Catie is 4 years old today. FOUR. I can’t really wrap my head around that.

How on earth did we get from this:
baby and mama

To this:
say cheese!

To this:
I think she likes it

To this?
Can't wait for her birthday party on Saturday!

I wanted to try to sum up everything that’s different about Catie now from a year ago, but I can’t. She’s just… such a person. She’s smart and she’s hilariously funny and oh my lord she never stops talking for a second.

This morning was one of those rare occasions that she happened to sleep past 7:30, so I crawled into her bed next to her, rubbed her back, and whispered the “Happy Birthday” song in her ear until she woke up. I would normally enjoy letting her sleep in, but I just needed to nuzzle her hair and see that first sleepy-headed smile of the day.

Catie's self-portrait

Happy birthday, my Catie-bug. I love you so, so much.


I turned 35 yesterday. I suppose I should be happy, since I now finally qualify for that “advanced maternal age” flag that’s already on my chart at my OB’s office. (Side rant: who on earth came up with that phrase? It makes me feel like one of those 60 year-old women who has her own grandbabies through IVF. It’s CREEPY.)

Anyway, you know, it’s fine. Everybody gets older, yadda yadda. I’m not exactly having a mid-life crisis about it over here.

And I have to say, one of the coolest things about social media? All the “happy birthday” wishes you get on Twitter and Facebook. That’s pretty awesome.

It was really nice that my birthday fell on a Sunday this year. We went out for breakfast, where Catie kept Dave and me entertained by making all kinds of funny faces.

Catie at breakfast

Catie making funny faces

Catie making funny faces

Funny Catie

(Lest you think my child is always this adorable and charming, I have to add that this was a TOTAL 180 from the night before, in which she and I stopped at a local pizzeria to pick up some dinner, and she was rude and insufferable the entire time we were there. Three year-olds are unpredictable, man.)

After breakfast, we walked around downtown Apex for a while. We’ve lived here for two and a half years, and we’d never done that before. Dave and I have talked a few times about how we don’t really feel as connected to this area as we did in Seattle, and I think a lot of it is our own fault, for not making the effort. And it turns out? The old-timey downtown part of our town is really cute, even though most of the shops were closed because it was Sunday. It didn’t matter, it was a gorgeous day outside, and the walk was nice. And we’ll be sure to do it again sometime when the stores are open, because there are a ton of neat places that we’d like to check out.

We hit the grocery store and headed home, where I got Catie settled on the couch with a Scooby-Doo movie, and I got my favorite part of my entire day: A NAP. I almost never take naps, and it seems to be something that pregnant ladies desperately need, so that was fabulous.

When I woke up, Catie and I put on our matching aprons and made my birthday cake together; she’s turning into quite a little sous-chef, that kid. It was strawberry with white frosting and pink decorations – guess who picked THAT out? Then she told me what the cake should say:

My birthday cake
“Happy birthday Mommy. Love, Catie.”

Um, sorry, Dave? There wasn’t room to fit his name on there anyway.

I have to add, this is NOT the first example of how horrible my handwriting is when it comes to writing things in frosting. Witness the cake I made the first year that Dave and I were dating (that’s 2004, for those of y’all keeping track):

Yeah. And he married me anyway. (After he asked me why I drew intestines on his cake – it was supposed to be a heart!!)

And now you know why we’ll be ordering Catie’s cake for her birthday party in two weeks.

Later, I got my present from Dave. He always gives really awesome gifts, and this year was no exception: I got a treadmill! Well, technically I got a photo of a treadmill because the real one is stuck in a snowstorm somewhere in the midwest, but it’s on its way here! But I’ve been asking for a treadmill for ages, so that was perfect.

The thing is, I loved doing the Couch-to-5K last year, and I want to start it up again after Baby 2.0 is born. But I am also a big whiny baby about running if the weather is anything less than perfect. If it’s too hot or too cold, I’m probably not going to do it. And I learned last year that I actually do like running on a treadmill, but I tend to get lazy about it if I have to get dressed, find my membership card, drive 10 minutes to the gym, etc. So the idea is that having the treadmill in the house will force me to stop making excuses. (That actually does work with me too, it’s why I’m much more likely to stick with a workout DVD than a gym class.) Plus, I figure that with two kids in the house, it might just be easier for me to squeeze in a quick workout if I can do it without leaving the premises.

So, treadmill! Yay!

We finished off the night with burgers, fries, birthday cake (of course) and “The Social Network,” which was a really good movie.

All in all? 35 is pretty good so far. No complaints here.

the weekend, by the numbers

The past few days, recapped:

1. On Saturday, we went to my cousin’s house for baby Austin’s first birthday! I can’t wait until Cat gets those pictures uploaded because man alive, that little boy was covered in frosting. It was a great party, and Catie always has so much fun playing with her cousins. There were many tears when it was time to leave.

2. On Sunday, Catie “helped” me clean the house, then we went grocery shopping together. Dave spent most of the day in bed because he just quit smoking and feels like hell. (Everyone, give him a big cheer: yay, Dave! You can do it! Hang in there!) He did manage to wake up in time for dinner, and we watched the Puppy Bowl because we are totally not a sports-type family. I mean, yay for the Saints and all that. New Orleans is my mom’s hometown and I do really love that city. But, watching a bunch of grown men slam into each other over a ball? Not my thing.

3. Catie didn’t get much of a nap on Sunday, so she was in bed by 8:15. (Hallelujah!) Dave was already asleep by then too. After I got Catie settled, I started to head downstairs, but I slipped on the first step & went crashing down the stairs. I only fell down about four steps, which is not that bad, but I slammed the left side of my back into the steps when I landed. I thought for a second that I had broken a rib, it hurt so bad, but I think I just bruised it. And I knocked the wind out of myself so hard that I couldn’t speak (because believe me, I tried to call for Dave, but I couldn’t).

When I finally regained my breath, I realized that I was probably ok and didn’t need to go to the ER, so I just scooted very gently down the rest of the stairs. I tweeted about it, and a couple of people told me to ice it. And when the Internet tells me to do something, well by golly, I do it. So I iced my back while I watched “Big Love”. (And incidentally, did any of y’all who watch it cry during last night’s episode? Or am I just a hormonal, injured, still-slightly-sick mess?) I don’t know if the ice helped or not, because my back still hurts like a son of a b**** today.

4. Today was Catie’s first day at her new daycare. We’ve been talking it up a lot for the past week, about how she’s going to have so! much! fun! there, and she was excited to go. Then we got there, and I could tell she was nervous. I got her all settled in with her stuff in her cubby, and she grabbed onto me and said, “I stay wif you.” I told her that I’d stay for a couple of minutes while we looked around the room. We introduced her to the other kids and the teacher, and we walked around, looking at all of the various toys and activities.

I spent a few minutes with her, then told her that I was going to go, but that I’d come back this afternoon. She said ok and gave me a kiss, but her shoulders were still hunched up the way that she does when she’s feeling anxious. I stopped at the door and turned around to wave bye-bye one last time; she gave me this tiny, tight “putting on my best brave face” smile and waved back. I barely made it to the car before I started crying. I’ve left her places before when she was crying for me, and that was awful. But this was harder in a way that I can’t quite explain.

5. I’m going to have to pick her up early, because there’s no way I’ll make until 5:00.

Not-so-Wordless Wednesday: Three

Hey Catie, how old are you today?

hey Catie, how old are you gonna be on your birthday?

Smart girl.

We had Catie’s birthday party this past weekend since my brother and sister were able to come visit then. It was a lot of fun.

Catie & her birthday cake

Catie & Mimi in Winnie the Pooh birthday hats

loving her little zoo buddies

It was a great birthday party, and Catie was pretty distraught the next day when Tracy and Chris had to leave. She can never get enough time with the people she adores.

Catie & Tracy

Catie & her uncle Chris

But she’s recovering now, since we were able to pick up her birthday gift from Grandma, Grandpa Roger, Uncle Steve: a brand new toy kitchen!

loving her new toy kitchen

I’ll write more later. Right now my mom and I are going to make some birthday cupcakes to celebrate my girl’s actual big day.


I sort of forgot to mention that I turned 34 yesterday. Which, like I wrote on my birthday last year, is not that big a deal since it’s not a number that ends in a 5 or a 0. You know, meh, whatever.

But, I’ve actually had a very good birthday. First, I got a job that I really wanted, which is probably one of the best gifts ever. Then Dave got me the Wii Fit Plus (at my request, he wasn’t dropping hints about the size of my butt), and he also got me the newest Legend of Zelda game for the Nintendo DS, which was a total surprise, and I love it because I am a huge nerd. And we went out for dinner. We just went to O’Charley’s, nothing fancy, but it works because I like their food, and it’s the kind of place that Catie can be loud and obnoxious and it won’t really disturb anyone. (And honestly, she was exceptionally good in the restaurant. We sat in a booth near the bar, and when the bartender turned on a blender to make a frozen drink, Catie shushed him and said, “That is TOOOO loud!”)

We spent most of the day yesterday cleaning the house (Catie even helped put away her toys), because my mom is coming today (yay!). Cleaning the house is definitely not my ideal way to spend my birthday, but being able to relax in my nice, tidy house has been lovely.

Oh, speaking of my mom, she should’ve been here about an hour ago, but her flight leaving Mississippi was delayed and she missed her connection, so now she won’t be getting here until around 6 p.m. tonight. But we’re all super-excited to see her, especially Catie. She loves her Mimi.

And for the record, Catie understood that it was Mommy’s birthday yesterday, but she also seemed to prefer that it would be “Baby Jeegus’s birfday” again, because that would mean that she would get presents too. (And yes, she calls him Baby Jeegus. She makes it rhyme with Regis. As in, “Live with Jeegus and Kelly.” I don’t really have the heart to correct her.)