Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bickies In The Air Like You Just Don't Care

Time flies when you're having fun!  Fall, my most favorite of seasons, is just around the corner, but it's still feeling very summer 'round here.  Our first go with the vegetable garden wasn't quite a full of edible treats as we were hoping, but it was still tons of fun.  And we learned a lot.  Our best crops were green beans and cherry tomatoes, and we've got high hopes for the one darling watermelon bravely trying to grow.  We're currently in the process of setting up a few raised beds to give some fall/winter produce a try.

Random aside:  Elsbeth asked me to read her this book recently. (below)  We curled up on the couch and she took one look at the front cover and said (with absolutely no prompting from me, I swear), "That looks like Daddy."

Just before school started, we squeezed in a quick Mobley Family weekend in SC where there was much cousin fun to be had.  Dress up time was my particular favorite.  Andrew was bummed because the girls had princess dresses and there was nothing for him, so Nannie and Papa rummaged around and found some vintage scout wear. 

I also fell in love with this wacky little car thing that Phil's parents have.  No batteries ... you just weave the steering wheel back and forth and scoot around.  I don't know if the kids or adults rode on it more!  Actually, I do know.  It was me.  I rode on it more.  Most.  Whatever.

My Precious is now well into his 4th week of first grade and loving every second!  His class is actually the biggest of the entire school - 12 students! wowie! - and they (being the school) decided very last minute that they needed to split the group into two classes. Which is fabulous!  I mean, who wouldn't love their child getting so much individualized attention in school?  But Andrew had already spent time sipping tea and discussing caterpillars with Mrs. Walker before school started, so as I anticipated, we had some quivery chin moments when we had to tell him he was actually going to have a different teacher.  All fears were put to rest, however, when, on the way home from school last week, he leaned his head against the seat of the car, gazed dreamily out the window, and said softly, "I love Mrs. Rector."  :-)

Another random aside:  Phil's mom recently gave me her mother's old cast iron skillet which I reseasoned and used to bake a cake of Puny's Cornbread from the Mitford Cookbook.  Awesome.  Fabulous.  Everyone must run out today and get a sack of cast iron pans.  They will instantly transport you to Yesteryear.  Or possibly even the Days of Yore, especially if you have an apron on.

And finally, we got some new chicken babies today!  There really is nothing sweeter, even when they poop on you.  Really.  Andrew's sorrow at the loss of our  other girls was assuaged when we decided we would get chicks of the same breeds and name them the same names. We also added 2 Plymouth Barred Rocks just 'cause we wanted to. 

Here's Andrew visiting with Rosemary II. 

And Elsbeth getting a little quality time with Gretel II.

Formal introduction of our new precious fluff balls:

 Susannah II
(Rhode Island Red)
Nadine II

 Gretel II
(Buff Orpington)

Rosemary II
(Silver-Laced Wyandotte)

(Plymouth Barred Rock)

(Plymouth Barred Rock)

How in the world can you stand not having a few of your own?  Seriously, a lap full of baby chickens and some cast iron and your world would take on a soft rosy glow.  Do it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Your Mom Goes To College

The Cutest Baby in the World turned 6 yesterday.  Precious boy.  I'm pretty wild over him.  When I asked what he wanted to do for his big day, I was bracing myself for requests for a big party with lots of kids and clowns and ponies and fireworks.  You know what he wanted?  To play golf with Daddy on a "real" golf course.  Awesome sauce. 

We ended up spreading out the festivities over four days, starting with a manly morning out at Peachtree Golf Center and lunch at Chipotle on Friday while Elsbeth and I shopped for balloons and streamers.

Saturday was Mommy day.  He wanted to spend time with me at ... heaven help me ... Chuck E Cheese.

Has anyone been there lately?  Feels a little more ghetto than it did back when I went to Showbiz for parties as a kid.  Maybe that's just because kids just don't pick up the ghetto vibe.  No matter.  Andrew was thrilled to wander through the chaos for a couple hours with his cup of tokens, hording the little tickets he won so he could purchase some Fun Dip and a really pathetic plastic whistle. He was happy.  He was celebrated.  I got to play a round of Skee Ball.  Success.

I often think of friends when I'm doing something that would horrify them.  I think of Julianne when I buy something with GMO's in it.  I think of my Auntie when I'm swishing cloth diapers in the toilet.  Rhianna when the Andrew plays Angry Birds on my iPod.  Rachel when I ask Phil who I should vote for.  Brea when I don't recycle something.  So as I navigated the rows of blaring, blinking arcade games holding my son's cup of Mt. Dew (I thought he was getting Sprite!), I kept thinking of Ami McNay, wondering what sort of violence would have to be involved to get her into this place. She might take a bullet first.

Back to the topic at hand ... Sunday after church we all went out for pizza, and then spent the afternoon melting at the zoo.  The kids have these little zoo passports they get stamped each month and they earn prizes, so this visit earned them very exciting orange t-shirts.  My Nibblet was delighted!  We happened upon the turtle yard just as two of them decided to get, um, very romantic.  I was really glad we didn't get any questions about that. 

Monday was the actual day, so we invited a few friends over to play and eat up the rest of the birthday cake.  In a moment of insanity, I decided having a pinata would be a really fun idea.  I settled on one of the evil pigs from the Angry Bird game (look away, Rhi!), because really, who wants to bash the guts out of a super hero?

The kids were really excited about it, and really it went pretty well when you consider I was giving a bunch of 2 to 6-year-olds a bat and telling them to smash a green paper pig as hard as they could.  We only had one casualty, little Griswald* who got clipped by the (foam) bat.  Moments later he also got stung by a bee, so we decided to move the party inside and put the bat away.  I ended up taking the pinata to the top of the stairs and raining the goodies down upon the children waiting at the bottom. 

Fun times for all!  Poovey* was very adept at catching the lolly pops, and even better at getting them into his mouth before his mommy could cross the room. 

Patrice* decided to go for the graham cracker and fruit snacks.  My friends have such cute kids!

'Twas a good time with good friends ... I think by the end of it all, Andrew felt thoroughly celebrated.

We're so grateful for our precious boy!  I love that he reads out recipes to me while I cook and still is completely fascinated by appliances.  I love that his favorite birthday gift was an electronic snap circuits set and that he is so very excited about being in the 1st grade.  I love that he has started shouting out "Michael George Alpharetta!" every time he jumps into the pool, and no one knows why. I love that his affections run deep for Iris, his favorite chicken and that he's decided sauteed tofu with ketchup is delicious.  My favorite part of this summer has been watching him become dear friends with his litter sister.  He'll beg me to let her stay up a little longer so they can finish the game they're playing and he desperately wants the two of them to share a room.  He cried yesterday when Elsbeth got in trouble for hitting him and lost her pink toenail polish.  The two of them have come up with all kinds of wacky games with great names like "Abambooz, " and "Ayait Ayait" and "Day!" and they continue to share a great love for Mickey and Minnie Mouse. 

Happy birthday, Dear One! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cat Flaps

Oh my.  I'm so seriously behind in my blogging, and as silly as it is, it really stresses me out!  You see, I'm not a scrapbooker, an album-maker, or even a print-printer, so this is my way of documenting the Mobley comings and goings.  And as I am of the generation that feels the need to document every moment of life (especially of the kiddos), when I find myself months behind I just don't know where to begin.  So I'm going to sit down right now and do some speed blogging to get caught up before Andrew's 6th birthday, and henceforth I shall strive to remain less than 4 months behind at all times.

In April I flew out with my parents to visit Bradley in LA for nearly a week and it was wonderful!   Phil stayed here with the kids, darling man that he is, and Nannie came for the days he was traveling for work.  A million thanks to them both for the gift of such a special time.

We stayed with Bradley at his apartment and he was adorable.  He and his roommates slept on couches and floors so we could have real live beds and rooms with doors, he cooked breakfast for us almost every morning, and he filled our days with exciting Californian activities.  Look at him ... isn't my baby brother handsome?  I think he's a cutie.

Phil and Andrew spent many a weekend working hard in the garage building the chicken coop for our sweet girls.

 We did a round of swim lessons at Dynamo - been very impressed with their teachers so far.  Andrew and Elsbeth got to be in the same class, and to their great delight, their other classmates were Edgar* and Poovey*, two of their very best friends.

The Lord gave us such a beautiful spring.  Lots of flowers and birds and days that remained at the perfect degree of warmness.

Andrew took part in his school's annual Mayfaire Festival, which was adorable from beginning to end.  How do you like the renaissance costume I whipped up for him totally last minute? (A million thanks to Julianne and her awesome suggestion.  I was in a panic since I found out the day before that he was supposed to be in costume.  Some burlap, leggings and a glue gun ... voila.)

Mr. Thatch and his whimsical crew came over and dug out a vegetable garden bed for us.  Yahoo!

Extended Mobley family came for a weekend to visit.  Got in some good cousin /aunt /uncle /grandparent time at the Botanical Gardens, Legoland, and the GA Aquarium. 

TFO and I went out to support Team Red for Andrew's Field Day.  Blogger is being spastic with my pictures and I lost the one of Andrew all painted up ... blast.

Andrew started earning minutes to play on my iPod by reading to Elsbeth.  So sweet.

We were finally able to get some blueberries off our bushes this year before the birds ate them all!

Got a pile of mulch delivered, which ended up being hugely entertaining to the wee ones.  They decided to be King and Queen of the Mulch Pile (Andrew made them both crowns).  Things like this make me deliriously happy.

Picked strawberries, blueberries and blackberries at Southern Belle Farms.

A bunch of youth from our church came over to move our coop outside, paint and roof it to earn money for a missons trip to Peru. 

Tragedy struck and two of our chicks got sick and died.  :-(  We found Gretel dead in the corner and I rushed the fading Susannah to an exotic vet that was willing to see a chicken.  This place was fancy and full of birds that probably cost more than my car, so even in them midst of my sorrow, I had to smile when the doctor rushed my $3 baby chick to the back to give her oxygen.  They weren't able to determine what was wrong, so Phil and I spent the evening holding Susannah on the couch, occasionally pushing her beak open to put in some formula only to have her die during the night.

I was pretty sure the rest of the girls would follow suit, picking up whatever illness the others had contracted, but they were fine!  The other 6 started getting rides outside each day in the wagon for some time in the back yard.  I especially like Elsbeth's outfit here - she's very into dressing up these days.  I think the Minnie ears go nicely with her beloved orange Home Depot apron.

Some blow-up pool time to cool off.

Green beans from our garden!  We were wildly excited.

I took this picture of Miss Pettigrew weeks ago to show how much the girls had grown, intending, of course, to blog about it that day.  The chickens are probably twice this size now.

Our little ladies  moved out to the coop full-time and they love it!  Got to get  a better shot of the coop.  It's beautiful.  I'm so impressed with my farm man!  

Tragedy struck again last week when a raccoon got into the chicken run and killed two more chickens.  They'd been living out in the coop for weeks and often chose to sleep in the run rather than inside the coop if we didn't physically put them in it.  The kids and I were on a beach trip with my family, and Phil's work schedule was packed, so they had several nights outside in what we thought was a pretty secure fenced in run.  A raccoon found a gap between our wire wall and the plastic netting on top and poor Phil had to put to rest the remains of Nadine and Rosemary. He  has since spent many hours reinforcing the run (which he has now named Fort Rosemary).  We're also making sure they're safely shut in the coop every night.  Tough learning curve.  Horrible mean old beastly raccoon.

To lift our spirits, we decided to place an order for some more chicks to replenish our flock.  Andrew felt strongly we needed to get the exact breeds we had lost and name them the same names, so Gretel II, Susannah II, Rosemary II, and Nadine II (plus 2 Plymouth Rocks!) will be arriving at the beginning of September. Yea!

The kids and I spent last week in Myrtle Beach with Nina and a bunch of my extended family who I just adore.  We had a wonderful time and Elsbeth learned to swim!  I forgot my camera, though.  Boo.  So I'll end with an awesome picture of Elsbeth in full dress-up mode.  Joy!

*names changed to protect the innocent

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Get Back, Loretta. Your Momma's Waitin' For Ya.

I'm, like, a million years behind in blogging, but all the other events of this past month will have to wait.  Today we celebrate our baby chicks! 

Can you believe that yesterday 8 baby chickens hatched out of eggs in Connecticut and were immediately put in a cardboard box and shipped across the universe to the Lilburn post office?  Elsbeth and I were on high alert all morning.  Even made a trip to the aforementioned post office early to make sure they had plenty of phone numbers to choose from when our box arrived, just in case my cell coverage was spotty.  Then I went home and  paced around the kitchen, absent-mindedly putting the occasional dish in the dishwasher, sprinkling handfuls of cereal around to keep Els's blood sugar up, and compulsively checking the phone I was carrying in my pocket.  At 11 we got the call.  "Mrs. Mobley?  Yeah, I think we have some ... uh ... chickens or something here for you."  I think I may have squealed in his ear.

The next couple minutes were like something from a Three Stooges program.  I ran around trying to find Elsbeth's shoes and turning on the heat lamp over the brooder, then realized that I had never gotten the food and water ready for the babies.  Of course not.  How could I have fit that in with my morning packed with pacing?  So I poured chick feed all over the dining room and spewed water on  myself and the kitchen floor, then tried to drive to the post office like a rational human being.  I confess I may have had a couple unkind thoughts towards an elderly gentleman taking quite the leisurely drive in his white pickup.   
The guy at the counter seemed slightly, but genuinely bewildered by me.  "Soooo, what are you going to do with them?" he asked.   I filled him in on my plans for years of eggs and delightful feathered companionship while Elsbeth bounced in agreement on my hip.  Pretty sure he thought I was a weirdo.

Anyway, as painful as it was, I was a big girl and waited 'til I was home to open my peeping box.  I let out a huge sigh of relief to see them all alive and well.  Understandably they were pleased to move to bigger box with food and water and were soon running about in the wood chips, drinking water and pecking at their feed and bedding (and occasionally each other's eyes ... yikes.)

And so, with no further adieu, I introduce you to the 8 newest members of the Mobley family!

(Rhode Island Red)

(Rhode Island Red)



(Silver Laced Wyandotte)

(Silver Laced Wyandotte)

Miss Pettigrew
(Buff Orpington)

(Buff Orpington)

 I hope I can sleep tonight, wondering if the temperature will fluctuate too much in their plastic storage tub in the garage.  Needs to stay around 95F.  I'm sure the chicks are praying I do.  I think they're a little tired of the big head that keeps appearing out of nowhere, looming above them, staring at them as they flit and occasionally adjusting their lamp a bit (though they probably prefer that to the hands that just can't resist patting their fuzzy heads ... or worse, scooping them up for a photo shoot or wee hug!)

Night night, sweet babies!