Friday, March 27, 2009

Help Whitey

When Big Philip was a little boy he had two stuff animal horses he played with, Fuzzy (brown) and Whitey (white). Both show heavy wear and tear from the many years they were treasured by a young boy. Little Philip brought them back from Brownsville recently and they have now joined an army of animals he sleeps with at night. We recently had Aunt Ellen and Uncle Rob over for dinner and, as has become our custom, we did not sit down to dinner until about 8:30, after we put the kids to bed. In this way, we can have uninterrupted adult conversations...or so we thought.

We are about finished eating at 9:30 pm when we hear over the monitor, "DADDY! HELP WHITEY! HELP WHITEY! COME QUICK! HELP WHITEY!" Daddy goes in and finds Little Philip horrified, pointing to Whitey who has metal sticks poking out from his hooves. Daddy took Whitey out of the room and this left Little Philip thinking that Whitey was going to end up in the trash can like the little dog did about a month ago. More wailing and crying ensued. Daddy promised him that we would fix, I mean, help Whitey and left the room. I'm not sure how we are going to help Whitey but I'm going to give it a try. Maybe while I'm sewing up the feet I can give Whitey the ear he seems to be missing as well. For now, a very large adult human sized brown dog, courtesy of NeeNee and Poppy, is the new bedfellow.

Mardi Gras!

Thank you, Aunt Lizzy and Great Uncle John for sending us Mardi Gras beads! We are having lots of fun with them all over the house.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Overheard at Bedtime Tonight

Mommy: Philip, let's say our prayers.

Little Philip: Mommy, you have pretty eyebrows.

Mommy: Thank you, Philip!

Little Philip: And I have handsome eyebrows because I'm a boy.


Big Philip has requested that I post another picture of the big root pile to show the scale. So Little Philip helped pose to show just how big some of these roots are we have pulled from the yard. Halfway there!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Trees and Tremors

We have now lived in our quaint little cottage for four years. Part of the charm of an older home and older neighborhood are the shady trees and well-worn pavement and sidewalks you encounter each day. It shows history, stories, and I love it all. However, the result of two very mature silver maples and a sweet gum tree is our sidewalk that buckles at a 45 degree angle at one spot and then in the next section the opposite 45 degree angle. Those angles are ever increasing, despite hopes that we would somehow negotiate with mother nature. The driveway is also a complete loss, crumbled and cracked. When Philip drives up I hear the familiar and rather rhythmical "thud, thump, kerplunck-chunk" sound as his tires cause various cracked pieces to move up and down as he pulls in to a stop. If the sidewalk is a loss and the driveway is a loss, we wondered how our crawlspace foundation was faring? Probably not too well and if so, probably not for long. Then there is the issue of dozens of huge surface roots that make it impossible for grass to grow, little feet to pitter patter, and lawnmowers to navigate. The drought two years ago only exacerbated the problems.

Our decision was to remove the trees in order to plant more appropriate size and type trees for the area. In total, we removed three trees from the front yard and a half-dead poplar from the backyard. We plan to replace them with trees more suited to smaller yards such as a red bud and a dogwood. After using our tax return to have four trees chopped and a total of five stumps ground, we were done right? WRONG.

What was left in the yard for us to do was the removal of the surface roots. Surface is the key word here. Both Philip and I are sore from head to toe from swinging the ax, digging with shovels, and pulling with our hands big and small roots from the yard so that we can level the yard and once again, have grass. Have you seen the movie Tremors? It looks like those underground man-eating worms had there way with us after quite a struggle. The picture below shows just how many roots we have pulled from the ground so far. By my estimation, we are at the halfway point.
On the flip side, Philip and I are both getting massive upper-body workouts, something I desperately need. I want Michelle Obama's arms and while she may have a personal trainer and $100+ workout ensembles, I have my tree roots and Kappa Delta sorority shirts from the early 90's. Who's the cool mom now? On second thought, don't answer that.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, Helen!

It was about this time exactly one year ago that our sweet Helen entered this world. She was about three weeks early and we were anything but prepared for that to be the day of her birth. She has taught us to take life less seriously, relax, and enjoy many, many early morning sunrises as she enters most days at dawn.

We had a nice birthday party with family and friends on Saturday. Big brother was his usual sweet self, enjoying the festivities with love and devotion for his little sister. I am still amazed that I, a woman who never considered myself capable of raising children, let alone keeping a simple green plant alive, now have two beautiful and healthy children. Just another example of how good God is.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Meals on a Budget

I'm mooching off my husband's blog for today's post. Check out to see the happy meal he made for Little Philip.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Soccer Mom at Last

Tonight, Little Philip started soccer. It was awesome to see him go for it with such passion and enthusiasm, high-fiving his friends, kicking that ball and stopping it with his little foot, head butting, blocking kicks, and making goals. Of course, this is not what happened.

Instead, he eyed the playground in between the two large soccer fields and cried most of the hour begging to go play on the playground instead. He stuck with the coach's instruction and activities for about ten minutes and then sobbed on the sideline with us since we would not let him go to the playground. As we left the fields at the close of the hour session, along with about one thousand other suburban families in minivans, he sobbed even harder, screaming "I don't want to go home!" Other families just marveled at the extreme dedication our son had to his first taste of the game. We decided to simply let them think that was what the crying was about.
There was this one moment of commitment from him that I caught on video.

Truly the highlight of the night was the hilarious scene of the coach, leading pack of about seven 3-4 year kiddos dribbling in a huge arc until they reach the goal. When the coach said "on your mark, get set, go!" six of the seven took off squealing in glee, bouncing into one another, laughing and having a good time. What happened to the seventh child? That would be our son, who was in his own little world, spinning in circles pointing up and saying "I SEE THE MOON!"

His mom debated in high school and at least his daddy ran track. The point is, he comes by this honestly. We are hanging our hopes on that academic scholarship.

Sunday, March 01, 2009