solo parenting again

What with all of the focus on the new baby lately, I sort of forgot to mention that Dave is flying to England today. (Well, tonight. He’s on the red eye.) This time it’s for business reasons rather than just fun/family stuff, and the trip has been planned for a while, so it’s not like I didn’t know this was coming.

And the funny thing is that I’ve been totally chilled out about the idea of this trip all along. When Dave first mentioned it weeks ago when I was still pregnant, my reaction was all, “Eh, whatever. Two kids, one me, no biggie.”

It wasn’t until late last night that I suddenly almost burst into tears. I’m sure it’s a combination of post-partum hormones, sleep deprivation, and maybe a little leftover trauma from the last time he went to the UK.

But it doesn’t even make sense, because it’s not like I’m going to be on solo parent duty for the two weeks that he’s away. My mom is flying up tomorrow and she’ll be here for the majority of the time that Dave is gone.

(My dad is coming up for a few days in there too, but since he’s not a big fan of travel, he’s only coming for a few days rather than 12 days like my mom.)

So I know I’m going to be fine. I’ll have backup. The whole thing is totally manageable.

Dave multi-tasking with both kids

But holy crap, we’re really going to miss that guy.

Safe travels, babe. Love you.


Dave got home yesterday. I picked him up at the airport in the afternoon, and we headed over to daycare to surprise Catie. She knew he was coming home that day, but she thought that it was in the evening, and that I was going to pick her up from daycare and take her to the airport with me.

We pulled up at daycare, and Catie saw me and was happy, but then she saw Dave, and it was the biggest “DAAADDDDYYYY!!!” reaction you’ve ever seen. Like, a full-on running tackle hug.

And of course, I tried to get a video of it with my phone, but it didn’t work, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. It was awesome. She’s been pretty much glued to his side ever since.

So, yeah. We’re all home now. It’s really nice.

She dressed herself. Clearly.
(No reason for this picture at all, it just makes me laugh.)

Baby 2.0, 30-week update

I had back-to-back doctor’s appointments yesterday. First with my regular OB’s office, then with the special high-risk ultrasound center that I get to use because of that big ol’ Advanced Maternal Age flag on my chart.

So, first up: the obstetrician. Baby 2.0’s heartbeat is good, my weight is on track (I’m up 14 pounds at 30 weeks, no complaints there), and my stomach is measuring on target. That’s all the physical stuff.

The emotional stuff? I told my OB about all of my anxiety problems I’ve been having lately, and how it was really very sweet of them to call in xanax for me last week, and I do appreciate it (I probably enjoy the way that xanax makes me feel a little too much, considering that it’s highly addictive), but I also need to be realistic: I can’t take xanax all the time. I need to be able to drive, do my job, and take care of my kid. And I can’t do any of those things if I’m all loopy on sedatives. So I really need something that won’t turn me into a zombie, and that’ll help me keep my anxiety in check at the same time.

They gave me a prescription for Lexapro, and I took the first one last night. I feel horrible and groggy today, but that could be because I had to get up at 6 a.m. to drive my mom to the airport, and we stayed up late to watch “Dancing with the Stars.” So, I can’t blame it entirely on the meds, is what I’m saying. I’ll have to wait and see how I feel after a couple of weeks.


After my OB visit, I went home to pick up my mom, and we went to the ultrasound center, so she could see her second grandbaby live and in person.

Baby 2.0 at 30 weeks

Baby 2.0 (who, yes, is definitely still a she) was not very agreeable about letting us get a good picture, and this was about the best one we could get. You can sort of see part of her profile and a little hand at the top. I think she was throwing an elbow to get that ultrasound wand off of her “house.”

She’s a little on the small side, measuring in the 30th percentile. But Catie was somewhere in the 10th percentile when she was born, and God knows she made up for it later, so I’m not worried. I’m honestly relieved to know that I likely won’t be giving birth to a ten-pounder. An average-sized healthy baby is ideal, as far as I’m concerned.


My mom flew home this morning, and Catie and I are both sad about it. For the sake of logistics, I had to drop Catie off at daycare before taking my mom to the airport (the airport is about 4 miles from my office, daycare is 12 miles), so they had to say good-bye at daycare. We were afraid there would be tears, but my mom had “going-away toys” for Catie this morning. Tiny little things she got at Rite-Aid for a couple of bucks, nothing major, but enough to make it ok that Mimi was leaving. That plus a lot of kisses, and promises that Mimi would be back soon (well, in a couple of months, anyway), and Catie seemed ok when we left.

Of course, I’m fully expecting her to have a meltdown later. She’s also been crying a lot about missing Daddy lately, poor kid. The last couple of weeks have been rough on both of us.


In related news: Dave will be back one week from today. I can’t wait.

The solo parenting gig, thus far

Dave left for England on Tuesday night, which means I’ve been doing the solo-parent thing for the past three days. So far, it’s going ok. Catie and I kind of have our weektime routine down: we get up, she goes to daycare and I go to work, we come home, have dinner, and do the whole bedtime routine. It’s been pretty easy to just coast on auto-pilot, honestly.

I told her I'd turn on cartoons if she smiled.
“I’m just taking it easy on her for now. Next week I unleash hell.”

A few things I’ve noticed, though:
1. I don’t sleep well when I’m the only adult in the house. Now, look, I didn’t meet Dave until I was 28 years old, so it’s not like I’d never lived alone before. But I was always in a tiny one-bedroom apartment. In our current house, I lie in bed and think things like, “Hmm, if someone broke in through the garage door, would I even hear it upstairs?” And I worry about things like what would I do if a fire broke out, things like that. Not exactly conducive to a good night’s sleep, obviously.

Oh, and related: I get very jumpy about unexplained noises in the middle of the night. Which is why I’m just about ready to throw Beaumont outside for good. Seriously, cat, it’s 2 a.m. Do you have to jump up on the kitchen counter and knock over a whole bunch of stuff now? (To be fair, he is totally thrown off by Dave’s absence. The past two nights, he’s been asleep in the hall when I got up in the morning. It’s like he’s trying to keep an eye on both Catie’s room and mine at the same time. “We lost one human, gotta keep a watch on the last two!”)

2. While the routine itself is pretty manageable, I forget how much Dave does in the evenings to help out. Because I’ve noticed that by the end of the day, my body just aches. I know it’s pregnancy-related (since it’s mostly my lower back and hips that hurt), but it’s like I hadn’t taken into account how little “sitting on my butt” time I would get while Dave was gone. I miss my sitting-down time. A lot.

3. I’m really lazy about meals when I’m the only one who eats “grown-up food.” Last night we had mac & cheese with a side of broccoli. Not exactly health food, but whatever, it was easy. (And I love that Catie will eat broccoli.) (Although we did have cupcakes for dessert. You can’t be good all the time.)

4. Trying to wash a four year-old’s hair in the bathtub when you’re 7 months pregnant. I have nothing else to add to that, except: good GOD. And, ouch.

7 months. Holy Moses.
This is not a shape that is meant leaning over the side of a bathtub.

5. As for housework: I give up. I’ve called in the housekeepers. I can’t do it all by myself, so I’m just going to throw some money at the problem and stop worrying about it.


My brother is on his way here from Charlotte to hang out with us this weekend, and Catie and I are both really excited. My brother is a great guy and Catie adores him, so it should be fun to have him around. No big weekend plans, just hanging out and enjoying some nice springtime weather. Should be fun.

Hope y’all have a nice weekend too, wherever you are.

Candy Heaven

Catie’s daycare is having a Halloween party on Friday afternoon. All the kids dress up in their costumes, they have a “parade” (read: they march in a circle around the outside of the building), and the parents all come to take a million pictures. It sounds like fun. I saw on the door to Catie’s classroom there was a sign-up sheet to bring food for the party, and since most of the options involved cooking or a lot of preparation, I signed up for “Halloween-oriented treat.” Right. Candy. I can do that.

I considered just buying a bag of something and calling it good, but I had to buy Halloween candy for our neighborhood kids anyway, and there are only 12 kids in Catie’s class. So I bought some festive tiny paper sacks and filled each of them up with a variety of treats. Catie helped me distribute the candy evenly among the bags, it was a fun little project for us. We even made an extra bag for her teacher.

One of the things that I bought – which, if I’m being totally honest here, I mainly bought for me, not for the Halloween party or for the trick-or-treaters this weekend – was a big bag of Nerds candy. I love Nerds. This bag was made up of tiny boxes of grape and strawberry flavors. My favorites.

So while we were setting up the treat bags, I opened a little box of Nerds for myself. Catie asked if she could try them. I said sure, she held out her hand, and I shook a few of them out of the box into her palm.

As soon as she put them in her mouth, she got this really weird, sort of far-away look on her face. I thought maybe it was too sour for her and she’d want to spit them out.

Me: Do you like them?

Catie: *nodding*

Me: It’s not too sour for you, is it?

Catie: (in a hushed, almost reverential tone) This is the best candy I’ve ever eaten in my whole life.

So apparently she likes the sour stuff, just like her mommy.

She asked if she could have her own mini-box of Nerds. Since I had wolfed down mine already, I gave her one, and she took off upstairs with it. I knew Dave was taking a nap upstairs, but I didn’t think anything about it.

Catie came downstairs a few minutes later. “I put some of da Nerds in Daddy’s mouth while he was sleeping to share them with him. Was that nice?”

I told her that yes, sharing is very nice, but it’s usually a good idea to wait until the person is awake. I was a little worried that Dave would choke in his sleep, so we went upstairs to check on him. He was awake, he said that he had been sleeping, obviously with his mouth open, because he woke up to Catie shoving candy in his gaping maw.

This is around the part where I died laughing. What makes it even funnier is that Dave doesn’t even like Nerds. He isn’t into sour candy at all.

Oh well. I guess for now, the Willy Wonka candy people can rest easy knowing that they just got at least one brand new fan this Halloween season.


I haven’t blogged for the past ten days because I kept thinking that I would hear something about this job one way or the other, and then I could do a big, “I got the job, yay!” or a “I didn’t get it, boo!” blog entry. But the truth is that there’s just been a ton of back and forth and I couldn’t seem to get a definite answer one way or the other.

But! As of today, it looks like… I semi-officially have the job! Yay?

Here’s the deal: apparently everyone on the team agrees that I’m a good writer. They liked my samples and they all thought that I did well on the writing test. But, there is some question about whether I’m technical enough or not, because… well, because I’m not a software developer, I guess. I’m not really worried about that part, I’m pretty confident that I’m really good at what I do. And I’m married to a software developer, so I speak their language well enough.

So, they’ve come up with a 60-day temp-to-perm job offer. They basically want to make sure I’m worth it before they fully hire me. And you know? That’s fine. I have no doubt that they’ll fall in love with me and decide that they can’t live without me and that they have to hire me forever and ever amen.

If all goes according to plan, it sounds like I’ll be starting on Monday, November 1st. I’m excited. And a little freaked out, since I haven’t worked in an office environment for about, um, four years. So I imagine that the transition will be a bit strange. But it’ll be nice that Dave will be in the same building. I plan to call him at his desk to ask him to fetch me a Diet Coke. I’m sure he won’t mind that at all. Hee.

a weekend in the mountains

Dave had been saying for a while that he wanted to go away for his birthday weekend. We don’t have the budget for anything major, but luckily, we can go on what feels like an honest-to-God vacation without leaving the state of North Carolina. We had the choice of going to the beach or going to the mountains. Dave picked mountains. And I’m so glad he did.

View from Grandfather Mountain

Not bad, eh?

It’s about a 4-hour drive over to Boone, NC. We stayed in a small town a bit further up in the mountains. Catie did great with the drive until we ended up on this unbelievable winding mountain road full of 180-degree hairpin turns. Luckily, she didn’t get too carsick, but we did have to make an emergency stop on the side of the road when she thought she was going to barf. (We walked about a city block’s length and that seemed to help her shake it off.)

We got to our hotel around sunset on Friday evening. We got snacks from the local Food Lion, checked into our hotel, and settled in for the night. Incidentally, we stayed at Blue Ridge Village, and we loved it there. Full kitchen, washer and dryer in the suite, jacuzzi tub, the works. It felt less like a hotel room and more like a furnished apartment. Totally comfortable and nice. (And no, they didn’t pay me to say that. Although if they want to comp me a room next time we go there, I sure wouldn’t say no.)

Saturday, our plan was to first go to Linville Caverns, then Grandfather Mountain. Due to a spectacular GPS fail that took us on a 30-mile detour, we scrapped that plan and went to Grandfather Mountain first (just because it was there).

I put Grandfather Mountain on our itinerary because they have an Animal Reserve there, and I knew Catie would love that.

chillin' in the shade


I was right, too. She did love it.

Pretty Catie

The views at Grandfather Mountain are unbelievable. (That’s where I took the picture at the top of this post.) They also have something called a “Mile-High Swinging Bridge” that people can walk across, which was… not so popular with us. I thought I’d be ok until I actually stepped on it. I made it about three steps, then decided nope, can’t do this, and I turned around and bolted back to the mountainside. I’m not sure if it was the bridge itself or me leaving that made Catie freak, but Dave only made it about 5 more steps before she started to cry and said she didn’t like it and wanted to go back. So, none of us made it all the way across the Mile-High Swinging Bridge. And you know? I’m perfectly ok with that.

Once we were done with Grandfather Mountain, we headed over (finally!) to Linville Caverns. That was really, really cool.

cool stalactite

I mean, any time you get to hang around rocks that are estimated to be around 22 million years old, and see trout that live in a stream inside a cave, that’s a pretty good day right there. Plus it’s 52 degrees year-round inside the caves, so after being outside in the heat, it felt fantastic.

trout in Linville Caverns

We were worn out after that, so we headed back to the hotel and got some take-out from a nearby restaurant for dinner. I took Catie swimming in the hotel’s indoor pool after dinner, she loved that. (“The pool is INSIDE?!?!!”)

Oh! Let me back up. Our first night at the hotel, Dave and I had stupidly thought that all three of us could easily sleep in a king-size bed (completely forgetting that Catie tends to sleep sideways and likes to kick in her sleep). It was awful, none of us got a good night’s sleep at all. So on Saturday night, we decided to take advantage of the fold-out couch. You have never seen a three year-old’s mind blown like that. “You mean, the COUCH turns into a BED?!?!! And I can sleep on it?? Are you KIDDING me?!?!!” Between that and the indoor pool, she’s going to think this particular hotel is the site of Crazy Magic Stuff.

"The couch turns into a BED?!?!!"

Anyway, she slept great on the fold-out couch, and the grown-ups got a decent night’s sleep ourselves.

On Sunday, we packed up and checked out of the hotel, before heading to the Tweetsie Railroad, which is kind of like an Old West-style theme park. The admission rates are crazy expensive, but then all the rides are free after that, so I guess it works out. Catie loved it.

me & Catie at the Tweetsie Railroad

my nutty family

The park is kind of built into a mountain, and we saw that there was a ton of stuff at the very top, but you had to take a chair lift (like at a ski lodge) to get to the top. Catie took one look at the chair lift and said, no way. So, we walked it instead. It was about half a mile, straight uphill, and she didn’t complain about it or ask us to carry her once.

Little person in a big world.

Of course, after we hiked it, we realized there was a bus for people with wheelchairs or strollers. Which we could’ve taken for free. Sigh. Oh well, at least we probably burned off that funnel cake we ate later.

But thank God we didn’t skip the top of the park, because that’s where the petting zoo was located. Which I’m pretty sure was Catie’s favorite part of the entire weekend.

It's Bambi!

Catie feeding the goats


I think this emu thought my camera was food. He got super-close to me with his giant crazy bird eyes, and kinda wigged me out.

After all that, we went back and got on the train, where this is the best picture I got.

self-portrait family pic on the train

Yeah. Not my finest photography moment, to say the least.

Even in spite of the fact that we were all tired and grumpy, we still had to drag Catie out of there, she did NOT want to leave. And of course, she was asleep before we even got on the freeway.

It was really such a fun trip, but it also feels so good to come home. All three of us took the day off today to just veg out and relax. Oh, and Catie and I made Dave a birthday cake today, since he didn’t get one yesterday on his actual birthday. Unless funnel cake counts. And I don’t think it does.

P.S. In case the ridiculous number of photos in this entry isn’t enough for you, all the pictures from our trip are here.