Sunday, November 22, 2009

Madeline and Charlie

Wow, our days fly by. Here's an update....

Madeline's curiosity and imagination are explosive right now. At bedtime the other night, she fired off one question after another so rapidly that I started laughing until I was crying. "Mommy, do sharks bite? Are there swings in Atlanta? Toys? Slides? Is an aquaria (aquarium) a fish zoo? Are the fish pink? Can we go for a helicopter ride?" The other day I asked what she was drawing with her markers. She told me it was a concrete mixer. At dinner, she told us all about a swimming pool that's filled with milk. Then she added she was going to name her bunny, Hog. All this while Elmo sat at the end of the table, eating discarded hamburger and mutilated bread that Madeline put on the plate she set for him (we praised her for sharing). But the best was her tearing down our driveway as fast as her legs would carry her, purple balloon in hand, yelling, "I'mmm runnnnniinnnggg myyyyy heaarrrrrrrttttt ouuuutttttttt!"

At two years and eight months, she's growing into her own person. She now sleeps in a big girl bed; Rob likens her new-found freedom to being a freshman in college. Once, we found her passed out with a book on the floor by her night light. Every morning, she wakes up wearing different pajamas than the ones she wore to bed. She's also potty trained, only wearing a diaper when she sleeps. Madeline likes doing everything for herself, especially dressing herself -- there are about three to eight wardrobe changes daily (by the end of the day, her outfits are whacked out -- tie dye socks, orange flower skirt, blue puppy dog shirt, with a hair bow that matched six outfits ago...). We have daily birthday parties for all her animals, and I love overhearing her sing I'm Being Eaten by a Boa Constrictor and Ring Around the Rosie to herself. After every meal, she asks in her sweet little voice, "May I please be excused?" Madeline, girl, you're fabulous.

And Charlie is already nine months old! He is active, strong and mobile as ever, dragging himself around the house on his elbows in an army crawl. He's desperate to be in the center of the action. If he hears Madeline and his daddy being silly on the second floor, he wiggles over to the base of the stairs and gently squawks until someone carries him up for some wrestling. His favorite pastime is to open the coat closet and suck on all the shoes on the floor. He's totally distracted from nursing just by the thought of a toy on the floor behind him. He just started pulling up, loves seeing his reflection in the mirror and attacks his solid foods with gusto.

Charlie's personality and temperament are so sweet, laid back, eager, curious. He's talkative too -- we love listening to his sweet little boy voice as he practices making sounds. His face erupts into a giant smile just by looking at him. He loves to laugh, and he laughs hard! He's a little dance machine at our nightly dance parties, and he drags himself around behind Madeline wherever she goes. We're head over heels in love, Charles.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and we're eagerly waiting for Rob's family to pull into the driveway any minute. We feel so grateful for all that we have to be thankful for; this season is such a wonderful reminder of that. Wishing you a great holiday with your families!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Broccoli Bin Laden

Here's something you should never do: Never put cooked, leftover broccoli in your refrigerator vegetable bin. It slips underneath the celery, then gets buried by all the new groceries you bring home each week, and before long, there's a nasty, unidentified smell.

This has gone on for weeks. It took us several days to even connect the stench with the fridge. We kept checking baby diapers. Eventually, we thought we had pinpointed it to a casserole I made. A week after that was gone (and the smell stayed), we were certain it was the homemade chicken soup Rob made last weekend. Chicken Fart Soup. Yum.

Yesterday, Rob actually asked me if I passed gas. I acted horrified, then reminded him that he had just opened the fridge. "Oh yeah," he said. "Sorry." He went on a rampage, throwing away anything that was more than a day or two old. Our sink was half-filled with emptied Gladware containers.

But the smell bit my nose off again this morning when I got out the milk for oatmeal. My turn to go on a bender. Ah-hah!! The innocent little plastic Ziploc, filled with broccoli that was once green. Hidden and lurking like Bin Laden in the dank caves of Afghanistan.

Save your broccoli; that's fine. Just don't let it slip away. Or else the finger pointing begins....

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Aside from Christmas, Halloween is my favorite holiday. Madeline loved wearing the cat costume that Ning sent. After digging through the attic, garage and closets, we never found Charlie's yet-to-be-unpacked Goldfish costume, so he ended up going as a linebacker in his football pajamas with black stripes on his cheeks (for his brief 15 minute appearance). Since he was asleep in his crib before the sun even set, we carried the baby monitor with us as we visited six houses on our cul-de-sac. Maple came too, humiliated and staggering along in her Elmo costume...again.

Madeline caught onto the concept of trick-or-treating pretty quickly. She tentatively knocked on our neighbors' doors, then promptly tried to enter each of their houses. I would whisper in her ear that it was time to say trick-or-treat. So she would quietly whisper it too, just as I had to her. Then, after a big smile and a barely audible thank you, she happily trotted off to another house, which she would try to enter. (She was successful twice, helping herself to the candy bowl in the entry way. Sadly, it was the same house both times.)

Rob and I tried to get into the spirit of things too. He wore his Napoleon Dynamite wig (leftover from the Halloween bashes we threw every year until we had kids). I put on my black wig, but took it off when I realized I looked like a freaky goth bumblebee. That said, when we were all four in costume and ready to join the forming street party outside our door, Madeline said, "Mommy, you look so stylish!" And if that isn't great, she told Rob he looked fabulous!