on big wheels and toddler classes

The family that lives next door to my parents’ house has two little girls that are close to Catie’s age (I think they’re 6 & 7). The parents are super friendly and easy to chat with, which I love. And the kids are so polite and sweet, and they always seem happy to have Catie around to play with, even though she’s younger than them, which I appreciate.

Catie & Lucy with Lexi & Arianna (neighbor friends

They had a tricycle/big wheel thing which they had outgrown, and they thought that my girls might like it. So they gave it to us, which was unexpected but just really nice and generous of them. Catie likes it even though she’s a little bit too tall for it, and Lucy loves it (her feet don’t reach the pedals yet, but I have a feeling it won’t be long until they do).

Lucy taking the big wheel for a test spin.

There’s no real point to that story, I just had these pictures of the girls and the big wheel, and I love that Catie has kids around that she can play with.

Catie & her friends


Also this weekend: my sister was in town, which was nice because she’s basically the easiest house guest in the world. I don’t have to play hostess with her – she knows where everything is, she helps out with the kids (more Catie than Lucy, but that’s because Lucy is still a little unsure of her and Catie wants Tracy all to herself), and it’s just really fun to have her around.

Then after the kids are in bed, we crack ourselves up talking about random stuff like old Spanish ladies who botch restorations of paintings of Jesus and laugh until we cry. (If you click that 2nd link? I think the Mona Lisa & The Last Supper are my favorites.)

So it was nice to have her here. And since Catie was distraught after she left (because my sister is her favorite person on earth), I distracted her by taking her to a playdate at a friend’s house. Her friend just got a brand new (teeny-tiny, completely adorable) puppy, so that worked as a distraction.

Although now I’m waiting for Catie to start asking when she can get a puppy, which… no. No, no, no. Between two kids and a cat, I am maxed out on the amount of poop that I have to clean up every day. We will not be adding a dog to the mix anytime soon.


And, about Lucy? Girlfriend is fully walking. Like, everywhere, all the time.

Anytime she sees her Pop-Pop, she takes off running to him.

She’s not entirely steady on her feet. You know how toddlers walk sort of like tiny drunks? Yeah, that. I’m pretty sure Lucy couldn’t pass a field sobriety test if she tried. But she’s walking, and that’s all that matters.

At daycare this morning, they decided that since she’s walking now, she’s ready to move up from the baby room to the toddler class. This was kind of a huge deal.

As the daycare director led her out of the room to go down the hall to the toddler class, I half-expected Lucy to look over her shoulder and yell, “Peace out, BABIES!” Instead she just waved and said, “Bah-bye.” But I knew what she really meant.

The strange part is that I feel like I should be sad about her moving up to the toddler class. Like it’s another loss of her babyhood, as she grows into her toddler years. But I’m not mourning the baby phase at all. Instead I feel like, “Whew, we survived that. Thank god. Next phase!”

Is that weird? I don’t know, I think I’m a better parent to kids that are mobile and have a firm grasp of the English language. They’re just easier for me to figure out.

Sisters sharing blueberries.

I really, really like my big kids. I can’t wait to see what they do next.

Easter round-up

Easter this year was really nice. My brother stayed at my parents’ house, and my sister and her boyfriend stayed with us at our house. Holidays are so much more fun when we can all see each other via road trip than having to buy plane tickets. Also? My parents having their own house here means that not everyone has to pile up at my place for every holiday. It’s nice. Breathing room is a good thing.

Anyway, this morning, Catie woke up at Ridiculous O’Clock because she just had to see what the Easter Bunny had brought her. My sister and I went downstairs with her, let her dig around in her loot, and then we all went back to sleep.

Catie refused to smile for the camera.

Lucy on Easter morning

Then, we got up and got dressed and all went to church. There was a nursery there for Lucy, and Catie opted to stay with Lucy at the nursery rather than sit through church with us. Free childcare for an hour? I might become a regular church-goer after all.

When we got home, we did some family pictures in front of the house. Kind of a yearly tradition when I was a kid.

I realized later that this picture right here contains pretty much all of my favorite people in it. That makes me happy.

my favorite people

Easter Sunday

And another one of my favorite pics of the day:

me and my girls on Easter Sunday

Later, after everyone left, my dad and I took the girls to the playground and for a walk through our neighborhood greenway. The weather was gorgeous, and we had a great time.

Now we’re home, and everything is quiet. Lucy is napping, Catie is playing, and you know? Life is pretty damn good right now. No complaints.

Hope y’all had nice Easter Sundays too (or whatever you might choose to celebrate, if anything).

the new normal

Catie is almost 100% recovered from the ear infection/pneumonia double whammy of last week. And thank God, because she was totally miserable, the poor kid.

I could tell the minute she started to feel better, too, because suddenly she was driving me crazy. She was running all over the house, “Mommy? Hey Mommy! Watch me do this! Hey, Mommy, can you turn on another ‘Pocoyo’ please? Hey mommy! Can I have some more juice? And some toast? Hey, Mommy, I’m gonna pretend that I’m a baby triceratops so you have to be the mommy triceratops, ok?” And on and on and OH MY SWEET MERCIFUL GOD, CHILD, BE QUIET.

At one point, when I was picking up Lucy from daycare, I ran into Catie’s daycare teacher and mentioned how Catie was driving me batty (but still coughing too much to go back to daycare). Her teacher gave me some worksheets to keep her busy. Catie was all excited to have “homework” from her beloved Miss Germaine. (Seriously, she cried daily about how much she missed her teacher and her friends last week. It was exhausting.)

Working hard on her "homework" from daycare.

Needless to say, she’s back at daycare today.


Meanwhile, this one is still up to no good whatsoever.

Do not believe this face. She is evil. And she won't let her mama sleep.

She is working so hard on trying to crawl, and she’s almost got it down. She’s doing the same thing Catie did with scooting backwards, as well as rocking back and forth on all fours (occasionally she’ll pull a full-on yoga plank or downward-facing dog position, it’s pretty impressive). So, based on past experience, I’m pretty sure this means she’ll be full-on crawling in two weeks or less.

I guess that means I should probably work on, I don’t know, child-proofing? Maybe? I don’t even own any baby gates. Oh god.


Last night, my mom officially moved out of my house. My dad’s been living in their new house for a while, but mom stayed to help out while Catie was sick. It felt so weird when she left. She’s been living with me for the past 4 months. And I knew that she was only going to be less than two miles away at her house, and that I was going to see her twelve hours later when I dropped off Lucy at their house, but it felt like the end of a big milestone. (For the record, Lucy is staying with my folks two days a week and going to daycare for the other three days – I’m so grateful that they’re willing to take it on, because it’s saving me a few hundred dollars per month to cut Lucy down to part-time daycare.)

It was weird to be the one who had to turn off all the lights when I went to bed (my mom is a night owl and usually up long after I go to bed). And it was weird to not have a constant MS-NBC soundtrack in the background (my mom loves her some liberal television programming). Everything about it just felt weird and alien and new.

But it’s a good thing. Before I went to bed I kind of looked around and thought to myself that, yeah, this is MY house. And it’s going to be just me and my girls here. And that’s ok. We need to settle into our new routine, but I think this is going to end up being a really good thing for us.

Almost happy*

Warning: I’m totally scattered right now, so this post is going to be really disjointed and all over the place. I’ll throw in a bunch of cute kid photos to make it worth your while.

It appears that I am going to be moving in about, oh, a week and a half. I’m kind of in denial about it. My parents are running around the house throwing all of my stuff into boxes, while I focus on the kids or work or whatever, but la-la-la, I’m not thinking about packing. It seems to be working so far, since I haven’t freaked out yet.

(Oh, did I mention that my dad is here for Thanksgiving? He booked his flight before he knew that he’d be moving up here 3 weeks from now. We’re glad to have him. Even though he and my mom bicker like… well, like a couple that’s been married for almost 42 years, I guess. But Catie and Lucy both adore him, so it’s good to have him around. Most of the time. I’m personally getting a little tired of the “So hey, why DID your marriage fail, anyway?” inquisition. Sigh. Thanks for that, Dad.)

Ok, moving on! Other random stuff, which I shall number to make it seem more like an ordered list of events, and less like I’m in dire need of ADHD medication.

1. I’ve been sick for over two weeks now. I finally gave up and went to the doctor, where I found out that I have both a sinus and ear infection. So that’s fun. Hooray for antibiotics!

2. Lucy seemed to be coming down with the same crud that I have, and I freaked out at the thought of her being as sick as I am. Turns out she got something much milder than me. She was a little feverish for a day or so, and she seems to have a bad case of Drippy Nose, but other than that, she’s still her normal happy, cheerful self. Thank God for small favors. The Drippy Nose is gross, but it’s manageable.

Had to take a break from packing to take the (still drippy-nosed) baby for a walk.

See? She sure doesn’t LOOK sick.

3. Catie had her second appointment with a counselor. It was good. We took silly pictures of ourselves in the waiting room.

Making silly faces.

She seems to be doing pretty well. We’re working through it as best we can.

4. We’re having a ridiculously mild fall, and I have to admit that I’m loving it. I adore the in-between weather when the highs are in the 60s, it’s so nice. I’ve been taking Catie to the playground a lot lately, even though I’ve been sick and I’m sure I sound like I’m going to keel over and die of tuberculosis right next to the monkey bars. On Sunday, I had to take a break from all of the cleaning and packing and take both of my girls to the playground.

I didn’t get any pictures of Catie at the playground, because it’s impossible to take a non-blurry photo of a whirling dervish. That girl never stopped moving for a second. But while we were there, I thought I’d try Lucy out in the baby swing for the first time. I balled up my hoodie and stuffed it in the swing behind her to keep her from flopping around too much.

Lucy's first time in the swing.

She LOVED it. Like, I’ve never seen her laugh that hard for that long, ever. It was fantastic.

5. Also on the topic of Lucy’s first milestones, last night we gave her a taste of her first “real” (non-pureed) vegetable. It was my mom’s green beans, which are already really soft, and then I chopped them up into tiny, non-choke-able baby-size pieces.

Lucy, aka The Mess-Maker

She loved them, but hoo boy, what a mess. Still, it was pretty hilarious to watch her lean over and try to slurp the green beans off of the high chair tray. So overall? Totally worth it.

Lucy, aka The Mess-Maker

Yeah. Definitely worth it.

6. I just checked and verified that, yep, I am indeed moving in NINE DAYS. Ok, maybe I am starting to freak out a little.

* This is the name of the song that was playing on my iPod when I started typing this. It’s by a band called K’s Choice. Seemed appropriate.

taking a deep breath

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have witnessed my tweeting of a major family crisis that happened. If you missed it, well… I’ve deleted everything about it, because I decided it was probably inappropriate to share online. I was in a state of panic, and I reached out for support. That’s what I use social media for; however, I also don’t want to cause any additional distress to my family. So that’s the last I’m going to say about it.

Except this: we are all ok. It was really bad and scary and awful for a while, but it’s starting to gradually get a little better, and I can see that things are going to turn out ok.

happy Catie on the merry-go-round

Baby jeggings!

I mean, come on. How could they not?


When my mom was here right after Lucy was born, she said, “I keep looking at Lucy and thinking, ‘I know this face. Where have I seen this face before?'” She said that she knew it was one of her kids, but she wasn’t quite sure which one.

So, this time when she flew up, she brought a bunch of old pictures with her. And it kind of blew my mind.

This, as you probably already know, is Lucy:

Her eyes are getting blue-er. I was sure they were going to be brown. Now I don't know.

And this is me as a baby:

1976 - me

So… Huh. Apparently I gave birth to myself. Who knew?

I find it kind of hilarious that Dave and I each got one kid who looks like ourselves. Catie is basically Dave’s twin, so I guess it was my DNA’s turn.

Also, I never thought that I looked like my mom; everyone has always said that I take after my dad’s side of the family. But then I saw this picture of my mom. It was taken in 1982, so she was 36 years old at the time (pretty darn close to the 35 that I am now).

1982 - Mom

I wouldn’t say that we’re exactly twins, but I can see the resemblance for the first time in my life. So that’s weird, but really cool at the same time.

P.S. During all of this, we also pulled out a bunch of pictures of Dave when he was young to contrast and compare. My dad managed to find the one picture we have in this house of Dave’s ex-wife (it’s really a picture of Dave, she’s kind of off in the corner). And my dad insisted that it was me in the photo, not Dave’s ex. I told him that clearly Dave has a type, but no, it’s not me, and can we please change the subject now thanks? Ok then. Yeah. That was… awkward.

Monday morning ramblings

Since the Plague wasn’t going away quickly enough, my doctor gave me a prescription for prednisone to help with the coughing fits. And it’s working, I feel SO much better. But the other part? Prednisone makes me HYPER. Like, oh hey why don’t I go run five errands and then come home, knowing full well that everything is finished, but still feel like I need to go-go-GO doooo soooomething! Hey, there’s 20 minutes until dinner’s ready, maybe I should put the crib together? You know, just so I don’t have to think about it for the next 6 months until this baby is due?

So, yeah. Fun with medical science over at our house, clearly. I’ve gone insane.

Other stuff: My mother-in-law has been here for over a week and I’ve taken a shameful amount of photos. Meaning, um, zero. I’m blaming it on my bronchitis, I just seem to keep forgetting to take pictures when Catie is all snuggled up on her Grandma.

But, on Saturday, we went to see “Toy Story 3 on Ice,” and my mother-in-law remembered her camera for that, so we actually got a few cute pictures there.

Dave & Catie, wearing her alien hat

Family pic!

(Of course, none of the pictures have my mother-in-law actually in them. Which would’ve been nice. But oh well. She was there, I promise!)

Toy Story 3 on Ice

And I have to say, we have been to a lot of kid-oriented concerts and shows – Thomas the Tank Engine Live, Sesame Street Live, Nick Junior Live, and of course, the Wiggles – and I must say, the Disney on Ice franchise put the rest to shame. That show was amazing. Those ice skaters were absolutely phenomenal. I’d highly recommend it to anyone with age-appropriate kids.

Other random stuff:
* We now have two Christmas trees, which feels a little bit pretentious, but I have to say that I kind of love it. I put our (fake) tree up in the living room, which faces the street, because it’s our pretty formal room and it’s the most logical place to have a Christmas tree. But Dave pointed out that we never actually hang out in that room, so he wanted to get another tree (a real one, not another fake one) to put in the family room. It didn’t take much to convince me – he just had to say that he’d be responsible for handling it and I was sold. It’s a very pretty tree, I really like having both of them.

(Also? The tree in the family room can’t be seen from our stairs, which makes it the more logical place for Santa to drop off his loot, to avoid little early-risers who might try to sneak a peek.)

* I haven’t cooked dinner since my mother-in-law arrived. It’s been heaven.

* Catie has decided that the Elf on the Shelf book is pretty much her favorite bedtime story ever, but she’s largely indifferent to the elf himself. I’m just rolling with it – if she’s fine with it, I’m fine with it.

* I’m finally healthy enough to go back to work! And I’m so excited about it! God, I’m a dork.

* The title of this post is a lie because I’m actually typing it on Sunday night. Thank you, WordPress scheduling feature.