Monday, March 29, 2010

The Ice Cream Truck!

Last week, I heard the distant, warbling sound of "It's a Small World" a few blocks away. The ice cream truck! Like all the 9- year-olds on our street, I ran inside to get money and help flag it down. I was so excited to introduce Madeline to one of those wonderful things that will forever represent the simplicity of childhood -- hot days, sticky fingers, bike riding and ice cream dripping down your wrist.

Our ice cream man's name is Chuck. You know you're not 9 anymore when instead of asking you what flavor you want, the driver gives you his business card. Anyway, Madeline chose a strawberry shortcake bar. Charlie took one look at his cool big sister and insisted on having something too (but he won't know for a while that his popsicle comes out of our kitchen freezer).

And now, I'm not the only one who recognizes the wonderful warped sound of happiness on wheels.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring at Last

Last week, the sun popped through, the dogwoods started blooming and the grass turned green. So I threw the kids in a patch of daffodils and snapped a few pictures. Thanks to Mollie who can make any amateur shot look lovely.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Madeline May!

Last weekend, Madeline turned three! The excitement built up for weeks until she was ready to explode. We had a blast! Madeline was very specific about what she wanted, though it changed daily: a butterfly party, a cake with pink frosting ("with one, two, three flowers on it and butterflies on it and Dora candles"), pink balloons and noodles for dinner. Oh, and she wanted to listen to Taylor Swift. Like a miniature Beyonce or Liza Minnelli, there were several wardrobe changes. Could she be a party-planner in the making? The kids painted birdhouses, ate hot dogs and inhaled birthday cake, then attacked the gifts and chased each other around the house until bedtime.

The day before was Madeline's true birthday, so that morning, I hosted a small playdate through my moms club -- four kids came over and we decorated cupcakes on the back deck. That night was really special. Rob left work early for our family birthday party, bringing Madeline a bouquet of flowers -- a tradition he started on her first birthday! We ate corn dogs and ice cream for dinner, then Madeline opened her birthday present from Rob and me: a pink princess bike! She has been fearlessly pedaling around our street in her helmet every day since! One of my favorite moments in the festivities was when I asked Madeline what she would like her birthday dinner to be. She considered the question seriously and answered, "Grits." Now there's a little southern girl for ya'll. And why shouldn't she be? She's already lived in Nashville for more than half of her life!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Does it get better than this?

Charlie walks everywhere now! Sweet little shuffling steps with the occasional steadying pause, followed by the most exhilarated, proud expressions I've ever seen. He's a smiling collection of goose eggs, scrapes, bruises and bloody lips. However, I had an interesting thing happen yesterday. As Charlie started to tip forward, he reached out and grabbed me to keep his balance. And what exactly did he grab? The skin and flab that some women refer to as batwings. I'll never forget driving behind a Harley-riding woman who was wearing a tank top. At 50-miles-per-hour, she literally had the "wind beneath her wings"; I thought she might just fly away. So Charlie decided the loose part of my underarm steadied him as well as my hand, and kept on walking, dragging me behind him as he happily clung on to something I didn't know existed. It was one of those moments when you think to yourself, "Hmmm. Maybe I'll start lifting weights again."

Little Madeline has been turning on the charm. As I put on mascara the other day, she told my that my eyeballs looked beautiful. And occasionally she'll say, "Mommy, you are the lovely girl ever." I just adore the way those words tumble out, imperfectly perfect. At a restaurant the other day, Charlie was throwing a fit (Yes! It's true! Laid back Charlie turned one and tapped into his inner diva). Madeline emphatically grabbed my arm and said loudly (to ensure that I could hear her over the madness), "Mommy, I have something to tell you!" Pause. Little sweet smile. "I love you." Then she shyly added, "And I like you." And finally, she tells me daily that she's going to put her dolls down for a nap. So this time, I waited till she cleared the stairs and snuck up after her to watch. First she started the lullaby music in Charlie's room, then nursed her doll Olivia in the oversized rocking chair. She threw a handful of her animals into Charlie's crib, flung her little body in after them, and tucked everyone in under his blanket. As she left, she said, "I love you, Olivia. I love you, elephant. I love you, Elmo. I love you, bear. you guys. MMMMwah!" And happily trotted downstairs again. The best part is when I reached in to pull out her "friends" hours later in order to put Charlie down for his nap, I noticed a collection of 12 socks between the crib and the wall. So that's where they've all gone!

Nashville Sisters Weekend 2010

The sisterhood Mollie, Andi and I share is growing. As our friendship continues to mature and flourish now that we're all three adults, another wonderful thing has developed -- we have each brought our best friends into the Wiebmer-sister fold. Last month, Andi and I spent a weekend with Mollie's best friends and bridesmaids in Denver, and last weekend, Andrea's best friend, Katie, flew from Chicago to Nashville to spend a sisters weekend with us. Over the years, getting to know all of these awesome women who my sisters have chosen as their dearest friends helps me know my dearest friends even better. And just like my sisters will be in my life forever, so will all our mutual best friends. And so the sisterhood grows....

Nashville Sisters Weekend 2010 was a blast. Madeline helped us pick out her flower girl dress, spinning and dancing in front of the oversize store mirrors in her fluffy dresses. We also found a miniature seersucker suit for Charlie since he'll be ringbearer in Mollie's outdoor mountain wedding. There was lots of shopping, lunching, cupcake eating, wine drinking and late night talking. We also celebrated Charlie and Madeline's birthdays. On Sunday, we went to Music Row where Mollie, Andi and Katie all bought cowboy boots and we listened to live country music!