Sunday, August 31, 2008

Six Random Facts about Renie

Per Sarah's request, here are six, scratch that, four random facts about me. As a woman, I have to leave some level of mystery to remain a bit alluring. Arrrgggh (ok, that was supposed to sound sexy but typed out it just does not work).

1. I am obsessed with wedding cake icing. I love it. If you ever see me at a wedding, I'm usually up close when they cut the cake, towering over the little kids also hoping for the piece with the most icing. I am particularly fond of square or octagonal wedding cakes. Why? If I play my cards right, I end up with a corner piece with at least three sides of icing. Don't believe me? Check out your wedding albums for the cake cutting picture and see if you see me salivating somewhere nearby trying to photo-bomb your picture in order to get the big icing piece.

2. I love to plant and garden. I know our current house does not allow me to indulge this hobby of mine but someday soon I hope to recreate my big vegetable and herb garden we made in Kentucky. After reading See you in 100 Years, I long to put such a project in action, but with plumbing, and electricity. Besides, have you seen how much a red bell pepper is in the store? $1.49? Please, a bell pepper plant barely cost that much at the start of planting season!

3. I love novels about the South, the more Gothic and bizarre the better. I love Pat Conroy, have read everything by William Faulkner, and hope and pray that the rumor is true that, upon her death, Harper Lee will posthumously publish a second novel to follow the amazing To Kill a Mockingbird. If anyone knows of a really good contemporary novel set in the South, please let me know. I read the Ya Ya trilogy year ago and thought Little Altars Everywhere was the best of the three in the series. Since then, I have tired of all the fake wannabe authors that followed like the Sweet Potato Queens. Give me a serious read!

4. Before I had children, I had a strong aversion to children. Just ask Big Philip. I would complain all the way to church when we lived in Kentucky when I knew we had nursery duty. I'd sleep the rest of the day recuperating from the ordeal. Being around friends with kids in social situations drove me crazy because the kids wanted me to play with them the entire time. I mean, it's pretty hard to balance a wine glass while building a lego house, right? Now I try to be sensitive to friends who don't have kids because of this. Sometimes I see that same look in their eyes and I empathize, really I do. Big Philip has always been so good with children that I call him the human jungle gym. Don't think I didn't notice that when we were dating! I prayed he would rub off on me and he did. That and something chemical happens to women like me when they see their babies for the first time. It's complete love, no other way to describe it.

Anyone else have secrets they want to air out?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Budding Artist

Earlier this week Little Philip painted a picture of his sister and I was amazed to see that he can now form recognizable features. This video shows him describing his artwork. I love seeing such skills develop!
This morning Little Philip wanted to color so we pulled out his floor pad and crayons. He said he wanted to draw NeeNee and Poppy and Mamie and Bop Bop. Here are the pictures of his two sets of grandparents. He was very particular to point out the glasses on his Poppy. When he drew Mamie and Bop's heads he pointed out that the big head was Bop's and the little head was Mamie's. He drew NeeNee and Poppy first so by the time he started on Mamie and Bop he realized he wanted to draw the "body" too. You can see the addition of torsos on Mamie and Bop's picture.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Magic "Within"

I can't remember what we bought that had a sample of Lik-a-maid Fun Dip in it but it simply should not be given to a three year old, no matter how desperate you get for the latest "if you go to the potty you will get..." item. If not for a potty training accident about an hour later that required a bath, how long do you think it would have been before I realized Little Philip had about a tablespoon of razzle dazzle magic apple green powder in his belly button? Furthermore, how did it get in there instead of his mouth?
Poor kid, he didn't know that razzle dazzle magic apple green powder's magic is that it turns blue in your mouth. He looked like a Chow dog all day.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Oh So Tired

Did I mention that at over five months of age, Helen is still not sleeping through the night? Did I also mention that she thinks bottles are a thing of evil? And did I mention that she believes pacifiers are spawns of the devil?

Sleep training is underway and we are down to two night wakings instead of three. Tuesday is the day we "break her" from her dependency on Elsie the Cow (that would be me) by forcing the bottle issue. She can still have the good stuff, but she is going to have to vary her drinkware, if you know what I mean. By next week, I am committed to waking each morning next to my husband again, instead of passing out exhausted in the spare bed in Helen's room.

In the meantime, I've no energy to even upload some recent pictures of happenings around the Moss house. I can't completely blame Helen. Afterall, watching the Olympics has burned the retina out of my eyes each night for sixteen days straight.

So briefly our happenings have included parting with our friend, Wilson, at his third birthday party. We've see super cute pictures from that on facebook (don't you want to join? We played with our friend, Lauren and her little sister, Emily, at Homewood Park and had a picnic lunch there. We also fed the ducks with our friend, Max. And you can see pictures from that on the Nipper's Corner here. Yep, my friend Renee is busy showing me up by updating her blog more regularly that I despite having just given birth two weeks ago.

What have we not done?
Changed the cat litter (actually cross that one out, thank you, Daddy!)
Completed potty training (then again, are men ever completely potty trained?)

Once I get a handle on my household this week by channeling some June Cleaver vibes, I'll be back in touch.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Caption this Photo - Updated!

Over the last few weeks, I have heard many family members and friends that they read our blog often. That makes me very happy as I intended for this to be a way to stay connected and share some of our memories with everyone. Just for kicks, I thought I'd post a silly picture that Little Philip wanted me to take of his sister. So here is your homework: each person who sees this is to provide a caption for it. If you've never left a comment on our blog, all you have to do is click the comment link below this post and follow the simple instructions. Your email address is not visible to the public, so simply create a username if you've not already. It's simple! So, what would you caption this lovely babe?
And the winner is our friends, the Underwoods, with :
I ate Philip's lizard ... but forgot to hide the evidence.
Underwoods, next time y'all grace the great state of Alabama with your presence, I owe you some homemade peanut butter pie. Hold me to it!

Another Busy Week

This past week was tremendously busy but so much fun! We started off the week with Little Philip starting preschool at All Saint's Episcopal Preschool. He absolutely loves being back in school. He craves the structure and loves singing, dancing, painting, and playing with new friends. His teachers say he is very loving and is a big help when they put away their toys each day. Both the sets of grandparents were in town, with NeeNee and Poppy Porter coming to move Aunt Lizzy out of her apartment and Mamie and Bop Bop Moss coming for the annual veterinary conference. That meant Little Philip had every book he owned read to him and he triumphed in persuading two grandparents into taking naps with him in his bed. NeeNee helped me create some ready to smock bishop dresses and bubbles for Helen while Poppy did what he does best, tire Little Philip out playing in the backyard and helping him with bath time (notice the goggles in the accompanying picture). Mamie and Bop Bop helped us finally finish our kitchen renovations. While Mamie and I tended to the little ones, Big Philip and his dad hung the tin tiled back splash. Let me tell you that they make this look super easy on HGTV but it is anything but! Working all afternoon and night Friday as well as Saturday, it was finally finished. It looks so good and for those of you who read about the cockroach experience, everything did get taken out of the cabinets and cleaned in the process.

We had a major scare on Saturday morning when we realized we had not seen our beloved cat, Atticus, since Thursday night. He must have slipped out the front or back door when we were coming or going. Saturday morning we called for him in the front yard and were met by a neighbor who sheepishly handed us his red collar and tag that was found on her driveway by the fence. It was a sickening feeling. I hung up lost cat signs immediately and prayed for the best. Little Philip asked all day long, is Atticus lost? Did Atticus run away? Mommy choked back tears all day trying to put on a brave face. Late Saturday night I put one more thing in the recycling bin on the deck and took a peek out the back gate to find Atticus sitting by our cars. It was a huge relief!

I had hoped to take a picture of Big Philip and Bop Bop enjoying their morning coffee in front of their kitchen handy work this morning but drinking coffee and visiting a bit more was much more important. Doesn't it look great?
Thank you to Mamie, Bop, NeeNee, and Poppy for a wonderful visit and lots of help!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cutting the cost of groceries

I have to give my brother-in-law, Robb, credit for pointing me to this witty tidbit today on the Onion site. Next time I'm at ALDI, I'll write down the names of some of their humdinger brands. The only thing I can remember now is Stagemaster sloppy joe sauce, which I would never recommend anyone else try, unless you are a really mean dog.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

And now for your listening pleasure

Philip is in Starkville for the better part of this week working which means I get to listen to music like this. I promise I'll remove it after tomorrow. This is what happens when you serve as a sorority national officer and Greek advisor for too long. You become a fan of the Cheetah Girls.

No more girl power rock on the blog as of 10:30 on Monday night. Stay tuned for pictures of Little Philip on his first day of 3K preschool at his new school!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

It turned its neck and looked straight at me.

Seriously it did. Here I was being all Betty Crocker when I opened the cabinet above the sink to find a cockroach, a huge cockroach staring back at me. Seriously, he was about five inches long and his antlers, err, I mean antennae were that at least that long as well. It was so big you could hear it walking. Big Philip was at the store so when I screamed, Little Philip naturally screamed too, thinking woohoo! a game! The Mama Bear in me came out as I yelled GET BACK PHILIP! DO NOT COME IN HERE! Of course, my little bear crept closer and closer and asked what I was doing about every two seconds. First, I picked up the phone ready to demand that my husband come home that instant to rescue me. But then I thought, I'm at home full time now, and I have to learn to deal with these things. So, I found our can of roach spray and came back to the kitchen. The cockroach was gone. It could be anywhere. Including my hair, as I screamed again shaking like a possessed lunatic, frantically gouging my scalp and my son to be sure the monster had not jumped onto either of us. Then I saw it, peering out of the coffee filter box. Now, as you know from the latest posts, we are on an extremely tight budget. The thought of sacrificing my unbleached cone filters was horrific but it had to be done. I sprayed and the cockroach instantly started to run around on everything else in the cabinet. I screamed louder. So did Little Philip. Then, it made a flying leap into the sink below where it tried desperately to climb the stainless steel sides. From the sound of the legs clicking on that stainless steel you would have thought I had a live blue crab in there. I mean, it had a jointed neck. I know because it turned and looked at me! Mind you, all this time, I am still screaming, squealing, jumping up and down as if the kitchen floor is electrified. Little Philip is still screaming and jumping in circles, mimicking my every move but out of glee instead of sheer terror. This is all a big joke to him and Mommy is about to call the paramedics. And who knows where I left Helen at this point! So I found the longest metal spoon I own and jammed the sucker down the drain and then, and only then did I hit the disposal button. I let it run for about ten minutes with scalding hot water to be sure there would be no escape. After this ordeal ended, I was left with one of my obsessive compulsive urges to throw everything away in every cabinet and to bleach every single inch of surface space. Instead, I tossed the affected coffee filters, a roll of Ritz crackers that were just above the filters, and wiped clean everything around where the roach spray would have hit.

Seriously, my heart rate is insanely fast even now, 24 hours later, to be sharing this story. Big Philip just rolled his eyes when he came home. I mean, I at least expected a "hey honey, I'm proud of you, that was so brave!" or maybe a congratulatory hug. But no, just an eye roll.

So this begs the question. Do you ever take everything out of your kitchen cabinets to disinfect the shelves, walls, bases, screws, washers, bolts, clips, (insert additional hardware here depending on your level of compulsion)? If you do, how often do you do it?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Overheard at the Dinner Table

Mommy: Philip, eat more of your sloppy joe sandwich.

Philip: I don't like that sloppy joe sandwich.

Mommy: Philip, it is not polite to say you don't like the food served to you.

(Long pause)

Philip: Please, I don't like that sloppy joe sandwich.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Budget Applique

I wanted to give applique a try so I cut out the letter "P" for Philip from some old t-shirts of mine. I know it's not fancy or surged around the edges like professional applique but I like the rough look of it. It's very little boy. It looks a little bit like the rough applique in the Mini Boden catalogue only it did not cost me an arm and a leg. Little Philip liked it so much he slept in it last night. I'm going to continue to work on my technique. My goal is to do a big maroon paw print on a shirt for him to wear to an MSU game this fall. And for the Vandy game, I'll try a big yellow star with the V in the middle.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

C Is for Cookie and Tunnel Vision

This week I promised Little Philip that we would make some cookies with his new cookie cutters he received for his birthday from his cousins. It is so brutally hot in Alabama this time of year, I am struggling to come up with activities ("active" being the key part of that word) to keep little man's attention during the day. As soon as I promised him cookie making it occurred to me that I needed to find a good recipe for cut out cookies, and since I am involved, it had to involve really good sugary icing. I found a good recipe in my Classic Betty Crocker cookbook my mother gave to me for Christmas the first year we were married.
I pulled out my beloved Kitchenaid that gets short shrift sitting in the closet these days. It made quick work of beating that sugar cookie dough into the perfect ball to chill overnight. Guess what Little Philip's first thing to say was yesterday when he woke up? "I want to make cookies." So we did. He picked out all the shapes he wanted to use from the 101 possible shapes. We made ducks, dogs, suns, stars, circles, hearts, dog bones, gingerbread men, airplanes, dinosaurs, and spelled out "Philip", "Mommy", and "Daddy." When the cookies were cooling, the "A" from Daddy disappeared. I think we had a little sneaky tester.
We also slept in our tunnel NeeNee and Poppy gave us for our birthday. We made it about an hour before we heard over the monitor him asking to get in his big bed. But we love playing in our tunnel filled with balls. He asks Mommy to get in a play with him saying "there is room for you in here." Technically there is room if I contort my body into some obscure yoga pose to squeeze through the tunnel to get in with him. It is eerily reminiscent of a certain experience I've had twice in life now.