Monday, January 14, 2008

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Hey, thanks for the excellent armchair holiday gorging. It was fabulous and fat-free! Except for all the bourbon-pecan-pie, which gave my cellulite a pang just to read about it.

It all seems so long ago now. . . what with the snow, and the snow, and the wart removing and the snow. I'm going to end up dreaming that I'm shoveling the wart off of Birdy's foot. Or else that I'm sticking one of those Dr. Scholl's pads to our driveway. But thank you for your advice, as always. We've duct-taped a banana peel over my eyes, and it's really helping me see the wart less.

A few recommendations: the caramel cake in this month's Gourmet magazine; the book The Austins for second-grade-type kids; the book Happy Little Family for 5-year-old-type kids; the CD "Firecracker" by the Wailin' Jennys.

Also this month's O Magazine, because there's a piece I wrote about Michael in it. Luckily, he read it and declared it "a total love letter." So, um, phew. Also, my friend Sam took the excellent picture of us. And by "excellent" I mean, of course, "turkey wattle neck." But it's really not his fault.

New columns are here, here, and here.

xo

49 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:59 PM

    Ohhh, I love the recommendations! I've already made requests from the library. I just discovered the Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome. Finished the first one last week and really enjoyed it. Hoping the rest are just as good. They're geared for 4-6th graders, I think.
    ~Megan

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  2. Hi, I'm a total loser, and I don't get O magazine. Could someone please post a link so I could read it!!?? Thank you so much!

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  3. That is the THIRD recommendation for Gourmet's Caramel Cake, which is enough for me, I guess.
    "Turkey wattle neck" is better than the thing I currently have going on in pictures, which is "Jabba's mighty 50 chins."

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  4. Your latest column was great. I totally get that prying thing. If it were up to me entirely, the Pepper would never have an experience I didn't witness or a thought he didn't express aloud.

    Or it least it would be like that for the three seconds it takes me to realize that its a completely insane wish that would make him seek therapy or drugs at a very early age. But I still feel both a little bit sad and a whole lot of wonder when I realize I don't actually know every thought he thinks.

    Caramel cake sounds so awesome that the very idea is upping my blood sugar.

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  5. Yes, but the important thing is did he catch the wattle from the right angle?

    And, since it is my civic duty as a Canadian to point out any sucessful artist that hails from the GWN (Great White North), I have to add, "Hey, the Wailin' Jennys are Canadian!" Inferiority complex, much?

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  6. I love O magazine. I don't have a subscription but I practically sprint to the magazine rack when I see an issue at the gym!

    He he! I'd be happy to e-mail you the recipe for the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie, but be forewarned it is pure EVIL! I forbid my husband make it except over the holidays!

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  7. I normally forbid myself to buy things in print, since it's all at the library or online, but I always make exceptions when you're in O, so thanks! I also love recommendations from you and everyone. My favorite read recently is great for 4th-6th graders independently or younger kids as a read aloud - Kate DiCamillo's "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane." Love love love it. So very good. Can't say it enough. Really.
    Suzannah

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  8. I don't know if my comment made it over on family- but I LOVED hearing about Birdy's whirling thoughts.

    And you probably should just not allow men to take photos of you anymore, since they don't seem to have a sensitivity for the turkey wattle neck problem... I'm always shrieking at my husband, "Not FROM THAT ANGLE!" when he has the camera out.

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  9. Anonymous11:18 AM

    Hey - always looking for good recs for children's books, but is the title "the austin family" by M. L'Engle or something different?

    THANKS!

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  10. Do all shooting from above, it reduces all wattle/Jabba like chins dramatically!

    Off to read all the linky goodness. I must say I am might afraid of warts now, based solely (ha!) this story. I am always leery of things I cannot get rid of easily.

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  11. I'm just going to figure you're talking about "Meet the Austins" because then you would be pimping the L'Engle and dear god I love the L'Engle. She's the only author I ever sent fanmail. Twice. "A Wrinkle in Time" literally saved my life, I'm convinced of it; if Meg Murray could make it through, so could geeky, mousy-haired, rabbit-toothed me.
    xo

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  12. Oh yeah--PK--it's Meet the Austins. Thank you! It's such a great and oddly unstrange book.

    And yes--the Wailin' Jennys are Canadiennes. NotSoSage, I thought of you when I was mentioning them!

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  13. Very cool! I can't wait to see the article in O. Also-- excellent post at Wondertime this week. It seems your creativity never fails you.

    Heidi

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  14. Hey! I came over here just to say how wonderful and moving the O article was, and here we are already talkin' about it. I'm not at all surprised Michael found it to be a love letter. It was GORGEOUS. Get thee to a checkout counter quick and read it :) I read snippets aloud to my husband and he laughed...a little too knowingly....hmmmmm... we couldn't have the same it situation here, could we? Maybe I should sit him down and psychoanalyze it as soon as he gets home...

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  15. And by "read it" of course I meant "buy it." Ha.. just picturing us moms w/ crying kids in carts as we linger over O in the checkout line.. ha ha

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  16. Thanks for the great reading suggestions. You have really inspired me to clean off the cobwebs of what is left of my brain and start reading again. We've also started to read my 5 year old chapter books, which seems to have kickstarted her (and our)interest in (children)books again..So, Thanks again!

    Also, I was wondering if you could do me a huge favor?!!? I have been desperately trying to find a journal entry on BabyCenter, but to no avail. I remember reading it at my desk at work with tears streaming down my face. You talk about Birdy leaving the baby stages behind and how with each step, you too are leaving that phase behind. I don't remember how old Birdy was when you wrote it---but, it is so hard to find journal entries there, since they do not display in chronological order. (It has been fun re-reading the old entries!!) My children are 5 yrs. and 18 months---I guess I'm looking for a good cry. Thanks, Jean

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  17. Nockanoni2:48 PM

    Hey Catherine-- You may already have it, but if not, you MUST get Birdy a copy of Elizabeth Mitchell's "You Are My Little Bird". It is a gorgeous acoustic kids CD with covers of Bob Marley and Velvet Underground, among others. And most of the songs are about birds. It has been in steady rotation in our house for over a year and no one is tired of it. :)

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  18. I want to read the article in O...

    And I want the Chocolate Bourbon Sin Yumminess Cake Pie recipe. Barney says share!

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  19. Cathy K4:45 PM

    Nockanoni--I love the "You are my little bird" CD, too! Heard an interview on NPR and got it for the family. I love the "Little Bird Fly Through My Window (Find Molasses Candy)" one. (Always reminds me of another favorite read aloud--Little House,you all know the one.) And I love the Bob Marley "Every little thing's gonna be alright" one. (I know I'm a loser for not knowing the title to that classic).

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  20. Catherine, I LOVE your current Wondertime (magazine) article! I'm often conflicted about the whole blogging thing-- especially how it will play out when the kids are older.

    I recently read a review about a book where the author predicted a "revolution" of sorts to today's online culture. He thinks that kids will revolt against all of this journaling and blogging and giving-of-information so easily. I wish I had saved the review because I can't think of the book. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

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  21. Cathy K, that song is called "Three Little Birds" - I love it too!

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  22. I just caught up on all three posts at Wondertime. What a lovely way to end my evening, your voice echoing in my head.

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  23. Catherine, I just finished the O article and it's lovely. Only I'm confused. You use the word "husband" several times. After reading your "I Do...Not" article in "The Bitch in the House," I was under the impression you and Michael were happily UNmarried. Did you get hitched?

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  24. I have to third the recommendation for Elizabeth Mitchell's "Little Bird" cd -- it's in a kid's mix on my ipod and I find myself always skipping through raffi and sesame street to get to her songs...=)
    And now I'm going to have to buy O magazine this month!
    Hope the unpacking is going well!

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  25. Not sure, but I think......10:32 AM

    Katherine Gordon, just wanted to let you know that I think Catherine actually did get married. I read an article once that was posted in these comments (a link was posted) and it said that she did because it was easier for insurance purposes. I think she wanted to stay commited without getting married. Hope this helps.

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  26. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Hi Catherine,

    I totally agree with Michael--your O article was a total love letter. It made me cry, in the very best way. What a lovely Valentine's gift for him.

    And also for us. When I saw you were a contributor to this month's issue, I literally dumped the rest of the mail on the counter and sat down to read your piece. Thanks!

    Courtney

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  27. Anonymous3:54 PM

    For those of you more recent L'Engle fans: there are other books starring members of the Austin family, although they get more sophisticated pretty fast. Parents can read and enjoy first and decide if their kids are ready--her books never seem too young!

    Robin

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  28. Hi Catherine, I've been reading your columns since your first entry on babycenter. Around the same time you started chronicling on that site, I read a quote by Jason Isaacs (the actor who plays Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies):

    On the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling: "I went off and read the books after the audition and I read all four books in one sitting - you know - didn't wash, didn't eat, drove around with them on the steering wheel like a lunatic. I suddenly understood why my friends, who I'd thought where slightly backward, had been so addicted to these children's books. They're like crack."

    The feeling of this quote always stuck in my mind for two reasons. One, it's spot on about the Potter books. And two, it's how I feel about reading your entries. Your posts are addictive, emotional, funny, and most of all, you want to drop everything just to read the latest one. I'm a mom of 3 and wanted to thank you for making me feel less alone all these years.

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  29. tdlep - I couldn't have said it better. Catherine it is true... I look ridiculously forward to Mondays for your wondertime posts. No one looks forward to Mondays! Like I have told you in the past, your writings make me realize I am not the only one who feels the way I do... I hope our kids don't completely rebel against the blogging/journaling thing because without it now, I wouldn't have found many similar minded moms... just needing to know we aren't alone in our nutty thoughts.

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  30. Thanks for the Gourmet recommendation. We'll be eating caramel cake tonight. (I already licked the drips off the pan - YUM) If you get Bon Appetite, try the whole wheat s'more cookies. Amazing. And ALMOST healthy. C

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  31. anony-mom7:43 AM

    OK, just to clarify here - are we talking about the February issue of O? Because I asked my husband to buy the magazine while he was out just so I could read that one article by you Catherine and he came back with the January issue, which had nothing in it by you. Am I delusional or just in the wrong place? BTW, sorry for the anonymous post but Blogger seems to have forgotten who I am and I cannot for the life of me remember my login ID or password.

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  32. Yes, it's the February issue... I saw it at Target yesterday...

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  33. anony-mom11:11 AM

    Thanks jill.

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  34. I LOVED this week's Wondertime installment - I so appreciate that you can actually describe what the inner workings of the brains of your loved ones would look like. I wish I had that talent!

    BTW - from one Pioneer Valley resident to another, I wanted to tell you - although you probably already know - that Pete's Drive In has closed! :( So sad. One of my favorite of your posts from Parent Center is set there - Birdy was an infant and crying her head off as you drove there for some adult interaction with a friend.

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  35. Just got back from Barnes and Noble...went specifically to read your column about your husband. LOVED it!! Write another book already...I absolutely cannot wait!n

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  36. bensmom041:48 PM

    Hey -noticed the new blog format, I like it. Also - loved the wondertime article. And Bub and Pie, you were named!

    Was surpised a few weeks ago when you admitted living in a condo -only to find out now you don't!!

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  37. Just finished your latest article in Wondertime (the one about blogging). Loved it! Thanks for your writing and your honesty.

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  38. I stopped by to say I loved your article on blogging in Wondertime. Right on, as always.

    I will be picking up "O" tomorrow. For the article, not the turkey wattle neck. (Does that sound like a playboy rationalization? I swear it's for the ARTICLES....)

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  39. Any luck with that wart yet? I tried all those "at home remedies" and had it frozen and then burnt off, all to no avail. Finally, I broke down and went to the dermatologist. I threatened to have it cut off by a plastic surgeon, and the derm had one last option. He gave me an injection of some strain of yeast, to boost my immune system, and IT WORKED! Within 2 weeks the one on my finger was gone and the one one on my foot was gone within the month. Truly amazing!! Ask your doc about it, they'll know.

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  40. Just read the Glue Night column. I'm in tears from laughing hysterically, while at the same time totally empathizing with the whole shebang. Honestly, Catherine, you are amazing! You hold up a mirror to my imperfections, and somehow, I walk away not feeling so horrible. Grace ... thanks for helping me to be gracious with myself. Please, you do the same, K?

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  41. How did I not know about the Wailin' Jennys? I am so ashamed...
    Anyway, I BOUGHT the Oprah magazine because of you, even though I could have stood in the aisle at stop and shop and read it, like I was tempted to. And then I emailed them, and told them so. And that it was all because of you.

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  42. cristen4:35 PM

    loved the Oprah piece--wonderful writing. good job.

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  43. Catherine, I bought my first O magazine because of all the hype of your article. I have to say, I was not disappointed. Your writing is always wonderful. Let me ask you, though, was that the piece you read at the reading in the Berkshires this past July? (I was the one who brought my little daughter and gushed like a rambling idiot when I met you). It seemed familiar. Whatever it was, it was great and how could Michael not like it? It truly is a love letter and I'm glad he thought so. I look forward to everything you write and thank you again for sharing with us.

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  44. Catherine, I had an episode like that last night. My daughters were hitting a little ball with a kalidescope and then SCREAMING, "Comeon Abby, let's go to the NEXT LEVEL!" I felt like I was going to explode! I dealt with it for a while, then I gently asked for her to quiet down. "Not so loud, please". But, then she thought it was funny that I was cringing, so she kept doing it even when my husband called from the store. So, I said, "I told you to stop. STOP!!!!!!!!!" I can't even capture, to steal a verse from you, the Mommy Dearest quality of it. I felt instantly bad and appologized. I explained that I'm really tired, but that doesn't excuse my actions. We decided that she's gonna work on obeying more and not making so much noise when I'm on the phone, and I'm gonna try not to loose my cool. When I said, "I'm sorry I'm crabby tonight. I'm really tired." She said, "Yeah, I can tell." Out of the mouths of babes.

    Catherine, thanks so much for putting yourself out there and making us feel like we're ok, too. We all loose our cool, but what happens afterward is the key. You are a great mom and I strive to live up to you.

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  45. Oh, I forgot to say, I tried to post that on Family.com over and over and it kept freezing and so, I copied and pasted it here. Sorry.

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  46. Loyal Reader5:51 PM

    I just wanted to post this, knowing you have so many readers, that another blog mommy from Baby Center, Betsy, wrote about her friend who lost a baby at birth and her womb that same day. Her story to adoption is at miryango.blogspot.com. They are accepting donations and I would like to see them succeed. Just thought I'd put it here and maybe someone will read and donate. Thank you.

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  47. Okay, I'm outing myself here because I would otherwise definitely be a Catherine Newman stalker. I do think I've commented here once before, but I read regularly. Also the Wondertime blog. And then, I always make time to read your Wondertime column at the library.

    But really, what has made me come forth today is your piece in O magazine. I took a trip to my bookstore so I could read it. Oh, how lovely! I ended up buying the magazine because it is such a beautiful essay. Also inspiring, because I write so much about my kids but not so much about my husband. Now I want to tackle something about him.

    So now I'm no longer a lurker, but perhaps my status as stalker is still holding firm. :)

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  48. LOVE The Wailin' Jennys. Have you heard of The Be Good Tanyas? I think you will particularly love a song of theirs called "The Littlest Birds"

    Also, have you read "The Very Perisistent Gappers of Frip"? I think Ben will love it!

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  49. I keep stumbling across articles in various magazines, start to read them and think "hmmm, this one seems interesting", get part way through before either I put the various clues together or finally glance at the author's name because I enjoy the article so much, and discover that it is you, Catherine N., who authored my favorite weekly blog on Babycenter.com! You're little weekly blogs really helped lift my spirits in the tough times of very early childhood. Its feels like running into an old friend when I come across your articles. I just wanted you to know; thanks!

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