Monday, October 30, 2006

Another in the series of non-posts

I know that you guys don't actually have a spare second, what with your incessant brushing of your lips with a toothbrush and also the constant slathering onto your lips of nipple cream and udder cream and heinie cream (thank you for all your great advice!)--


I wrote this.
And also this.

Over at wondertime.

I'm having a hard time keeping up with both a column and a blog, as you have likely noticed, and I wish I were doing better at it. But then again, I also wish that the caulk around my bathtub weren't dark grey and furry. And that Birdy's baby book didn't contain only a one-month photo and a five-month photo. (Is that better or worse than Ben's, which contains about a million pictures of our tabby cat and of me, pregnant--because that's when there's time to d0 the baby book! Before the baby's born!) And that I could figure out a way to get the spices to stick to the Chex without all that yummy butter.

But our gutters are fixed. OUR GUTTERS ARE FIXED. So really, what is there left to wish for? ("You saved my marriage!" I said to the Slavic teenager who fixed them, and he backed away from me and smiled and said, "Voonderful!" and backed all the way into his gutter truck and drove away.) Working gutters, two sleeping children, and a house full of miniature candy bars. Life is good.

Happy Halloween, you dear ghouls and goblins. I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow.


  1. Congratulations! If only you could send that dear Slavic teenager our way -- I have a sick feeling in my stomach that we'll be hearing from our gutters soon enough!

    Here's hoping those candy bars slide easily past your newly-smooth lips. Yay, girl advice!

  2. All I'm going to say about the furry gray caulk is clorox bleach pen, provided no one's going to be using the shower... it works wonders... And Mr. Clean magic eraser is such a wonderful little devise, I told my husband I might actually leave him for Mr. Clean....

    Now that I'm done making myself look like a totally boring housewife, let me say don't feel bad about the baby book. My daughter's baby book is barely filled in, and has about a million post its, because I always write down whatever little milestone it is on a post it, meaning to transfer it into the actual book, but never get around to it.

    And now for the uber-fantastique hero worship part of my comment: I just read both "It's a boy" and "Its a girl". Thank you for the essays you contributed to both books. "Baby Fat" really spoke to me, because my daughter Amethyst was a roly-poly baby, so much so her nick name was "Chubinski" (because she was so chubby and so Polish, lol). So many people gave us unsolicited advice about how she'd slim down eventually, and how we shouldn't worry, and we really weren't worried. And now that she's approaching two, and no longer has multiple chins and you can actually see the space in between her legs, I find myself missing her sweet chubby self. I miss all those rolls and just her chubby chubby self. So thank you. You wrote that essay so beautifully and to the honest point about what's most important in raising our daughters.

  3. YEAH for fixed gutters!! Our marriage was shaved by a nice man from Brazil who replaced our dammaged trim. The damaged trim that allowed sparrows to get in to the eves...and nest...above our side...four times. There's more (OH so much more) but no could can come from reliving it....Ummm...where was I? Oh yes! YEAH fixed gutters!!!

    And loved the Wondertime pic of Ben and Birdy in their snazzy Hanna striped jammies : )

  4. ummm...little slip there perhaps? I meant SAVED...(yikes!)

  5. Anonymous10:42 PM

    I just LOVE the columns at Wondertime, so don't worry so much about the blog. Even a sentence is fine ;^) As long as we have something to read, we're good! I just opened the candy tonight- I only had 3 mini kit kat bars. But the night isn't over yet! Wishing you guys lots of fun.

  6. I love your post about Birdy's spit smelly hair. KayTar's blankey also carries the sweet sticky smell of spit...and I always steal a sniff of it before I toss it into the washer. Sometimes I think that if I know before she is done loving that blankey, I might put in a ziploc bag so I can take it out to smell her glorious babyhood whenever I get the fancy, for the rest of time. I mean, logically, I know this is gross and not something I would actually do...because OMG. GERMS FESTERING IN ZIPLOC BAGGIE! but wouldn't it be wonderful if it was possible to hold onto something so sweet? So we could go back and relive it any time we wanted?

  7. Anonymous11:23 PM

    Morning Has Broken really spoke to me. I think it's the best (of all the great stuff) you've written of late. Thanks again.

  8. Happy Halloween Catherine! And I am so totally relating to the marriage saved by repair work. Sadly my mental state was so low/desperate that at one point all it took was clean carpets - which shouldn't be that hard to attain, but took countless delicate negotiations with my husband since his brother owned a carpet-cleaning business at the time and we really needed to patronize him but kept getting bumped lower on the priority list until I literally was thinking that the only way to save my marriage was to go into the carpet cleaning business myself so as to not feel guilty about not hiring his brother. Holy long sentence - sorry! Hope your kids bring back lots of dark chocolate tomorrow night...

  9. Anonymous12:48 AM

    What an absolutely beautiful picture of Birdy! I love her! Great column, Catherine, as usual. I know just what you mean. I love this time of year because of the cold, cozy, misty mornings. They remind me so much of when I was a kid. Thank you for reminding me to take the time on a hectic "get dressed/eat breakfast/brush teeth/get your shoes on/let's go!" school morning to pay attention to what really matters: stinky spit hair (both my daughters are relentless hair suckers, thank you, and I can totally relate to the crunchy spit points that no amount of detangler can de-crust!)morning breath and the strange and beautiful things that come out of their mouths at this age. Happy Halloween!

  10. Does anyone else agree that Birdy seems to magically have transformed into a preschooler in that pic on Wondertime? Nice pic. I loved it. What a cute little girl! :)

  11. Congratulations on your gutters! I know what a big ordeal that has been for you. I, too, have furry gray caulk, so please know that you are not alone. :-)

    Enjoy your miniature candy bars. I know I will enjoy mine!!

    Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain (and Happy New Year for those of Earth Based faith)

  12. Who you calling a ghoul?

    Hannah chews her blanket, and then rubs it all over her face. She has a ""wet side" that she has to make wet, if it's not wet.

    I'm very sorry to say that I don't love the smell of her "wet side" but I certainly am loving my alone time with her.

  13. Anonymous6:09 AM

    "Mama don't sing" are quite possibly the meanest words that ever come out of my kids. I wish I could bottle a little of the Birdy Agreeability Potion so I could sing in the car in peace.

    Send your Slavic gutter boy to Atlanta, we need him here. So glad to hear yours are fixed!

  14. Anonymous6:12 AM

    I was seriously glad to hear you say that you're having trouble keeping up with the column and the blog, because I was just feeling really inadequate the other night about how you manage to do all your life stuff and write your column and blog (and have it be so awesome)! I keep wanting to just have time to write in my journal, but I don't think I can give up any more sleep than I already am with kids who don't all sleep through the night on the same nights!

    And I loved how peaceful your morning sounded, sitting there with Birdy and listening to Ben--but then I wondered how early they get up?! :)

    Have a happy Halloween!

  15. No worries - we'll come and visit and enjoy your posts when they're here, and of course visit Wonder Time every week

  16. Anonymous10:28 AM

    Hi Catherine!
    So, I just wanted to tell you that you have been on my mind this week! I had the wonderful fortune of being at the Oprah show where she gave us 1,000 and a video camera to document helping someone and to pay it forward. Could that be MORE WONDERFUL??? No it could not... Amazing. I have found myself though completely stressed/overwhelmed with ideas (I am a social worker after all) and possibilities and the decision... and time constraints...
    So, I found myself dialoging in my head what you would do in my shoes!!! I have a plan now I think and trying to execute it in only a few days as a full time mommy/social worker/wife of husband w/ 23 credits/ halloween/upcoming birthday weekend for 3 year-old has been a bit of a brain melt.... So, just sharing that I adore you and thought so much "what would Catherine do".. what would she write about if this were her week? .... Happy Halloween and as always.. you rock!

  17. Anonymous10:50 AM

    I love that last paragraph about the Elmo doll! What a funny thing to say-- I just wish I could remember to write down stuff like that.
    By the way, you have something way better than a baby book. All that you have written are like snapshots of your kids' childhood, but with words. I wish I had that, rather than endless photos and meaningless milestones!

  18. Anonymous11:23 AM

    Hi Catherine,

    I enjoyed your latest column about Birdy - all the annoying stuff i.e. dairy diet and pooping-obsession sound like what I'm living right now, My daughter Genevieve doesn't want to eat anything but yoghurt and the odd cheese stick, all washed down with a glass of milk - hence we have nicknamed her "The Dairy Queen". Refuse to give her more of the cow juice? BIG TANTRUM. I swear, she is one of the most determined people I have ever met - I think her fierce determination will serve her very well in live, but right now it is driving me to the brink. But then, just as my head it about to pop off, she'll stroke my cheek with her little hand and say "Mommy, you are so beautiful. I love you soooo much." Who can stay mad?

  19. Anonymous11:39 AM

    AAAH! What is it about kids who don't want us to sing? My 5 year old son (also a Ben)does the same thing to me in the car. I could understand it if my voice was say, butchering his favorite rendition of "Yoda" (he's a fanatic for all things Star Wars, and now, Weird Al... yikes!) But my voice is pretty good, if I say so myself, and I'm more likely crooning along to "32 Flavors..."

  20. OMG on the baby book. Caitlyn's is horrible. To top it off, i never took her for her 1 year pictures. Eddie's 1st year is 100% documented. She's having pictures at day care on Friday, and she will be 14.5 months old. I think I can pass them off as 1 year pictures. Maybe I can just pass them off as Eddie's 3 year pictures too; he'll be 3 in January. Life gets hectic with 2 kids!!

    When you write about Birdy, I am so reminded of Caitlyn who is so fierce, and plays and fights so hard but has a sweet side too. she's absolutely tenacious.

    Life is a riot. thanks for posting when you do because i know I'm not alone. :)

  21. Anonymous12:01 PM

    I LOVED your latest entry. It cracked me up ten times, but also made me misty-eyed. Those are my favorite kind. You are especially talented that way.
    Dung Alert downgraded..hahhahaha!

  22. Gosh, I feel like we need a little eulogy for the old gutters. I'm really going to miss them!

    Birdy acted "like a brat from a bratty cartoon show about brats"? I know you've tried to say this before, but I've never believed you, remembering instead all of the gentleness and sweet spirit that accompanies so many of the stories about your kids. Those examples, though: spot on. I'm shocked at the similarities between those and the behaviors of my own three-year-old, actually. Birdy and Quinn in the same room on a bratty day - now THAT would make a good halloween story.

    What I love about your column is that you're always able to balance the "brattiness" or challenges with the other side of life. It's fair, and it's real, and it always reminds me to stop focusing on the hardships already. There is so much more.

  23. Dude? Working gutters? I don't know about this, isn't that going to be like, achieving your life's mission, at which point you have nothing left to live for?
    That's why my house always looks like a tornado hit it. I'm extending my lifespan.

  24. lovely posts - really lovely.
    did the slavic teen invoice yet, cos it's probably more to have your marriage saved, y'know ...

  25. I would totally give up a good thing to complain about for actual working gutters. Congratulations! What's next on your fix-it list?

    I personally am getting a little sick of sticking my finger in the electrical switch box every time I go to turn on the light in the kitchen where the plate has been removed because the walls are getting painted though they have been only partially painted and it's been so long that the primer on the trim has actually SPOILED and has to be sanded off again before any real paint will stick to it again! It's been THAT long.

    Did you know that primer could spoil? I didn't.

    But whose fault is all this? Mine. I didn't marry a handy man either, though he also doesn't give excellent massages.

    Happy Halloween, adorable family!

  26. Just a couple thoughts. First, Catherine, your children are just so, so gorgeous. The photos on Wondertime simply glow. (I'll admit that one time when you included in your babycenter column a picture of the kids at 6 and 3, I think it was, and I hadn't seen a picture of them for a long time, and your column was on how fast time flies when you have small children, that the photo actually brought tears to my eyes, not because of the grand concept of time flying, but because I could not believe how old they were. As if I knew them personally and they were growing up on me way too fast. Of course, I do feel like I know them personally, and I still picture them as round-cheeked babies.)

    OK, sorry for the rant. The baby book! Oh albatross around my neck! Sigh.

    And lastly, I am very envious of your miniature candy bar stash. In the past month I have had to give up chocolate because it makes my newborn daughter scream with agony when she nurses. That and dairy and caffeine. I know: what's left?

    Love your writing to death. Come to Minneapolis sometime and do a reading!

  27. My sister was so dedicated about baby booking (a new verb!) that I think my first niece actually has four of them. She clearly has an overactive maternal instinct, although it's looking like niece number two will get a paper bag full of photos with her name magic markered on the outside...if she's lucky.

  28. And by the way, I loved the last wondertime post, about trying to remember the little moments, even the bizarrely random ones about Elmo eyeballs.

    AND, the naked crabs story will stick with me forever. I wish I could have been there too.

  29. I hate to break it to you, Cath, but I think it's a little late to save your marriage. If I am remembering correctly, Michael has not been seen or heard of in months.

    It's time to face the truth.

    Michael does not fix gutters and he is having an affair with me.

    I am telling it to you like it is because I care for you.

  30. Anonymous4:26 PM

    You had me laughing when I read about the furry caulk. Ours is the same way, hopefully lost to the mold where the only fix is a complete demo of our bathroom. No time or money for that yet so we'll have to live w/it for now. Ditto here w/the baby books. My firstborn has a few items in there thru oh, I don't know, when he was 9 mos old. As for my 2nd son, oops, just his baby birth bracelets. Time just slips away from us when we are trying to live. Keep up the great columns at Wondertime. If you don't have time for the blog, just do like you did yesterday, put links back out the Wondertime. I just usually come here to see what the latest antics are w/you guys, Ben and Birdy.

  31. I can't believe I'm about to admit this in public, but, um, well, one day I *did* call the bluff of the Girl Who Cried Wolf regarding pooping. My kiddo (not quite 3.5) spent an entire day announcing every five to ten minutes that "I have to go stinky poo RIGHT NOW MOMMY!!!!!!" in varying levels of dramatic phrasing and alarm, so I spent all day dropping whatever I was doing and racing with her to the potty. Of course the second we'd get there, get her undressed (she must be buck nekkid from the waist down and will not leave her pants 'round her ankles "like Mommy does" no matter how one pleads with her), and get her settled with her choice of reading material (that'd be just like Daddy ;) ), she'd announce "ALL DONE!" without even a grunt or push.

    After literally spending an entire day with this happening and no poop to show for it, I was in the middle of cooking dinner and she said she had to go. Again. We'd just gone not five minutes before, and I was in the middle of stirring something that needed to be constantly stirred (why do I bother attempting to cook things that involve, you know, watching over and stirring?), and I will admit to no small amount of exasperation. So, I told her "No, Em, we just went five minutes ago, and Mommy is cooking." Thirty seconds later? One giant, stinking poop appeared in the My Little Pony underpants.

    Yeah, I learned my lesson the hard way.....

    Love your columns! Happy Halloween!

  32. Anonymous5:09 PM

    I think you've been doing so good with your blog. People are telling you not to worry about this blog, but I say keep up what you're doing. I LOVE reading anything I can from you and check your blog many times a day. I also end up reading your Wondertime article about 7-10 times a week. I look so forward to Monday's because I know you've written a new one at Wondertime. I don't think many people have much time for a baby book. When your kid looks back, you want them to have a feeling that they were loved and Mommy always played and had time for them. Not feeling pushed aside because "there's so much to do" all the time. I kid would much rather have good memories than a baby book and a "busy" mom. That didn't come out just how I wanted, but I think you get the idea. Love your writing! Keep it up!

  33. I am going to eat my three candy bars right now, the ones with peanuts Odile cannot eat. And, simultaneously, I am going to watch a three days old TV show that I already know everything about (a gala with singers in their best outfit). Isn't it the perfect match? Joyeux Halloween !

  34. Anonymous12:48 AM

    I am a huge fan of your work, and must thank you for your latest article at Wondertime. Your sentiments so closely resemble mine for my three year old son, it is frightening.

    Write here, there, in books... Doesn't matter so long as you keep writing!

  35. Anonymous1:45 AM

    I'm totally druk, but I ca still appreciate what a great mother you are. I love ya, girl. I want to see if "deleted by author" means you deleted it or the real author did. Love ya!
    Drunk chic

  36. Anonymous11:22 AM

    I saw that someone else mentioned this, but I have to put in my two cents... the Clorox Bleach Pen works great on the gray fuzz around the tub. Just smear it one, leave it for 10-15 mins and rinse it away. You'll want to have a bubble bath just so you can sit there and admire the cleanness of it all. I was so excited when I discovered this!!

  37. Just wanted to say you crack me up! I appreciate that you are doing both Wondertime and the blog!

  38. Anonymous2:02 PM

    My little girl does that whispering thing, and I'm always asking her to repeat it because it's often priceless. The other day, she said "There's a drip doing the trapeze in my nose."

  39. I think that 10/30/06 might be the funniest one yet. My husband and I have been shamed into not singing recently also. It is good to know that the moratorium might some day end. And when they start to speak of potty germs it always make me wonder....did they really wash their hands the last time??

    Thanks mucho!!

  40. It's tomorrow. But hey, I haven't posted my promised pictures yet either.

    Happy Halloween recovery.

  41. Dear Catherine,
    Just a quick hello!

    Happy Halloween to you too...isn't it nice to have that big bowl of candy around?! I actually was so busy on Halloween night I didn't have time to eat any...I'm making up for it today though!

    My blog is hopelessly behind but is actually living life a crime? I hope not because I have been trying to do more everyday. I know the days are long but the years are short as they say. Hopefully, when I do get around to my blog I will remember something.

    I ditto the bleach pen but since Alex has asthma I can't use it I use an all natural product for tile that works great as well.

    I'm heading over to wondertime now for this weeks fix but I will thank you advance for making me laugh, making me cry (most likely) and making me realize that being a Mom is the most important job I have.

    Have a great week.

  42. Anonymous10:52 PM

    Thank you for the "booty" touch comment. It helps me realize that all 3ish olds are the same. My little guy likes to say really loud (usually in public) - "I touched my penis, I need to wash my hands!"

  43. Thank you, Catherine. I just read your latest Dalai Mama entry and am wiping my tears of laughter away. I just put my two little girls to bed and was feeling so run down. I plopped down in front of the computer and decided to see what you've been writing. I really really laughed, and I really really needed to laugh. So, I've now put links to your blog and to Dalai Mama on my blog.

  44. Catherine, I just found you.. and I'm doing a giddy dance! I read you all the while I was pregnant with my son, and your brilliantly humorous writing made everything else seem a little more bearable. Then I started blogging. And I though, for sure, she must have a blog...but alas, you did not until NOW! And I'm so excited and pleased. Thank you for writing. For blogging. For parent wisdom. For funny stories. Don't stop.

  45. Your kids are hilarious and your writing is hysterical! I was cracking up all the way through. Love your thoroughly descriptive musings. I also sucked the ends of my hair when I was a kid. My daughter hasn't discovered it yet. But I do love to smell her sweet little neck and wish I could bottle that scent and take it out and smell it periodically as she gets older. SIGH.

  46. Anonymous11:46 PM

    Hi Catherine!

    I loved your 10/23 column at wondertime about not being a "commercial" mom. (I thought I was the only one who compared my housekeeping skills with those of fictional T.V. characters!) My earliest, most vivid childhood memories involve my mother being aggravated with me for some unfathomable reason (unfathomable to a 5 year old, that is. "Why does Mommy get irritated when I ask her what those things labeled "Tampax" are?" "Why does Mommy sigh when I tell her those hilarious knock-knock jokes I made up over and over again?") But even though she was often crabby with us, she was a wonderful mom - very loving and kind, and she always made us feel safe and special. I think that the gentle, loving, caring times you spend with your kids will always outweigh any overbearing, intense, or crabby times. At least I hope so, since my 4-year old son recently let me know that I am the "bad cop" in my husband's and my purported "united-front" style of parenting. When I recently asked whether Daddy got mad at him for doing something naughty, he laughed his fool head off and said, "Daddy doesn't get mad, only Mommy!" Lovely...