Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Whole Lotta Fun

Madeline dressed herself for the day!

It has been a fun and busy several weeks!
My news is that after years of talking about how much I'd like to write editorials for magazines, I finally submitted an article to Real Simple's annual writing contest (along with 7,000 others). Even though my chances of winning are slim, it feels great to have finally taken some action.

The kids are growing like dandelions -- Madeline's already three and a half and Charlie's 19 months. He's so big that someone asked us if the kids were twins! Madeline often announces that Charlie's her best friend. They actually play happily together now (when they aren't fighting over the same toy) -- I just step back with the video camera and watch it unfold.

Charlie loves wearing Madeline's Dora helmet; the other night, he insisted on eating dinner in it. He waves at everything, including our neighbor's air conditioning unit when it shuts on or off, his dinner plate when he's finished, and strangers everywhere we go. He's trying to talk, spitting out words like, "tur-tur" (turtle) and excitedly says "hi!" If we forget to say grace, he'll remind us by sitting quietly with his hands folded.
At least he was willing to take the helmet off at bath time
Madeline is figuring things out. Last night at bath time, she ran upstairs, plugged the tub and started running the water at the perfect temperature. When we play with Tinker Toys, she arranges sticks and calls out the letters she created -- "Mommy!! Look! It's an E!" She asks why a car doesn't have a lid when we see a convertible. This morning, she was wrapped in a blanket, singing, "Here is the bride. All dressed in wide."

Here are are few other highlights:

Adventure Science Center
Climbing to the top in her tutu
The electric car was Charlie's clear favorite

We started our morning at the Planetarium in Nashville's children's museum, watching Big Bird and Elmo discover the Big Dipper, the North Star, the Sun and the Moon. Madeline kept gasping with excitement in the dark beside me and whispering, "Mom, are we flying?" when the movie panned up to space or back down to Earth. Then she opened her arms like she was kissing the sky and wrapped herself up, saying, "Sometimes, I just hug myself!" I realize in these moments that I'm witnessing true wonder, just like her first magical trip to the beach. We played with trains, climbed up a three-story tower overlooking the Nashville skyline, stepped inside a giant brain, and visited with dinosaurs.

Purity Dairy Tour
Someone knows she's about to eat ice cream...
We went with friends to see how ice cream was made. After getting lost and meeting the group late, we realized that the factory no longer gives tours. We had a great time anyway watching a video, then looking out a window onto the factory floor. Of course the best part was the ice cream social at the end. Madeline and Charlie loved it!

Love-hate relationship with a cow
Madeline requested songs and danced!

Chick-fil-A is to the South what In-and-Out Burgers is to L.A. The restaurant obviously caters to exhausted moms since the staff falls all over themselves to help me carry our food, refill my drink, roll a high chair to the table, and wipe our spills with a smile. Tuesdays are family night, so when Rob had a work dinner last week, the kids and I headed to Chick-fil-A -- Madeline and Charlie danced, clapped and sang along with a guy named Conductor Jack. Then they jumped into the congo line weaving around the restaurant. Charlie was both enchanted and terrified by the giant dancing cow; Madeline loved the glittering flower she had painted on her hand. We all left happy with free ice cream cones after Madeline and Charlie ran off any extra energy before bedtime on the indoor playground.


Anonymous said...

Good for you, Megs!! I can't wait to hear more about your article, and best of luck!

Nicki Vlach said...

I left that anonymous comment...oops. - Nicki :)

The Brown Family said...

Yes, keep us posted on your article submission! But the real feat is getting something like that written during your busy days - good for you Megs, that's inspiring! Love to hear all about your outings. The kids are just adorable.