I’m guessing that most families with two working parents settle into some sort of a routine. It took us a pretty long time of floundering, but I think we’ve finally found our groove.

Dave goes to work really early in the morning – like, crazy early. I think he leaves around 6 a.m.? Maybe earlier? I don’t really know because I’m always asleep. He gives me a kiss goodbye – on the forehead, because I’m usually sleeping with my mouth open, such a sexy little minx am I. And I try to wake up and say a proper goodbye, but it usually comes out like this:

Mmmrrph? Bye, haff a good d… *honk* *pshew*…

What can I say? I’m a heavy sleeper.

Anyway, Dave likes going to work early because he’s the first one there and he can get at least a solid couple hours’ worth of work done before everybody else gets there. Honestly, the extra productivity wouldn’t be worth the early wake-up call for me, but I’ve never been an early bird type.

Meanwhile, Catie and I usually get up around 7:30 on average. We snuggle on the couch and watch cartoons for a little while, then I get her dressed and we set off for daycare. I usually get her there around 9:15 a.m. Then I come back home and get to work.

The perk of Dave heading in so early, is that he can leave work around 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon, and pick Catie up from daycare on his way home. He helps me out with the childcare stuff in the evenings (dinner, bathtime), but then he goes to bed around 8 p.m. so he can get up early the next day. Catie doesn’t go to bed until about 9:00 p.m., so I usually handle bedtime on my own. I suppose this means that overall, I do more of the childcare “work” than he does (getting her dressed in the morning, the bedtime routine at night), but he makes up for it by getting up with her on the weekends and letting me sleep in, so that trade-off is fine with me. There was a point, sometime when Catie was 2 years old, that I thought I would never be able to sleep past 9 a.m. again, ever, for the rest of my life. I now often sleep until at least 10 on Saturdays. Which, for the record, is freaking awesome.

I suppose it wouldn’t work for some people – the fact that we all have different bedtimes and wake-up times – but it’s fine for us. Yes, I’m a little jealous of the people whose kids go to bed at 7 p.m. and sleep peacefully all night, and who get to hang out watching prime-time TV with their spouses. But that’s just not how we roll. And that’s ok, we make this work for us.

Still, there are some mornings when Catie wakes up, and she wants her Daddy. And I tell her that sorry babe, he’s already gone to work. She looks out the front window into the driveway, sees that his car is gone, and then she cries that she wants her Daddy. Talk about heart-breaking.

Catie seriously working on the iPad

Dave had some insomnia last night so he slept late this morning. Catie was so excited that he was still here when she woke up, she climbed into our bed between us and snuggled up next to him with her head on his pillow. It was so sweet.

Dave got up to shower and get dressed for work, and I told Catie that if she wanted Daddy to take her to school instead of Mommy, she was going to have to hurry and get dressed in the next 5 minutes, or else Daddy was going to have to leave without her. And my normally sleepy-headed child who takes forever to get ready in the morning was dressed with her sneakers on and pigtails up in a heartbeat.

She went to daycare over an hour earlier than usual, and she was delighted to do so, because her Daddy was the one taking her. She kissed me good-bye, and with a “Love you, Mommy, have a good day!”, she was off. The house was completely empty and quiet by 8:00 a.m. That never happens. I actually got to exercise before starting work for the day. That’s a pretty rare occurrence too.

Since Dave was later than usual getting to work, he’s going to have to stay later this afternoon, so I’m going to be picking Catie up from daycare. I already can’t wait to see her. Sometimes a little change in the routine is just what we need.

and yes, we're getting a baby-sitter on Saturday night

Stuff from this week:

1. Mother’s Day was almost a week ago, and I sort of completely forgot to mention anything about it. But it was lovely. We went to Charlotte to hang out with my sister, and had a great time. We took Catie to a Children’s Museum on Saturday, which was a lot of fun, then went out for a fantastic dinner.

Catie playing at the kids' museum in Charlotte

And my sister, who is awesome, got me roses for Mother’s Day. It would’ve been nice if I’d remembered to take them with me when we left her apartment, but I forgot them at her place. Oh well. They were lovely.

On Sunday, we went out for brunch, then walked around downtown Charlotte for a while.

Tracy & Catie walking down the street in Charlotte

one of my favorite pics from our weekend

me & Catie on my fourth Mother's Day

It was a great weekend.


2. My stupid elbow still hurts from where I fell on it, and the scab on it is absolutely revolting, but I’m still working out almost every day. I’m just being careful not to do things (like certain yoga poses) that involve putting pressure on my elbow. I’ll be fine. It’s really the food part of the whole diet/exercise thing that I need to work on. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to tackle that. I have a lot of ideas and I’m still trying to sort them out. I’ll write more about it when I figure out what the heck I’m doing.


3. Catie is in this phase where she goes back and forth between being absolutely fun and delightful and amazing and wonderful, and a 37-inch tall hellbeast demon. And you never know which kid you’re going to get at any point in the day. I don’t really know what to do about that, other than just ride out the bad moments, implement discipline when necessary, and try not to lose my temper (that last part is the hardest one). It’s just difficult when she’ll go for like a week without needing to be put in time out at all, then all of a sudden we’ll have to do four time-outs in a single day. Which may be average for a toddler at this phase, but it feels like a lot to me.

But, you know, then she’ll say something that’ll have Dave and me doubled over laughing, because she’s an absolute riot. So I guess we’ll keep her, in spite of the occasional tantrums.

Catie next to (yet another) fountain in downtown Charlotte
She’s kinda cute too.


4. I had a little moment of panic there on Monday, when Teenie wouldn’t stop barfing. Everything she ate came right back up (and this was after she coughed up a big hairball). I called the vet’s office, they said to bring her in immediately. They gave her a shot of some anti-nausea meds and an injection of fluids under her skin so she wouldn’t get dehydrated, and they ran some bloodwork. She’s borderline hyperthyroid (she’s also dropped over 4 pounds since we left Washington in 2008, which seems like a lot for a small cat – she went from 14 pounds to 9.8), so we’ll keep an eye on that and address it as necessary.

The whole thing was pretty upsetting and scary, and it reminded me of this post I wrote a while back, and oh god, if something is really wrong with the cat, how on earth am I going to explain it to Catie? I had a pretty big freak-out about that. But it seems that Teenie is ok. She stopped barfing, so either the meds worked or she got it out of her system. And her bloodwork is otherwise normal. So I’m thankful that I get to postpone that particular horrible (and yes, inevitable, I realize) conversation for a while.

Of course, if the damn cat doesn’t stop pooping in random corners of our living room, she may not be long for this world anyway. Argh.


5. Dave and I are celebrating our fifth anniversary on Saturday. Five years. I can’t even wrap my head around that. It’s not that much time in the grand scheme of things, is it? It’s almost like, “Really? That’s it? Only five years?” Because in a lot of ways, it feels like we’ve been together forever. (In a good way. I promise.) So, I’m a little early, but happy anniversary, babe. Love you.

P.S. Apparently this is the “wood” anniversary. I swear I’m not making that up. And yes, I giggled when I read that, because I’m a 12 year-old boy.

Random stuff because I haven't blogged in a week

1. Working full-time is kicking my ass. Hence the lack of posting. It’s good, I like the job a lot, and the people I work with are all great. It’s just that transitions are hard. I’ll get into a groove with it one of these days.

2. I’m trying to decide if I’m going to blog about my job and explain what it is I’m doing now. I wouldn’t mention the company by name, and I have nothing bad to say about any of the people I work with, so it’s probably fine, I just tend to be a little paranoid about those types of things.

3. I’m still sick. I caught Catie’s last cold, and while she managed to recover completely in about three days, I’m going on two weeks and still feel like crud. It’s not cool. I mean, the excuse to take copious amounts of NyQuil is nice, but that’s really the only perk.

4. My ribs, which I hurt falling down the stairs nearly three weeks ago? Yeah, they still hurt. Combined with the cold, I’m kind of a big whiny mess.

5. It’s Thursday and I still haven’t watched Tuesday night’s LOST, because I’ve just been that busy. This is practically unheard of.

6. Dave needs a haircut because he’s starting to look like Hugh Jackman in Wolverine. I mean, not with the metal talons or psychotic gaze or anything. Just the ridiculous volume of hair. I’m hoping that by mentioning it on my blog, I’ll shame him into going to get a damn haircut already. (Hi, honey!)

7. New Catie tricks (which we can entirely attribute to daycare because lord knows I didn’t teach her this): she’s trying to wipe her own butt and she’s flushing the potty herself. I know this is like the most boring child development update ever (unless you’re my mom), but it’s a pretty big deal around here.

8. Here’s a picture of a cute happy toddler until I can figure out what else to write about that won’t bore y’all to tears.

playing on the stairs

Happy almost-weekend!

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.

this is why I don't drink beer anymore

The lovely and amazing Mrs. Flinger has issued a challenge for some of us bloggers to try to write better, and since I lurves me some Mrs. Flinger, I figured what the hell, I’m in.

First assigned topic? My most embarrassing moment.

I’ve been pondering on this one for a couple of days, because there are so many to choose from. Horror stories involving your first period? Been there. Pooping during childbirth? Done that too. And since I didn’t meet my husband until the ripe old age of 28, I have plenty of embarrassing dating mishap stories too. (One of my personal favorites? The time I was making out with a boy and I got a nosebleed. Neither of us noticed until I had bled all over both of our faces. We looked like a couple of extras from a bad zombie movie. Traumatic, to say the least.)

Then I realized that my most truly embarrassing moments involve alcohol, and the over-consumption of it. (I promise, I’m not an alcoholic. I hardly ever drink now. I just flirted dangerously close to being one when I was in my 20’s.) But there’s a lot of good fodder there. Puking in public? Yep. Being so lovey-dovey from the booze that I’ve made out with total strangers, even those of my own gender? Um, yeah, that too.

But there’s one that keeps standing out in my mind: Halloween 2004.

What’s funny is that I just checked my blog archives (which go back to August 2003, when I started this little site) and I noticed that I never mentioned anything about it, because I was so horrified at my own behavior.

Dave and I had been dating for about five months. One of my girlfriends invited us to a Halloween party, and we decided to go, even though my friend was the only person there that we knew. I dressed as a Catholic school girl, Dave was a priest. (Note: neither of us is Catholic.) Dave also wore a Bill Clinton wig and black lipstick, but I don’t remember why. We just thought it was funny at the time.

So we get there, and there were significantly more men than women, and I didn’t really know any of them, and I felt a little bit slutty and uncomfortable in my costume, so I did the most natural thing I could do, and got completely drunk.

I don’t remember much of the evening, honestly. There are pictures, and they make me cringe every time I see them. I’ve never posted a single photo from that night, but since I’m opening up and sharing my embarrassment now, here you go.

This is seriously the least embarrassing photo of me from the entire damn night.

Oh hi there, Cindy DrunkFace!

So, yeah. I was drunk and made a general idiot of myself. No big shock there. And really, it wouldn’t have been a big deal because I didn’t know any of those people and I would never see them again, so what do I care?

But then, somehow I ended up in the bathroom with the guy who was hosting the party. I’m not even sure why, I think it was because my bracelet broke and he was getting me a safety pin to fix it? And the dude was kind of sleazy, and Dave insisted that he was hitting on me (maybe he was, I was too drunk to notice), but while we were in the bathroom, I started telling him about Dave and how in loooove I was with him, but we hadn’t officially said “I love you” to each other yet, and I was so crazy about him, and I was so tortured about it because what if he isn’t in love with me like I’m in love with him, and blah-blah-drunken-rambling-blah.

Then, someone comments to Dave, “Hey, where’s your girlfriend?” And Dave realizes that I’m… uh… in the bathroom. With another guy. With the door closed. So he comes to get me, and in my drunken-rambling state, I slammed the door on him when he tried to open it. Let me repeat that in case you missed it: I slammed the door on my boyfriend so I could stay in the bathroom with another dude. And of course, all I was doing in the bathroom was talking about Dave, but how in the hell was Dave supposed to know that? So he was pissed. As anyone would be in that situation, really.

When I came out of the bathroom, Dave said it was time to go, and as soon as we got in the car, he told me how pissed he was. I sobered up enough to suddenly realize that holy crap, he’s about to break up with me right here because of how freaking stupid I am. So I burst into tears, and I told him I loved him.

And that was the first time we said our “I love you”s.

Three months later, we got engaged.

This past Halloween, I reminded him that it had been five years since the first time we said “I love you” to each other. He said, “Oh yeah, the night I almost dumped your ass.” I pointed out how happy he should be that he didn’t dump me then. It’s funny, though, that even though everything worked out ok in that situation (exceptional, even), I still cringe whenever I think about that night.

Want more embarrassing moments? Here are the other people in the (W)rite of Passage challenge.

type-a mini-vacation

With all the moving and house stuff, I sort of forgot to mention that we’re going out of town this weekend. Or rather, today. Thursday.

We’re heading over to Asheville, North Carolina, and we’ll be there until Sunday. I’m going to the Type-A Mom Conference, and since it’s only a road trip away from here and doesn’t involve airfare, we thought it’d be fun to have Dave and Catie come along. We’ve never been to Asheville, and I hear it’s beautiful there, so I’m really excited.

What’s odd about this little mini-vacation is that we each have different agendas. I’ll be at the conference, Dave wants to go hiking in the mountains, and Catie has a pass to attend “Kid Con,” which is a whole separate event for kids at the conference. I’m a little nervous about that, since Catie isn’t really used to large daycare scenarios, and I’m sort of expecting her to freak out.

But then, she may surprise me. She’s done really well at the YMCA daycare several times. And yesterday, I had a work meeting at 10:30 in the morning; Dave was at the office, and our baby-sitter is out of town this week. Since I didn’t know what else to do, I took her to a drop-in daycare facility that’s close to our new house. I’d typically be a little iffy about that kind of place, but I had heard good things about it from one of our old neighbors, and I didn’t really have any other options. Catie was very excited to go to “daycare school” (as she called it), but when it was time for me to actually leave her there, she had a full-on screaming, crying meltdown. I had to walk out the door while she cried for me, and I swear, I’ll never get used to that. Still, the daycare teachers there said that she was fine about five minutes after I left, and she had a great time playing for the next two hours. She even asked today if she could go back to daycare school. So, I’m thinking that maybe Kid Con will be fine. We’re certainly talking it up to her a lot, about how she’s going to have SO! MUCH! FUN! I’m trying to be cautiously optimistic about how she might react.

So, yes. Asheville! Road trip! Type-A Mom Conference! Getting to hang out with some of my favorite bloggers! Long weekend! Yay!

Oh, and just in case I don’t blog while we’re out of town (because I very well might not), here’s a cute video of Catie opening a present from Mimi & Pop-Pop (my parents).

The guitar (“gui-tahhg,” as she says) was really cute for the first 15 minutes. Now I’m taking bets on how long until it mysteriously “breaks” – or at least until the batteries disappear.

P.S. Happy 3rd birthday to my beautiful little cousin, Elizabeth! We love you & can’t wait to celebrate when we get back next week.

not-so-beachy vacation

Dave and I have decided we really love Wilmington, North Carolina. Our vacation so far has been great. Cocktails in the evening, naps during the day – basically an ideal vacation. Neither one of us can remember the last time we did this, so obviously it’s been way too long.

Of course, there is the small issue that we came to Wilmington to go to the beach, and Catie, um, well, pretty much hates the beach.

Catie & Dave

this face just about sums up her feelings on the beach

Really, I should’ve known. She hates all forms of dirt and messiness. This is a kid who eats a cookie and then immediately says “oh no! Mess!” and gives me her hands to wipe off. So why we thought she’d dig the sand? Um, yeah. Not our brightest move. The hotel pool, on the other hand, was a much bigger hit.

Catie in her pirate ship float

Tonight, we went to check out downtown Wilmington, which was a lot of fun. We had a fabulous dinner (actually, all of our meals here have been amazing; we’ve really lucked out). I didn’t really know anything about Wilmington before this trip, but it’s really a very cool town.

my 2 Wilkinsons on Wilkinson Alley

Tomorrow we head home; we’re going to try to swing by the aquarium first, to let Catie check out the fishies & burn off some energy so she’ll sleep on the way back.

Hope everyone else is having a nice holiday weekend!