Sunday, January 20, 2008

Plumber's Crack

The toilet in our back bathroom has been leaking for a while. We thought it was our dog, Riley, who has a terrible habit of drinking out of the toilet during the night and then dripping across the floor on his way back to bed. The leak has become more obvious lately, since a step across the floor results in some squishy water popping up between the tiles. Not good, not good at all.

So, what is a family on a tight budget left to do?

A. Call a plumber (who will likely recommend new sub-flooring first $$$$$$)

B. Let husband give it a try with a $5 new wax toilet seal and a do it yourself manual.

The answer is B. So, Philip got to work today, removing the toilet, carefully following instructions in his how to manual. We really can't tell if the floor is rotten or not. The area just around the toilet is definitely black but we're going to take our chances and see if Philip's handy work can stop the leak, and further damage. Worst case scenario, we fall through the floor, in a rather compromising position no doubt, but only about two feet to the ground.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of my sexy plumber. This is a family friendly blog so a little "paint" did the trick.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Snow Day!

It's not the snow our friends the Mathews get in Greely, Colorado, but it's snow in Alabama which means it is time to act a fool. Little Philip had fun this morning tromping around in the snow dusting that fell, as well as eating snowflakes, stomping in the puddles, being a typical boy. After we were thoroughly soaked from head to toe, we came back inside, to have some hot chocolate milk, tossing our wet clothes into the dryer, in the hopes we might have another good run in the snow after our nap this afternoon.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pregnant breakfast

So I get to work this morning, and one of my students (the same one who enjoys the veggie/fruit analogies for baby size) has informed me that there are leftover hot wings from the Guitar Hero III tournament campus event last night. Naturally, at 8:45 a.m., this sounds awfully tasty.

Mind you, I found another bag of maternity clothing, this time, actual winter clothing, a good thing, since it is hovering between 25-60 degrees in the course of a ten hour cycle here in Birmingham, AL. You need four seasons of clothing just to get through the day. Today I have donned what I think is a beautiful winter white angora sweater, with a beautiful pin tuck design at the sleeve edges and waist. It is a wrap sweater with a satin tie on the side. In my opinion, this is one of the more stylish maternity pieces I own. I must have thought so when I packed this sweater away after Little Philip because I thought to wrap it in plastic before shoving it in a Target bag for storage.

So back to breakfast... I'm standing in the office kitchen, along with a colleague, devouring cold hot wings. I inform her that I need a really saucy one and she points to one that she has decided against. I lift the delectable wing to my mouth, take a rather unfeminine bite and notice her look of dismay and specifically, her pointing finger....towards my enormous belly. I look down to find a nice dime size splat of hot wing sauce, just to the left of where my bellybutton once was. I start to envision the day with ten thousand people pointing their disapproving finger at my huge belly saying "you've got something on you" to which I have no choice but to admit that I ate hot wings for breakfast.

I call Philip, who is going to be passing by the BSC campus anytime now on his way to Huntsville for a college fair or visit of some kind. He no longer questions these bizarre requests, so I simply say, "I ate hot wings from breakfast when I got here and now I have a huge hot wing spot on my white sweater. Can you bring me either the Tide stick or a new sweater?"

I stand waiting in our building's loading zone as Philip pulls up in a brand new white Dodge charger. He looks just like a Georgia state trooper. The rental company has just cleaned the car and as I approach it I notice Philip has all the windows down despite the cold temperature. It smells like a 40 acre pine forest. Philip is dying at the thought of the two hour drive with the pungent smell. He hands me a pale pink sweater through the window, I thank and kiss him, and he shakes his head in disbelief at this latest incident.

By the way, the hot wings were delicious, David. I have no regrets.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Baby Helen Update

One of my students said he has missed the fruit and vegetable analogies of Baby Helen's growth on the blog. So, W.D., this is for you. As of yesterday, Baby Helen is now 28 weeks along, now batting her eyelashes, and responding to light. She is approximately the size of a chinese cabbage, about 2.5 pounds (incidentally, NeeNee Porter weighed this much when she was born very premature). She is likely just shy of 15 inches long (her brother was 21.75 inches when he was born). Her little brain neurons are rapidly developing and she's putting on body fat very quickly now.
Baby Helen is making her presence known, and is quite active, especially up under her mama's right bottom rib. She crunks (it's not dancing because dancing wouldn't hurt like this, this little girl crunks) at 10:00 a.m. and at 1:00 p.m. daily. I've started to have those dreaded leg cramps at night, forcing a gimpy walk the next day for the really painful episodes. I'm likely to gain another 11 pounds within these final eleven weeks, which sounds just dreadful considering I've already gained a little over 20. Still, if I gain all 11 pounds, my total weight gain would be about 15 pounds less than I gained with Little Philip. I passed the glucose test yesterday, barely, but still I passed, meaning I don't have to worry about any strict diet associated with gestational diabetes. That's good, since I just ordered six boxes of Girl Scout cookies.
Again, I pray this will all result in a healthy baby weighing anything UNDER nine pounds. We want Little Philip to get the football scholarship, not his sister.

Cure for insomniac two year old

We are at our wits end. Little Philip has nightly now, awakened at 3:00 or 3:30 a.m., without fail, for about a month. He is not able to fall back asleep. He will cry out for mommy and daddy for a few minutes, then we hear him pad across the floor, plant his head against the door and quietly repeat "eat, eat"..."eat, eat, mommy"

Out of fear that he will either starve to death before morning or fall asleep standing up against that door, one of us will go into his room. If we try to put him back in the bed, he becomes very upset, wailing, and then he really isn't going back to bed at all. We bring him back to our bed where 70% of the time, he immediately lies down and falls asleep or plays "kick mommy/daddy in the head all night." The other 30% of the time he again says "eat, eat"...". We've brought goldfish, bananas, and rice cakes to our bed but to no avail. He's up for good at that point, until about 6:00 a.m. when he falls back asleep, just as we are waking up and need him to start his day as well.

Last night we fed him an hour later, had a ton of people over for dinner which included lots of playtime with three other little ones. He went to bed at 10:00 p.m. He got up at 5:00 a.m. and repeated the above ritual.

We feel like we have a newborn again. We are exhausted and it is starting to show. My mother says this is a typical phase. Could it be teething? He has one top 2 yr molar in but no others. Could it be nightmares and he just isn't able to communicate that to us?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

2008 Resolutions

Goals must have these three characteristics:
1. Time sensitive
2. Measurable
3. Attainable

Big Philip's Resolutions
  1. Exercise at least once a week, for the full month of January (gee, don't over do it, Philip)
  2. Use golf clubs given to me for my January 28, 2007 birthday
  3. Have more consistent quiet times
Renie's Resolutions
  1. Stop biting nails, and mean it this time
  2. Stop, count to ten and saying a little prayer each time anxiety and stress hits me.
  3. Put life priorities back in order (1) relationship with God, (2) relationship with husband, (3) relationship with children
  4. Send birthday card to friends and family this year
  5. Have baby weighing less than 9 pounds on March 31st, and deliver within three hours of labor onset with no pain and no complications (how's that for measurable, time sensitive, and attainable).
  6. And of course, achieve world peace
Little Philip's Resolutions
  1. Potty train before baby Helen's birth
  2. Eat one green bean before 2009 arrives without gagging or vomiting
  3. Regularly use please, thank you, I'm sorry, yes ma'am, no ma'am, yes sir, no sir, without prompting by Mommy or Daddy by my third birthday, July 13, 2008.
  4. Be the best big brother I can be to my new baby sister
  5. Memorize and recite Shorter Catechism by January 1, 2009 (you first, Daddy)

Riley the Dog's Resolutions

  1. Shed less
  2. Whine less
  3. Stink less
  4. Stop drinking out of toilet and dripping across the floor
  5. Lose fear of large purses, black plastic bags, and clothes hanging on hangers

Atticus the Cat's Resolutions

  1. Overcome bulimic tendency to hurl on anything upholstered immediately after every meal
  2. Show some respect to the dog of the house
  3. Shed less

Julep the Cat's Resolutions

  1. Shed less
  2. Stop walking across the heads of my masters while they sleep from 2-5 a.m. each night
  3. Be nice to my human grandmothers when they visit

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

We're Back...

...from our world travels. Well, at least our Deep South travels! We started our Christmas holidays by heading to Brownsville, TN to be with all of our Moss family. Martha, Philip, and Samuel were the two year old junior musketeers, second only to the real musketeers Anna, George, and Elizabeth, all aged four and five. We had a wonderful piano recital from Joy, Delie, and Anna, who performed their beautiful solo and duet pieces taught by their Mamie. Then we all sang the Twelve Days of Christmas, each with our own part. We had our first Christmas morning on December 20th when all of the Mosses could be together. All the grandchildren waited impatiently on the stairs and then ran out to open their presents. Little Philip was most impressed with his stash, a Go Fish game, a silver wind up train, and a remote control airplane. Oh wait, the remote control airplane was Daddy's toy! Baby Helen even received a few gifts, which included her pink and green crib set along with a framed print of Jesus Loves Me, surrounded by pink and green bubbles, perfectly matched for her crib set.

We returned home to Birmingham for December 24-26th and had our second Christmas morning. Little Philip definitely knew what Christmas morning was now, since this was his second run of things. He absolutely loved his new art easel and has been playing with it ever since. Anyone in the market for a great one that is not going to break the bank, consider the Melissa and Doug art easel, which came with chalk, finger paint, paint brushes, dry erase marker, finger paint buckets (screw on lids, yeah!) and a huge clear vinyl drop cloth.

Rounding out our Christmas holidays, we traveled to Mobile to be with the Porter Family. First, we celebrated Poppy Porter's 59th birthday with Memaw and Papa Julian on December 28th. Sometimes you catch the perfect picture as someone is just about to blow out their candles. This one takes the cake, no pun intended. Papa Julian enjoyed a bit of easy chair fishing, playing with Little Philip's Go Fish game. We met our newest cousin, Dylan, along with his proud Mommy, cousin Danielle. Little Philip was adorable playing with him, gently, thank goodness! We also visited Mama Gel and Papa Bear Wettermark at their new home in Somerby. Then, on December 28th, Little Philip was very excited to have Christmas morning number three! Last year Santa brought him an Elmo and he has been afraid of this "Stretch Me Elmo." Honestly, pulling arms and limbs that hard would scare me too. This year, NeeNee and Poppy gave him the new Tickle Me Elmo and he was enthralled as you can see. He also enjoyed his Cajun Night Before Christmas book from his Great Uncle John and his alligator book with the snapping alligator head on top.

We finally headed home on New Year's Eve to go through "grandparent detox" to get Little Philip back on his regular schedule before he returns to school tomorrow morning. We took down all of our Christmas decorations for the year but smiled knowing we will be adding one more stocking to the mantle next year for baby Helen. We know we have room for the stocking, now we just have to make room for her, and fast!