Friday, November 5, 2010

Glorious Fall

Fall is my favorite season. It's romantic -- bundling up in a sweater and holding hands to stay warm. Rob and I even got married in the fall. But like everything, this season is zipping by at warp speed. Here's what we've been up to the last few weeks:

The weather has been incredible, and we haven't missed a chance to soak it up -- picnicking, playing on the playground, raking leaves, enjoying evening fire pits, and going for nature walks to see the changing leaves.

Madeline and Charlie had a wonderful time visiting a pumpkin patch with their Grammy and Aunt Nicki! What would autumn be without a hayride? This one wound us throughout a farm, and we got to ride alongside brand new calves still nestled into their mamas. There were hay mazes, tire swings and slides; we ended the morning by picking out mini pumpkins.

We had a great time visiting a fire station with my Moms Club -- I enjoyed it just as much as the kids. Charlie was so excited -- jumping, squealing and pumping his arms -- by the lights and sirens and just the sight of the trucks that even the fire fighters kept laughing. While we were there, the bell went off; we watched guys drop down the fire pole, suit up and tear out of the station in a truck.

In other exciting news, Rob is thrilled to have officially accepted a new role within Caterpillar right here in Nashville. Congratulations, Robbie!

He and I are taking a six week parenting course offered by our pediatrician's office, so every Tuesday night, a sitter puts the kids to bed and we go off to school. Ning called it my "Continuing Education," which is Caterpillar's terminology for ongoing job training -- I love to think of it that way! Though last night, when we couldn't find the course's new location, we decided to go on a pizza date instead. Even the child psychologist teaching the class agreed date nights win parenting points.

Madeline loves her swimming lessons twice a week. She dunks her spiral curls under the water in her oversize goggles and splashes around with Coach Katie.

She's growing up so fast; sometimes I'm just astounded by adult-sounding things she says, like, "I suppose, " or "This opera music is pretty." (Full disclaimer: we own one opera song, which she later heard on a commercial and blew Rob's socks off with her little comment). She loves baking, cracking her own eggs into a bowl and spooning batter into muffin cups. The kitchen looks like a Category Five storm has swept through when we're done, but any mess is worth the pride she feels. She begs for "ballerina music," then twirls around the living room to Mozart or the Nutcracker. Madeline has never particularly liked being separated from Rob and me in any way (the histrionics!), so it's a real joy to see how much she loves running into her Sunday school class...and begs to stay when it's over. She comforts Charlie when sitters come to the house, saying, "It's okay, buddy. Mommy always comes back." And today, when Charlie's balloon popped in the grocery store, Madeline didn't hesitate before saying, "I'll share mine with you, Charlie."

Charlie is learning a new word every day: this morning, he literally shouted "Bye!" at Rob while blowing kisses (which looks more like he's enthusiastically popping himself in the nose) and then grinned at each of us like he just solved world peace in the Middle East.  That said, most days are still like a 12-hour round of charades. When he's hungry, he gets a plate out of his drawer and puts it at his seat. When he's sorry, he hugs his sister and kisses her face. And naturally, there's lots of pointing, grunting and ultimately crying, if we can't figure out what he wants. These days, there is simply not one single thing that Madeline does alone; Charlie is at her heels imitating everything. On Monday, he stripped off all his clothes and tried to join her swimming lesson. He hums Twinkle Twinkle all day long to himself; often, the lyrics go "Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama...." He is probably the most affectionate child I have ever met. I feel like I've died and gone to heaven when he catches my eye from across the room and sprints, arms wide open, for a hug.

A boy, a ball, a stick and his dog. Life is good.


Mollie said...

This is one of my favorite blogs! Reading it made me wish "Aunt Mollie" lived with your family and could watch these moments unfold in real time! Boy, do I miss those kids. Give them a huge hug and kiss for me (and tell Charlie to blow some kisses to Denver for me but to not hurt himself - ha ha)!

John and Ning said...

It's a magical world in Nashville. I'm with you, Mollie -- I wish we ALL lived closer. Thanks for sharing these moments with us. xxx Ning

The Brown Family said...

I LOVE hearing all the updates! Our kids would have so much fun playing together. If only we could be neighbors. :) Love this post!