Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Oh my gosh, remember Birdy's valentines? Ben was just reminiscing about them and we got to laughing all over again. It seems like only yesterday that she was a chubby almost-four-year-old pummeling her little pals with sentimental snippings of death and devils. And now she's a skinny almost-six-year-old decorating bookmarks with doily bits. "No offense, but do your friends even read?" Ben asked, and although I called him on the tone, he did have a point. But that poor Birdy. She's sick, sick, sick with a fever--the kind where one minute they're lethargically nibbling dry Cheerios from a mug and the next they're lethargically drifting away into a fretful nap that they don't even wake up from when you sneak in to turn off Clifford. That's okay. "I know all these by heart," she'd said earlier about our little DVD of episodes. "They all end with sharing." Indeed.

Please go to family.com for my super-duper fancy-schmancy easy-peasy Valentine's Day recipe. And let them know you were there! They like to know that.

I took this picture just yesterday! Is that the face of a kid who's coming down with something? Actually, maybe it is. The smile doesn't quite make it the rest of the way up her face.


  1. Anonymous4:28 PM

    So sorry to hear Birdy's not well. Fevers are so uncomfortable and you just feel so badly for your kids when they are sick. Hope she makes a fast recovery.

    Loved the chocolate cake recipe!

  2. I *may* have left a comment over there about how surely Disney has the fundage to keep Wondertime going.... But I left it under my alias: "sarahatf."

  3. Anonymous7:48 PM

    A gorgeous child - even with sickness on the way. (Hope she's feeling better.) I echo your sentiments, for my girl, too, is now a skinny-ish six. Ah... missing the younger plumper days sometimes!

  4. Oh, the sad little almost-sick faces of the young ones! I have a picture of mine, at two, sitting on the top of a slide on a beautiful sunny day, his longish hair in his eyes, looking as if he'd been up three nights running and didn't have it in him to go on anymore. I didn't get it at the time, but an hour or two later, he was flushed and crying with fever. Even looking at the picture, a couple of years old now, I want to pull him from the print into my arms and sing to him.

  5. I remember laughing about those Valentines and I laughed again reading tonight.

    I've said it before, but I feel such gratitude to you for putting your writing out here. You've been a companion to me in parenting since I was pregnant with my first and someone gave me your book. Sending back funny stories and words of encouragement and kinship from where you are. I appreciate it so much, and so many times I've gone to tell someone a story from my own experience and come up with your words instead-

    I'm no plaigarist though- I always cite you. And I'm always lifted up and lightened by reading about your family. Thanks.

  6. Almost six year olds are the best. I think Valentine's were invented for them specifically. Too cute.

  7. OMG she is really starting to look *just* like Ben. :)

  8. The chocolate cake recipe was the best! I had to try it out right away; see for yourself: http://blaserkids.blogspot.com/2009/02/i-heart-chocolate-cupcakes.html

    I've tried several times to comment at family.go.com but can't seem to ever get the email verification thing straightened out. Don't know what that's about.

    Birdy looks gorgeous, sick or not. xoxo

  9. Anonymous9:18 AM

    well I've been reading you for 6 years...how do I know? My son turns 6 on Thursday. I was actually able to login to disney & left a comment for you/them. I had to use my email and not my member name to make it work. I laughed out loud remembering Birdy's V-day cards. My son was just talking yesterday about a little angel type guy who comes on valentines day and shoots people with arrows. I said well not really...and he said "it's okay, Mom, he shoots them in the heart!" Well then, that's just great!!!

  10. With my kids, it's always a really pretty rosy complexion the day before they come down with something...You'd think by now I'd realize that no, they don't look adorable, they look flushed :( .

    Hope little Birdy gets all better quickly!

  11. That Birdy is a spittin' image of you! And the cake recipe...yum, yum,yum. I'll go over to family.com, although I will probably have to make up a name and starts some random new email account to do so, as the login really, really doesn't like me (I'm convinced the corportate muckety-mucks heard me trash talkin' them about Wondertime). Max just finished his valentines for is preschool class. My favorite: "To Natalie: Thanks for barfing on William and not me during circle time because it really smelled. Love Max"

  12. Dear Catherine,

    I'm posting today even though the subject of my post is re: events from 4 months ago. I've been out of touch for a while. I can't explain why. But I was looking forward to catching up today and couldn't believe what I found - that your column was kaput.

    So, now that I've stopped crying (seriously, I'm heartbroken...I know, pathetic), I want to catch you up on me (since you know me so well) and tell you why I feel so connected to your writing.

    I've written this to you before, that I started reading your column when I was pregnant with my first child, Mercer, who was born 6 months after Birdy. And the thing I remember most is how I laughed at my desk until I cried and then actually had to walk out of the office into the fresh air after reading your column about Ben quitting his naps, the tampons in the bathtub, etc. Your column captured so well my love and passion for raising children, my efforts to nourish them body and soul as they nourished me, my love of nursing each of them.

    Henry arrived 19 months after Mercer, and Greta, 22 months after that. I've just now weaned her now that I'm 15 weeks pregnant with my fourth. I have been pregnant or nursing for 6 years now. Oh my God. This is the last for sure, and I'm glad, but the madness around here is the most satisfying sensation I've ever felt. I soak them up every day like a piece of bread wiping a bowl of curry clean.

    I guess I tell you all this because I really have felt like there's an invisible line between Colorado and Massachusetts, imaginative in every way since we've never met. But I do feel like I know you and you me. And I'll keep up as much as I can via blogspot. Thank you for continuing to "stay in touch" out here - and for the recipes! I'm a junky for such things so you do have a BIG fan of the new column. You've been such a salve on my raw days of early parenting. I love you and thank you.

    All my best,


    P.S. I honestly can't believe this, but Greta LOVES to suck on the washcloth any time a wet one comes within two feet of her. I think of Birdy every single time and that I need to tell you about that...

  13. Awe, her face is heart shaped, just like the little cakes :)

    Hope she is feeling better soon!

  14. Anonymous6:59 PM

    Okay. I tried. I really did try to comment at Wondertime. Why is it so hard? That message from the Mom in Colorado was beautiful.

    I just wanted to tell you that my Dad used to make a very similar cake for his mother every year at her birthday which was also in February. It was a Mocha Oatmeal cake and he made it in a bundt pan with a mocha icing glaze on top.

    Perhaps I should make both and have a taste test?

    Thank you for the recipe and for always making me smile.

  15. There, I just left you a comment over there telling you all about me having cupcakes in the (literal) oven right now.

    Poor Birdy. I hope she's feeling better tonight.

  16. Anonymous12:10 AM

    I've been commenting like mad on your recipes... recently. i have officially been taking you for granted for 6 years now.. my appologies
    disney schmisney.

  17. I hope sweet little Birdy is feeling better soon!

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. I was finally able to login on Disney-- I used Firefox instead of Safari to log in, so apparently there's some Safari problem, I guess, but there never was before. Anyway, I'm going to look for heart shaped cupcake molds tomorrow. That is, right before I go to a roller skating birthday party for one of my son's buddies. Hopefully, I'll be able to find some high waisted, tight jeans with satin lips sewn onto the back right pocket before I get there. I can't understand why those haven't come back in style yet. There's got to be a hipster with a sewing machine out there somewhere...

  20. Oh! Poor Birdie! My own little Chubby baby has been sick for several days, and I can't believe how grown up and skinny she's looking now.
    I always laugh when I remember Birdie's valentines. They were hilarious!
    I made your tamale pie recipe the other day, and we loved it! Keep those recipes coming. My family is sure grateful!

  21. Anonymous9:42 PM

    I'm a new poster but a longtime fan. This is regarding the amazing Alabama Stitch book; in particular the totally cute reverse applique swing skirt: How do you find enough of the same t-shirt at thrift stores? They're usually one-of-a-kind. Thanks!

  22. You guys are so sweet. Thank you, and happy Valentine's Day! I hope all those other little sickies are better out there. . .

    And anonymous: our Salvation Army has giant racks of men's 2 shirts, hundreds and hundreds of them: 2 extra-large shirts in each color is usually enough fabric to make a swing skirt from. If there's a color I fall in love with, but only one shirt, I buy it and then keep my eyes peeled the next time. . .

  23. Anonymous8:39 PM

    We were sick also. Coughing (Oy the coughing) I re-read all your coughing installments from the old days just to reassure myself that indeed, children can survive all the coughing. (the pediatrician couldn't reassure me in the quite same way) Fortunately, (knock wood) we had no barfing. But a week of missed school, missed Valentine's party, missed play dates, and of course, no sleep.....Is winter over yet? Sorry for the venting and lamenting! Thanks for the great recipe. We will make them when we are healthy ;^) Get Well, Birdy!!!!

  24. It just occurred to me that if Wondertime will no longer be in existence, then the website will not either. That means that all of your column will no longer be available to reread, as I so often do. I am now on a mission to copy all of your posts before the site is no more. Unless you care to put them in a book, which I would gladly buy. So sad to hear about the magazine. I am looking forward to reading more from you in other places and I hope you will keep posting here. :)

  25. Anonymous2:00 PM

    Wow. I forgot about those. 2 years later and I'm still laughing til I snort (and I'm not a laugh-snorter) about those valentines. The best.

    Poor Birdy. She is so, so pretty and that pic makes me so sad.

  26. I loved Birdy's valentine's. Your family cracks me up. Keep writing, Catherine. You inspire me.

    I've tagged your blog in picture game ... come see!

  27. Love is in the air here already even though it is still january!