Tuesday, October 13, 2009


"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower"
- Albert Camus

Fall is gorgeous here. We go for walks almost every morning when it's cool -- the kids bundle up under blankets (Charlie wears the fisherman sweater and matching hat that my Aunt Arlene brought him from Cape Cod). The air warms up by mid day before getting crisp again at night.

Rob is doing his very best to teach us football. I'm a distracted student. Charlie would rather chew on Madeline's dolls, and Madeline repeatedly asks to watch Yo Gabba Gabba instead. We may be a tough audience, but he hasn't given up yet. This will be the first fall since we graduated that we'll miss going to an Illinois football game, but it feels nice to be done traveling for the year. Rob has dusted off his smoker -- we're enjoying his ribs and pulled pork. Soon we'll build crackling fires again. The leaves are starting to turn brilliant colors -- just yesterday, Madeline said, "Mommy, that tree is purple!" And it was! This weekend, we'll roast marshmallows in the outdoor fire pit and go pick out some pumpkins. Fall is romantic to me. I love everything about it (except the chilly rain, but that hasn't stopped us from playing outside).

These moments, days and weeks move so fast. With each funny thing Madeline says or exciting new thing Charlie does, I think to myself "I have to write that down." Here are a collection the fun things that have been going on in our house:
  • Aunt Andi visited us from Washington D.C, arriving after the kids were in bed. I've never seen Madeline as excited as she was the next morning. She jumped up and down for at least five minutes before giving her high-energy aunt an Urlacher bear hug. Andi gave Madeline and Charlie molds that make monkey, lion or elephant-shaped pancakes. Watching Rob at the griddle reminded us of our dad making Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes (and then acting like Mickey was screaming as we ate him. Nice dad!)
  • Mollie asked Andi and me to be her matron and maid of honor! We love you, Mollie and Kenny!
  • Yesterday, after I'd gotten dressed for the day, Madeline exclaimed, "Mommy, that is a fab-u-ous red bracelet." Have you ever heard anything more fabulous from a two-and-a-half year old?!
  • When Charles was first born, several people asked us if we were going to call him Chuck. Each time (after throwing up a little in my mouth; no offense to the Chucks of the world), I smiled pleasantly and answered, "Um. No. We're going to call him Charlie." Sometimes Rob and I jokingly call him Chuck, so I had to share this picture of him in his little red Chuck Taylors!
  • We discovered the power of reverse psychology with our headstrong and fiercely independent toddler (two qualities I love about her!). If we pretend like we can't remember where her room is, she'll run up the stairs to get ready for bed. If we act like she might be too little to do something, it almost always instantly happens before our eyes. The Happiest Toddler on the Block is my new favorite book. Buy it.
  • Madeline, Charlie and I had our flu shots last week. I brought Madeline a juice box as a surprise for when it was all over. She loved it so much (the juice, that is), she asked if she could have another shot. She even remembered to say please.
  • While I quietly nursed Charlie in the living room, Rob and Madeline chattered away in the kitchen, not knowing I was listening. Madeline asked her daddy for a "mani/pedi." Rob chuckled and said she might need to talk to mommy about that (though I do have pictures of Rob painting Madeline's toenails red in Gulf Shores).
  • Charlie got his bottom two teeth at the end of September! Now the little guy often eats a mashed up version whatever we're having -- homemade chicken noodle soup, vegetable lasagna, broccoli and rice and beans.
  • A few weeks ago, we went to friends' birthday party for their one-year-old. Madeline is known to have quite an appetite, but the host was shocked to watch her methodically devour the paper cupcake liner after finishing the actual cupcake.It was over before he could save her from herself. Mads, honey, I know the feeling.
Hope you're enjoying this beautiful season and staying warm!


The Brown Family said...

Loved hearing about all the things you guys are up to! Miss you all!

Johanna said...

Hilarious!! Great stories; so glad that you are documenting them. Marin says to tell Charlie that she is jealous of his teeth. She is still eating everything pureed. I can't WAIT until she can have what we're having!

Chelsea said...

Nashville has the most gorgeous fall. I miss it!! Ours was only a week long before we received our first dump of snow.

Darling photos of the kids and family. I ADORE Charlie in his Chuck Taylor's. Too much! Madeline sounds like such a little firecracker. I sure wish we lived closer. Someday!