Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Beavers Are Very Sad Animals

Apparently. Because this is the expression Ben is making in every one of our Halloween pictures.

Maybe it's the incessant chewing down of trees, the constant building of dams and lodges, never knowing which are the dams and which are the lodges or what the difference is. Or maybe it's simply that they pity the fearful snakes they run into.

*Note: for your viewing pleasure, I airbrushed in a few extra chins on myself. Just to highlight the difference between Birdy's peach-face and my turkey-neck-face.

For some reason, after trick-or-treating for hours and generating 36 pieces of seasonal candy (but who's counting? Oh, Ben is.), it occurred to Birdy that she would die an immediate snakey death if she did not unwrap and devour her 10-month-old chocolate Santa from last Christmas. And so she did.


  1. Anonymous11:20 PM

    Well, here's a tidbit about beavers I bet you didn't know...

    "Wildlife rehabilitators find beavers to be gentle, reasoning beings who enjoy playing practical jokes. An Indian word for "beaver-like" also means "affable."

    Practical jokes? Like building trap-doors in their lodges so that the other beavers fall through?!Who knew?

    Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  2. Omg! How absolutely adorable!!! Did you make Ben's costume this year? And Birdy looks fantastic as a snake! But I had no idea snakes had such a love of chocolate Santas!

  3. OMG, could they be cuter?

  4. They are so incredibly cute!! Their costumes look great, and honestly, you do too. Thank you for sharing. :-)

  5. I was a nun for Halloween and my niece's first Halloween in America (my cousins wife and baby: they are Romanian) she dressed as a witch and was painfully cute. I should post a pic too! :)

  6. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Very nice, Catherine! I should have pictures of my toucan and "chicky the duck" up any day now. I think Birdy and I come from the same school of chocolate eating -- but it's chocolate, it can't go bad!

  7. Too,too cute!! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Anonymous9:04 AM

    Catherine, are your kids TOO cute?? Birdy and I are of one mind. I'm sure that Santa needed eatin'!

    Ben makes a terrific and solemn beaver.

    As for you, you're beautiful and you shouldn't say otherwise!

    It sounds like you guys had a wonderful Halloween. On to the food holidays!

    PS-As far as posting or not, please know that you shouldn't stress out about posting to the blog. This isn't work, it's FUN! If you are only posting to keep the rabid masses away (that's us) and you aren't having fun, then that's no good. Post when you can. We understand your life is busy and crazy or maybe sometime you just don't feel like writing, doggone it. We are your devoted fans and we'll take what we can get!


  9. The kids are adorable as always!

  10. Anonymous10:06 AM

    I was actually admiring your GORGEOUS teeth and pretty hair ... not your chins :)

  11. Anonymous10:07 AM

    I was actually admiring your GORGEOUS teeth and pretty hair ... not your chins :) The kids look great ... you're too creative!

  12. Oh, Catherine, you look like such a happy, healthy, hip, BOOteeful (get it? Boo! ha! I slay me. Okay, not really) momma with your adorably solemn beaver and equally adorable chocolate-loving snake.

    Thanks so much for sharing the pictures!

  13. Very cute indeed. We had princesses at my house Cinderella and Tinkerbell to be exact. Ever since our trip to WDW this summer we are all about the princesses.

    You look fab-I should have such straight white teeth...not to mention a good pair of shades do wonders...add lots of mystery and hide any wrinkles lurking around.

    Have a great week. And I ditto another person...blogs are meant to be fun no? If it even feels a tiny bit like a chore then you should take a break. Life is for living too and it looks like you are doing just that these days.

    Take care,

  14. Anonymous1:26 PM

    Too hard to resist! Here's a pic of my new daughter as a chile pepper

  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  16. I see a beautiful, happy mother and two very adorable kidlins (oops, sorry, a beaver and a snake :)) Thank you so much for sharing. Birdy has the same look my almost 4 year old gets when something isn't really what he thought it was going to be.

  17. How on earth did you get Ben to leave his teeth on? They're both very impressive costumes. I'm glad to see that your inagural sewing project (the snake hood) has been revived!

  18. LOVE the pictures--especially the one of Birdy in the leaves on Wondertime. BEAUTIFUL! And I ALSO have to reiterate: you look FAB!

  19. Found this on a website called "The Animal in You": "Their conscientious attitudes makes them dependable as friends and a commitment from a beaver is like money in the bank. "

    Sounds like a pretty good description from what I know of Ben from your writing.

    And I'm starting to think that maybe the beaver is a very good national animal for (we) Canadians to have -- practical jokes, affable personalities, conscientious and good friends. (Not to mention humble, right?)

    And you and Birdy both look scrumptious.

    My latest post includes a picture of my little World Babyweight (tee hee) Champion boxer. Yay! I love trading photos.

  20. Anonymous5:21 PM

    Ditto the comment on your GORGEOUS teeth and pretty hair, but I know, we are our own worst critics, aren't we? Love your wee woodland creatures too!

  21. Anonymous6:15 PM

    I totally thought the same thing (as another commenter) about your teeth: they're beautiful! And so is your hair. Not that I'm jealous or anything. Well, okay, I am of your teeth. But in a happy for you sort of way. Anyway! Pictures! YAY! Precious children.

  22. Anonymous6:15 PM

    Last post was me, Denise. Ohhh it's all clear now! ;-)

  23. Ha! No joke, the first thing I also noticed is your teeth. Are they actually that white? Because I don't even have a history of coffee drinking and mine are nothing like yours. So straight and pretty! Ditto on the hair - you're lovely. As are your children. :)

  24. Now, please don't tell me you made those costumes in one night.

    Because if you did, on top of that hair and white teeth, I think think I'd have to just give up and take a two week nap.

  25. Anonymous1:48 AM

    Oh, totally adorable!! Will (who's 6) and I dressed up last year and momma and baby pandas (specfically Mei Xiang and Tai Shan from the D.C. zoo, lol). However, this year we bowed to peer pressure and he ended up being Darth Vader. We already owned the mask thanks to grandpa, so made a light saber from a wrapping paper tube and had him dress in black. Then, after 5 houses, he decided he'd trick or treated enough and was done! I've never heard of a 6yo who willing turns down free candy, lol.

    The plus side is that I can't eat half of it since he'd notice it missing. Must be Will's subtle way of keeping me on my diet *grin*

  26. Anonymous11:29 AM

    Now it's just getting funny! --How much do we love Catherine's teeth? Soooooo much!

    Catherine, are you feeling self-conscious yet about your teeth? Because they *are* so pretty and so white, but now you are thinking a lot about your teeth, aren't you?

    Pretty soon, you'll start getting wildly vain about them, and be all, "Well, the boobs aren't what they used to be, but, boy, do I have me some teeth!"

    And then we'll spot you in the toothcare aisle of your local Eckerd's, buying out all the special, fancy toothbrushes and toothpastes and teeth whiteners (because you got to keep those choppers at their best).

    I'm just being totally goofy, I know. I've been eating a lot of candy lately, so let's just say it's the sugar talking...

  27. Anonymous1:38 PM

    I just finished your latest Wondertime piece and, apropos of Birdy's comment, must tell you what my daughter Beenie, same age as Birdy, told me yesterday. When asked, "What was your favorite part of your day [at preschool]?", she replied "We got to drink rainwater." "How lovely!" I enthuse, to which she rejoins brightly, "And I got to lick the slide!" "Whose idea was that, sweetie?" "Mine!"

  28. Ah yes, Santas age like a fine wine.

  29. How cute! I experienced a horrible mom moment this Halloween as my 3 yar old, Eddie, wanted to be a froggie. I should have made him the costume, even a green hat with some eyes, but didn't. We found one at WalMart in a size 2t and for some reason thought it would fit-fat chance. So....he was Buzz Lightyear. I think I've scarred him for life.

    Regarding the Wondertime post, and the preciosu things kids say....when we were leaving preschool last night, Eddie saw the moon in the sky. There were also church bells ringing in the distance. Very exciteid he shrieked "The moon is playing us music Mommy!!" He also told me last night that he "had some questions in his mouth" and then asked me all about Santa Claus. He blows my mind.

  30. A few words about gutters; IF you are outside in the rain trying to get water to come past the blobs of goo in your gutters and you are not sure how old your gutters are but they are probably original to the structure, so, say 30 or 40 years old, do not - I repeat, DO NOT use a garden fork to scoot the goo towards the hole where the downspout used to be BECAUSE you might poke holes in places where you don't want water to come through and then you have just made more work for yourself. Not that this happened to me... today...or any other day. OK, now go watch OK Go, on Treadmills on my blog.

  31. Anonymous11:18 AM

    your lips look great and so do(es) your chin(s) (i have at least as many)... and i love love love your curls!!! hate to ask but are they natural? because i had to spend 3 hours in a hair salon to get halfway close to a similar result (yes, my poor neglected kids!) anyway, i really just wanted to tell you that the picture of Birdy lying in the foliage with the sun in her hair is simply magnificent - so don't worry, your blog is the best baby book there is!

  32. Natural Cheetos rule! I am almost too ashamed to admit that I buy four bags of them every time I make groceries. But that's only every 2-3 weeks so that isn't so bad is it?

    I like your Chex Mix - I tired the recipe. But it's also good if you add brown sugar and cinnamon instead of all those salty spices. Depends on what you're in the mood for.

    Last night I discovered that if you spray enough different bathroom cleaners at once and let it sit for a while, arm yourself with a few Magic Erasers and a Chore Boy Golden Fleece scouring pad then re-caulk the next day, your tub can look vaguely presentable again. If you care about that sort of thing. I think I'd prefer the mildew to inhaling all those fumes but I have guests coming so, you know.

  33. Oh, Catherine, fret not about the multiplying chin phenomenon. I swear, every picture taken of a mom holding her baby involves the mom sort of tilting her head in towards her child and then... Voila! Every bit of neck skin folds into multiple protruding chins. Happens to the best of us! And by the way, chins or no chins, I should look so good as you do!

  34. Anonymous2:32 PM

    OMG!! I don't usually post but I couldn't stop laughing at this...

    "when I thought I felt a hair tickling my chest, I pulled my shirt all the way out from my body and looked down its neck into my cleavage. Only when I looked up again did I realize that everyone was watching me — what? Admire my own boobs right at the conference table? Create a kind of a world's record double chin situation?"

    I do this all the time and I thought I was the only one. Why does this seem only to happen at work?
    I have very long hair.
    I usually try to ignore the tickle at first then I try moving my shirt around from the outside but eventually I end up doing the look down my shirt and stick my hand in routine. Too funny.

    I love all of your writing by the way, I've been reading since I got pregnant with my first child over 3 years ago.


  35. Anonymous3:00 PM

    Ah yes, it's hard to fool those little sleuths isn't it? My son is only 2 1/2 and he can pretty much always find me. It's not so much that he *finds* me--he just realizes that I'm not right there and gets so upset that I can't not go back. Sometimes I wish he wouldn't realize that I was gone. I remember times when I was small and I was immersed in something, and after a while realized that I hadn't seen Mom in a while, so I would go searching and find her lying on her bed with a book. I was so happy to find her, and it didn't occur to me until recently that she might have been happier if I had found her a few minutes later.

  36. Good Lord! Can I ever relate to the desire to be invisible - if only for 5 or 20 minutes! My escape is usually walking the dog. Once my husband is home, I say: "you stay in here with Daddy, it's just raining tooo hard..." (note: I love rain, the dog does not.) Now you'd think that as Daddy is only home for a few hours in the evening before it's bedtime that this would be a real treat - Daddy, all to yourself! For 20 minutes! While I walk the dog. But that tenacious little 5 year old will FIND me, (note; we live on 1 1/2 acres, so it's not like he's trolling the neighborhood...). Oh, copper pipe, how I long to know your secrets.

  37. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Oh gosh. I think I remember that one.

    What your name? Mary Jane.

    Where do you live? Down the drain!

    What do you eat? Pig's feet!

    (Can that be right?)

    Isn't it strange how these things get passed down. I loved saying that one. Somethiing about the rhythm of it.

  38. I just read your wondertime post about invisibility, and I think it was my favorite thing that you've ever written. You just get funnier and funnier.

  39. Anonymous9:17 PM

    Thank you so much for the photos! Your family is amazing. Just so precious!

  40. You know what? Sometimes I feel totally invisible, but, malheureusement, not when I want to. I feel that my voice and my body simply do not exist when, for example, I call and try to make two busy children come and eat at the table, or brush their teeth, or anything that is not on their mind at that moment. I feel like a ghost without any authority or persona... But at the computer, five minutes for myself before bath time, oh that is another story. They are like little addicts, craving for the body that half an hour ago they were ignoring like spoiled souls.
    And on another subject, you look gorgeous on that Halloween picture, and bravo for the costumes!

  41. Anonymous10:47 AM

    Funny that you see your chins and we see how pretty you are! Both kids are adorable. I can't believe how much Birdie looks like Ben now. She has grown so much. I remember seeing pictures of baby Ben and then all of a sudden he was big Ben. They grow too fast! I was Professor McGonagal to Chase's Harry Potter this year. We had a blast and it looks like you did too. Thanks for the blog and photos. It's always nice to leave the office work and click over to your site. :-)

  42. Anonymous11:53 AM

    I just read your column on Wondertime about being invisible and I can relate. I felt so bad last night because I wanted to disappear. My beautiful daughter Anna (age 3) needs my full attention at ALL times. I try to multitask but then she says "Mommie, look at me with your eyes"!! Her little brother Jacob, (age 2) wants the same attention. I literally dreamed about running away from home last night. But then this morning when we woke up and they both had to give me a hug and tell me that they missed me (even though they slept in the bed with us) I felt so loved and special.

  43. Anonymous1:01 PM

    Love you work - you are the reason I read Wondertime :).

  44. thank you so much for the extra chins - a few more wouldn't have gone amiss. but couldn't you have added some grey roots and taken those shades off to reveal crows' feet (yes, the feet of many, many crows!). that would have made me feel a bit better. i think the little beaver may be exhausted by the need to file his rodenty teeth down on chocolate - so much more time-consuming than trees. how is the snake's tummy after the aged choc?

  45. Anonymous4:03 PM

    Hmmm. I just read your blog on Wondertime for this week. Maybe it was the full moon or that everyone in my house was completely hopped-up on Halloween candy, but I had the VERY SAME kind of week as you. I just wanted to disappear! Poof! Get me outa here! It was a rough one. But things seemed to have calmed down. We're all good. ...Just a few more Kit-Kats to go...

  46. Anonymous4:59 PM

    Hi, can I comment about

    Your column was simply wonderful this week, and I'm so happy you're still writing for us.

    Wishing to be invisible is so much better than wanting to run away, which have both crossed my mind.

    How is it though, that my husband can be invisible? Do you think he's made of copper? The guy can sit in the recliner and quietly read the paper without being interrupted for like 10 whole minutes. Ah how blissful would that be?

    I love your writing Catherine...thank you thank you thank you for making me feel sane!

  47. Anonymous3:39 PM

    Thank you again for causing me to laugh out loud on an otherwise dull and dreary day. I can always count on you for that! Your sense of humor is awesome and I SO get it! You really lifted my mood. I'm so glad I got my Catherine Newman fix today!
    (re: the blog and the mag entries, both).
    Also, love seeing the new pics of B & B.

  48. Anonymous10:14 PM

    Ok, first time I've posted... and is it about your gorgeous teeth? Your fabulous kids? No, it's the looking down your shirt believing you're invisible thing.

    I can match it: I'm a university professor who teachs mostly first-years, so average age about 18. In my last position, I was one of the only female profs, so felt some pressure to be a professional, yet kinda cool, role model. Uh-huh. Until the day I realised I had, without thinking, did that bra adjustment move... you know the one? Where you slide your fingers under the back strap, kind of tug it down into place, and then (my speciality as I'm big-busted) kind of readjust it along the sides and front. Kind of like re-nestling eggs into an Easter basket. Yup. The looks on most of their faces was mingled awe and horror. We adjourned early that day.

    Just thought I'd share...

  49. the kids look so cute....I think that those are great pics of Ben...our pics of my son (dressed in his homemade batman suit) look like security cam stills of a burglery... he kept dodging the camera and he just looked more cat-burgler than superhero. Go figure, at least he felt super!

  50. Anonymous3:18 AM

    I have so done the 'looking for the tickly hair in the bra' thing, only now I shudder to think where! I have become so other planetary that I just don't think about stuff like that anymore (same thing that allows me to sing silly songs loudly with my 3 year old in the Supermarket aisles).
    Ah well. Can totally agree with the invisible thing. Still being there, just nobody can see you. Sigh. I wonder what they would say, or how they would behave? And yes, MaOdileo, isn't it funny how invisible you can become when you are saying things no-one wants to hear? (Bedtime would be a classic for that around here,)

  51. My Wondertime issue just arrived in the mail, and I want to hug Birdy along with you. I love how you can bring us right into your life, where we can hear every shudder of her sweet little tantruming self and imagine the snot on our own shoulders. My own kids are spaced like Ben and Birdy, and I can fast forward a couple of years and just imagine being in cahoots with my now-almost-4-yr-old son when his now-5 month-old sister throws a Birdy tantrum.

  52. Anonymous1:38 AM

    Or how about this - when my first son was a newborn, I was doing some grocery shopping with him asleep in his car seat in the cart in front of me. Midway through the store, he started to snuffle and wake up. My sleep-deprived brain started to think, oh, crud, am I going to have to feed him in the middle of my grocery trip? And then, which side did I feed him on last time? The right? Yea, the left one feels pretty full. And suddenly I realize that I am feeling myself up in the middle of the grocery store! I slowly lowered my hands ... casually looked around ... and continued my shopping. I don't think anyone saw me, but if anyone was watching the security cameras, they got an eye full!

  53. Anonymous7:00 AM

    Totally off topic, Catherine, but I thought of you this morning. My 6 year old was at the emergency lastnight because she has been screaming with abdominal pain for 2 nights in a row (why do they pick the middle of the night to scream??). As she walks into emerg, BLECH! all over the floor.

    Yup, the sinister Barfing Flu hits our house. I really hope that you and your family get bypassed this year!

    Oh, and I LOVE your costumes. Way more creative than my store bought arabian knight and Dora!

  54. Loved your posts both here and wondertime. Your kids look beautiful and so do you! And concerning invisibility, my kids totally freak out if they bdon't see me for 5 minutes. it drives my husband crazy when they yell for me, even my almost 6-year-old. It's annoying, but boy do I feel important!!!!!!!!!
    Just started my own blog
    inspired by yours, and I read wondertime because of you too.

  55. Morning has broken came on the radio and I thought of you because of the Wondertime post!! :) Hope youre doing well in the craziness of mommyhood.

  56. Anonymous4:48 AM

    you always have such lovely pics of the children, my 12 year pulls faces when I try and take pictures and my 5 year runs and hides, I have to sneak up on them so have some lovely 'unaware' shots but hardly any

  57. Your Wondertime post made me burst in to tears, right here at work. Beautiful.

  58. Anonymous3:33 PM

    I also have a boy aged 7 (june -99), and I know excactly how you feel.

    I watch my son's lean body, his toothless smile, and I remember the even more toothless smile, and the Michelin-man-body from seven years ago.

    He can swim, read, ride a bike, walk with his friends alone to school and home again. He started piano-lessons, plays soccer.

    And it is really strange, because he is only a baby?! Or isn't he?

  59. I just read your birthday post about Ben.

    I think it is one of my very favorite from you.

    I like it when you overcome your "shy"ness to give us these unadulterated peeks into your heart and the bond between you and yours.

    Anyway, it sparkled.

  60. Anonymous5:23 PM

    Wonderful B-day post. It gave me goosebumps.
    How is it that our children grow up in the blink of an eye?

    I was looking at my 3yr old daughter while she was sleeping last night and couldn't help thinking about her as an infant, with her sweet little peach size head.

    Aside from the lovliness steamed brocoli and shrimp dumplings? How do you get your kids to eat so well? My 3 yr old won't eat anything other than cereal, pb and j and pasta. My 1 yr old won't eat anything with lumps, well except for graham crackers of course.

  61. Anonymous7:09 PM

    A perfect post over at Wondertime. I, too, cried as I read it and pictured my own sweet and sensitive son. Isn't it nice to have "an occasion", so that it is acceptable to gush about our children in front of them and their peers? And don't you know how that comment of yours could be one of those nuggets that he always carries with him..."I'm the kind of person who makes people's lives sparkle". What a gift.

  62. Beavers are animals that can make their own house just using twigs or branches or sticks of the plants.

  63. i have read in the bato balani publication about beavers..