Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gandalf! ... Is Everything Sad Going To Come Untrue?

We got back Monday night after an unexpected trip to Nashville to honor the life of Joseph Peabody, the 4-year-old son of some dear friends who just passed away after battling cancer. This silly blog was never meant to be a spot to wrestle with agonies such as these (and I would do a terrible job trying), so instead I'll share one of my favorite personal moments with Joe P.

Prepare to be astounded by my babysitting savvy.

Joseph was probably around 17 months old and we decided to take a trip to Target so that his mommy could sit down for 2 seconds together (she was about 8 1/2 months pregnant with her daughter, Holly). Anywhere else and Joseph would be running at approximately 62 mph, but place him in a Target shopping cart and he'd sit there wide-eyed as long as you'd stroll him around. It was magical. So here we are, taking in the Home Improvement section, and he asks me for a sip of my Dr. Pepper. (Enter my savvy.) I say, "Sure, here you go!" (Reminder: I had not had children of my own.) Joseph takes a nice big gulp, then gives me a look of confusion and horror and delight. Priceless expression that surprised me and made me giggle. I thought he'd love it, and it hadn't occurred to me that perhaps Allen and Gillian didn't give there one-year-old carbonated caffeinated beverages on a regular basis. Joseph ponders this experience for a moment, then asks for another sip. As I offer my straw, he leans in tentatively, then jerks back with a huge grin, shaking his head emphatically. Total fake out! Fantastic! I adore a kid with a sense of humor. We played this game for another 5 minutes or so, then eventually we headed back to mommy. As I was relaying all this to Gillian later, she just laughed and said, "Yeah, he's never had soda before!" Oh.

Crazy Aunt Sallie came with us to Nashville to watch Andrew and his beloved Baby Marie for us. (Thank you, Aunt Sallie!) She must have ridden the hotel eh-ticka-ticka-ticka a thousand times to amuse the little ones while we were gone. Andrew also got a huge kick out of the fact that the microwave in our room was right on his level. He had to practice a bit before he was able to open the door without it smacking him right on the nose.

So now here we are, huddled in our house while Fay spits at us, thinking constantly of our friends and trying to focus on the many days spent enjoying them, their gloriously wackiness, and their beautiful children.

Monday, August 18, 2008

That'll Do, Pig. That'll Do.

helping Mommy snap green beans for supper

Life is settling into a nice routine once again. This morning we hung out and waited for our exterminator (blessings and peace be upon him) to come eliminate our German roach infestation. Ahhhhhhhhhh! Funny thing is that they're smaller than our normal horrible GA roaches and so I thought they were something else, and thus wasn't as afraid of them. Now that I know, I'm on 3 different medications just to sleep here. After the bug guy did his thing, we headed over to the farmer's market to re-stock the entire kitchen (not because of the bugs, but because my brother was here this weekend). While I was selecting some basil, a middle-eastern man standing next to me starting yelling to his friend in the next aisle. "Habib!" "Habib!!" Each time he shouted, I heard a little voice from my shopping cart quietly say, "Habib." I was trying not to laugh out loud, thinking the guy wasn't going to notice, but he turned to Andrew with a big grin and said, "That's right ... Habib." Maybe you just had to be there, but it was the highlight of my shopping.

splashing in puddles

This afternoon we went to Kroger for canned goods and such (my brother eats a lot). Last time we were there, the kind check-out lady gave Andrew a lolly pop, so as soon as we pulled into the parking lot he began saying "holly hop!" with considerable passion. Fortunately he was rewarded at the end of our Kroger experience - he'd been quite a trooper with all the shopping.

preparing to roll trucks down the driveway

Another thing The Precious is very passionate about these days is elevators, which he pronounces eh-ticka-ticka-ticka. I love to hear him say this. He can spot one from a mile away (I had no idea there was an elevator near the self-checkout at Kroger) and is usually pretty good about pressing the button I suggest as opposed to the "Push Only In Case Of Fire" button that is bright red and ridiculously low to the ground.

Saturday morning Sesame Street

Bradley is in "jump school" here in Georgia for the next few weeks where he will learn how to jump out of an airplane and not die. According to him, a potato could do it since they're attached to some sort of pole in the plane that opens the parachute for them, but I'm still pretty impressed. And, I mean, you still have to land properly, right? I don't guess a potato would care if both his legs broke off when he hit the ground. Having him here this weekend was great - I laughed a lot. I wish I could re-tell the story of his recent adventure dropping out of a helicopter into the ocean, but I wouldn't do it justice. Let's just say it would have been one of the worst experiences of my life, but he made the whole thing sound hilarious. Bradley doesn't like to sit around much, so he talked me into going rock climbing with him at a gym nearby. I felt so cool and outdoorsy as I learned to tie fancy knots and belay (it's stuff with ropes ... you all wouldn't understand).

Bradley preparing to climb

And now for something totally random. What the heck is this bug?! It lived on the sandbox cover for at least 2 days. Is it a normal sort of bug that everyone else knows about but me, or am I right that it's totally bizarre?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

You're Right. Camping is Good. Time For Bed.

Our whirlwind of a summer is finally winding down. The weekend before last we spent at Lake Murray in SC with Phil's family for Mobley Family Lake Day 2008. Andrew's life jacket was much more comfortable this year, and he had a big time riding around on the boat and floating around in the lake (thank goodness - what in the world would I have done to occupy him on a boat for 3 hours?)

Believe it or not, Capt. Ron actually let someone else toot his horn. Give that guy a Klondike bar.

Andrew's 2nd year was also celebrated with cake and fabulous gifts from the grandparents, aunts and uncles. He was more into opening his presents this time (in the past he preferred to simply oversee Mom or Dad doing the unwrapping).

We all had such a wonderful time, as always. A million thanks to Aunt Gayle and Uncle Ron who opened up their home, fed us all amazing meals, and slaved away to make our time on the lake relaxing and fun.

But that's not all! If you order now, you'll also receive a 5 day trip to Bermuda!

Phil and I got back Sunday night from a fabulous trip to Bermuda to commemorate our 9 years as husband and wife. What a beautiful place! Our first full day there was filled with ferry trips and town explorations. One one particular ferry ride, I had the privilege to sitting near this sexy best and his honey. He kept hitching his swim trunks higher and higher to ensure his way upper thighs got as much sun as possible. It was mesmerizing.

I really like Phil's artsy photo of the Gibbe's Hill Lighthouse. The view from the top was almost as mesmerizing as ferry dude.

The things we did in search of good snorkeling spots ....

We also got to meet up with some long-time family friends, Sis and Eph Simmons. Aren't they lovely? I felt so hip getting to hang out with true Bermudians. I desperately wish I could replicate their accent.

Their home was so beautiful. I could just live on their front porch, sipping cool drinks and gazing out at the ocean. Here's Phil posing under their moon gate. See the lighthouse behind him?

Melvina would not consider being left behind on such an adventure (even though the romantic setting made her pine for Carrothead). She was quite taken with all the British influences of the area, especially when it was time for tea in real china cups.

And she even gave snorkeling a go, despite the fact that her mask leaked quite a bit.

My mom stayed here at our house to take care of The Precious, and they had a ball. My heart soared when we pulled into the driveway to be greeted with such a welcome.

I had to attend several classes my first day back just to get caught up on all the new playtime routines. (For instance, when Ernie or Big Bird go down the trap door, they must climb each stair leading to the door while chanting "One, Two, Three, Four, Take me to the trap door!") He decided to start calling her "Nina" instead of Nana and he's missing her quite a bit. Fortunately Nannie will be here tomorrow to lessen the sting.