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