turning a forest into a play space

The house that we live in now is the house we moved into after Dave and I split up. In a couple of weeks, we will have lived here 4 years. One of the things I initially loved about this place was the yard. It’s full of giant, old shade trees, and the backyard is basically a forest. As long as I took care of the front yard (and let’s be real: I pay a guy to do that for me because I am a slacker about yardwork), I didn’t have to do anything with the back. Since we’re close to a couple of big parks, during the winter months, I regularly see deer wandering through our backyard. It’s nice.

But a few times now, Catie has made comments like, “When we move to our next house, maybe we can have a yard where we can play.” And look, I’m not planning on moving anytime soon. This house is about 1/2 mile from Dave’s apartment, and 2 miles or less from my parents, Lucy’s daycare, and Catie’s school. Basically everything we need is either within walking distance, or we can drive it in less than 5 minutes. We are where we need to be.

So, after getting the ok from my landlord, I asked Chris if he could help me turn the backyard from a forest into a usable space for the kids to have a play area. Half of the backyard is on a sloping hill with a lot of dips and tree stumps, and it leads down to a small ditch, so it’s not really safe for kids. But honestly, in all the time we’ve lived here, I never really noticed that nearly half of my backyard is a flat space, it was just completely overgrown to the point where you couldn’t see much of it.

This is what we were starting with:
Backyard before our cleanup project.
(The angle on this pic is odd because it was taken from an upstairs bedroom window – it was the only way to see the whole area.)

Note the green tarp off to the side – there was a huge woodpile over there, which we found was completely infested with termites. So, that had to go away.

And let me say, Chris gets a TON of the credit for this project that’s eaten most of our last few weekends. This is where it comes in handy to live with a guy who grew up on a farm, because he knows how to get stuff DONE. He chopped down trees and dug up their roots, while I raked and dug up all of the weeds that were sprouting up.

Eventually we got it all cleared out, my yard guy came to haul all of our debris to the dump for us (he’s the only person I know who has a trailer that could do it), and we put down landscape timbers to section off the part of the backyard I wanted to use for the play area.

Backyard project, midway through
Please ignore the random tools strewn about, and the Gatorade bottle on the deck railing.

Then we ordered a few cubic yards of playground matting mulch. The kids had fun with the giant mulch pile.
Catie next to the mulch pile (doesn't really show just how huge it was)
Queens of Mulch Mountain

Eventually we got the mulch spread over the entire play area (the landscape timbers are there to make sure the mulch doesn’t wash away when it rains), and finally, we put together my early Christmas present from my parents: a swing for the backyard.

New backyard swing!

They were pretty excited about it. I couldn’t even get them to get out of the swing when I tried to take a picture of the entire yard.

Backyard project "after".

I like that there’s plenty of open space where they can run around and play. There are a couple of things I still want to do, like put stepping stones from the patio to the play area, so the girls don’t go stomping on the monkey grass every time they go outside. But the big stuff is all finished, and I’m really excited about it.

Of course, we got all of this finished just in time for winter, so they probably won’t get a ton of use out of it over the next few months. But it’ll be ready for them next spring, and I’m already looking forward to it.

Mother’s Day house cleaning

This past weekend was Dave’s weekend to have the kids, and even though it was Mother’s Day, we didn’t really feel the need to change it up. I mean, I guess if the girls had been upset about it, we would’ve altered the schedule? But it’s just a day, and it didn’t feel like a huge deal to any of us.

The kids both made cards for me, which I got on Friday. The daycare teachers always come up with some little craft project for Mother’s Day, which is how I got this little flower pot with Lucy’s face on it.

Kudos to Lucy's daycare teacher: Mother's Day flower pot with my crazy girl's face on it.
I laugh pretty much every time I look at it.

Catie made a comment, “For Mother’s Day, I’m going to let you sleep as late as you want.”

I thought that sounded nice for a second, then I said, “…Do you mean because you’re going to be at Dad’s?”

She laughed and said, “Yeah.”

So, that was Mother’s Day. I slept late, Chris brought me flowers, we had dinner with his mom, and I had some time to relax. I also took on a big house tidying/re-org project over the weekend, which was nice to do without the kids here.

My house was built in the 80s, so like a lot of houses in its era, it has a separate living room and den. The living room is kind of the “grown-up room,” and the den has been designated as the kids’ playroom. Mainly because I think it’s ugly. It’s got dark green carpet and wooden beams along the ceiling, and I just think it looks dated and old. There’s a lot of updates I’d love to do (new carpet, painting), but it’s a rental house, so I can’t.

But the playroom has a problem with getting trashed pretty quickly. See, exhibit A:

Looks like a damn Toys R Us exploded in my house.

It’s just… not very inviting. Since the kids were gone, and it’s so much easier to do these things when they aren’t around, I cleaned out a whole bunch of toys they don’t play with anymore. (If the girls are here, I can’t get rid of anything because suddenly toys they haven’t touched in two years become their most precious belonging, and there are wails of, “…but I LOVE that!” It drives me crazy.) So I’ve stashed away 4 hefty bags of toys, and my rule is that the things they notice are missing and ask for will be returned, but everything else goes to Goodwill in 6 months. I’m betting they won’t notice or miss 99% of it.

I also bought a small bookcase to organize some of their smaller bins, and hung up some curtains, and boom.


So much better!

I mean, the carpet is still ugly, nothing I can do about that, but I feel like the room overall looks more finished. I think there’s something about adding curtains, in particular, that makes a room feel less “naked.”

And yes, I know the kids will trash all my hard work within 20 minutes of their arrival home tonight, but for now, I’m really enjoying it.

I also cleaned out a whole bunch of other stuff, which I didn’t take before-and-after pictures of, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it looks a lot better. And it felt like a really great Mother’s Day gift to myself, to have a tidy house.

And as much as I really didn’t mind not having the kids yesterday, because it was so nice to have the weekend off, I’m also really excited for the girls to come home tonight, so I can get all the extra hugs and kisses I didn’t get yesterday.

nothing to see here, folks

It’s never a good idea to sit down and try to write a blog post when you don’t have anything specific in mind that you want to say, but I kinda just want to move that other post down the page a bit.

So! Let’s move on, shall we?

Hey, mind if I complain about my week?

Monday, the kids and I went to my parents’ house for dinner (as we often do, since they live a little over a mile away and they love their grandkid time). At some point, Catie went to use the bathroom. Then I heard her start crying and calling for me.

Turns out, she had a UTI. My parents kept Lucy while I took her to Urgent Care.

That kind of threw the whole evening off. We went to Urgent Care, got a prescription for antibiotics, went to Rite Aid to get it filled, went back to my parents’ house to pick up Lucy, then headed home. It was after the kids’ bedtime already when we got home, and I still had to bathe them and do the whole bedtime routine.

It was somewhere in that frantic bedtime rush that I realized everything in my freezer had melted, and everything in the fridge was cool-ish but not cold.

There are times that I miss being a homeowner. Like, I hate the wallpaper in my dining room-turned-office (it’s a floral pattern that I think is ugly), and I wish I could rip it down and paint the walls a soft, neutral color. But on the other hand, there are times like this, when a major appliance breaks, and I don’t have to pay to fix it, and I thank my lucky stars that we rent this house.

My landlord has a website where we can file maintenance requests, and they’re pretty prompt about responding to them. An appliance repair guy came out the next day to look at the fridge, decided it was too old to bother fixing, and TA-DA! I’m getting a new fridge. Which is awesome.

(Except for the part where it’s now Thursday and I still don’t have a new fridge yet, and I’ve lost a ridiculous amount of money on all the food I’ve had to throw away. Hopefully it’s getting delivered today.)


Complete topic jump: yesterday I took both kids to get haircuts. Catie was way overdue, her hair was the longest it’s ever been in her life. At first, she said she wanted her hair cut short, so she wouldn’t need a ponytail every day (it’s HOT in the South, you don’t want all that hair on the back of your neck if you’re a little kid who likes to play outside). Then she changed her mind and decided she didn’t want it that short after all.

Catie before & after her haircut

My hairdresser, Kim, took off over 3 inches, and it’s still plenty long enough to put in a ponytail.

(I know Catie will probably hate these pictures of herself someday, because I hate all the pictures of me with gap teeth when I was her age, but man, I do love that awkward little smile of hers.)

Lucy waited patiently for her turn to get a haircut.

Waiting her turn at the hair salon. (Catie is getting her haircut first.)

Thank God for iPads, man.

Then she sat in the chair like a big girl for her haircut. (Kim had some cushions to boost her up so she wouldn’t need to sit in my lap.)

Lucy during and after her haircut

So, three year-olds are basically grown-ups, huh? Weird.


Another complete topic jump: Chris and I have marathon’ed a lot of shows over the past year or so. We’ve watched Breaking Bad, Homeland, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Masters of Sex, and probably something else I’m forgetting. We’ll watch one or two episodes a night, and work our way through them.

Last night, we watched the first episode of the first season of The Walking Dead.

Y’all, I am… not at all sure that I will be able to handle watching that show.

If you’d like to leave me a suggestion for something good that won’t scare the crap out of me, please do. (And keep in mind it has to work for both of us. Like, I can’t watch Game of Thrones because I can’t handle that much torture/violence. And we can’t do girly shows like Veronica Mars, because, no.)


So, you know, everything is fine. Catie is feeling better (Bactrim is good stuff), and I’m making some fun plans for this weekend while the kids are with me. We’re all good here.

Now if I can just get that fridge delivered…


Every once in a while, I get the urge to rid my life of all excess “stuff.” I’m not really a hoarder or a pack rat type, but with two kids in the house, clutter tends to build up fast. Especially with the kids’ stuff. There are tons of toys and books and things that Catie doesn’t play with or use anymore, but I find myself holding onto it all, just in case Lucy wants it someday.

This past weekend, I got rid of a lot of stuff. I cleaned out my closet and hauled out three large garbage bags of clothes, which I gave to Goodwill. A lot of it was stuff that’s now too big on me, but I had also been keeping all of my old “skinny clothes” that I thought I would wear again when I lost weight. The thing is, though, now that I’ve lost the weight? Those clothes aren’t my style anymore. I don’t like boot-cut jeans now, and I don’t wear shirts with long flowy sleeves because (a) I’m not Stevie Nicks, and (b) I still have to change poopy diapers sometimes and that’s just asking for trouble. So there was a LOT of stuff that I realized I really don’t need.

Then the girls’ clothes… well. I save all of Catie’s stuff so that Lucy can wear it someday. And that’s fine. But now I have boxes upon boxes of clothes that Lucy has outgrown, and I have no need to hold onto any of it.

Back in the summer of 2012, my mom and I had a yard sale and I sold a whole bunch of Lucy’s tiny newborn-size baby clothes, and it didn’t really faze me at all. (I got rid of my maternity clothes at the same yard sale, and I was downright gleeful about that – goodbye, belly-paneled pants!) But for some reason, getting rid of the toddler clothes felt like a punch in the chest to me. Maybe because I don’t have the same memories of my kids as babies that I do of them as toddlers – I’m not a “tiny baby” person, I’m a “18+ months” person. I think they’re so much more fun when they can walk and talk and show their personalities. So I guess that’s what made it harder.

And the thing is, I know I don’t want another baby – really, most days I feel like I’m barely hanging by a thread with the two that I have, and I honestly, truly, absolutely DO NOT want another kid. But there was something about the finality of it that got me. As I dropped everything off at Goodwill on Saturday, I had to look away really quickly from the pile I’d just set down so I wouldn’t cry.

I’m still cleaning stuff out. I’ve had a dresser sitting in my garage since I moved into this house, because I have no place to put it, and I finally listed it for sale on craigslist. (Note that we’ve lived here for two years now. That dresser has been there a LONG time.) And there are tons of toys in this house that both of my kids have outgrown, and a lot of families who do all of their holiday shopping at places like Goodwill and could really use them.

Plus, you know, my girls are both about to get a whole new pile of stuff for Christmas, so really, it’s not a bad idea to lower the current inventory in the toy boxes.

I’m not sure if it’s the holidays or what that’s given me this restless need to get organized. But it feels really good to offload a lot of this stuff.

On the new sleeping arrangements

To follow up on that last post, I have now set the girls up with a shared bedroom.

Oooh, wait! Funny side story about that: Dave was going to help me move furniture around last weekend, since he was in town. Then Friday night rolled around, and I had a date. Yay for me, right? This guy asked me out to dinner, and I think it’s important to note here that we had gone out once before, and he was still texting me daily, so it’s obviously not like he was completely repulsed by me.

So, we go out to dinner at this really fantastic sushi place, and the waiter is really prompt about refilling my Diet Coke, which is keeping me happy. We had met for dinner at 6:00, and then we finish eating, and I’m like, “So, want to go see a movie or grab a drink or something?” And he was like, “Nah, I’m really tired, I think I just want to go home and go to bed.” He walked me to my car and gave me a hug, and THAT, my friends, was very clearly the end of the date. It was over by 7:15 p.m. On a Friday night.

That’s weird, right? It’s weird. Oh, and then he continued to text me afterward. I swear, I do not understand dudes.

(Also: total waste of both mascara and leg-shaving.)

After the Comically Short Date, I went home and I was thinking that I might watch a movie or something, but I was ridiculously hyped up because I had consumed something like a MILLION Diet Cokes while we were at the restaurant. So, I decided to rearrange all of the furniture by myself. On a Friday night.

(Pro tip: Don’t ever try to move a queen-size bed by yourself, unless you happen to really enjoy any excuse to take muscle relaxers.)


So, the way I did this (for like the 3 people who read this who know what the inside of my house looks like):

* Lucy’s old room is now the guest room. (Which makes sense, because it’s right next to the hall bathroom, so really, it’s friendlier accommodations for my guests.)

* Catie’s old room is now her “office”/playroom. (I got a desk for $30 on craigslist and set her up with all of her art supplies up there. She LOVES it. And it keeps her crayons off of my kitchen table, so I love it too.)

* The former guest room is now the girls’ combined bedroom. I ordered a whole mess of vinyl wall decals, because it lets the kids personalize the room without damaging the walls or making me worry about my security deposit.


Catie chose the design aesthetic. It’s a combination of flowering trees, butterflies… and jungle animals. Because why not, that’s why.

My mom saw it and said, “I love it. I mean, it’s completely insane, but it’s perfect.” I think that about sums it up.

Lucy’s side of the room:
Lucy's side of the new room

Catie’s side of the room:
Catie's side of the new room
(Yes, Catie is a little old for a guard rail, but she is what you might call an “active sleeper,” so trust me, it’s still necessary.)

You may also note that each kid has their own Dream Lite pillow pet on their bed. Bedtime is like a freaking Pink Floyd laser light show up in here.

Anyway, since Dave has been in town, we’ve only had a limited test run with this experiment, but so far, 2 of the 3 nights that they’ve spent in the new room, Lucy slept through the night and didn’t make a peep.

Hang on a second, I’m gonna need to say that again and bust out the all-caps.


Last night was the first night we’ve had a problem, and it was because Catie was snoring like a damn lumberjack and it kept waking Lucy up. I finally remembered to turn on the humidifier – partly to help with Catie’s snoring, but also because the white noise would drown out the sound so Lucy could sleep, and then they both slept fine for the rest of the night.

So, I am being VERY cautious because I don’t want to get overly excited here and jinx everything, but I think we maybe, possibly, kinda-sorta miiiiight have found a solution that’ll work for us.

Now, quick, throw some salt over your shoulder or knock on wood or light a candle or something.


P.S. Gratuitous pic of my kid because it makes me laugh.

Lucy wearing her big sister's hoodie

Yeah. That face. I swear. She’s damn lucky she’s cute.

random odds & ends

Lucy isn’t sick anymore, but she’s still in some Demon-Possessed Toddler phase of waking up several times a night. Why? NOBODY KNOWS. Just for laughs, I guess.

Since I have to, you know, work during the day and actually be a functional human being, my mom has been sleeping over in the guest room for the past several nights. So she gets up with Lucy and lets me sleep. This is another instance where I don’t know how I’d survive this whole single mom thing without my family nearby to help me out. It’s been a life-saver.

Still, this phase cannot pass soon enough for me.


Catie has been taking swim lessons, and has amazed me with how well she’s doing. I’ve been cajoling her all summer to put her face anywhere near the water, and she refuses. During her second swim lesson, her teacher said, “Simon says, put your nose in the water and blow bubbles,” and she just did it, no questions asked.

I guess it goes to prove that other people can get your kids to do stuff that you can’t do, it takes a village, blah blah blah, but still! She put her face in the water! Voluntarily! I’m so proud of her.


Speaking of Catie, at what age am I supposed to start correcting her when she says things wrong? Or do I leave that for school to do? Because I love some of the ways she says things. Like, instead of “anyway,” she says, “anywayses.” And instead of “each other,” she says, “each ozzher.” (Like the S sound in treasure.)

It’s adorable and I don’t want her to stop, but I also realize that it needs to end at a certain point so she doesn’t sound uneducated. I’m just not sure when that point is.


We’re going to the beach this weekend. Originally this started as a simple thing. Ali is going to be in Wilmington for a wedding, and I couldn’t let her be 100 miles away and NOT stop by to give her a hug, so I figured I’d drop the kids with my folks and make a quick road trip.

Then, my dad mentioned the fact that he hasn’t seen the North Carolina coast yet, and he hasn’t dipped his toes in the Atlantic for over 50 years, and he sure would like some decent seafood… (my dad is not the most subtle at dropping hints). So, I figured, ok then, let’s just make a family trip out of it. It’s going to be short, because hotels + my kids = nobody sleeps very well. So we’re leaving on Saturday morning and coming back on Sunday afternoon.

Still, I’m curious to see how the girls react to the ocean this time. Catie hasn’t been since she was 3, and she was terrified of the waves then, but she might have outgrown that. And Lucy’s never been, so it’ll be cool to see what she thinks of it.


Last night, I walked into the kitchen and saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I turned just in time to see a tail disappearing behind the stove.

I didn’t know what it was. Mouse? Rat? Maybe just a lizard with a bad sense of direction?

After jumping up and down and freaking out and questioning whether or not my renter’s insurance would cover arson if I burned the place down (unlikely), I called my mom. She was on her way over to spend the night here; instead, she made a detour to Rite-Aid and bought a mouse trap.

(It was one of these covered ones, in case you’re curious. And btw, I love that they advertise it as “re-usable.” As if I’m going to re-use it! Oh D-Con, you so crazy.)

We baited it with some peanut butter and set it up. When I came downstairs this morning, I was glad that it was a covered trap, because I didn’t have to see the gore, all I saw was the tail sticking out of the trap.

So, yeah, it worked. Rest in peace, mouse. Thanks for not giving any of us the Bubonic Plague, I guess.

I threw the trap away, and I suppose that I will eventually, someday, stop shuddering and dry heaving. I doubt it’ll happen anytime soon, though.

Also? WTF, Beaumont? Back when we lived in the sticks, that cat was a mouser that killed all kinds of critters. I guess now that we live in the suburbs, he decided to retire? He is SO FIRED.


Next week, I get to fulfill a dream I’ve had since I was 7 years old: I have tickets to see Duran Duran in concert. My cousin Cat, who has loved them as long as I have, is going with me. When I found out I was going, there was much squeeing and bouncing. I don’t have words to explain how excited I am. But I think it’s a safe bet that the odds of me embarrassing myself next Tuesday night are going to be uncharacteristically high, even for me.

learn from my mistakes, people

So, yesterday. Oh man, where do I start?

(Be warned, this is a long story.)

Yesterday started off as a good day. Got the girls off to daycare with no problem, I was able to squeeze in a run during my lunch break, I was really productive with work, etc. All good stuff.

Then it started to go south.

I was supposed to pick Catie up from daycare early to go on a tour of her new kindergarten. She doesn’t start for a couple of months, but she’s been a little anxious about the idea of kindergarten, so I figured that maybe checking the place out would ease some of her worries.

I had a work conference call come up, which I absolutely could not miss, and of course it conflicted with the time of the kindergarten tour.

I called my mom in a panic. She said not to worry, she’d pick Catie up early and they’d go to the local garden center together, to distract her.

(Side note: Catie is currently obsessed with helping my mom with her flower beds. They work in the yard together all the time. It’s completely adorable. Maybe the green thumb gene skips a generation, because lord knows I don’t have it.)

I was stuck working until late, but my parents had both kids and said they’d feed them dinner, so I was fine. (Hooray for grandparents!)

I wrapped up work around 6:30 pm and headed over to their house. As soon as I pulled up in their driveway, I burst out laughing, because this was in my mom’s front flower bed:

The bane of my existence

Without even asking, I knew it meant that Catie saw the lawn flamingo at the garden center and begged my mom for it, and she caved.

I went inside still laughing, and my mom said, “Oh no, that’s Catie’s flamingo. She’s taking it home with her. She wants to put it in your yard.”

Umm, are you kidding me? Have you SEEN my house? I basically live in a pastel blue Easter egg.

See, look:

Apparently the landlord is a big UNC fan. I don’t know.

I mean, I don’t particularly care because it’s a rental and it suits my purposes, but let’s be honest. I live in the eyesore of my neighborhood. And now I’m going to make it even tackier by putting a pink flamingo in the yard? HELL NO.

Then Catie starts in, “But I named him Mango and I LOVE him! He HAS to come home with us!”

I must admit, Mango is kind of an awesome name for a flamingo, even though it makes me think of Chris Kattan.

Yep. Perfect name for a flamingo. You win, Catie.

We compromised and decided that the flamingo could live in the backyard, where it’s kind of woodsy and he wouldn’t offend all of the neighbors.

So, I load up the girls and head home. Lucy was starting to get a little fussy, and my parents had mentioned that she hadn’t eaten much, so I plopped her in her high chair and put a snack on the tray for her.

Then I went into the backyard to set up Mango the Flamingo’s new home.

Catie saw me and said, “Wait, Mommy, I want to come with you!”

She came running behind me, and pulled the back door closed behind her. I didn’t realize it because I always use the deadbolt locks on my doors, but somehow the doorknob lock had gotten turned, so when Catie closed the door? She locked us out of the house.

And Lucy was still inside. So was my cell phone.

Once Catie realized we were locked out, she burst into tears. I told her to calm down and I ran next door. My neighbors weren’t home.

I knew I needed to run, and I knew that a sobbing and hysterical five year-old was only going to slow me down. I told Catie to stay right there in the driveway and not move. I sprinted (like, I have never run that fast in flip-flops in my life) across the street. Those neighbors weren’t home either. Dammit.

So I ran to the house next to them. It’s a very nice older lady who lives there who has tried to sell me Avon stuff a couple of times. I was like, “Uh, hi, I live across the street? And my 5 year-old locked us out of the house? And my baby is inside? CAN I PLEASE USE YOUR PHONE?!!”

She let me in and handed me her phone. I called my parents and sort of shrieked out enough key words that my mom understood. (Something like: “LOCKED OUT LUCY INSIDE NEED EXTRA KEY COME NOW!!”)

I thanked my neighbor profusely and went back to my house. Catie and I sat on the front steps. And thank God my parents live so close by and were able to come quickly, because this was probably the longest five minutes of my life. Catie was crying and saying, “I’m so sorry, Mommy! Poor Lucy!!”

I tried to calm her down by telling her that it was ok, it was an accident, and Lucy was ok, she was safe in her high chair, so she wasn’t going to get hurt, and she’d be ok for a few minutes until Pop-Pop could come unlock the door for us.

Meanwhile I could hear Lucy inside, screaming her head off because she realized pretty quickly that nobody was around. That damn near ripped my heart out.

I felt like I was on the verge of a panic attack during all of this, but I also knew that I had to keep it together. What other choice did I have?

My dad pulled up in the driveway a few minutes later and threw me his keys. I ran to the door and rushed inside to get Lucy. She was so distraught, she wanted absolutely nothing to do with me, she only wanted my dad. (She’s in a very Pop-Pop-obsessed phase right now.)

Unfortunately, my dad had only come to unlock the door and still had to go back home. As soon as he handed Lucy back to me, she started screaming all over again.

He left, and I said, “Ok, you know what? BATHTIME.”

Catie, Lucy, and I headed upstairs, walked into the bathroom, I flicked on a lightswitch… and a fuse blew and all of the upstairs lights went out.

Son of a bitch.

Back down the stairs. I set Lucy down on the playroom floor, which made her SCREAM like I was cutting off an appendage. I told Catie, “Just hug and kiss your sister for just a minute!”

I ran to the garage and flipped the circuit breaker to get the lights back on, then started the whole bathtime process all over again.

Lucy never calmed down during any of this. She basically spent the entire evening looking sort of like some variation of this.

Seriously. It was a bad night.

Finally, I got them bathed, PJed, and back downstairs. Catie scampered off to call Dave on her iPad to tell him all about the evening’s dramatics, while I fixed Howlin’ Baby Lucy a bottle.

She was asleep after about two gulps on the bottle. Poor thing had screamed herself hoarse and was completely exhausted. I didn’t hear a peep from her until 8:30 this morning.

Later, I got Catie to bed, took a Klonopin, and watched the finale of Dancing with the Stars.

Moral of the story?

Get one of those “hide-a-key” things and keep a spare key outside of your house because MY GOD.

I’m going to the hardware store today. Never doing this again.