Thursday, October 04, 2007

. . . and I'll blog if I want to. . .

It's my birthday! And it has been since 12:03 last night, when Michael got up out of bed to make me a plate of Corn Chex nachos. Sure, necessity is the mother of invention: I'm not saying you're likely to make Corn Chex nachos if you've got, say, nice, whole, fresh tortilla chips instead of a few rubber-banded scrumpled-up bags of stale crumbs. But still. If you've never had dill havarti melted over a plate of cereal, you're missing out.

That's my little gift to you on this day!

It's been lovely, honestly. If you were to read my journals from 1982-1996. . . well, first you'd die of boredom. The melancholy! The broody obsessions! The seeing or not seeing him as I walked to or from my locker or the cafeteria and the subsequent exchange or nonexchange of greetings! But after they'd defribillated you back to life, you'd notice that I used to like to spend my birthday hurting my own feelings about how poorly understood I took myself to be. And I'm happy to report that I may be over that. "You're the best Mama that igzists" was enough to make my day. As was a little special attention from my main squeeze, even if it was accompanied by Ben's standing outside the door asking, about the Pinata treat bags he was filling for his own birthday later this month, "So, three pieces of gum and one peppermint patty?" And us answering breathlessly, "That's right sweetie!" Ah, life.

Thank you for those amazon reviews, and your wagon-circling indignation more generally. Only as I was hitting "post" last week did I realize I was trolling for a response, which you offered me so graciously. I appreciate it more than you can imagine.

The latest at wondertime is here, and also over at Where not one person has responded to my question about BJquatrocinqo. Really? Nobody? Anybody? No?



  1. Happy Birthday! My favorite thing from my birthday was just my daughter telling me all day happy birthday and singing to me. And the cake.

  2. also, BJquatrohuh?

  3. Happy Birthday! I just threw my daughter the most fabulous Cinderella birthday party - complete with making dresses out of paper, dancing in the living room, and losing a shoe. I would throw one for you, too, if you lived more nearby.

    I recently posted several of my high school poems on my blog. I know the angst and misunderstood feelings of which you speak.

  4. Anonymous6:44 PM

    All I can see is that someone with a name simillar to that commented last week at Also, I'm the weirdo who flagged that entry as "helpful". I thought it might help. You know, Big Brother Disney looking over your shoulder to make sure people appreciate what you write. Just trying to do my part. To me, everything you write is helpful because it helps ME be sane! I would be very cranky if I didn't get my *fix*.

    On a silly side note, Catherine, my daughter started Kindergarden this year and is loving it! She is learning all the new last names and finds some of them a little funny. She was saying a couple of them and then turned to me and said, "Grabowski, that's hard to say. You know what I like? Newman. That's a good name. You know, like Catherine Newman." I don't even know if she was associating it with you, but I must say that name a lot and it stuck in her brain. I thought that was very cute. We talk about you guys like we actually KNOW you or something. Whenever I laugh while I'm at the computer, my husband says, "Birdy?" Ususally, the answer is yes. He doesn't really "get" it, so if he ever rolls his eyes, my daughter perks right up and says, "Hey! I love Ben and Birdy!" She's just like her mother. You'll find me in my wagon circling around:-)

  5. Anonymous6:46 PM

    Does BJquatrocinqo have to do with what was going on behind closed doors with Michael? Was that your gift to him?;-)

  6. Anonymous6:49 PM

    Happy Birthday, dear Catherine. Are you 39 years old now, too? I seem to remember that we're about the same age, but maybe that's wishful thinking. I know I don't share your love of chex cereal. I mean, I like it, but not enough to forego a good tortilla chip.

    We've got a birthday coming up, too. Wizard of Oz. My baby is turning four. Love this age.

  7. Anonymous up there has a pretty funny guess. Happy B-day! I read your entry out on just to show some support. Just for some dill havarti variation, someone told me once to make a havarti grilled cheese sandwich with avocado slices. Mm.

  8. Happy birthday to yoooooou.
    I actually burned my old diaries because NOBODY IN THE WORLD needed to see them. Ick!

  9. Must comment to say happy b-day! I hit the big 3-0 just yesterday. Hope that your day looks up from the cereal nachos, unless that's a treat to you. Then - hey - you go!

  10. Anonymous8:38 PM

    This reminds me of the show "Little Britain" where at fatbusters the facilitator is asking if anyone knows the fat content of "dust," and the skit goes, "Dust? Anybody? Yes? Dust. Anybody? Yes? Dust. Anybody?" and so forth.

    Non sequiteur. (Sp?) okay.

    Happy to circle the wagons. Anytime. And Happy Birthday!

  11. Aw, Happy Birthday to you.

    Like Beck, I don't have my old diaries, but I kept my baby sister's and I'm possibly going to read an excerpt from it when she gets married one day. 'Cause I'm sisterly like that.

  12. How I love that Birdy, hatching her wolfish schemes. (And yes, this is a comment on your Wondertime post, but after ten minutes of trying to convince that a postal code is JUST AS GOOD as a zip code, I give up.)

    Happy birthday to you!

  13. Happy Birthday Catherine!

    Sounds like it was perfect.

    I will head over to Wondertime to see what that big word is all about...

    Best wishes!

  14. Anonymous10:03 AM

    Happy Birthday Catherine! Many happy returns of the day :^)

  15. Happy Birthday Catherine!

    It is a great place to be, isn't it. When we can simply enjoy the little things. Once in awhile I hang out with a few friends who are single and I think- GASP GASP GASP BREATHE- I am SOOOOOO glad I'm not there anymore.

    Plus, I wouldn't have these beautiful girls, that insist on keeping me up at night a la newborn-in-the-house. And that's FUNNY. Because our "newborn" is a year old. And what would I do with more sleep anyway? I certainly wouldn't be able to sit around feeling smug about how great I can function on 20 minute increments. And I would probably get all bent out of shape wondering if I spelled "increments" correctly.

    So anyway. Happy Birthday again!

  16. Oh, what an idjit I am! Happy birthday!!! Happy!!!

  17. Happy Birthday! Enjoy it in all your Uber-Fantastique'd'ness!

  18. Happy birthday to You!!! And happy birthday to me - I turn 38 today. My kids "made" me breakfast in bed, and then ate it while I got up and packed their school lunches. Thinking of you up in beautiful Massachusetts, my home state, and wishing we could share a slice of birthday cake and a latte together.

  19. Congratulations Catherine! And what a coincidence! Yesterday, I didn't know it was your birthday, but I was certainly thinking about you. I was reading my new Wondertime in bed, and I found this funny little bit about chopped up broccoli, and being on the kid’s side, in a recipe that I just HAD to read out loud to my sweet, tolerant, accustomed to being interrupted while he's reading, husband. A few minutes later I exclaimed, "Hey, this is Catherine! That woman who's blog I've been reading for years! This is that Thanksgiving article she blogged about last month!"
    I've been reading bits of your blog to my husband since the Brining up Ben days on The fact that they were smart enough to hire you is one of the reasons I subscribe to Wondertime. My own children are 7 and 2. I love your writing, and your attitude, and your affinity to books like "Animal Vegetable Mineral." I guess last night was a non-negative final straw for my husband, because he looked at me and said, "You need to email Catherine." He knows I think of you as a friend.
    I guess it's been a pretty one sided friendship. I never provide you with support and encouragement. I never tell you funny stories about my latest feels-like-failure-but-totally-isn’t as a parent to which you can TOTALLY relate. I've never even given you my, "there's only healthy food in the house and I need a sweet snack" things to do with peanut butter recipes. I'm sorry. If you ever need me, I'm here for you! Thanks for being there for me, and Happy Birthday!

  20. Happy birthday, Catherine! I LOVE reading your column every week.

  21. My birthday was the 2nd! How did I not know your birthday is the 4th?? I've been reading your columns for 5 years (since I was pregnant with little Sydney, my 4 1/2 year old!), but I have never commented. Suddenly, I "get" the whole commenting thing because I started a blog yesterday! I'm a woman obsessed checking back to see if anyone has commented! That being said, I'll go over to Family or wondertime and make a comment!

    Happy Birthday!

    Julie (I'll explain sometime why I'm "SimonSays")

  22. Happy Birthday!

    (Note to self: find and destroy depressing high school and college diaries....)

  23. Happy Birthday Catherine.

    My present to you on this day was to lie to Disney about my address so that I could set up a profile to comment at

    I hope you don't mind but I used your zip code. I reside in Sydney, Australia and that apparently wont cut it over there.

    So here's to the new fake Amherst resident. I even Google Earthed Michael's Body in Balance office address so I could see what my new home town looks like. Looks very nice from above.


  24. happy birthday!geez it's hard enough to post on thos sites, now you want pictures??? jst kidding, that is actually pretty funny and makes it obvious that we all logged on from here or wondertime! btw - if you search for catherine newman it doesn't return your blog. they need to fix that.

  25. Dear Catherine,

    Happy Birthday, and what a day it is! It is also our wedding day, and in Sweden somebody (?) has named this day "kanelbulledagen" i. e. cinnamon roll day. Best wishes from Stockholm (and a big fan!)

  26. Happy Birthday Catherine! Like Beck, I burned all my old diaries from that time period as well. All the tear-stained, smudged entries, "He says he likes me as just a friend. Maybe it's because I'm too fat. That's it. I'm fat. From now on I will eat only a single apple and one diet coke a day until I lose 10 pounds". And so forth. But happy birthday! You bring such joy to all our lives, all of us crazy, semi-stalking fans! All of us mamas who you don't know but nonetheless you speak for so succinctly.

  27. Anonymous1:10 AM

    Happy happy Birthday! Peppermint patties! That is really making me laugh for some reason...

    Glad to hear of all the mintiness of your celebration.

  28. A Libra? I always kind of had you pegged as a Scorpio. Anyway. Happy Birthday! Sounds like it was just right.

  29. Anonymous4:23 PM

    Catherine -- isn't that "Ding Dang DUNG?"

  30. Anonymous5:21 PM

    Lol! Regarding "special attention", my husband is a massage therapist also. We have often found ourselves sneaking behind closed doors so daddy can give mommy a "quick massage".

    (Thank God for online anonymity - as I'm sure that statement alone violates many codes of ethics in the profession!) :)

    Of course my son thinks nothing of it. What other possible reason could we have for locking ourselves in a dark bedroom in the middle of the day?

    *We used this same sad excuse when my mother lived with us - probably not quite as believable to 56 year old woman? Oh well, you do what you can.

  31. Anonymous8:15 PM

    That's my birthday too. Happy to share it with you.
    And the best part of my whole day was my four year old daughter squeezing my neck and telling me "You're da best mama in the whole world."

  32. Catherine Newman shares a birthday with my husband! One more reason I'm glad I married him! Yay, and happy birthday, you awesome Libra woman, you!

  33. Anonymous12:23 AM

    Happy Birthday, dear Catherine!
    I have two lovely Libra girls of my own (ages 5 and almost 7). I recently had to explain to them that the sign of the scales did not refer to the scales on a fish. Indeed, they were a little disappointed that they weren't a fish or a crab, or a even arrow-slinging horse/man. But they'll get over it...Here's to another manic and magical year of motherhood!

  34. Anonymous3:47 AM

    Happy birthday mama! To the best blogging mother ever. Your posts remind me why we should keep celebrating birthdays no matter how old we get. Because that's life and we are blessed to have one. Thanks for being so open with all of us about, well, almost everything!

  35. Happy Birthday Catherine! My daughter turned two on the 4th as well. It was a fine day for a birthday.

  36. Anonymous2:16 PM

    Well, I didn't have chips, chex, cheddar, or havarti, so I tried Velveeta on corn flakes. Nnngg.

    Happy birthday, mama llama!

    Your pal,


  37. Happy Birthday dear Catherine!
    Sounds like you had a great day!

  38. catherine, do you know that you were the first blog i EVER read? then i started reading beck. and now i am totally into blogging. and i love coming back here and going to wondertime.


    i would probably scarf down corn chex nachos.

    and i am also an october birthday. which means we ROCK.

  39. Happy Birthday a week late...we were too busy celebrating my husband's birthday (on the fifth) and I haven't read in a while.

    1) tell Ben and Birdy that Osaka has big sinks in the back where they wash the dishes and that's where I'd take a bath, after eating ALL the sushi.

    2)I still get mad at my brother if he "thinks about looking at me" Don't you? (get mad at your own siblings not my brother...though if you met my brother you probably would get mad at him)

    3) Did you get a Tom's of Maine free sample this week as the kids club at whole foods? You know they are part of Colgate now. Bummer.

  40. Anonymous1:27 PM

    The suspense is killing me!! Who is BJcuatrocinco????? PLEASE tell me!

  41. Happy belated birthday, lady!

  42. OK, so I am posting late to this entry, since you've moved on to a new one, but I couldn't resist feeling a further kinship with you----since my Birthday is Oct. 5th!! OH! us crazy Libras, never completely able to strike a balance.

    I have loved reading your book and posts over the past many years. I have a boy whose Birdy's age and then another 3 years younger. I love seeing "where we are going". Reading about your kids offers wonderful perspective.

    Thank you for sharing you life.