Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bear with me, my friends. While I am entirely accustomed to expressing myself in an 800-word column (see, for example, my, ahem, newest column over at wondertime which used to be called "Naked Crabs," and now seems, er, not to be. . .) I am new to blogging. Mostly, I'm still writing a weekly column, and so I may not post here all that often. And yet. So many of you wrote me here to cheer me on, and I'm thrilled. It's funny--it feels more intimate or something. Like I can tell you here that I'm having a sad week, that an old (but young) friend of ours died on Tuesday, that I cried peeling peaches and groused at Ben while he was playing *solitaire*, for god's sake. And I don't even have to turn it into a lesson I've learned. (The lesson is: People our age get breast cancer. The lesson is: Leave your children alone when they're playing cards by themselves, for god's sake. The lesson is: Love harder, but more easily too.) I will try to write here more regularly, and also more coherently. But please read that weekly wondertime column because they are counting clicks over there, if you know what I'm saying. I'm saying bear with me.


  1. Nothing else to say but (((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))

    Clicking myself over to Wondertime now

    All the Best

  2. Anonymous10:45 PM

    One of the best things about blogging is that you can quickly log in and scream at the world "THIS DAY SUCKS!!!!" and then go on with your day.

    So sorry to hear about your friend.

  3. Anonymous10:56 PM

    I am so sorry, Catherine, to hear about your friend. My mom died of breast cancer 4 years ago - she was 54 years young. So hard to say goodbye to those we love. Seems like so many leave us much too soon. My thoughts are with you.

    I have clicked over to Wondertime several times. Also sent a letter to the editors saying how much I enjoy your articles and your weekly journal and that I would pay the cost of subscription to read your articles alone.


  4. I hope it counts if you click multiple times a day over there at wondertime, because I do. (just in case) lol I feel pathetic.

    Im sorry about your friend. Deatb is never easy to take.

    We will all still be on board with you and wait for your posts, because they are always so fun to read! Take care Catherine!

    Your online reader friend,
    Sara Maria

  5. Anonymous11:25 PM

    I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, Catherine.
    Take care,

  6. Anonymous11:29 PM

    I met you four years ago at parent center. you have helped me through sooooo much more than you will ever know....especially saggy baggy breasts as i refer to mine. I have never written to you until I saw you note about the loss of a friend for I am experiencing that right now. be encouraged and continue to help all of us less than perfect moms

  7. Anonymous12:18 AM

    I read it earlier today, and it was great. If they can make it an RSS feed, your readers can be notified when you post something new (as I was when you posted this).

    And I'm very sorry about your friend. Death makes us more snappy with our children, despite our best intentions. It's probably the stress.

  8. Anonymous12:25 AM

    What a sad, sad thing to lose a friend. I'm so sorry for your loss. My wish for you is that you go easy on yourself; the grieving process takes time. It is brave of you to share your experiences online, and for that I thank you. I love to read your writing and am so glad I found you. I was seriously sad when you left babycenter. I'll keep clicking on Wondertime. Take Care!

  9. Anonymous2:43 AM

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend, Catherine. My own old (and young - 41) friend is currently fighting that terrible disease, with a three-year-old child and forecast of two years (at most) to live. I call her to listen more than to talk, because it seems like that is what she needs, and I always feel like anything I say doesn't remove this Sword of Damoclese hanging over her head. I email her about the ups and downs of my life - but I feel guilty because the ups always sound like bragging (to me) and the downs sound like so much whining when placed side by side with what she must face every day. My daughter is the same age as hers, and I can't imagine being told that I wouldn't make it past the time she starts kindergarten.

    On that uplifting note, I'm off to do some clicking at Wondertime.

  10. I'm so sorry about your friend. All I can say is that you're certainly not the first person to snap at your child when the world isn't working your way (I do it too). None of us are perfect parents, and sometimes I think we expect too much of ourselves. Parents have bad days too. All we can do is apologize to our kids and try to do better next time.

    Time to head over to Wondertime...

  11. I'm so sorry about your friend.

    I have to say that when I opened my new wondertime magazine and saw a column by you, I was thrilled. When I learned it was going to be a recurring feature, I was so glad I subscribed.

    The beauty of blogging is that it's whatever you make of it, so don't worry about anyone bearing with you. Just go take care of yourself in this difficult time.

  12. Anonymous9:51 AM

    Hey Catherine! I loved your Wondertime column this week and even subscribed to the magazine after checking out the website! And "Waiting for Birdy" is one of my favorite books.

    I am looking forward to reading more about your experiences in "mindful parenting".

    So sorry to hear about losing your friend to breast cancer. I lost a very dear friend (really a second mother) to breast cancer four years ago, and I still miss her terribly.

  13. Anonymous10:49 AM

    I'm so sorry for you Catherine.

  14. I am so sorry for your incredible loss! Lots of hugs being sent your way!!! I don't really pray, but you and your family, as well as the family of your friend will be in my thoughts....

  15. Anonymous12:05 PM

    I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. It's so hard to lose someone so early in life. I really appreciate you sharing your life like you do -- and I am on my way over to Wondertime to read more (cause I just can't get enough!)

  16. You're right, I think it is more intimate here and you can say things you wouldn't choose to put in your professional writing.

    Plus, it's such an immediate release and since you don't have to wait a week or two for it to be published you get our almost-instant feedback - lucky you. ;-)

    I loved your new Wondertime entry yesterday. We had hermit crabs as pets when I was a kid and I remember those oogy little naked bodies but never witnessed such a spectacular display as you described. Thanks for sharing, as always.

    I'm wishing you strength and groundedness to help you through this immeasurably sad event.

    Much love,

  17. I've clicked there once and I'll click again - because I'm still laughing about the line "...and that's why they call it cremation." I suck back mommy-blogs like they're M&M's but nobody makes me laugh like you do.

  18. Anonymous3:33 PM

    You dear, sweet woman. I'm glad you're doing this blog, though I think you're a little nuts since writing is kind of your *job*.

    You do seem more "real" somehow in this blog, kind of like you've take your makeup off--which is amazing since you seem so real in your other writings, too. You're just a bit more "backstage" real in this one.

    I'm so sorry about the death of your friend and also about your snappishness towards Ben. Ah, those older children. They sometimes get the brunt of the mama stress, don't they?

    Mine does, too. But, again, it's a more intimate relationship with the first child in some ways (more than with the more careful relationship with Baby #2. We edit ourselves more there, don't you think?)

    --And there it is. The lesson! Actually, it's just a lame stab at a connection, a little circle in my jottings. But how nice it is that you can just lay it out in this blog and not have to say, "And that's how I learned to be a better mother."

  19. Anonymous3:58 PM

    I'm just catching myself up with the Wondertime columns (I've been a Ben & Birdy devotee since I was pregnant with my now 2-year-old daughter), and your 8.21 edition left me with tears streaming down my face. Hilarious!

    I'm sorry for your loss. My mother was diagnosed four days before my daughter was born, and is, thankfully, doing well now. But it's something I never stop thinking about.

  20. Oh, honey. I'm so sorry. I wish there was something I could do, but of course there isn't a damned thing.

  21. Naked Crabs is a much better title. MUCH.

  22. Wondertime! My cup runneth over!

    But because it's not ALL about me, I am sorry about your friend. My sister, recently, thankfully beat breast cancer. Scary either way. xoxo Jenny

  23. So very very sorry for your loss of your friend. I bet Ben's big ol' heart knows that you are not yourself right now and that's ok.

  24. Anonymous5:18 PM

    Catherine, I realize nothing any of us can say can ease your pain but I wanted you to know that I just gave my kids and children big hugs in honor of your friend. Be well, take care of yourself and your family. We'll all be here whenever you're up to writing.

    By the way, I click on your Wondertime column many times weekly to reread!

  25. Anonymous5:51 PM

    At least four of the clicks at Wondertime were ME. I was unsure of the exact posting date of new journal entries, so I kept checking... and rechecking in my unrealistically hopeful way. And I signed up for the magazine, too. I intend to get the book as well, seeing as how you asked/begged so nicely, and I've been meaning to get it anyway. Next time I order from amazon, you'll help me qualify for my free super saver shipping, ok? I know you check those amazon ranks.

    I hope this makes you feel a teensy bit better.

  26. Anonymous5:53 PM

    Er, make that kids and husband. I guess I should preview before I post.

  27. Anonymous6:07 PM

    I'm so sorry about your friend. I'll say a prayer for you and for her soul. Take care and remember to hug the man and the kids today...a great hug can make a world of difference.

    Take to Wondertime..:)

  28. I'm sorry for your loss, Catherine. *hugs*


  29. I've already clicked, many times, and the naked crabs were lovely, and I actually thought of them today.

    Catherine, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'll have to go back to your book and remember her name.

    I am just so sorry.

  30. I'm in my late twenties and have had two friends diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Doesn't it seem so unfair? Not that life is fair....
    Anyway, thanks for blogging here and also at wondertime! Love your writing.

  31. Hi there:

    So sorry about your friend Catherine.

    Some days it seems that life just is not fair.

    I am clicking away at Wondertime, and really enjoying your column there.

    Hugs to you.


  32. Since I can't comment over at Wondertime, I wanted to let you know I love the pics of you and the kids over there!

  33. Reading here, and clicking there. I just wanted to say I've been a fan for ages, and thank you so much for everything you write.

  34. Catherine,

    I'm so very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I wish healing and strength for you at this time.

  35. I only just discovered your blogspot account, and I'm so excited! I've been reading Ben and Birdy since the beginning, bought the book, would read anything you write, blah blah blah... I think I mentioned this in a comment on babycenter, but you and Toni Morrison are the two authors I will read anything by... Bless you for not kicking me out of your life!

  36. Anonymous12:24 AM

    Catherine, I'm sorry about your friend. I've been reading you on ParentCenter for ages and was overjoyed you are continuing to write somewhere else. I was diagnosed with breast cancer about 10 months ago. I'm 29 years old. I haven't had kids yet, but as my husband put it, I'm window shopping by reading about yours. Thank you for sharing yourself with us, and allowing vulnerability.

  37. Anonymous1:11 AM

    Sorry to hear about your friend. That is so sad! Big Hugs!
    I'm another of your devoted readers from babycenter happy to be able to keep up with you and your sweet family! Keep the writing coming!

    Burgandy :)

  38. Anonymous1:56 AM

    I will read you wherever you go! I loved your Babycenter columns, your book, Dalai Mama and now your blog. You feel like a dear, old friend even though we've never met. Wish we could! Thank you for sharing your life so beautifully and honestly. By doing so, you have made me--and I am sure many others--a better, more present parent.
    I am so sorry for your loss. You must miss her terribly. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  39. Anonymous4:34 AM

    Hey Catherine. I have read the babycentre column since it first started and it has helped me stay sane and laugh when I desperately needed to. Thanks for your honesty and generosity - you make me feel NORMAL and not alone in this wierd world of motherdom. I will read whatever you post - the crab thing was lovely and delightful as usual. Much love to you and your family. Hope your tender heart feels less sad soon.

  40. I'm sorry to read about your friend.

    I have clicked Wondertime, and, as ever, enjoyed your column. I think naked crabs would have been far superior as a headline, though.

  41. Anonymous7:57 AM

    Oh, Catherine, I'm so sorry.

    Judy? (I have pretty much memorized WfB and feel as though I know Judy a little.)

  42. Anonymous9:21 AM


    My love and condolences to you. I wish a ray of sun to shine through your clouds. *hugs*


  43. Anonymous9:44 AM


    I'm so sorry to hear about your friend--warm hugs to you and her family.

    And, I had to laugh at the transformation of Naked Crabs to the current title. :-) That's Disney for ya!


  44. Anonymous11:14 AM

    I'm so sorry about the loss of your dear friend. My husband has cancer and it is a terrible, scary disease. My son is just 4 and we are also suffering infertility on top of it. Sometimes life sure doesn't seem fair. I love reading your columns and your blog also because it takes the focus off of us for a while. I do hope that you find the comfort you need during this difficult time. Please keep blogging... I ask for selfish reasons. :)

  45. Anonymous11:19 AM

    So sorry for your lose.
    I just got a subscription to Wondertime, and was pleased to see your column. Then when I finally caught up on my babycenter ben and birdy entries and saw you were leaving, and I was so bummed. But thought hey, at least with the magazine I can slowly wean off my weekly fix. And now, with the blog and the Wondertime page, I am back to having more wonderful stories to look forward to which are so cleaverly written by the way. Thank you so much for letting us into your life. I really look forward to hearing and seeing your children grow, and knowing what I have to look forward with my own. (Age 4 and 2).
    I highly recommend the book also. A great gift for any mom awaiting her second child.

  46. Catherine, It gives me immense pleasure to still have access to your writing, your thoughts, your life, inasmuch as you feel willing and able to share! Reading about the hermit crabs and the fitting room analogy, I suddenly pictured the Filene's Basement bridal gown sale...what on earth would happen if the crabs knew to team up, hoard as many dresses as possible, and negotiate their way through the process? Globalization as we know it???

    Anyway, I so connect with your daily mix of sorrow and joy. Though the names might change and the circumstances be unique, the reactions feel like something similar and very real. Thank you for putting words to your experience, and a touch of the universal human experience, too!

  47. Anonymous11:46 AM

    i'm so glad you're bloging still. i'm so sad about your friend. and i completley understand about bed & solitaire - it's only the silliest, most irrational things that set me off. the big, serious stuff i deal with with lots of patience & grace.
    thanks for blogging.

  48. Anonymous12:00 PM

    I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I've really been struggling with that whole concept of people I love passing on and there are times when I just don't think I can take it anymore. Hang in there and just know that you're not alone.
    I've been a fan since you started at Babycenter. Hugs to you and your family.

  49. Anonymous12:23 PM

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  50. Anonymous12:47 PM

    I'm just so glad I can keep reading you! Sometimes, it's the only THINKING I do all week. I hope knowing that you have a large community of followers who wish you nothing but the best helps you get through the trials --big and small-- that come your way.

  51. Anonymous1:34 PM


    We're glad you're here no matter how many times you write.. it's OK.. we're hanginin with ya... and we're clickin on Wondertime too.

    Hugs to you on the loss of your friend.

    :) Linda

  52. I am so sorry for your loss.

  53. Anonymous3:19 PM

    I'm really sorry to hear about your loss. I just finished your book last night--is it Judy? I'm so very very sorry. I wish for you healing, happiness in memories, grief shared with friends, and smiles in the tears. Don't beat yourself up for snapping at Ben.
    I've already "found" you at Wondertime, and subscribed to the magazine because of you. Stalkerish, no?

  54. Anonymous6:06 PM

    After being so incredibly bummed about the ending of your BabyCenter journal, I am now newly overjoyed about having TWO places to read your stuff! Awesome!
    I just read your 8/4 entry at Wondertime about the bathrooms and potty training, OMG, SO hilarious!!! "Hole of Stench and Certain Death" - LOL. We once made up a name for those Port-a-Johns: "Whizbangs"... you go whiz and the door goes bang. I go through some of the same things with my kids.
    I started reading the next entry and was again LOL right away at the "bumbling stub-tentacled octopus." I will go back and read them all and keeping clicking for you. Thank you for making me laugh on an otherwise dull and semi depressing day. You have lifted my mood.
    P.S. My condolences about the loss of your friend. And hey, don't feel like you are OBLIGATED to your fans to make sure you regularly update your blog, for crying out loud. We've got Wondertime to enjoy now too.

  55. Anonymous8:28 PM

    Catherine, dear, you write whatever and whenever you want to and we will read it -- here and at wondertime. If sharing the good, the bad and the ugly makes it easier to get through the day, then you just type it up!

    I loved your column about the hermit crabs, an incredible thing to witness.

  56. Anonymous12:19 AM

    Thank you so much for the column. I loved to read it mostly because your parenting style is so similar to my own and your words were so true. I loved that you were trying to me the best mum you could be, and that's inspiring. I loved that you retained the wonder of it all. I loved that it made me think of my own kids. And I loved that it reminded me that we are all much more similar than we are different.

  57. Anonymous3:44 AM

    O.k, Catherine, I think we all can "bear with you"...:)

    I am truly sorry about your friend...

    As for the negative poster, all I can say is what person even takes the time to come to this blog and write a negative post like that?? and contrary to what this person says, I always though the best thing about your journal was that it highlighted how we are NOT perfect Mom´s all the time but we do OUR BEST! It is not like anyone thinks you are a god ....just a real cool chic we´d love to have in our coffee clotch!

    I don´t know...its just f**ked up! ( Can I say that? I am not sure if I can say the F word here so thought I´d add the stars just in case...).


  58. Anonymous3:45 AM

    Sorry, that was me, Rita writing above!

  59. Anonymous8:23 AM

    I'm the one who said I felt as though I knew Judy a little, and rereading it, that statement feels intrusive and wrong. I think what I meant was that I feel as though I imagined her place in your life, what you got from having her around, the way she made you feel.

    Is that less creepy?

    No, wait, now I'm making it all about me. Can I say f*ck? I mean, I feel as though you should get to do the inaugural one, but I adore you and am screwing this up, so very frustrated.

  60. Anonymous10:29 AM

    I'm so sorry about your friend. I cant imagine...
    But I'm so happy to be able to read your writing here and on the other website. Your such a great momma, dont beat yourself up for being human...

  61. Anonymous10:52 AM

    Yet another note from someone who buys whatever it is you have written it just because yo've written in it. And clicks (and clicks), too.

    Hugs, prayers and blessings to you. You give me hope.

  62. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Those are good lessons to live by. I'm really sorry, Catherine. Take care.

  63. Anonymous5:36 PM

    I am so sad to see the end of your weekly journal on BabyCenter. I've read every single week since the first. I always felt a connection because both of my kids were born within just a month of yours- so my kids hit their milestones at the same time you're writing about yours. So many times you would write about Birdy saying or doing something and I would laugh out loud - OMG that's Griffin!

    Many time I didn't necessarily agree with your style, but I could always respect that your heart was in the right place and that there's more than one way to skin a cat - or successfully raise children.

    I will follow you to your new blog and column because even though we live a country apart, have never met and most likely never will - you feel like a friend. Thanks!


  64. wonderful article over at wondertime - i can't believe you can't to see them changing shells - amazing. thanks for linking to it!

  65. Catherine,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I had your talent for writing, so that I might give you the words that make you feel better, the way you make us feel better every day. Thank you for sharing your family and friends with us. You have truly made me a better mother, not because your perfect, but because I've seen through your writings and the responses from your readers that we are all imperfect.

    I had to lol at josy's post...I too stay calm in the face of catastrophe, but a game played incorrectly can make me lose my mind.

  66. Catherine,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I had your talent for writing, so that I might give you the words that make you feel better, the way you make us feel better every day. Thank you for sharing your family and friends with us. You have truly made me a better mother, not because your perfect, but because I've seen through your writings and the responses from your readers that we are all imperfect.

    I had to lol at josy's post...I too stay calm in the face of catastrophe, but a game played incorrectly can make me lose my mind.

  67. I check in at wondertime everyday, and will continue to, according to the "count-by-click" system. Doing my part to support the dalai-mama, I suppose. We don't read your column because your perfectly put together and coordinated and on top of things. We read because you're normal, like us, and WE totally get not having enough time to blog everday. So sorry about your loss, wish I could say something more, but I'm just a faceless fan, and how much would that mean anyway? Write when you can, we will be here.

  68. Anonymous12:48 PM

    I'm sorry to hear that you're sad. Cancer is horrible.

    Thanks for writing. We'll bear with you. :) But I have to say I really wish you'd get over to Live Journal! Now THAT would be awesome. It's way more personal than out here. But whatevah... To each his own blog flavor.

  69. Anonymous5:16 PM

    Geez - us! I laughed when I read the part about wondertime changing the name on this week's column - so lame. So now I get an email from them to check out your column and it seems they have conceded to "What Naked Crabs Can Teach Us" as a name. Why do they have to teach us anything? Why can't they just be "Naked Crabs" as you intended. For christ's sake, does everything have to be a teachable moment? Can we ever just relax? What is wrong with those wondertime people? Oh, I forgot, aren't they really (GASP) Disney?

    Happy to have found you other places after Baby Center . . .

  70. I feel your pain. My bro in law is currently in the hospital on life support due to blastomycosis, which is basically some weird fungus that he inhaled whilst working at camp. It was diagnosed rather late and they don't know if he'll pull through it.

  71. Anonymous9:13 PM

    Catherine, I love your column. I've been reading it over at Baby Center since the very beginning. Your kids and my kids are roughly the same ages, and there have been countless times when what you were going through was what I was going through. I felt like I actually had a girlfriend who understood and didn't judge me for anything. Keep up the honesty and fun.

    I just checked your stuff at Wondertime, but didn't see a way to go back and read previous entries. I was sad when I learned that you would be leaving Baby Center, but now that I found you here, I'm thrilled to keep up with what is happing with Ben and Birdy.

    As for the chick who thinks your kids dress funny...I ask...why is it ok for girls to wear boys' clothes, but a boy can't wear pink? Sounds like a double standard to me....and a bit of closemindedness.

    Take care Catherine...and best of luck to you and the family.

  72. Anonymous9:30 AM

    Glad to see they changed the title for you! Sorry to hear about your friend as well :(

  73. Anonymous11:00 AM

    I was sad that your column had ended at baby central, and already missing yor honest, sweet and very down to earth weekly commentary on motherhood. So needless to say, I was elated to find both your blog and your wondertime column.

    I too wish I could dip my kids in liquid nitrogen and keep them little and sweet (5 and 1) for ever...
    Thank you so very much and please keep writing.
    All the best,

  74. Anonymous4:50 PM

    Hi, Catherine. I'm sorry about your loss. As someone else said, death seems to be every where. A good friend of mine was just diagnosed with lung cancer, which has spread to her liver. And a neighbor of ours died this weekend from liver cancer that was found just two weeks ago.

    I am so glad, however, that you're still writing about Ben and Birdy. My two boys are about their ages, and it's been wonderful to read of someone else going through these things at the same time.

    To help increase clicks (and keep you blogging), I'd suggest posting the URL to your current Wondertime column in your blog. Wondertime doesn't seem to have a subscription or RSS feed for it, which means people have to *remember* to come and read you.

    Though I've been reading you for years now (is that possible? where's the time gone?), I'm often catching up, reading a month of columns at a time.

    Which reminds me, I've got a month of columns to read at Wondertime. ;-)