June 22nd, 2009 | 5 Comments »


Dolls have never been my thing.  My mother, aunt and grandmother are all gaga over dolls, and have all sorts of collectibles.  My MIL,  Gadget’s daughter and her mother are likewise all gaga over dolls. Their homes are bursting with dolls.

My son, BB, is freaked out over dolls.  I have one doll, and her home is atop a small bookcase in my bedroom.  BB doesn’t want to be in the room alone with her.  And he’s never even seen Chucky.  Lord have mercy on us all if ever he does.

I have this doll because she is a namesake.  When my mother was a child, she had two dolls.  One was named Susan, and the other a lovely musical S-name.   Her first two daughters were named for these dolls, and eventually, she gave the Susan doll to me.

Yesterday we visited Gadget’s family for the day.  His aunt and uncle were visiting from Mississippi or thereabouts, and it was a rare opportunity to see them, as they are advanced in years and their health is declining.  At one point, Gadget’s brother disappeared for a few moments to the back room, and returned with a tiny newborn baby cradled in his arms.  My heart skipped a beat, trying to process the information.  Where in the heck did that baby come from, why was it left alone until now, who was taking care of it, and so on.  A million questions spun through my mind.  And then, I realized it was a doll.

Which freaked me out a bit more, because it looked so real.  It looked like a dead baby.  Seriously.

As the story unfolds, an acquaintance of the aunt makes these dolls for a living, and they go for around $800.  They are commissioned, usually, and made to look like people’s existing (or dearly departed) babies.  I missed the tale of why she gave one to the aunt, but I did hear the tale of how the doll-maker left one of these dolls in the back seat of her car while running errands one day.  The doll was in a bassinett, dressed in baby clothes, and the car windows were rolled up on a hot summer day.  People noticed and started tapping the glass to wake the baby.  The lady didn’t return, the baby didn’t respond, more people showed up, and finally the police were called, and they broke the car window to retrieve the baby.  At which time they discovered it was a doll.  Thank God.  When the maker finally returned, the police apologized for breaking her window, but said, “for GOD’s sake, cover that thing up if you’re going to leave it anywhere.”

Anyhow, dolls creep me out.  They always have.  I don’t know why.  And this doll, especially, was enough to stir me.  The details are incredible, down to the wrinkles in the hands and feet.  But it’s just too much.  I can picture one of these dolls sending some poor barren woman with unhealthy baby obsessions over the deep edge.  And that woman could have been me (prior to my miracle boys).

October 10th, 2008 | 2 Comments »

Because I’ve recently mentioned that I’ve spent a small fortune on baby bottles, all in the quest for that which my oh-so-particular child will tolerate, I thought I would provide a review, as a public service and all.  Because  I need to stop spending my pumping time and loads of money online shopping and do something less expensive and more constructive I’m kind and generous that way.

First.  We begin with what I use, and why.

(LOOK!  More than a full day’s worth of stockpiled liquid gold! Unbelievable!!)

I don’t know if my baby has colic, GER, GERD, or some other unspecified gastro-intestinal issue, but he tends to be fussy at times, and barely tolerates a bottle, let alone a breast.  There are a number of bottles on the market that claim to reduce or prevent colic, and there are camps of people who strongly favor one or another.  We seem to have the most success with the Dr. Brown’s line, but I’m not emotionally attached to it.  We used the wide neck version with BB nearly four years ago, and liked them well enough then.  They had a nice shape with a comfortable hold, and the wide mouth made them easy to clean.  We also used the Avent bottles, and liked them as well.  However, with the crisis du jour regarding BPA, I traded in my BPA Dr. Brown’s and Avent bottles for BPA-free Dr. Brown’s and Born Free bottles.

I started with the Dr. Brown’s preemie bottles, and really liked them for the preemie slowest of slow flow nipples and also the tiny two-ounce size, which was just right for my newborn.  However, they were still BPA bottles, so I decided to exchange them for non-BPA.  The options are 3.5 oz glass, 4 oz polypropylene, or 8 oz polypropylene.  I ended up with some of each.  Unfortunately, the valve reservoir stem is a different length for each different bottle size, and I could only find the long 8oz version reservoir stem available in the replacement parts section.

I don’t care for the actual bottle part of the Dr. Brown’s polypro line.  It’s a hard plastic, and it’s completely cylindrical.  It doesn’t feel particularly good to hold, and because of the special valve system, the bottles tend to be taller to accommodate the valve.  This makes them a bit bulky and unwieldy.  Especially the 8 oz size.  That bottle seems to be about as big as my baby, so I put the 8 oz bottles away for when he’s older and bigger, but harvested the valves and nipples for use with other bottles now.

The glass bottles are nice, but they’re heavy, and as soon as my baby can hold his own bottle, I’ll probably give them up, because the last thing I need is a heavy glass projectile in the hands of a wee one just getting used to his motor skills.

I decided to find other bottles that could be used with the Dr. Brown’s valve system, but because each size bottle has a different length stem, and because replacement stems are only available for the long 8oz size, I had to cut the valve stems to fit the appropriate bottle.  This makes for a tangled and confusing mess of parts, which is best not left to the spouse, who will, without fail, grumble exceedingly if asked or expected to warm up a bottle of stored milk and find the appropriate nipple/collar/valve/reservoir stem, and who will, inevitably, select any stem without consideration, jam it onto any bottle, then curse and sputter when the bottle leaks or hand it to me to feed the by then screaming child, in which case I will mutter something unkind about general laziness and lack of attention to detail.  Not conducive to marital bliss.

The collars actually fit the Medela bottles that I use for pumping, however, the Medela bottles don’t have many threads and they sometimes leak.  They’re not all that comfortable to hold, either, so I just stick to them for collecting the milk, and transfer the expressed milk to the bottles that I like — the old fashioned inexpensive Evenflo hexagonal bottles.  If only they made them in a 5 or 6 oz size.  I buy the 4 oz size for now, and store the milk in 3 oz lots.

And now for the rejects.  Although I like the Born Free, the nipples tend to collapse a bit, and the baby doesn’t seem to like them as well, so they’re set aside for a few months, until he’s a bit more coordinated.

He struggled with most of the nipples pictured above.  The breast flow version is good in concept but the outer nipple completely collapses in use and seems nothing like a breast at all.  He chokes on the Soothie nipple and gets tangled up with the Nuk nipple.   The cheap Gerber style with the lime green collar leaks like a sieve, but the threads work with the Dr. Brown’s parts, so they’re the last resort storage bottles, used only when I run out of everything else (because I don’t care for the odd trapezoidal shape, which isn’t particularly comfortable to grasp).  The bottle on the far left is a different Gerber variety, and it actually is the best tolerated of the lot above.  It’s not BPA free though, so just in case, we’re letting it be.  I did try to do a BPA exchange at Babies -R- Us with the four outer bottles, but they weren’t on the list, like the Dr. Brown’s and Avent varieties, for whatever reason.

I was planning to be more comprehensive with the rejects, but I’ve grown weary of this post.  At least it kept me from Amazon.com and eBay for this particular expression session, and that was the point, in part.

May 2nd, 2008 | 3 Comments »

I love colors. All colors. Especially jewel tones. But I seem to always come back to blue.

For instance. I’ve had cobalt blue forever, and was trying to change it up in the last few years by adding some striking red items in my kitchen, and some chartreuse as well. Glorious. But I found this, and couldn’t resist. At least I only got one. And even though it’s a bowl, I got it to use as a cup. I love it!

Not only is it gorgeous for tea, it works for lattes as well. (I have a thing for swirls.)

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that I have an addiction to jammies the way some women have an addiction to shoes.

My new all time faves, and the latest acquisition. See? More swirls. In blue.

So I asked Gadget what he thought of my gorgeous new jammies.

“You look like a teapot.”

Oh, the love. He went on to explain. “You’re little at the top, round in the middle, and flat on the bottom.”

“Just like a teapot!”*

My cup overfloweth. At least I knew (this time) that he was being silly in his own special way, and I accepted his comments graciously. Even without Zoloft! To be true, I am feeling as though I look like a teapot, and am constantly marveling at how my belly could possibly be protruding SO MUCH so soon. I am a woman of size, regardless of gestational state, but this… …this seems a bit extreme. (But it is what it is. And I’m beyond grateful to be carrying a lively little boy, no matter how big he and I become!)

*Showcased here is my little English teapot, purchased at a Safeway supermarket (of all places) in the London area. Note the apple green accent wall with the gorgeous Australian tiles. I spy some gum nut gnomes as well. The apple green transition took place last weekend with all the other spring freshening. It’s very happy, and looks great for the most part, but it doesn’t quite fit with that sandy beachy oatmealy color that has become the main color downstairs. So I may re-do it after a bit. Or not. I might have gotten my spring painting bent out of my system.

April 24th, 2008 | 1 Comment »

Even though there’s a giant new bed in the household, the resident cyclone child, once he weasels his way in, has a manner of emulating the expandable gas theory, in which he manages to consume all available space.

Sure, he looks small enough in this picture, but looks can be deceiving. This sprawler’s feet manage to make contact with both parents’ faces, at least once during a night, and I still find myself perched at the uttermost edge.

There’s a new rule in town. Cyclone children who wet their pullups don’t get to sleep in the big bed. I suspect he’s being lazy when it comes to that. At least in the day time. He’s pretty much all good when it comes to number two, so I’m very thankful there, and when he returns from daycare, he seems dry and sometimes I can tell he’s had the same pullup on all day. However. Once home, the next thing I know, there’s a cyclone child running amok, wearing a wet pullup. And I’m constantly asking him if he needs to go. I think perhaps I’ll just stop letting him wear pullups at all in the day, and see if he finds it unpleasant to wet himself. Hopefully.

As far as the bed goes, it’s a flimsy Ikea frame, which I like in style, but hate on all other counts. And much as I abhor the phrase, “you get what you pay for,” in this case, it applies. I don’t like how it didn’t come in one set. The slats and support beam, both of which are critical to the unit, had to be purchased separately. And once constructed, the slats have very little to hold them in place, and the headboard feels like styrofoam. Very bad feng shui, for me. I was willing to put up with it, but Gadget dislodged the slats the other night while lifting the cyclone child out of the bed to put him in his own bed. Not good, and likely repeatable. So that was a happy evening, what with a sleepy and irritated spouse trying to put the flimsy ass bed back together in the late of the night. So this weekend, we’re taking it all apart, and returning it to Ikea. I hope they give us a full refund. It’s a piece of junk.

We’ll be sleeping in close proximity to the floor for a while, which will also irritate Gadget, but since I ordered a new frame that meets with his manly approval, I think he might actually suppress the expression of his displeasure. One can hope.

August 22nd, 2006 | 2 Comments »

Once upon a time there was a blog. And then there were more. And more and more and more. One day, a fine blogger named Blackbird started a fun game called Show and Tell. Oh, the bloggers who liked to play along! Show me a chicken, said Blackbird. And some bloggers did. One day, another blogger, who was very far behind in blog happenings, happened upon (name withheld for privacy), where she exclaimed, “What a fine chicken!” (or something to that effect). In nearly a blink of an eye, said chicken took flight, and made its way across the miles. The flight was long, the journey was arduous, but the weary chook is home to roost, happily in my kitchen.

The end.

I am constantly amazed, and grateful, at the sense of community and connectedness that blogging brings into my life. Truly, it’s a beautiful thing.

Thank you!! This fine bird is holding an assortment of tea bags, and is quite content passing the time with Cookie Monster. Oh the tales they tell. The wild and crazy goings on of the Sueeus kitchen.

In all honesty, I have a warm spot in my heart for a kitchen chicken, as there was a white hen crock perched atop a shelf in my mother’s kitchen for as long as I can remember. Nostalgia. :)

I didn’t even mention the part about the kindness and generosity of fine people out there. I’m astounded and blessed.

(Thank you again!!)

June 2nd, 2006 | No Comments »

…or…   …corners of my home…

…or…  …Show and Tell – windows (v.late)…

In the infinite wisdom of modern home builders, our luxurious master bath with its huge window faces a very busy street.  There’s nothing more relaxing than a nice hot sudsy bath, and waving to the semi-truck drivers, or better yet, the high school kids who gather just outside that window as they wait for their bus.  It’s a beatiful, cloudy, blue sky day today.  And every day.  Thanks to the artscape window film.  I could have frosted the glass, but decided to go a bit whimsical.  It’s easily removed, should I grow tired of it.


Its sister has the stained glass pattern, because I wasn’t very thrilled with the direct line of sight from our neighbor’s busy home into my bathroom, and bedroom beyond.


My towels are various colors that match the greens and blues in the window, but now, I may have to retire them, if I am overcome with desire once I learn more about Joke’s towels*.

*Good Grief!  Having not kept up with Joke, who is, by the way, a very entertaining fellow, it took me forever to find the towels post, and why oh why is my broadband being so darn slow   Exasperating!  And now I am hyperventilating as I realize the famous towels are on closeout, online only, and I must must must go see if I can’t live without them.

June 1st, 2006 | 4 Comments »

Show and Tell, via Blackbird, for Poppy, is our least favorite piece of furniture.  I present…

…the behemoth


…which I hate



…for one, it’s teal.  V. eighties.

…for two, it’s made for people constructed like giraffes with very long necks.  If a person of normal stature sits in it, the top pillow lump thing pushes one’s head forward so that one is forced to look at one’s lap.  V. uncomfortable.

…for three, it’s ugly.  Look at it!

…for four, it’s Mr. Gadget’s, and I can’t get rid of it.

Posted in show and tell
May 11th, 2006 | 1 Comment »

Blackbird asks to see a tee shirt today. myownstunts.jpg

He does, after all, do all his own stunts.stairsforward.jpg

Like crawling down stairs head first.  Two flights.

Posted in show and tell
May 4th, 2006 | 3 Comments »

On my way home this evening I drove past the mailboxes at the end of the culdesac and noticed the key fob dangling from the package bin.  I smiled and thought to myself that somebody got a package today, and what a delight it is to come home after a long and hard day to a package in the mailbox.  There’s something magical about the sensation that passes through me when good mail in the form of a letter or a package arrives.  I was even a bit pleased with myself for noticing the key and thinking benevolent thoughts.

I entered the house and put my keys on their hook.  I like my supersized bling bling pink solitaire key ring.  It was a Christmas gift from Mr. Gadget.  Very me.  He did well.  Blackbird has asked to see keys today.  Mine are a jumble, but I do like the electronic fob remote thingie that opens up the car doors.

I made my way to the office, and discovered that Mr. Gadget had already collected the mail.  And guess what   The package was for me!  Me!  From across the sea!  The sea!  From my dear friend Suse.  How special.  Such a delight!  I was delighted to begin with, before I knew the package recipient was me.  Me!  Imagine  how much more delighted I am.  Giddy, in fact.

I opened the box, imagining the treasures that were moments from my grasp.  I suspected there might be…

… something like …  …this, in the box…


Ooh!  Lucky me!  Delicious soap, a lovingly knitted flannel/washcloth, some delightful photo frames that I shall soon fill with pictures of Mr. Snazzy Pants, and an adorable card depicting a frolicking child.  Such a nice gift.  Thank you so very much, my dear friend.

Posted in friends, show and tell
April 20th, 2006 | 1 Comment »

It’s a good morning when you have two hours to get ready.  Oh, the things that can be done in two hours!  Let’s see.  A haircut, a shower.  Get dressed.  Eat some Cheerios while waiting for the oatmeal to cool down.  Eat the oatmeal.  Play.  Take some pictures to show and tell today’s outfit.  Upload the pics, pack the lunch bags, load the car, and hit the road…   …and all is well and it’s all smiles until the part where he gets four shots, two in each thigh.  Oh, the tears.  Oh, the betrayal.  Luckily, a 15-month old doesn’t have a very long term memory, and the smiles returned in, oh, about 45 seconds.


Today’s outfit is a onesie style white turtleneck, stretched to its limit on this long torsoed model.  He wears Genuine Kids overalls (from Target, most likely).  White socks, again from Target.  Light up shoes with The Incredibles caricatures.  Diaper, size 4, Kirkland (Costco) brand.  (Was show and tell supposed to be my outfit   Any outfit   Today’s outfit )  His is so much cuter and more interesting.  Mine is just blue jeans, also from Target, a navy blue mock turtleneck boxy cut tunic with 1/2 length sleeves from the Avenue clearance rack ($5), cotton socks and black Redback slip-on boots.


Caught red handed.  Here he is this morning, post-haircut, pre-shots, playing with his favorite thing. 


It’s a picture of his cousins.  Aren’t they gorgeous   He loves to play with this picture, for some reason.  This, and the Tiffany lamp.

Posted in children, show and tell