Monday, April 28, 2008

The sweetest big brother ever

In these first five weeks of Helen's life, so many people have asked how Little Philip has adjusted to sharing the attention of mommy and daddy. More than anything, we are having to share his attention with Little Helen. He is a precious big brother.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pioneer Woman


A coworker of mine showed me The Pioneer Woman blog about a year ago and I was hooked immediately. This woman is superwoman. She is a wife and mom, having moved way out to the country to marry her Marlboro Man. She regularly shares installments of the romantic "how they met" story along with the most beautiful pictures of their life together on the ranch. For added fun, she refers to her children as "punks" and posts stunning pictures of them as well. She is also a great cook and shares recipes, along with step by step pictures of the cooking process. The way she writes about mothering is beautiful, and it is clear she is a devoted and wonderful mother. She is also quite witty, and honest, and well, she's just all around cool, even though I'll never meet her. She inspires me.



Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stay At Home Chaos

It's official. I really stink at this stay-at-home-mom thing. Helen is into her fifth week of life so, in my opinion, a routine should be in place, or at least a general routine. So, for the last few days, this has been my to do list:
  1. Buy new humidifier for Helen's room (she has the sniffles)
  2. Buy storage caps for Dr. Brown's bottles in prep for work in a few weeks.
  3. Get china out of storage at parent's house
  4. Find place to store china in our house
  5. Change sheets on all beds
  6. Bleach and scrub bathroom tub and tile
  7. Mop kitchen floor and bathroom floor
  8. Finish laundry
  9. Lose 20 pounds.
  10. Shop for groceries
  11. Vacuum

Let's see, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 are complete. However, I'd like to note that 6 was a necessity, since Little Philip added "new toys" to his bubble bath tonight rather than ask to get out and sit on the potty. The china is in all those cute little storage containers all over our dining room table as I've not found the time or space to move it yet. I've had to redo a load of laundry as it sat in the washer so long it soured. Dishes are piled high either in the sink or on counters. The floors were mopped Sunday but are already nasty again, making me wonder how I ever let Little Philip down there when he was first crawling. Toys are in every room all over the floors, and clothes no longer are separated into dirty or clean on beds and dressers. I just grabbed them all and put them in the dirty clothes, which only made the laundry situation worse. I'm sick as a dog from the dust and pollen this year, and poor little Helen has the same problem being a spring baby. This is why I bought a new humidifier for her room. Whenever I'm sick like this, I get a bit obsessive about cleaning and I can't get it done!

The house is a complete wreck and I can't seem to find the time to keep the house clean! How the heck to other people do this? I've been to friends homes over the past few weeks, friends that are willing to be themselves for play dates so I know they aren't frantically cleaning on account of my coming over. Their homes are orderly and clean. Philip and I were talking over dinner tonight and he thinks it is because our house is so small, exactly 1400 square feet. If we had a bigger house to spread out, we'd probably have the same amount of furniture but have more storage and places to "live" vs. keep clean. He may have a point but moving up in house is out of the question. Besides, this house was built in the 1940s and back then, families with two or more children grew up in this house. We should live within our means and be able to do it as well. Still, I long for a basement activity room with a hidden stairwell where I would be able to hide the mess and let the children play.

I'm up for suggestions and definitely up for any how-to books anyone can recommend for my sanity!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Batman

When Mamie was here helping us after Helen was born, she brought a box of t-shirts from Big Philip's childhood. Also in the box was a batman cape that Mamie made for Big Philip when he was a boy. At first, Little Philip was resistant, not knowing who Batman was (or is). We showed him a youtube clip of the original batman themesong. Now he's hooked.
video

Monday, April 14, 2008

Natchez Wedding

I am Southern, but coming back from a perfect wedding weekend in Natchez, MS makes me feel really blessed to be from the South. It's not anything in particular that makes me feel so blessed but the mixture of it all, just like a big pot of gumbo. The weather, the city, the history, the tradition, and most of all the family. But family is not limited to blood relatives in the South. And here is where I have to make a confession.

You see, when Philip and I were to wed almost seven years ago now, the the dilemma was how to accommodate two large families along with a myriad of well wishing guests. For me, I could not resolve the girlish visions I'd had for my wedding with the growing number of guests. I had imagined more flowers than you could ever imagein, silver platters filled with delicious gourmet foods, open bars in every corner, and a band that would make anyone dance the night away. But as any wedding planner will tell you, the best way to cut the cost of a wedding is to cut the number of guests. So Philip and I were in Lexington one day having lunch with his parents, about three months before the wedding. As one would expect, the conversation was all about the wedding to be. At the time, I was stressed out that in Brownsville, TN, you did not send invitations. Instead, you announced the wedding in the town newspaper and invited all family and friends. There was simply no way to estimate what the attendance would be at the wedding. As I politely tried to share my anxiety on this point, Philip's father explained to me how many family and friends had been in Philip's life over the years, supporting him and the family, and how weddings are a time to celebrate the life of two people who would not be where they are on that altar if not for the love and support of family and friends. He ended by saying that this might mean serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on paper plates at the reception but in the end, true friends don't care what they eat, they only want to be there in support of such an important day in our lives. I seem to recall nervously asking what kind of jelly the Moss family preferred. In the end, our wedding was beautiful, with just the right mixture of flowers, food, beverage, and yes, there was dancing.

I knew George was right but perhaps age and almost seven years of being a part of the Moss family has helped that thought to marinate and stick in my heart, mind and soul. So this weekend, being there to celebrate the marriage of Marcus and Hannah provided yet another reminder of what family is all about. While the beautiful background of live oaks dripping with Spanish moss in the yards of historic homes was lovely, the real beauty was in the warm embraces and memories made among family and friends.


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Planning for Summer Activities

Already, the temperature here in Alabama is turning hot and humid. Today's temperature should be in the upper 70's, and it's just April 6th. I am trying to think ahead to the summer time when I will no long have the luxury of sending Little Philip to Trinity for a fun-filled day of activities with friends. While some may think of me as a bad mother for continuing to take him there while I'm out on maternity leave, others will agree that an almost three year old boy would much prefer a day of art, singing, learning, playground time, and creative movement to sitting around the house or going on yet another walk around the neighborhood with his two week old sister.

FREE EVENTS:
I've already started to print out the Homewood Public Library monthly activity calendar which includes many free events. I know some friends also go to the Hoover library for their children's activities. I'm counting on the library as a major rainy day activity for us since Little Philip loves to read books and pick out new ones each week.

Another site I've found that provides a calendar of activities, many of which are free is activeculture.info. For instance, if we'd had the time, last night we could have attended an event near Jacksonville State University involving a man that serenades thousands of frogs into singing and performing. Little Philip would have loved that. If we were going to be here this next weekend we would definitely be attending the Birmingham Museum of Art's Amazon Adventure Family Day, filled with balloon animals, face painting, and craft activities having to do with the Amazon rain forests and jungles (think feathers, lots of them). While not all activities and events on activeculture.info are free, many of them are and there is a kid-friendly link on the calendar that makes it easy to see what activities are upcoming in our area.

NON-FREE ACTIVITIES:
Well, we've been a member of the Birmingham Zoo this past year and our membership expires June 30, 2008. When we joined, we included a note that we were referred by our friend Renee and "Max Whale" . By doing this, Max and his family received a one month extension on their family zoo membership. So, shamelessly and without hesitation, if you are thinking about joining the Birmingham Zoo this year, consider letting them know in your membership that Philip and Renie Moss referred you. We would greatly appreciate it since we will be renewing our membership for $99 this year. Extending that expense by a month or two would be awesome since we will be a one income family come July!

We are also considering joining the Homewood Parks and Recreation which would give us access to both community pools, the gym and cardio rooms (think baby weight, GONE!), and the tennis and basketball courts. This is an additional expense for the one year family membership but we think it's worth pinching pennies now to provide us with an additional outlet for family in the year ahead. Also, Little Philip turns three in July and we are thinking he'll be getting into some sports in the coming year. Poor thing, his parents are so not athletic. This will be a challenge.

For all you stay at home moms out there, what are some other freebie or low cost activities you would recommend for this soon-to-be stay at home mom? My pen and paper are poised for taking notes!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Someday







There are some books that are meant to make mommies and daddies cry. Even though Helen is only two weeks old, we are already sad that she will grow up one day, just like her brother. Some friends gave me this book, Someday, by Alison McGhee and Peter H. Reynolds. I highly recommend it if you feel like life's fast pace is keeping you from enjoying the sweet little moments with your children. Because...
One day I counted your fingers and kissed each one.
One day we crossed the street and you held my hand tight.
Then you were my baby, and now you are my child.
Sometimes, when you sleep, I watch you dream, and I dream
too...

That someday you will dive into the cool, clear water of a
lake.

Someday you will walk into a deep wood.
Someday your eyes will be filled with a joy so deep that they
shine.

Someday I will stand on this porch and watch your warms waving to me
until I no longer see you.

Someday you will look at this house and wonder how something that feels
so big can look so small.

Someday you will feel a small weight against your strong
back.

Someday I will watch you brushing your child's hair.
Someday, a long time from now, your own hair will glow silver in the
sun.

And when that day comes, love, you will remember me.
Anyone else need a tissue?






Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Little Philip's Brownsville Adventures




Little Philip spent this past week in Brownsville with all of his cousins, grandparents and great grand parents. I've already posted what happens when little girl cousins get a hold of him, but let's see what else made our little boy smile so much this past week.