degrees, the boys (with the buffering of wet suits) swam every day. Unfortunately, turbulent waters prevented Atticus from enjoying his favorite beach past-time: snorkeling.

"Who wants to snorkel in that water?" he speculated. "Unless you just want to study brown!"

Disappointment Ruins: We had to cancel an outing and Samuel was very bothered.

"And I put on one sock for NOTHING?"

[Comments] (1) Atticus Wonders: Would monkeys perform well on a man-made rock climbing wall? Vote "very well," "not so well," "very poorly." "Very poorly," he decides. "Their posture is for swinging, not for climbing."

Oh, you have an opinion, do you?: Molly is nothing but a honey-smelling muffin with curly-locks. She formerly demonstrated nothing but interest in her world and its offerings. So--imagine my amusement during moments like this one tonight. I am ready for bath time to end. Like any other end-to-bath time, I reach with towel in hand to take her out. "No, no, NO!" she shouts and shakes her wet curls.

These wonderful bursts of emotion--her first taste of sweet rebellion. I can't help but smile.

[Comments] (3) Do You Skype?: I'm a new arrival to the world of Skype. We purchased a new iMac and it is gorgeous! Now, with the built in webcam, we have discovered the greatness of Skype. Do you want to chat?

[Comments] (2) : "You have a lot to do today," he said over his breakfast bowl. "Shop for a present, bake me a cake, make a banner. . ." I got to everything but the banner. Happy birthday my little Sam Man.

[Comments] (2) Reverence is more than just quietly sitting. . .: Dave is Bishop of our ward. One of the challenges of this responsibility is that I am on my own every Sunday during Sacrament Meeting. Persuading young boys and a toddler to sit in one place for an hour for any reason is a task, and an hour of church is no exception. I am anxious for my boys to behave themselves reasonably because I often leave them alone to take Molly out when she needs to wander and make noise. This makes church quite complicated most weeks. My three are children after all.

Today I noticed a four-year-old boy, Jeffery, sitting very quietly in the pew behind mine. I was settling my boys before the meeting, and could tell they were feeling especially restless. I pointed to Jeffery and suggested that if a four-year-old could be reverent, I was sure they could, too. Samuel was offended by my assumption. "Mom, when Jeffery grows up, he'll get to be a boy, too!"

[Comments] (6) Curry House: Hello again. Remember me?

So. . . on Veteran's Day aka Remembrance Day we hosted a curry potluck for Dave's students. Dave currently has about 80 (all graduate) students, and all were invited. About 30 minutes into the party, I took a head count and discovered 45 guests in my house. Still more arrived as the afternoon continued. It was a blast. Dave says, and I agree, it was the best potluck spread he'd ever seen. Only one other could compare, a brunch potluck among (mostly) Mennonite families during our Kansas days.

We made huge pots of Thai red curry with pineapple, coconut milk and shrimp as well as lentil and potato curry. Also, we provided an abundance of brown and sticky white rice, and two coolers of sodas and bottled waters. I think the students and their families/partners had a great time hanging out. Watch out for future curry parties under our roof. We plan to host one every semester!

[Comments] (8) Many Adventures: We've enjoyed great outings the past two weekends. Last weekend we went boating up the St. Marks River into a wildlife preserve area, then up the Wakulla River. Best of all, I piloted our way into the Gulf of Mexico near where these two rivers converge in the Florida panhandle. It was my first experience driving a boat. Very exhilarating. We saw dolphins in the Gulf! And along the St. Marks we spotted many tortoises sunning themselves, but never a crocodile to smile at where I can find him.

Atticus had quite the appetite after our boating day, and very much wanted to eat supper at this great little restaurant on the water (we've eaten there twice before). We weren't up for dining out, but were impressed by his culinary interest--he said he was craving seafood. We were nearly ready to cave, and things might have turned out in his favor. . . but when we asked him what he planned to order, he said "a corndog." Not going for that one.

This past weekend we took our first trip to Orlando (five hours distance). Hoping it will help get us to the LDS Orlando Temple regularly, we dropped a HUGE chunk of cash on Disney World Florida resident annual passes. Neither Dave nor I had ever been to Disney World before (of course neither had the boys). We made our first visit to Magic Kingdom. Everything was dazzling for the boys of course. Dave and I were impressed by how well things are run and maintained. I am looking forward to visiting the Animal Kingdom. I hear the exhibits there are impressive.

[Comments] (8) Monsters Under the Bed: Samuel is convinced there are monsters under his bed. He never has had this worry before, so we had an extended conversation about it to clear his mind. I assured him--promised him there was nothing but a few boxes and stuffed toys under his bed. He is not persuaded, however, because he has evidence. "Mom, I know they are there because every night they use my water to make their stew! I only drink half."

And those puddles I often wipe up from his sports bottle lying open on its side? Unrelated.

[Comments] (15) They say I should buy pink: I didn't plan to find out the gender of this baby when I went for an ultrasound today. I didn't want to be disappointed about such a silly thing as gender. All the wiggles and kicks are miracle enough to pleased with the entirety of this little package. And I love my boys. I'll take boys any day. But it seems to be a girl.

I'll believe it when I see it.

[Comments] (1) Secret Santa: I deleted my most recent blog entry because of inappropriate spamming in my comments section. Argh! There were four comments containing a very long string of links each. I couldn't figure out how to remove the individual comments (they were more stubborn than comments from friends, which deleted away instead), so I removed the entire entry. Maybe I should have waited for my cousin, the administrator of the site, to take action but I was too embarrassed by the contents of the spam. It was very annoying.

In other news, Samuel has been full of funnies lately. Right before Christmas he helped me wrap some "secret Santa" presents. He really loved the toys (Polly Pockets are irresistible), and negotiated with me in attempt to keep at least one of the sets. I said no, and explained that if these gifts didn't go to the little girl I'd bought them for, she might not get any presents at all.

Samuel gasped in alarm and asked "Has she been naughty?"

[Comments] (15) Expecting News: My life feels like a great run-on sentence. . . We had a chaotic summer, a big move, and right as we were getting settled, I began feeling constantly nauseous and fatigued. Number three baby Matkin is on the way, due to arrive close to Atticus' birthday (june 11th). We are thrilled, but I think I would prefer if I never in my life had to eat another meal or puke it back up.

[Comments] (8) Whirling Dervish: Thursday July 19th: We sign all paperwork and commit ourselves to a home mortgage. Receive keys to our house. Discover that the a/c is broken. Hello Florida heat.

Friday July 20th: We purchase a rake and a copy of Harry Potter book 7.

Saturday July 21st: Read Harry Potter. Rake spots in the backyard that have decaying leaves, pine needles and Maple tree pods. Discover two pear trees and two banana trees. Don't know if bananas are edible. Pears are delish. Establish a compost pile.

Sunday July 22nd: Moving truck arrives at 7:40am. Our house becomes full of boxes! Boys' room is unpacked and all set. Unfortunately, boxes are not as fun to deal with as Deathly Hallows.

Monday July 23rd: Get all school enrollment errands done (transfer immunization records to "Florida card," get "Florida" physicals. Obtain Florida driver's license.

Tuesday July 24th: The A/C guy comes. The motor is all a bust.

Wednesday July 25th: We leave at 4:30am central time to return borrowed car to parents in S.A., purchase new vehicle, and catch a flight for Calgary (cheaper fare from SA than home). Rain gets pretty scary so we stay the night at a hotel in Katy, TX.

Thursday July 26th: Finish drive to SA, purchase Honda Odyssey, hang with the family.

Friday July 27th: Early flight to Calgary, then four hour drive to family reunion destination in British Colombia. Finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Tired boys. Tired parents.

Today: Had a good time kayaking. Purchased some B.C. cherries and creamed B.C. honey at the Farmer's market. Don't have to cook, clean, or unpack boxes. Love that mountain air.

[Comments] (3) A pinch, please: I'm pretty unmotivated right now. We leave in less than a week, and I haven't done much to get ready. FSU is paying for packers and movers to do the job, so my laziness is conceivable but unwise. The truth is, organization and children are antithetical. And somehow I can't imagine that I am really going to leave this place.

[Comments] (2) Eek!: Oh dear, Samuel just mooned me!

[Comments] (10) And the shackles fall away: Dave has successfully defended his dissertation, and it has been accepted WITH NO FURTHER REVISIONS!!! I cannot stress how wonderful this is! It is not common to pass without needing a few changes at least. Listen up world! Dave is DONE with his PhD! This means graduation! Bring on the confetti! We are no longer students! Bring on the real grown up parts of life (like a salary)!

[Comments] (1) you've just squandered another perfectly good hour: We came upon some friends whose car had stalled out on a busy road. Dave jumped out of our car to help, and Atticus said, "I think Papa is going to tell those people to listen to Car Talk. Those guys will be able to solve all their problems."