Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cusp Season

Here's how I know it's the season between seasons: I wrote about posole just a mere couple of weeks ago, but by the time I saw it up on wondertime, I thought: Posole? How freakishly wintery! However, the recipe is now up--it's the middle link, below--and if you're somewhere like here, well then a grey spring day might be the perfect time to make just such a warming red stew as this. Because really--the asparagus are not exactly Pinocchio-ing out of the ground yet now, are they; you might as well go ahead and boil some pork all day.

Also linked below is the column about my five year old. You know. Who's five and everything.

I have new columns over at wondertime: here, here, and here.

39 comments:

  1. Happy, happy birthday, Birdy! (Love love love that last column, too: so funny and dear and perfect. I may have cried.)

    Hope you're well this gloomy day...

    Blessings!

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  2. I can't beleive you're five Birdy! What a loving young lady you're turning out to be.
    Thank you Catherine for sharing your family with us.

    Hydes

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  3. Anonymous4:32 PM

    Okay, I am officially a stalker! I use that word probably once every single time I post, Catherine! It is me, the one that always says "anonymous," because I am too lazy to figure out how to put a name on my comments! You know how you have "favorites" online that you check daily? (or is it just me, procrastinating for all the cleaning and laundry and live with 2 children that I am supposed to be doing instead??!!) Well, Catherine, I may have to have some sort of sick title as "Head Stalker" or "Queen Stalker", because, yes, I check your blog and Wondertime daily! Eek, do not call for witness protection or a restraining order, pleazeeee!!! hee hee. See, when you were at Parentcenter, I knew it was every Monday I could get my Catherine fix..... but now it is all so random, I keep checking! Too often! ha ha ha ha! And I adore you for being so concientious to your readers that you actually went back and posted that posole recipe!!! What a goddess you are to us, so receptive and listening and helpful! Okay, kissing up over. Stressful day here with layoffs at husband's company. (and so many other friends' companies too.) Hope you are well. (do any of you other moms pour a glass of wine the moment the other parent walks in door, because you know that now the other responsible adult is here, because you cannot have wine when you are soley responsible for human lives??!! ha ha ha ha!) Peace to all of you gals, on this gloomy pre-spring day. I saw daffodils though, hooray!!!!!!!1

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  4. I commented on the Birdy Is Five post already - I think I said that it made me cry. Which it did.
    My oldest kid is going to be NINE. NINE! That's practically sixteen!

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  5. Speaking of hair, look how long Birdy's is!

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  6. Have I really known you (and by "known you" I mean "stalked (in the non-creepy way, of course) you on the internet") for more than 5 years?

    I can't believe she's 5. That sounds ancient, doesn't it? (my son is nearly 6 and 5 was a tough milestone!)

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  7. Five is a really tough milestone... we just did it at the end of January with our youngest. Why is this one so hard? He has become more loving since turning 5 and I am relishing it. The whining, not so much. She looks lovely in the photo with her long locks! She is losing her cheeks.... so is my D. That might be the saddest thing of all.

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  8. Happy Birthday Birdy! My Jake is 5 as well, and I always get such a kick out of reading about Birdy. They would get along splendidly, as long as they weren't both being fierce at the same time (ok, so maybe not). Spring will come. Some day. No grass here yet. :(

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  9. Love the butterfly cupcakes!! Do tell what the ingredients are on top...manderin oranges and what else?

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  10. The column you wrote for Birdy's birthday is my all-time favorite piece of your writing. And that is saying a lot, because I seem to have joined the Catherine Newman Stalker's Club ;). I have two five-year-old's, a boy and a girl, and I wish I had the talent to express myself as eloquently as you. What a gift to Birdy to be able to read these words when she is older and to know how much she is loved.

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  11. I loved your column! It is so hard to believe that it has been five years already. My daughter is turning five tomorrow. I started reading your column when I was pregnant with her. Her and Birdy's birthdays are so close, I would read your column and share the milestones and have some reassurance that I'm not insane. While I was reading this she wandered over and asked where she was in that picture of her, or was it someone else? I have to confess, sometimes when I read your column and I picture Birdy in my mind's eye, I can't help but see her as a toddler, then I glance up, see Emily running around in all her growing up kid lankiness and have to do a double take. Thanks for helping me not go insane and appreciate my kids even more over the past five years!

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  12. Oh, these freaking children of ours. Getting older and older by the second.
    All three of my boys just had their bdays in the past month and a half. They are 5, 3, and 1. Too fast!

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  13. If Birdy is five that makes my Rosebud ALMOST five. I can't wait to head over to Wondertime.

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  14. Happy birthday to Birdy!

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  15. Thank you for the posole recipe! Snow is coming... again... so we might as well boil pork all day tomorrow.

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  16. Oh, that picture KILLED me! Birdy looks exactly like my little sister Rachel did at that age, with the pudgy little cheeks and dark, silky hair. And from the image I get of her from your writing, I think Birdy has a similarly feisty personality!

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  17. So in my morbid state, those darling butterfly cupcakes, viewed upside down, looked like Jack the skeleton guy from Nightmare Before Christmas. Huh, thought I, that can't be right. And then behold, butterflies, duh.

    Five. Wow. Wow!

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  19. Congrats Birdy, the "Queen of 5" on becoming 5! Now I don't think it's just pregnancy hormones, since I've read some of the other comments on your Birdy story. I too was quite teary, as I often am, after hearing your stories. And speaking of seasons, after a very springish February, we just had SNOW here in Seattle today, it's nearly APRIL for gosh sakes! Thanks again for your delightful emotion evoking stories! :)

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  20. Anonymous4:36 PM

    Hi Catherine
    I have been reading your beautiful writing (everything - your book, anthologies and babycenter and wondertime columns) for 6 years. My children are 8 (boy) and 5 (girl) so not only is your writing great but perfectly applicable to my own life. In fact, your "Waiting for Birdy" book is one of my all time favorites and I posted a glowing review on the barnes and noble website (I was "midwest mother of 2"). However, I have to say that I don't feel your wondertime columns are nearly as good as your babycenter ones were. I have been feeling this way for some time and thought maybe I was more nostalgic and hormonal (!) in the babycenter days but I've gone back to read a few lately and they STILL brought tears to my eyes and I felt they were funnier, more poignant, and just out and out better. It seems now you are trying out a different voice or something. Maybe you are less anxious or less vulnerable now as a veteran parent (I know I am) and if so that is great but maybe the writing suffers for it? Also, I find the "dialogue" (what Birdy says, then what you say, then what Ben says but all in their voices and written like a script) a bit tedious and it seems beneath your caliber of writing. You used to be able to insert funny things Ben and Birdy did and said in a more organic way in your older columns. I don't want to sound like I am trashing your writing - you are one of my favorite writers and I read everything you put out but I guess I'm wondering if you have heard this before? Or, do you feel the current columns are just as good or are you trying for something different? I hope all your devoted readers realize that I am also a huge fan and don't rip me apart for saying this. I very well may be the only one who feels this way and then I'll know it is just me.

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  21. Beautiful . . . that sums up my newly-five as well. His brother is turning 8 today, but somehow the fiveness of my little one hit me a lot harder. His birthday was over two weeks ago, but I'm still having a little trouble with it. I mean, being big and grown-up is good and all, but I'm sometimes wistful for that baby.

    Of course, both of them are being absolutely hideous this week, so it might be nice to rewind them to that easy baby-ness. *sigh*

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  22. I just want to say that the wondertime collumns are different. But, they have to be different, because she doesn't have little kids anymore. Also, the kids are getting older and maybe she can't share stories about them with the freedom she had when they were kids.

    Catherine, I love your writing and I think your wondertime articles are awesome. It's just an addition to the wonderful writings from Babycenter. Now we get to enjoy them both. Both styles and enjoy every bit that you share. Please keep it up.

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  23. That's so weird. Cusp season. I just blogged for the first time in over a month. And I used the word "cusp". I love that word.

    Can't wait to catch up on your blogs and columns. For some reason, I have felt so guilty about not writing mine that I haven't been able to read anyone else's!

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  24. Thank you oh so much for that recipe!!!! It was winter here today (is it possible that only last week we were in the 70s playing outside?) so I might try it this week. Happy b-day Birdy! My Swan Princess is 5, and I love this stage in her life! And I totally understand what Beck feels about her child turning 9. My oldest will be 8 in November. In 5 years I'll have a teenager!!!!!!

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  25. Jessi8:11 AM

    Happy birthday birdy! Goodness, is she really 5 already? My oldest son is 5, and I remember reading over on babycenter when he was just a baby and thinking to myself, "wow, I could have written this" Thanks for being there and touching my life through your writing. I feel like we are friends! This is the first time I have ever commented. It feels good to finally do it!

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  26. i think "understanding the relative experience of turtles" should be recognized as an important milestone, marked in all guides to pediatric care. "Has your child thought yet about the experience of turtles, and how it might be different than her own?"

    nice work, even compared to normal. thanks.

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  27. Erin K.2:58 PM

    I remember you writing something either in your book or the ben&birdy column, about Birdy's babihood passing through your house like a swift breeze - or wind - I can't remember the exact words but the sentiment has been with me all weekend as my youngest, my baby of 20 months has started sleeping in the big bed that his brother sleeps in, the bed that we bought with the intention of them sleeping in it together. It is as sweet as can be to see them piled in there like puppies. But it is a little sad for me to take the bedrail down from my bed to put on theirs, and more so to dismantle the co-sleeper that has been pushed up against my side of the bed for the better part of 4 years, between the two boys. The co-sleeper has actually sat unused for a little while now, but now, to see it gone and the vast empty space there - well, I'm afraid that I might just fall out of bed myself. Thankfully, the morning usually still finds us all packed into the one bed like sardines, with my sweet husband hapily perched halfway on the bedside table. I can really see how people get hooked on babies.

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  28. Anonymous6:46 PM

    Help! Help! I'm living in NZ and I have NO idea what hominy is? Could someone enlighten me?? It's early autumn here but I could do with a good hot soup and this sounds wonderful.....

    Lisa

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  29. Thanks for the posole recipe....

    Of course you, totally self-actualized woman, don't need to hear this again, but I'm another who is thoroughly enjoying your writing. In fact, you and a 9 year old friend inspired me to blog and it’s been so much fun.
    Muchas Gracias always.

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  30. Ah, cusp season. What a good name for it. Strangely, I always get depressed around this time of year. You would think it would be fall, what with everything dying and turning brown and the cold confining us to our house--but no. And maybe it is just a disorienting time of year, as you say.

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  31. Catherine,
    Have you checked Caleb Potter's blog today? I am beside myself.

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  32. Reyna7:57 PM

    Catherine,

    This week's Wondertime essay was one of my favorites ever. You just perfectly encapsulated a moment in time that I so related to. And hearing you read it was even better.

    My younger daughter (4 1/2) also does not like "winning games" but we discovered this company called Family Pastimes that makes cooperative games. We actually discovered these games at that "A to Z Science and Learning Center" in Northampton, so pretty much in your neck of the woods. Somehow that game showed her that games are not all about disappointment and she's even better about the regular ole winning games too. And this is important because my husband cannot wait to play Monopoly as a family. We're almost there!

    Thanks so much (for the millionth time) for sharing your life with us!

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  33. Anonymous12:16 PM

    Hi Catherine. Have you kept up with the Caleb Potter Blog? They have yet another tragedy. Just keep sending them your positive thoughts!
    -tm

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  34. Anonymous8:16 PM

    Catherine a while back you had spoken of Caleb Potter and I started to read thier blog and check it often. When I checked in last night I could not believe what had happened - so sad so many ??'s - I just wanted to be sure you knew but I see others have left comments here to let you know as well - mcg

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  35. lawgrrl12:40 AM

    Wow. I cannot believe Birdy has turned five. Wow. I started reading your work since your Babycenter days and I remember very well when we were all waiting for her to be born. My own "Ben" is now just a few months shy of six. Wow, indeed, it does fly by like the breeze...

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  36. Anonymous10:14 AM

    One of your posts had me thinking about the Sears Wish Book (ohhh the items I pined for!)

    Should you feel like a walk down memory (bad fashion) lane....gotta love the internet!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wishbook/sets/1360453/

    Lainey

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  37. Dale_R12:13 PM

    Catherine -
    I thought your Vegetable Battles article in April's Wondertime magazine was great. Your "per servering analysis" of Jessica Seinfeld's recipes was right on. I was going to try a few of her recipes, but I came to the same conclusion that I would rather battle my children to "choke down" an equivalent amount of undisguised veggies than to hide them in a muffin. Given that I barely have time to prepare a regular meal, there is no way I can squeeze in an evening of steaming and pureeing. I also "know what you mean" when you commented that it will be easier to eventually take the butter out of the squash than to take the squash out of the muffin. It reminds me of another comment I heard a few years ago that kids are not getting fat because they have too much butter on their spinach, too much cheese on their broccoli, or too much ranch on their carrot sticks. They are getting fat because they are not getting the spinach, broccoli and carrots - duh! I let my kids go nuts trying various condiments with their veggies because at least they are getting the veggies.

    Patience and repitition has been the key in our household as well. So far all three of my boys will gladly eat steamed broccoli with butter (sometimes I get away with substituting olive oil). Two of the 3 do well with steamed cauliflower, spinach and asparagus (also with butter or olive oil), which are some pretty strong veggies. The youngest boy is not yet 2. He gets a helping of the veggie du jour at every meal for him to try. I have faith that eventually he will eat the veggies (as opposed to "trying" them, scrunching up his nose, and spitting out ala Tom Hanks with the cavier in "Big") and like them, just the way he did with broccoli. I look forward to experimenting with roasting some veggies to see if we have success in broadening our veggie repertoire.

    Great article!
    Dale

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  38. Speaking of Wondertime magazine...

    I just got the May issue today and I loved the article you did, Catherine! I remember you writing about enjoying a sick day a while back, but this was reworded and added to and it was wonderful! It was like a little treat, because I barely make it from Monday to Monday waiting for your next article to come! It was great and so are you!
    Meg

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  39. Hi Catherine. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving such nice comments. I do appreciate your kind thoughts--pop over anytime.
    Mary Beth

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