Thursday, May 31, 2007

Reunion Wrap Up

Of all descendants of "Bah" and "Gigi", the two great-grandmothers that prompted this past weekend's Natchez reunion, 43% were in attendance. That's pretty darn good considering we came from New York, Chicago, Boston, Mobile, and Birmingham. I met cousins I've never met before and saw cousins, now adults, that I last saw in diapers. I am the third oldest great-greatchild and the two in front of me were born just months before me. One cousin in particular led to the realization that one of my students at BSC is her cousin too, making him my cousin by marriage. I was thankful that he is one of my favorite students and not one that loathes my presence due to a discplinary intervention. After a facebook message back and forth last night, he confronted me this morning when I arrived to work, saying "well, give me a hug cousin!" I also heard many wonderful stories as the generation above me reminisced about time they spent with their grandmothers. I learned that both my great-grandmother and "Gigi" started every sentence with "chile..." which makes me happy to think about. It's just good Southern family talk. That along with the word "fornication" which apparently was learned at an early age by my mother and her cousins. When translated into Southerness and used in a sentence it is "fornication as happy as this one we should all have drink!"

I also blew my diet on way too much good Southern comfort food at the Carriage House and one heck of a margarita from Fat Mama's Tamales, which is just across from Rosalie Mansion. I highly recommend one if you are ever there. Also, Pig Out BBQ in Natchez is everything Southern Living promised and more. I went back a second time, just to be sure. Besides, their restaurant wall makes me thankful I live in the South.

Little Philip was the youngest in attendance, being the first great-great-grandchild of "Bah and Gigi" who passed away many years ago. He was quite the trooper, staying up way past his bedtime and trying to be a well behaved little boy each night. Daddy was a good boy too.

Now we are off to the Moss Family Reunion at the beach. This will be my seventh Moss beach week, which means we have a six year anniversary coming up. I think I've earned my stripes enough to harass any new boyfriends or girlfriends that might show up, although everyone was nothing but welcoming and nice to me at my inaugural visit. Philip's cousin, Jimbo, is getting married on the beach during our trip which will be such a fun event. After all, Mosses are planning it!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Where Did We Come From and Where Are We Going?

This Memorial Day weekend we are headed to Natchez, MS for a family reunion on my maternal gradmother's side of the family. This is where Philip and I don't like to dig too deep into our family history. Somewhere, we are related, we're sure of it. This is the McCown-Sapp family reunion. The McCowns are first cousins to the Wettermarks. The Wettermarks are my mother's family. Honestly, I know a few names but this will truly be a treat to make some personal family connections! The weekend is filled with Southern hospitality, good food and tours of the historical homes and town in which our family began. For you genealogy or history buffs, this is Renie's genealogy that prompts this reunion.

Renie's great-great-great grandmother is:Rosa Marron who grew up in Natchez Mississippi, marrying John Hart of Omega Plantation, Vidalia, Louisiana.

Renie's great-great grandparents are Rosemary Hart , born on Omega Plantation in Vidalia Louisiana. She was educated at the Sacred Heart convent in Natchez before marrying my great-great grandfather, James Moore McCown He was born in Marshall, Texas. He met Rosemary Hart while working in Natchez, MS. They settled in Mobile, AL, where they raised 8 children. He was owner of McCown Oil Company in Mobile. Among the 8 children is my grandmother, Helen Wettermark, who had 7 children of her own. Among the 7 children is my mother, Irene Wettermark Porter.

Then Renie was born and all was good with the world :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Our Wonderful Dr. Lyle

This past week we received difficult news that my wonderful OB/GYN, Dr. Jim Lyle, was diagnosed with Burkitts-like lymphoma. Words cannot begin to express how attached I am to this man, who safely brought my beautiful son into the world. He is a phenomenal family man and loved by many. After Philip's birth, nurses in the hospital would see on my chart that Dr. Lyle was my doctor and they would just beam, saying "don't you just love him?" Needless to say, he is amazing and has such an encouraging spirit. We are praying for his speedy recovery. His practice set up a blog for everyone to stay in touch as he goes through intensive chemotherapy. Please pray for Dr. Lyle and his family as they support one another through this difficult trial.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday's Beautiful Weather

The weather today was absolutely perfect! The temperature was around 77 for a high and with a slight breeze and sunny skies, we spent the entire day outside. First. Poppy Porter surprised us with a hot breakfast and Little Philip ate grits, eggs, toast, and sausage. After breakfast, Poppy Porter took Little Philip on the front steps for some sidewalk chalk art. Mind you, the rest of the neighborhood was still fast asleep just before 8:00 a.m.!

Then we spent the midday pressure washing and staining the new deck, which has been a task we've avoided for too long now. We are halfway through that project but will finish up after church on Sunday. Then, we visited Aunt Lizzy at Magnolia Creek, a retreat center where she is working to again be in recovery for her eating disorder. The visit was wonderful and Little Philip loved trying to feed the ducks. The ducks never would come over because of the dogs that there were visiting, but it didn't dampen anyone's spirits. In fact, Little Philip's favorite activity was hiding in the trash can full of the corn he was feeding to the ducks. Daddy tried to "throw him away" and then we would sing Pop! Goes the Weasel to get Little Philip to jump back out again. After our afternoon visit, NeeNee and Poppy joined us for some yummy Italian food at Petrucelli's before we headed home to read Goodnight Moon and crash for the night. Little Philip was clawing to get into bed. We love days like this!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sweet Moments Make for Good Memories

As I put little Philip to bed tonight, I couldn't help but to linger, staring down at him in his crib, softly rubbing his back as his little hands reached back to hold my fingers. I know I'm his Mama but it was one of those moments when I believe he is God's most beautiful creation. While I miss those quiet moments more and more I am also thankful that our little boy is starting to find his voice:
"Philip, what is your favorite color?" - "YELLOW!"
"Philip, what color is the tree? - "YELLOW!"
"Philip, what color is Riley? - "YELLOW" (he is black)
"Can you give Riley a hug?" - (running towards the dog) "Ra Ra!"
(Getting out of the mommyvan tonight and staring at the night sky) - "dars!" and "boon!"
"Philip, who made you?" - "Gah!" (God)
"Philip, who loves you?" - "Jessssssshhh" (Jesus)
"All around the mulberry bush, the money chased the weasel, the monkey laughed to see such a sight... (Philip interjects)'POP!' goes the weasel!"
"Philip, can you count Mommy's toes?" - "two, two, two, two ,two, two...."
(Reading Goodnight Moon) - "...and little young mouse" - "eeh! eeh! eeh!"
"Philip, is that a dinosaur on your shirt?" - "roooaaaaar!"
(When Mommy or Daddy enter the bathroom) - "tee tee? tee tee?"
(Pushing a truck or car around on the floor ) - "bbbbbbbrrrrrrrr" or "whoah!"
(Whenever we open the fridge) - "cheese!" or "juuuuush!"
Our favorite: "Philip do you love Mommy and Daddy? - "laaaaaahv" followed by a butterfly kiss or tight squeeze (our hugs)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Come Back Kid

Little Philip finally started turning the corner on Friday afternoon. Saturday was filled with activities to make up for being cooped up inside all week! First we started our day by watching Daddy run in the ALNEDA 5K Charity Run. He came in eighth in his age division.

Then, we headed over to the "We Love Homewood Day" community festival, where Little Philip enjoyed riding the train, walking around an inflatable obstacle course for toddlers, and playing with his balloons. Then Mommy and Daddy ate BBQ while Little Philip ate his hot dog. Then it was nap time.

After nap time, we did a little yard work, enjoying the warmth of the sun and getting Little Philip to start getting his strength back after being in our arms, literally, for six days straight.

Next, we reconnected with our "old" Kentucky home by watching the Kentucky Derby. Little Philip wanted to ride his horse while watching the historical moment. It was so cute we had to capture it on video. In the video we are cheering for a horse that's owners are here in Alabama. The horse is named for their Alabama farm.

Then, we attended our very first parade! Little Philip loved the policemen on motorcycles but like so many little boys, he especially liked the big red fire engine. Then, from across the street, he spotted his friend, Kate, who goes to school with him. After the parade ended, and not before he had a butterscotch sucker firmly implanted in his mouth, he and Kate said hi, giving each other the cutest little hugs and kisses.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Virus Update

Thanks for all our family and friends who have helped us so far with this nasty little virus plaguing the Moss house. Today was not great, but at least we didn't end up back at the ER. I have to say phenomenal things about both our pediatrician, Dr. John Simpson and Vestavia Pediatrics. As adults, we usually have to wait days before a doctor can see us. Each time we have needed a pediatric consultation by phone or examination in person, Vestavia Pediatrics has been there with not one bit of anxiety or frustration for us. Night nurses call us back within 5- 10 minutes of our initial call. Walk-in and call-in appointments are also never a problem. Beyond that, our first experience with the emergency room as parents was at Children's Hospital here in Birmingham. It was a good decision by Dr. Simpson to whisk us downtown for the IV fluids where we were treated with quick care, lots of kindness, and comfort by everyone there. It should tell you something if we can remember each of the names of the doctors and nurses in such an emotional situation. So, if you have to go down to the Birmingham Children's Hospital ER, look for nurses Clay or Wilson, as well as Dr. Jennifer Collins, who will probably be on maternity leave by June. Tell them we said hi and thank you again.

Little Philip had not thrown up since 10:00 p.m. Monday night and had one wet diaper (barely) by morning and an even smaller one this afternoon. When we headed into the afternoon today, we gave him a little more pedialyte in a sippy cup rather than the oral syringe. He kept everything down until about 5:00 p.m. when a good bit came back up. This happened just before Mommy started crying while watching the movie Dumbo, where "Baby Mine Don't You Cry" is sung while Miss Jumbo gently rocks Dumbo to console him. Little man has been terribly lethargic, basically laying on mommy or daddy all day, napping on and off. He'll verbally respond every now and then and he even played "get your nose" once or twice today. Now the diarrhea has started back up and we are giving it a little bit longer before we call the night nurse to ask if we need to do anything different before morning comes. Little Philip is actually quite content right now, even eating a bit of applesauce and about four bites of a plain baked potato. Nurse Vicki from Vestavia Pediatrics called to check on us today and said to call first thing on Wednesday with a progress report. Incidentally, Nurse Vicki was nurse to our Dr. Simpson's father, Dr. David Simpson. Dr. David Simpson was mommy's pediatrician. Nurse Vicki, after realizing the connection, called little Philip a grand-patient today and said how much she enjoyed having been at Vestavia long enough to see families like ours, the next generation of patients and families.

If there is any good news in this, mom and dad are still virus free and we pray we will stay that way rather than pass it around like so many of our friends have experienced.