Saturday, December 23, 2006

Is it time for the mystery van?

I said I would never drive a minivan. Maybe it is because every time I pass a grey GMC safari minivan I have flashbacks of driving the family van to my upper-middle class high school, having no choice but to park it in the oh-so-safely designed, absolutely no obscure or obstructed places to park, parking lot. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. After all, the van was an upgrade from the Ford Tempo sky blue mini station wagon, complete with tweed permanently reclining driver's seat and the horn that was activated by pushing on the end of the turn signal wand thingy. With the thrifty living Philip and I now subscribe to, I thank God for such an experience in humility when I was a selfish self-centered teenager with no sense of how hard my parents worked to even provide me with the van (which incidentally, held all eight kids in the neighborhood for the middle school carpool each afternoon). Yeah - I was cool like that.

Why the childhood reflection? Philip and I have waited until the last minute and are now realizing how impossible it will be to load the two of us, our 26 pound son (with the all important DVD player and Sesame Street DVDs), luggage for a week, and bounty of presents for the Moss family, all into our humble Mazda 626. Can we bungee the dog to the roof? Our hope is that the purchase of a roof cargo bag will balance the load. If you are headed down Hwy 45 in north Alabama or I-40 somewhere between Jackson, TN and exit 66 and see luggage on the ground (or poor Riley the dog), please deliver to Brownsville, TN.

In other words, I am coming full circle in the not too distant future to again driving a minivan...and welcoming such an opportunity. Perhaps this time we can spring for the sexy Honda Oddysey instead of the GMC van from my high school days that looked a lot like this:

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Update on NeeNee Porter

NeeNee Porter is resting after surgery at the hospital. The doctors said the surgery was successful and now they are working to get her appetite back up and to be sure that her other kidney takes fully over for what two kidneys once did. She should be home by Friday!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

NeeNee's surgery today

Today NeeNee Porter will have surgery to remove her right kidney. Last week we found out through a CT scan that she had a cancerous mass there. The doctors are all saying that once this surgery is completed, there will be no need for any further treatement (no chemotherapy, radiation, etc). We are all praying that will, indeed, be the case. Please join us in prayer today for her health and that she and my father will be encouraged.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Over the river and through the woods, to great-grandparents houses we go

We just returned from a wonderful weekend visit with Little Philip's great grandparents on Renie's side. His little second cousin, Kaylie, was there with her mom, Ruthie, and together, they created most of the entertainment for the weekend. After arriving late Friday night, we visited with the great grandparents Wettermark in Mobile for lunch. When Renie was a little girl, there was one dresser drawer in the living room she was allowed to open. In it were toys and Mardi Gras beads and treasure, and it never failed that she would find something new to play with everytime. This time it was Little Philip's turn and he went straight for the plastic alligator and a pair of maracas to shake around the house. Then he turned to playing the piano before lunch.

When nap time arrived, we headed back "over the bay" to Memaw and Papa Julian's house to visit with cousins and holiday shop downtown Fairhope. Saturday night we enjoyed a family birthday dinner of Memaw's fabulous spaghetti and NeeNee Porter's famous carrot cake. We wound up the night by throwing Kaylie and Little Philip in the tub together and Kaylie was an abolute riot! She threw herself on her belly and flailed about, kicking her legs and arms, creating what can only be called a baby jacuzzi tub. The adults were rolling on the floor she was so funny! Little Philip tolerated it but enjoyed the shampoo mohawk and bath toys, along with the waves and bubbles donated by his cousin's excitement. Aunt Ruthie, Danielle and Brad, and Dominique were also there for our visit and we loved catching up with everyone and look forward to another visit very soon!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Where has November gone?

We've been MIA lately and on the road every weekend traveling to see family and friends. We've just returned from a great Thanksgiving holiday long weekend in Brownsville, topped off by lunch with the Porters on Sunday with cousin Mary Eugenia Espinosa, who spent Thanksgiving with the Porters before returning to Spring Hill College for the rest of the term.

Thanksgiving at the Moss Farm was lots of fun. All the cousins dressed up as pilgrims, except for cousin George, who was a fierce indian. Little Philip liked that a lot.

At the Porters, we managed to take what NeeNee hopes will be some good Christmas card pictures.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Instructions while Mommy is away

I am headed to a three day conference tomorrow in San Antonio at Trinity University. This is the annual Associated Colleges of the South conference that gathers the senior student affairs officers together from member institutions. I will get to see Randy Hays, my old boss and friend from Centre, along with others I've come to know. But most important in this equation is the fact that this will be my first trip away from Little Philip since he started "day care" at Trinity UMC. I've traveled before but it was when "Miss Sarah" Skocelas was still keeping Little Philip. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't trust my husband to tend to the house and keep Little Philip clothed and fed. It's the way he will be clothed and fed that I fear. With that in mind, here are some gentle instructions for my dear husband:

Sunday morning - Little Philip will wake around 7:00 a.m. Change his diaper but only after you hug and kiss on him a lot to help him wake up happy. He will want some hot maple and brown sugar oatmeal. Make sure you BUCKLE HIM into his seat and put a bib on him. He likes to sing while he eats his breakfast. Help him learn his basic words like "cat" and "dog" and "juice." Before you leave for church be sure you take the diaper bag which is already packed for you. Don't forget his sippy cup with diluted juice.

Sunday afternoon - Even though Little Philip will want to nap at 12:00 noon, you will need to wake him up in time to take him to Nee Nee and Poppy Porter's house at 1:30 to show him off at the wedding luncheon they are having for a family friend. Please be sure he is clean in his blue plaid john john with the dog/firetruck on it.

Sunday evening - Don't forget to feed your son. He will probably enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich with some hot soup. Finish off with some fruit. Get him into his footy pajamas around 7:00 p.m. Let him play a bit but read to him to help him settle before bedtime at 8:00 p.m. Mommy will call before bedtime to blow kisses to both her Philips.

Monday morning - Make sure you are dressed and ready for the day BEFORE Little Philip wakes up at 7:00 a.m. Mommy won't be here to cover toddler watch! Cheesy eggs and cinammon toast for breakfast. Pick one of the outfits already laid out on the chair in his room to put him in. Double knot his sneakers before heading out the door. Take his red Trinity CDC bag and be sure he has a fresh full sippy cup with him. Don't forget the kid-napper sleeping bag and a coat. It's going to be cold! Be sure to tell Ms. Rose and Ms. Nita that Mommy is not in town in case they need to call for an emergency.

Monday afternoon/evening - repeat instructions for Sunday evening, replacing meal with turkey pot pie and fruit for dessert. Try to get him to drink some milk. He can have a cheese stick with dinner as well. Mommy will call to say she loves and misses both of you.

Tuesday morning - repeat Monday morning's routine but try to get Little Philip to eat half a banana, offering oatmeal and toast again.

Tuesday evening - Bath time! Do NOT leave the bathroom with Little Philip in the tub. Mommy will be home, God willing, by 9:30 p.m. to gently come in a give Little Philip a goodnight kiss!

Basic instructions:
No stripes and plaid.
Only use outfits laid out on back of chair in Little Philip's room.
Make sure all books are up off the floor to keep Riley from eating them.
Antibiotic ointment on the little sore between his fingers on his right hand.
Kisses, lots of them, and prayers that Mommy will arrive home safely soon!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Vanderbilt vs. Florida

What do you get when you add Vanderbilt alumni, their kids, and a bunch of rowdy Florida fans? The makings of a really good weekend. In lieu of what used to be a girls reunion at the beach, we've opted to venture back to Nashville each year for the first home football game in November. My old roommates and dear friends Allison, Claire, Liz, and Amy were all there along with a gaggle of hubbies and toddlers to keep us all busy.

It was so good to see everyone and we look forward to our ten year reunion next October when we'll cross our fingers to have more friends join us like Erin, Nicole, Marva and others!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

It's been a big Halloween week for us. Philip's school had a costume parade on Monday but Philip wasn't really into it at 15 months old. Still, he tried to put on a good face and like good parents, we had both video and camera ready to capture his weak attempt at a smile. On Tuesday we had the Birmingham-Southern College "Halloween on the Hilltop" festival. Little Philip loved it! We also got to capture some great sunset photos of our little construction worker.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Our new toy

We bought a new camera today! Big Philip and I agreed this WAS our Christmas. Unlike last time when we went for the best bargain for what we thought was high quality, we went for a more professional opinion at Wolf Camera (since cameras are what they do, rather than TVs, DVDs, stereos, computers, and cameras, and...). We looked at the more compact "pocket" cameras just like what we had before and then compared them to the bigger cameras that offered a much faster zoom, focus, and capture. We opted for the bigger camera and also bought the extended 3 year warranty. We aren't normally extended warranty people but it includes a yearly free cleaning and checkup which on this kind of camera, is worth it. And, if this one breaks like the last one did, the entire repair is free and covered. So roll your eyes if you want, we would have too prior to this camera fiasco. We feel good about our purchase and now are focused on learning how the heck to use all the features. If anyone is really big into camera knowledge, let us know if we made the right choice and also tell us some cool things we need to know our new Sony Cybershot DSC-H2. If you click on the name of the camera you will see a website I found that tells me what all the features are. That's great but we still don't know what all that means. We are ready to capture those Halloween smiles this year. Maybe Little Philip will smile unlike last year.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

No Camera, Sad!

You know how you try really, really hard to live by what Dave Ramsey preaches about financial responsibility and good stewardship with the money God blesses you with? Philip and I tried to do that almost two years ago. I was pregnant and we wanted to get a really, really good camera to capture all those wonderful moments with our little one to be. We also bought a camcorder. Both we bought from Best Buy and both were "returned or refurbished" cameras, but the really good kind. We spent for the digital camera and camcorder about what we would have spent for the cheaper models but got the top of the line models. The salesman told us that we were coming in just after Christmas and that lots of people bring back cameras having just "bought" them to use for the holidays and then unethically return them saying "it's not what I had in mind." So, we thought we'd buy those two and take a chance. Now, our digital camera died and it doesn't have any more warranty on it. We tried to get it repaired but the camera shop says it would cost about $200, about what we paid for the camera in the first place. So, right now we are missing all those wonderful photo opportunities we have tortured everyone with on this blog and in person if you've had the misfortune of running into one of us who quickly says "have you seen the latest pictures???" We are saving up for a new camera and this time, we are buying the extended warranty. Sorry, Dave Ramsey , but this time we think it's worth it. So, no photos until we get a new camera. Or, we figure out how to take the really fuzzy ones off our cell phones.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Plague Visits the Mosses

Thursday, 2:30 p.m. - Little Philip gets sent home from Trinity Child Development Center with 102.5 fever. Daddy picks him up and says he's not feeling so hot himself. Miss Nita tells Daddy that another child was sent home earlier that day with a high fever as well. "Aunt B" (Besty Mathews) comes over to watch Grey's Anatomy with us and we manage to keep it together, becuase we LOVE Grey's Anatomy and visits from Aunt B. Late in the evening Mommy gets sick but only once. Daddy stays sick all night.

Friday, 12:30 a.m. - Little Philip wakes up screaming, with 104.5 fever and spitting up. Mommy and Daddy give him Motrin and wait 20 minutes to see if the fever goes down before calling the doctor. The fever starts dropping and Little Philip falls peacefully asleep again. Daddy still sick.

Friday, 7:30 a.m. - Little Philip wakes up with 102 fever and gets more Motrin. Daddy wakes up and gets sick too. Mommy heads to work to coordinate a webinar she wishes she didn't have planned but has to at least get started. 11:30 a.m. Daddy calls and says Little Philip is spitting up again. Mommy comes home. We call Vestavia Pediatrics and the nurse says to start alternating Tylenol and Motrin every 3 hours. Fever comes down. Mommy starts bleaching the house.

Friday 2:00 p.m. - Little Philip is happy is a clam, playing with his alphabet books, chasing the cats, loving on the dog, pleased as punch to have both Mommy and Daddy to play with all day. Mommy stops giving him medicine around 8:00 p.m., thinking maybe the fever is over. Laundry is done, bleaching continues.

Saturday 12:30 a.m. - Little Philip wakes up again with a very high fever. Mommy feels guilty for having stopped giving the medicine and quickly resumes the every 3 hours regimen. 7:30 a.m., Little Philip wakes up with only 99 degree fever which is considered normal in a 15 month old. Success! Saturday evening - Little Philip's fever picks up again around 101.5.

Sunday - Mommy stays home from church with Little Philip who seems like he could go but doesn't want to infect the entire congregation. Daddy gets sick again in the afternoon after thinking maybe he's well enough to have that beef stroganoff Mommy made on Thursday. Mommy eats it too because she sure hasn't had time to make anything else since Thursday. Mommy crosses her fingers she doesn't catch all the germs she is surrounded with by her two boys. In the evening, Mommy goes to NCG (neighborhood community group) church fellowship gathering just to get away from all the germs. She asks for prayers to get through "the plague."

Plan for Monday morning - straight to the pediatrician's office.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Second Trip to the Zoo

Miss Sarah asked to take Little Philip to the zoo on Tuesday. She promised not to go into labor so we said yes. Tuesdays were the days that Little Philip had play group with Parker Pruitt, Sydney Raines Davis and her brother,Wilson. So as a reunion, they all went to the zoo together! I was told by Aimee Davis that while Parker and Sydney Raines were most interested in all the animals (the big kids), Wilson and Philip tended to focus on random things like doors, glass, mirrors, etc. The goats did finally grab their attention though. They ended with a cool dip in the water play area. Apparently, there are spurts of water that pop up all over the place. Little Philip accidentally walked underneath one just as it came up. He wasn't too happy but recovered quickly.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Uh-Oh, we've got our first word

For the past week, we thought we've heard it. He came for a visit to Mommy's office and her colleagues said they heard it. We tried to ignore it in favor of a more traditional first word like "ball" or "dog" or "cat." In the end, we can't deny it any longer. Daddy's first word was horse. Little Philip's first word is "uh-oh." Maybe it's a good thing. His first word (or phrase to get picky) is two syllables. Does that make him verbally advanced? I'd rather think that than how many times "uh-oh" is going to be a justified response in the near future. He'll intentionally walk around the living room, drop a book or his sippy cup and look up at one of us and say really slowly "uh-oh", dragging out the "oh" part a bit for dramatic effect. At the dinner table when he gets full he will start to drop things onto the floor like banana slices or fish sticks. Our dog, Riley, loves those "uh-ohs."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

We have crabs, the good kind

We've said it before, we'll say it again. It's good to be back in the Deep South. Poppy Porter was headed to the lake for the weekend but before he left, he dropped off five soft shell crabs for us to cook. I've never cooked soft shell crabs so straight to the internet I went. Thankfully, the shop had already cleaned them for us so I just had to figure out exactly how to cook them. The most popular way to cook soft shell crabs is to fry them so that's just what we did. Paired with the Moss family BBQ shrimp recipe, a crisp salad, nice glass of wine and a big shell bowl in the middle, we were ready to eat. Little Philip sat at the table with us and enjoyed his PBJ sandwich, vanilla soy milk, goldfish, and string cheese. Everyone was happy. Thanks Poppy Porter! Just to make up for that horrendous post about what is now known as the last Hamburger Helper supper, here is a picture before we sat down to eat.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Daddy's New Job

Big Philip has taken a new job, kind of a dream job so to speak. Anything that brings him back to his beloved Mississippi State University is a dream to him. He is the Assistant Director of Admission and Scholarship for MSU. His territory is North Alabama which is a huge area to cover but an area with a lot of potential for new student recruitment. Right now, he is in Starkville for three days of training. I'm at home single parenting and also assisting with fraternity recruitment at BSC which is going on right now. Little Philip came with me to tonight's recruitment rounds and he walked up and down the sidewalks, trying to follow the potential new members, even trying to go into a few houses. Just in case students thought Mommy was intentionally leading him down specific fraternity sidewalks to their front doors, Mommy then forced him to walk up and down the remaining two houses that did not get a voluntary walk by Little Philip. Afterall, we are interfraternal. Despite popular myth, some deans of students actually do like fraternities.

This is actually the first time I think Little Philip comprehends that his Daddy is gone. He was wandering from room to room tonight babbling "dadadadadadada." Baby Einsten isn't holding Little Philip's attention long enough anymore for Mommy to shower in the morning. We are looking forward to having Daddy back with us.

Monday, September 11, 2006

First haircut

It may not look dramatic, but it is an improvement. Little Philip was starting to look like he had a serious comb over and a Billy Ray Cyrus thing going on off the back with a twinge of curl. It looked like cotton candy with a mullet. Daddy has been prodding Mommy to cut his hair for several weeks. Mommy relented finally and cut my hair herself. How do you like my new do?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Big Boy Toys

We grew into some big boy toys this weekend. First and foremost, everytime we go grocery shopping we wonder, are we big enough to drive the car while Mommy and Daddy shop? Saturday we took our driving test and passed with flying colors. Little Philip spun that steering wheel the entire time we shopped for Labor Day grilling supplies. Then we decided that the entire family needs to spend more time outside. With the fall approaching, we decided to take up biking again. We bought each other bikes for a first anniversary gift and for the most part, the bikes have been in the garage since the move to Birmingham. So today we bought a really cool bike trailer for Little Philip. There is even room for number two when he/she comes along! In the meantime, Little Philip is eager to have a friend join him for a bike ride. He's still not sure about his helmet but is willing to give it a shot for a really fast ride down the hill.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Sick Day

Little Philip started day care at Trinity United Methodist church on Tuesday. Our Miss Sarah only have four weeks left before her baby comes! The week has been fine except for yesterday afternoon when Mommy picked him up. Miss Geraldine was holding him and he looked so very tired. She said she thought he was teething because he only slept for thirty minutes and woke up crying. This morning Little Philip woke up with a 101 fever so Mommy is keeping him home today to snuggle and just feel better. We had cold watermelon for breakfast along with some icy cold vanilla milk to soothe his hurt gums where his molars are coming in. Now we are just snuggled up on the couch learning our shapes by watching Baby Einstein's Baby Newton. Don't we look pitiful?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

MS State vs. S. Carolina

We had some friends over to watch State take on South Carolina. For the most part, the men ended up in front of the TV while the women hovered around the food. We are so glad that it is finally college football season. We are the eternal optimists for both MS State and Vandy. We mean it this time, THIS is our year!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Flight 5191 Crash claims lives of friends

Sunday morning we awoke to the news of the Comair plane crash in Lexington. Immediately we became concerned because the airport is a very small regional airport. We never went there without seeing somone we knew. After church on Sunday we began to call friends in Danville, KY, where we used to live. Leaving message after message our concerned increased. Finally, we were able to speak with Cindy Frye, wife of Centre football coach Andy Frye, and member of our home church there, Grace PCA. The news was not good. Bart Frederick, also a member of Grace, was on the plane. His is survived by his loving wife, Kyra and their three children, Seth, Victoria, and Edie. Bart was on his way to Atlanta to finalize plans to bring his family to Atlanta where he had recently accepted a new job with his company.

The sadness did not end there. We learned through Randy Hays, VP for Student Affairs at Centre, that Centre '04 alum Scarlett Parsley was also on the plane. She was bound for her honeymoon with her husband, Jon Hooker, having just married the night before. Scarlett was in the entering class at Centre in my very first year working there. I can remember her beautiful smile and warm personality as she went through sorority recruitment pledging Kappa Alpha Theta. She was also a cheerleader. In my final year working at Centre, Scarlett graduated, right on time.

Please pray for these families as they grieve this very sudden loss.

"Be joyful always; pray continually;give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Friday, August 25, 2006

Here Comes Miss Sarah's Baby!

Little Philip's last week with Miss Sarah was this week. It is a bittersweet end but not goodbye. We are so very sad to lose Miss Sarah but are so excited to welcome her baby into the world in just a few weeks! Little Philip just woke up from a nap in this picture and clearly, the hair monster came to visit.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bop and Mamie Moss Come to Visit

Mamie and Bop Moss came to Birmingham so that Bop could complete his annual veterinary continuing education seminars. We had such a good time with them! We only wish the visit was longer.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Potential Halloween Costumes

We are starting to think about Halloween costumes for Little Philip. He started walking yesterday, a bit wobbly but enough weight bearing steps to have whisked out the baby book to record this momentous date. We are thinking little cowboy, monkey, or some kind of cute cuddly adorable animal that can run around at the festivals. Googling online reveals some costumes that are just wrong in so many ways. Take a look.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What Twins Would Be Like

Recently, we kept the Hensleys' daughter, Sophia, while her mommy went into preterm labor with her sister, Gabrielle. We are happy to report that Gabrielle is doing well and gaining weight steadily. We LOVED keeping Sophia and despite what everyone may think, it was easy! Sophia and Philip entertained each other the entire time. We put them in the wagon and pulled them around the neighborhood. When people drove by they would honk. I like to think that they were saying "Now there's a mother of twins that has it all together." I have to admit I was a bit proud. BUT, as with any good thing, it came to an end and Sophia went back home to her loving parents. We captured a few good pictures of our weekend together and look forward to more playtime together soon.

A New Low

Our friends the Mathews share great dinner party recipes, complete with pictures. I am so jealous of how delicious everything looks! I really can cook, if I have the time. But tonight I sunk to a new low. In an effort to make a meal that both Big Philip and Little Philip will eat, I made that effortless gourmet Hamburger Helper. I thought myself pretty creative to have tossed in some green peas. When it was finished, it just didn't look very appetizing. The Philips went to town on it. I on the other hand, am searching for the Pepto Bismol. The dog is howling for leftovers. It looks just like his food anyway.