And you thought I was pregnant

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life69 Comments


No. That won't be happening any time soon, unless you believe in immaculate conception happening twice in a few millenia. (And i'm not trying to assert false claims to virginity or anything. Close though. No…the payload is being delivered empty, if you get my drift.)

Alright then, moving quickly along.

But back when the payloads were NOT quite so empty, we got two great kids from the process. And yesterday, one of those kids got to open a present for his birthday. Sometimes, his indifference can really surprise us.

His other present was the jersey he's wearing, a really lovely Joe Mauer Twins number.

Following the gift opening, we headed out to dinner, and because it was his birthday, it was HIS choice, of course. Now…during the past week, he'd said he wanted to go to Fridays. This is always a safe bet for the entire family. Nothing too crazy. Nothing that will make us instantly ill. Fairly safe and predictible.

Then he pulled the old switcharoo about 15 minutes before departure: he wanted to go to O.C.B., aka Old Country Buffet.

I would like to apologize in advance to those of you who frequent and rather enjoy the OCB. I mean you no disrespect. But when Dan informed me of Cole's decision, he looked as though someone had just told him that he'd been banned for life from fantasy baseball.

With Cole out of earshot, we consoled each other, trying not to dwell on the impending culinary delights offered by OCB, that may or may not have been made fresh that day…and decided, you know what? It's HIS birthday, and we're not going to ruin it by imposing parental veto power over OCB. We'll grin and eat it.

So we get there, and there's a line, and Dan turn to me and says, "Oh God, there's a line." And for Dan to take the Lord's name in vain like that, you KNOW he's not feelin' the love.

We get in line, and I'm quite certain that if someone had snapped a picture of the looks on our respective faces (me and Dan, that is) you would have thought we'd just realized that we'd driven our car over a box of puppies.

The line starts moving slowly, and I was completely overwhelmed by the smell of old cigarette smoke, gently wafting off every single person standing on either side of us, and we keep asking the boy if he's sure this is what he wants to do, when Dan blurts out:

"You know, Cole, I did say I'd take you here Thursday, for the last day of school…" And I'm thinking, "You what?" but kept my cool, knowing I could quite easily come up with a reason why I couldn't go on Thursday.

And Cole, who at that moment realized he'd forgotten to bring his OCB Kid Eats Free card, suggests that we run home to get it, and then…it happened: he saw the light of reason and said, "Let's just go to Fridays."

And suddenly, eight hours of labor WAS in fact, worth it again.

There's more to the story, but i'll say this: a good time was had by all, and when I came home to translate my dinner into Weight Watchers points, it turned out that i had actually eaten three days worth of points in 45 minutes.

Then I made this in an effort to make amends for pressuring Cole into making a change of venue and the many years of therapy he'll need as a result of NOT going to the OCB, because THAT is was Mom's do on birthdays.

And don't even THINK of trying to move it off this table until Saturday.


Cathy ZielskeAnd you thought I was pregnant

69 Comments on “And you thought I was pregnant”

  1. #1
    Rochelle McGee

    So was Jabba’s sail barge hard to put together? Looks like I’ll be doing the same thing for my son next month – he wants this EXACT same thing for his birthday , as he reminds me each day with annoying regularity.

  2. #3
    Heather Crawley

    I feel the parental pain…when you hear back, “But you said I could choose.” We just got back from a weekend trip, all because we said, “You can pick anywhere you want to eat for your birthday.” Our soon-to-be-8-year-old picked Kobe Steakhouse, a Japanese restaurant 2 1/2 hours away. This is a restaurant where they cook in front of you, throw food, set things on fire, etc. He is totally ga-ga over this place, so we being the dutiful parents we are, we drove.

  3. #5

    Ok, so my boy isn’t 8, he’s 1, and so I’m new to kids’ birthdays and presents and what it takes to make a really really great one.

    Today I learned that a good present makes a kid smile. A really GREAT one means that both the kid’s dentist and the ENT guy can see all they need to see on both the teeth and throat/tonsils respecitively, just from the “look at my present” photo.

    My goodness what a smile!

    Go Cole, you rock, but then your mum already told you that! Happy birthday from Australia. Well, not all 20 million of us of course, but from me at least.

  4. #6
    Hillary Chybinski

    honestly. . .I would have thought you were describing my 7 Y O and a family outing by our family. . .I am right there with you sister – and my 7YO spied that pic of Cole and is squaking about that way cool gift!


  5. #7
    Melissa M.

    Nice tonsils on that kid 🙂

    Hey, remember that you gave birth to that kid on his birthday … that definitely calls for change of venue power!

  6. #8

    Why do children loooove OCB like they do? As a mom, I just see a germ buffet – it is the last place I want to eat, too. Just remember for next year, YOU have the power of Veto because they were your loins from whence he sprouted! Hope Cole had a great bday! Tracy

  7. #9
    katie scott

    Cathy, I read your blog because I love scrapbooking but I just want to THANK YOU for all these posts about your son and his love of baseball. For the first time ever I took my 5 year old son to the Devil Rays v. Blue Jays game and we had THE BEST TIME EVER! Seriously, I took a million pictures of my son at the game with that same totally excited look on his face! We ate hot dogs and cotton candy. And they picked my son to dance to a Jimmy Buffet song on the field and it got played on the big screen (they’re sending me the video), he could not have been more thrilled and later he got to sit near the players and they gave him a ball. I would never have taken him (and my husband isn’t into sports) except for all the fun you report your son to be having at the ball park. Thank you!

    Katie Scott.

  8. #11

    OMG I laughed hysterically at the WW retort! I disdain exercise and watching what I eat as much as you do, Cathy…

    Isn’t that so the truth when you go out to eat????

    Belated b-day wishes to Cole!!

  9. #12

    I’m right there with Katie….I actually laughed out loud about the WW comment…you are just too funny – I’m still trying to work off points from 2006. It is SO clearly obvious you love your family – what a great time you all have together…you’re making memories (and documenting!) no one will ever forget!


  10. #13

    so i just made my virgin OCB trip last weekend, when my grandparents took us and my cousins out to dinner.

    OH. MY.

    Friday’s would be like being ushered into a five-star restaurant and told you could eat for free after that “lovely” experience. I’m right there with you.

  11. #15

    Not that you ever (nor should you ever) blog for my pure enjoyment but entries like this one…THESE are the blog posts of old that got me H-O-O-K-E-D on stalking you. I mean, merely reading your blog. I honestly (by saying “honestly” you know I’m lying right??) fell out of my chair because I was laughing so hard. Oh it no longer feels like Monday. For half a second it felt like Friday and the weekend was ahead of me. Then I got to the end of your post and realized that I’m not even at hump day yet. No pressure of course, but wow! Thanks for the good hearty laugh!


  12. #16

    I don’t really know which is better…

    The Princess Lea in her bikini or the giant Jaba the Hut. Both are the highlight of that playset.

  13. #18

    You need to head to the Atlanta area…OCB’s are closed!!
    I think “Folks” has dutifully taken it’s place. Grease, anyone!!
    Oh, how I miss the Lego days, my son is 28 and hasn’t played with them for years, and his son, 6 yrs., has not shone any interest in them. Too bad, cause I cannot tell you how many kits are in the attic!

  14. #19

    ANY buffet is gross, but ESPECIALLY OCB or Golden Corral. We call the latter “the Trough.” ICK. The clientele usually make you wanna go on a diet and/or avoid the municipal water supply. So sorry to anyone who loves buffets, including my sweet Grandma who we took to GC once (her choice).

  15. #20

    I still shudder in horror when I remember our last visit to Valentines (the local buffet franchise). On a happier note – that is a supercool lego set. I better not show my boy – too late! Mind you, I might want it too….love that Lego Wookie 🙂

  16. #22

    this post is pure gold, love it

    “And don’t even THINK of trying to move it off this table until Saturday.” lol

  17. #23

    Excellent take on OCB…why do my in-laws love that place so much…oh it must be the congealed fried chicken and potato-like substance that goes with it. My kids love, love, the soft serve ice cream, all the chocolate milk they can drink. Who can argue?

  18. #24

    Hi Cathy ~ Just a lurker here . . . but I was LOL at your post. “Because that’s what moms do on thier kids birthday’s.” We have HTB (Home Town Buffet) here in Oregon but I’m sure it’s same, same, same.

    Have a great day!

  19. #25

    We have that Lego set! My kids are very into the Harry Potter Legos. I have been shopping for them on ebay just about every day!
    We went through a patch where they only wanted to eat at Applebee’s. I had to draw the line.

  20. #26

    sweet. fancy. moses. That’s exactly how we feel about the OCB. My folks LOVE it. Go there at least twice a week. The waitress knows them by name. My son also has Jabba’s Sail Barge. Don’t know quite what happened to Bikini Leah though…

  21. #27


    brings back memories of the days when my sister would pick OCB for her birthday dinner. Oh how my parents and I would try to get out of that one!

  22. #28

    Love this! That smile on Cole’s face is beyond amazing.

    Just you wait, though:
    The Resident Teen Ager, who will be 16 (16??!?!?!) in a few weeks has asked for a night in a hotel suite with two friends. I think there will be make-up and pedicures involved. I will be hiding in a room down the hall, only to be released when it’s time to pay for something.

    Wonder where she got ideas like that? 🙂

    Sometimes, it’s fun (and expensive!) to be the stepmom. Now if only she’d listen to my thoughts on the importance of homework…

    (Yes, she’s spoiled. She’s the bonus daughter I never thought I’d have. A divine and (mostly) delightful surprise.)

  23. #29

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought at the beginning of the last post you were prego until I read on… so it’s very funny you mention it. Glad he had a good birthday. I’m not even going to let my 5 year old son see the picture of the star wars legos he’d be so jealous!

  24. #30
    kate hagelin

    So laughing — while I’ve never been to OCB myself (though I can envision the nastiness) my sister had to frequent it — the top choice of her kids for special occassions. I’ve listened to her complain many, many times!!

  25. #33
    Lisa Bracale

    I feel your pain for my son’s birthday this year he also wanted OCB. Imagine our shock at seeing a big tour bus out front and thankfully then were leaving as we were in line. My son wanted to go there because he likes all of the desserts and since it was his birthday I let him pick as many things he wanted.


  26. #34

    Gotta love that expression!!!!!
    Ha ha ha OCB oh yes been there…. not exactly a culinery delight. LOL.
    Oh my son would love that lego.

  27. #35

    Oh my! Last year, our six year old daughter chose Home Town Buffet (close cousin to OCB, I am sure!) for her “birthday girl gets to choose the restaurant” meal too!! Words can not convey my DH’s look of pure disgust ;-)) Thankfully, our son who will be turning eight on August 8th usually chooses Red Lobster. Go figure…he loves their Caesar Salads! Go RL! He will be getting some way cool Lego Racers on his big day. Gotta love Legos.
    Thanks for my daily laugh!

  28. #36

    DUDE!!! Okay, what is it with kids and OCB?!?!? I’m right there with you…my 10 year old nephew would rather eat there than anywhere and I can’t eat while I’m there, as I’m looking at the handles on the communal food, consumed with the tought of germs. I don’t know how much salad I’ve had to suck down to make him happy. Eesh *shudder*

    Anyhow, you had me scared breifly yesterday, then I had the common sense to read down the page. Easy enough to stop the heart attack.

    Anyhow – your attempt to soothe Cole’s guilt, not to shabby miss. However, that won’t be what scars him (not going to OCB for his birthday). You not letting him get the trendy new sneakers or gadget he really wants will 😉 *lol*

    Take it easy!

  29. #38
    Deena Hopkins

    The Immaculate Conception refers to Mary’s birth without original sin, not conceiving Jesus without having sex. That’s the Virgin Birth.

  30. #40
    Cindy Carnes

    Cathy, you are SOOOOOO funny. To me, a great writer is one who has the ability to take those everyday things that everyone thinks, or those everyday happenings that everyone notices, in life, but never really REALIZE that they think or notice, and put them into words that everyone understands and that is exactly what you do. BRAVO!

  31. #41

    I was just back visiting my family in Bloomington and my grandma (bless her heart) took the whole family out to the OCB. This woman is 98 and blind and enjoyed every minute of the outing. You made me laugh, knowing there were others like my sister and me, who wondered why it hadn’t closed years ago.

  32. #44
    Pam C.

    Cathy: Reading your blog always puts a smile on my face. I had such a crappy day today and it was so nice to finally get to laugh! We feel the same way when our young niece chooses Golden Corral (our buffet chain here in TX). Too funny!
    Pam in TX

  33. #47

    My husband and I bought that very same Lego set for our son and spent a whole day building it. It took all of 3 minutes to take it apart and have all gazillion pieces lying in a pile under his bed a week later.Oh well.

  34. #49
    Sara Berry

    OMG…you had me rolling on this one. I think legos should come with a merit badge for the moms who put them together. My sister is a certified Lego Engineer…she has a 7 year old who owns every set ever made and guess who put them together?

  35. #52

    Happy birthday to Cole! I have to say that OCB has been a favorite of my DD’s as well. Now she prefers either the Red Robin or the Ram – thank you, Restaurant Fairy!

    And your Lego building abilities? I am totally impressed!

  36. #53
    lisa Ubnoske

    that is too funny! my husband loves places like that and he knows to go with a friend because i refuse! and when he still begs me to go and i tell him no he acts like i have just refused a 2 carat diamond ring! 🙂

  37. #55

    I laughed through that entire post. Thanks for that uplift from someone who is grumpy because she’s been woken up at 5 am every morning by her 2 yr old for the past week. I love reading about your kids and seeing what I get to look forward to.

  38. #56

    I can completely relate to OCB, we have a place here called Ole Times Country Buffet and we stay as far away as possible. BTW…love 70’s porn star mustaches, so thanks for that! Wasn’t sure if I was going to like the look of the new page but I do, it’s so funny and real.

  39. #59

    so… totally unrelated to birthday festivities, but… could you post an RSS feed on your site? i want to make sure i don’t miss anything… 🙂


  40. #60

    My kids are older and sometimes I really miss the days of legos and Barbies (but not at 2 a.m. when I was stepping on them in the dark in my bare feet). Now a days the presents they get I can’t even touch because I might delete all the data with the touch of one button. I can totally understand this because I can just bearly run the DVD player and have yet to figure out the VCR timer. Happy Birthday Cole.

  41. #62

    ok so here we call the OCB the 50a buffet (cop lingo for wanted felons buffet because so many work there & eat there.)
    I sooo relate.

  42. #63

    We have Hometown Buffet in my neck of the woods… my kids hate me for calling it Hometown Barf-et!

  43. #64

    OMG – Cathy, Cathy, Cathy.
    Wow – just felt the need to let you know that during and after reading this post I am pretty sure that I was laughing so hard I think I peed a little. Everything about it . . . pee. in. my. pants, funny.

    My husband “and” my 6 year old – put together a huge Lego Fighter Plane – a Blue Angel something or another – with no less than 4 billion 298 pieces, set it on his shelf, fell off and my husband declared we were NOT putting it together again. Now its in pieces under his desk in a shopping bag . . LOL.

  44. #65

    This post was just LOL funny! I think my husband’s a little concerned about me right now. So, so funny. Thanks for sharing your great sense of humor.

  45. #66
    Julie S.

    OMG! I was seriously LOL!! I hate OCB with a passion and could SO feel your pain! Thanks so much for the laugh tonight!

  46. #67

    Hi Cathy
    This has taken me sometime to write as I am a reader of blogs not a commentor – but this post left me wanting to share.
    My son Samuel turned 10 on the 25th of July. He too recieved a huge star wars leggo. Now Im not sure how the building planning process works in America but here in Australia it is a long process, we are still on the bottom 1/4 of the space ship.
    And he is working on it, by himself, sort of, with only me helping and not any of his big brothers, so it could be years.
    And then sitting patiently to be started is the next one LOL!

    On another note my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in your community.

  47. #69
    Heather Martens

    I paid a French guy in Germany (via eBay) the Euro equivalent of $20 for the Boba Fett figure ALONE. My 9yo is cuckoo for Lego Star Wars. I am just cuckoo.

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