Lucy is 5

Lucy’s 5th birthday was yesterday. Which is weird, because I could swear I just gave birth to her like a week ago. But no, apparently it’s been five years.

I swear, I blinked and this happened. Happy 5th birthday, Lucy!

The girls were with me this past weekend, so we had Lucy’s birthday party a few days early. Last year, I found a company that hires out princesses for birthday parties, and we had Elsa and Anna come to her party. She asked if she could have a princess at her party again this year.

And ok, hiring a princess for a kid’s birthday party definitely qualifies as a frivolous expense, and she would’ve been fine if I had said no and that we were only having her friends over to our house. But you know, there are only a few short years where you can make special occasions magical for your children, so why not? Bring on Rapunzel.

Kayla, Sophia, Lucy & Rapunzel

(The funniest part of this whole thing is that I legitimately had no clue until the party was over – when my mom pointed it out – that Rapunzel was the exact same girl who played Elsa at Lucy’s party last year. I guess I figured that they had one girl who always plays Elsa, one who always plays Rapunzel, etc.? But no, apparently they’re multi-talented. I feel like an idiot because I was talking to this girl for over an hour with no clue that she’d been in my house and met my kid a year ago. But Lucy didn’t notice either, so we’ll call it a win.)

Lucy and Rapunzel

The kids all had a blast, and Catie got to hang out with her cousins, so even the non-Princess-loving crowd was happy. Overall, A+ birthday party.


Funny timing: Lucy officially turned 5 yesterday, and tonight we have kindergarten orientation at the school where she’ll start going in two months. (TWO MONTHS! She starts the first week of August!) I know she’s nervous about going to “big school” because she won’t know anyone there, and she’s extremely shy with people she doesn’t know well. Hell, I’m nervous for her. But I’m trying to make it as exciting a transition as I can. (“You’re such a big girl now! You get to go to big school with Catie!”)

Her daycare is having their pre-K graduation program at the end of June. And I know the whole notion of pre-K graduation is silly. It’s not like she’s finishing college. But this marks the end of us going to the daycare where one or both of my kids has been for the last 6 1/2 years. Catie started there right before she turned 3, and Lucy’s been there since she was 2 months old. This place has been part of our daily lives for so long, it feels like the end of an era.

Lucy's pre-k graduation photo

And yeah ok, I’m super-excited that I won’t have to pay for daycare anymore. (Mama’s getting a raise!) But not gonna lie, I’ll probably cry during that graduation program.


Happy birthday, Lucy Goose. I always think that it’s no coincidence that your name, Lucille, means “light” – you are an absolute ray of joy and sunshine in our lives. We love you so much, and I cannot wait to see what this year brings for you, my sweet girl.

Lucy is 4

Yesterday, Lucy turned 4 years old.

So, that Timehop "then & now" feature... Wow.

We had her birthday party on Saturday, and since I learned at Catie’s birthday that having a party at our house is actually not all that stressful, we decided to do Lucy’s party here too. (Until Catie’s party, I’ve always farmed out the birthday parties to different venues: a bounce house place, the science museum, whatever. Playing hostess stresses me out beforehand when I’m trying to get my house clean and organized, but it ends up being a lot more fun.)

There were 4 kids from Lucy’s daycare who came to her party, and because it’s Lucy, everything had to be Frozen-themed. And since we were going with that anyway, I decided to go all out with a couple of special party guests:

Lucy with Elsa and Anna

There’s a local company where you can hire any of the Disney princesses to come to your child’s birthday party – I get the impression that they’re mostly college girls with licensed Disney costumes – so we had Elsa and Anna come to Lucy’s party. And I have to say, if you have a princess-obsessed little girl, and you have the opportunity to hire a “professional” princess for your kid’s birthday party: DO IT.

hugs with Anna

The princesses were great, they have a whole little agenda for birthday parties: they had story time, they had a little arts & crafts project, Elsa put eye shadow & little sparkles on all the girls, Anna painted their nails, we went outside so they could get “sprinkled with pixie dust” (which I’m 99% sure was glitter hair spray), and then we sang happy birthday and had cake.

It was so fun. Lucy keeps asking how far a drive it is to Arendelle, and when Elsa and Anna can come to our house again.

doing a group photo with a bunch of 4 year-olds, this is about as good as it gets
Best group picture I could get. They’re only 4, you can’t expect too much.

The 3 little girls who came to the party were TOTALLY on board with the princess thing; the one little boy there wasn’t into it at all, and he mostly hung out with Catie and they had play swordfights. Although it’s funny that he was the only boy Lucy wanted to invite – she calls him “boy Jackson” because there are 2 kids at her daycare named Jackson, one is a boy and one is a girl. (The girl is, obviously, “girl Jackson.”) They’ve been in the same class since they were 2, and they adore each other.

As Jackson was leaving the party, I asked him and Lucy to smile for a picture for me. They automatically put their arms around each other and Lucy put her hand on his chest, and I swear this is the pose of every senior prom portrait ever taken.

I asked Lucy to smile with her friend Jackson & they defaulted to Prom Pose.
Totally saving this for their wedding slideshow someday.

The weekend was also great because my sister flew in, and my brother and his girlfriend drove over from Charlotte for the weekend. (My brother and his girlfriend just recently adopted both a puppy and a kitten, and brought both along. Catie went nuts over them; Lucy was pretty much indifferent – if it isn’t a baby or a princess, it doesn’t hold her interest.) It was fun to get to visit with them, and the girls love having them around.

Sunday was Lucy’s actual birthday, and since we did the party on Saturday, and my siblings went back home on Sunday morning, we spent the afternoon at the pool with my cousin and her kids.

Lucy's party was yesterday, so we celebrated her actual birthday with a couple of hours at the pool with her cousins.
Lucy didn’t seem to have any complaints.

A couple of years ago, when Lucy was two, I remember saying that I wanted a fast-forward button so I could skip ages 2 and 3. The toddler tantrum years are my least favorite, potty-training is the WORST, and I just wanted to skip ahead to 4. Four is so fun! And what do you know, we finally made it here at last.

Happy birthday, Lucy Goose. You are a ball of pure comedy, joy, and delight, and I couldn’t be happier to be your mama.

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: "Happy Birthday, Pop-Pop" edition

Today is my dad’s birthday. This picture of him with Lucy makes me smile every time I see it.

Lucy & Pop-Pop going for a walk

And so does this one of him with not-quite-2 year-old Catie.
Pop-Pop and Catie

And as a throwback – this picture of me with my dad makes me smile too. But in this case, it’s more because of his sideburns and maroon leisure slacks. (Thank you, 1976!)
1976 - me & my dad

Happy birthday, Dad. Your girls love you very much.

60 months

Dear Catie,

Today, you are five years old.

Climbing back up the slide

Actually, you informed me this morning that today is not your birthday, because you said that it’s stupid that your party is not on the same day as your actual birthday. I can’t really argue with that logic, but today is your real birthday. Get used to the fact that your birthday will not always fall on a weekend. Just because you were born on a Saturday afternoon doesn’t mean that’s when your birthday will always be.

Sitting on the deck with my girl while she tells me about her day.

This was probably the hardest year of your life so far, and my hope is that it’s the hardest one you’ll ever have to face in your life. You became a big sister, your dad and I separated, and we moved to a new house – all in the span of six months. The experience almost broke me, so I cannot imagine how hard it was for you. I am so sorry for that. I don’t even know how I’ll begin to explain it all to you when you’re older and start to ask questions.

Overall, though, I have to say that you’ve handled everything phenomenally well.

Sisters cozied up at bedtime

Sometimes I worry that I put too much on you. Since it’s just the three of us now, I ask you to help out with a lot of things. Sometimes I’ll catch myself starting to ask you to do something, and I’ll hold back. I don’t want you to grow up feeling like you didn’t get to have a childhood because you had to be Mommy’s Helper all the time. I want you to be a kid.

When you get upset with me, you sometimes yell that you don’t want to be a big sister anymore. My response to that is always the same: “You don’t have to be a big sister. You just have to be Catie.” Because, baby girl? Let me tell you, Catie is freaking awesome.

The babysitter brought her son. Who Catie loves. Guilt about leaving = GONE.

I have to say that watching your relationship develop with Lucy has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I was worried before she was born, because you were never interested in babies before we had one of our own. But you are so sweet and nurturing with her, it’s amazing to witness.

Look, you even make the same facial expressions. Freaky, right?

Two girls. One facial expression.

And oh, babe, the way your sister loves you. She lights up every time you walk in the room. You are hands-down her favorite person ever.

Bath buddies.

(I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to get away with calling her “Boopy” forever, though. It’s cute now when she’s a baby, but I’m warning you now, she’s going to get mad about that nickname someday.)

Big sister Catie with baby sister Lucy

You are an absolute joy, and I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am that I get to be your mama.

Me & my Catie-bug

Happy birthday, my sweet Catie-bug. I love you to the moon and back.


back and forth

We’re mostly all better here now, thankfully. I still have a little bit of a cough and Lucy still has a chronic case of Drippy Nose, but I think that’s more just because she’s a baby who goes to daycare. Sort of goes with the territory, right?

I don’t know, what do you think? She looks pretty healthy to me.

This one is apparently oblivious to the fact that her mama has to get up early tomorrow.

This week is chaotic in both good and bad ways. The good is that Catie’s birthday is tomorrow, and my big girl is turning FIVE. YEARS. OLD. A fact which she gleefully tells anyone who’ll listen. So we’re having a party at one of those bounce house places, because I really don’t need her entire daycare class plus all of their parents in my house. She is ecstatic.

[Aside: Can I rant about parents who don’t RSVP to birthday parties? I have 5 confirmed guests and about 11 others that have been given invitations, but I have no idea if they’re coming or not. And the party is Saturday. Rudeness!]

The not-so-good chaos is that Dave is coming for a visit, which means working out details about visitation and dealing with lawyers (because that’s the only way we communicate these days), and all kinds of things that I’d rather not have to worry about.

So, yeah. That stuff. Boo on that.

I also started this new diet thing this week because I decided that my jeans were getting too tight and I’ve had quite enough of that, thankyouverymuch. I don’t really want to talk about it too much because it seems like every time I do, I jinx myself. But that’s another added layer of chaos to my life, just because it’s something new and different, and changes are difficult, yadda yadda.

Lots of ups and downs, clearly. But overall, things are good, I think. Even though I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I’m about to be the mother of a five year-old child. How the hell did that happen?


Today is my 36th birthday. Which is not much of a milestone, since it isn’t one of those numbers that ends in a 5 or 0. But there you have it.

What 36 looks like. (Or, "thank God for instagram filters.")

The good thing about my birthday this year is that Greis was able to come visit for the long weekend, and it’s been a ton of fun having her here. Lucy is still in her all-mommy, all-the-time phase, but Catie only wants Greis to snuggle with her at bedtime, she doesn’t want me at all. Which, you know, is TOTALLY FINE with me. I don’t mind the rejection. Especially when it means I get the chance to do things like, oh, take a shower.

It’s been pretty mellow this weekend. We met up with my cousin Cat and took the kids bowling on Friday night, which was fun. And on Saturday, I got a baby-sitter and had a girls’ night out with Greis, Cat, Trish, Erin, and Amber. It was nice to have a night out with just adults. There were a couple of kids in the restaurant, and every time they acted up, I was just relieved that the shrieking voices didn’t belong to either of my kids, and I didn’t have to react or respond at all.

The one downside of the evening took place as we were leaving. I went to the ladies’ room, and a woman in front of me offered me her stall. I was like, “That’s ok, I’m just… waiting?” She gestured at my stomach and said, “Are you sure?” Realizing what she meant, I said, “Oh, I’m not pregnant.” She looked mortified, so to try to make her feel better (WHY do I feel the need to make HER feel better??), I said, “That’s ok, I just had a baby.” Which, uh, yeah. *cough*7monthsago*cough*

So. Perhaps it’s time to start working out again, methinks?

Anyway, here’s to 36. It’s going to be a year of first-time milestones (e.g., I am now the age I will be when I get divorced), and not all of them are happy ones, but hopefully the positive will far outweigh the negative. Here’s hoping.

happy birthday, Mimi

My mom’s birthday was on Wednesday. I’m not sure if she’ll kill me for revealing her age on the Internet, so I should probably keep it to myself (cough*65*cough).

She mentioned that it was the first time in 41 years that she’s been away from my dad on her birthday. Which is kind of sad, but at the same time, I don’t remember the last time I was around my mom on her birthday, and her grandkids have never been around on her birthday, so we tried to make a big deal out of it. Which meant that Catie and I made a cake.

Happy birthday to Mimi!
(Catie is a little obsessed with Super Mario Brothers — specifically Yoshi the dinosaur — right now. Note t-shirt AND action figures on the counter.)
(Also, gratuitous de-clothed baby with her giant bald spot.)

Of course, even though it was Mimi’s cake, Catie had to do the candle-blowing and applause on her behalf.

Blowing out Mimi's candles for her

Hooray for blown-out birthday candles!

That’s what grandkids are for, right?

Mimi & her grandbabies on her birthday

It was a good day. Happy birthday, Mom. Sorry it took me 3 days to get the pictures online.