If I could have given my new-parent self one piece of advice, it would be this:

Don’t worry about it.

Seriously. I started worrying pretty much the second I found out I was pregnant (am I gaining enough weight? What does that pain mean? Am I gaining too much weight? Is he going to be born with both legs fused together? Did all that kicking dislocate one of my ribs?) and it only ramped up from there.

First there was the milk situation, and the fact that mine took like 4 days to come in and the lactation people were making me feel really, really bad about it, like I was deliberately starving my baby or something (note to lactation consultants: I would tell you to suck it but you’d probably take it the wrong way).

Then there were the milestones that did not correspond with established charts: clapping (oh, how I worried about the clapping), jumping, talking.

We got walking out of the way relatively early, what with the taking his first steps at 8.5 months, but he didn’t really talk until well after he was 2 and still has some trouble with pronouns. And I think I may have mentioned how worried I was about potty training (but we all know how that turned out).

But for all my fretting and teeth-gnashing and late-night scouring of the internet, the kid did just fine. He reached all his milestones when he was ready to reach them, with relatively little input from me. It’s like - gasp! - I don’t have total and complete control over my child’s development! It’s like things happen when they happen no matter how much I worry about them!

He might not be reading super early like some of his friends, or drawing recognizable pictures like other friends, but I’m not going to worry about it. My kid is who he is, and I can’t imagine him any other way.

Except maybe he could eat more. That would be okay.



  • We’ve actually started going to the gym! A leading motivator is the fact that they have kick-ass childcare which Ellison LOVES. He begs to be taken to the gym. It’s cute. (Related things that are kicking asses, namely mine: pilates. Ow ow ow.)
  • Ellison got into preschool! SO EXCITED OMG. He starts in the fall. I may or may not be marking off days on the calendar.
  • The kid continues to be potty trained, and this continues to amaze me. (Though I have not brought him to Ikea yet.)
  • Matt landed a book deal with PeachPit and we’re in the process of writing the next Visual QuickStart Guide for WordPress. Woot!
  • I’ve got two spanky new work projects that should be really fun and now I will stop talking about work because this is my personal blog damnit and I can totally talk about other things, right? Right?
  • Uh…
  • I like donuts.

somewhat increasingly less cranky

Now that I have a potty-trained kid, the world is suddenly opening up to me in the way of an oyster or something similar. Oh, the things I can do: at the store, for example, I can stride blithely past the diaper displays without obsessively checking to see if they have his size. I no longer have to worry that I’ve ventured out into the world without a diaper tucked into my purse (I ditched the diaper bag when he was about six months old so this is more of an issue than you’d think). And the best part?

I can now use the childcare center at IKEA.

(Honestly, it was the first thing that occurred to me when we realized he was potty trained. But I have yet to do it, since they’re remodeling. Remodeling! Damn them and their delicious meatballs!)

On a larger scale, we can actually actively consider sending the kid to preschool, the thought of which fills me with a giddy sort of glee. Not that I don’t enjoy spending every second of every day with a small child climbing on me and yanking or poking some portion of my anatomy, but since I’m usually trying very, very hard to get some work done during those seconds, I think the kid is often bored. I’m a firm believer in boredom as parenting device, mind you, but I also like the idea of the kid learning to play nicely with other children his own age and listen to authority figures who aren’t his parents. Plus he’s seriously awesome, and why would I want to keep that all to myself?

So, we’re looking. Preschool hasn’t even been on my radar, so I have no idea if other parents are reading this and laughing hysterically at the idea of me thinking I can just waltz in and enroll my kid all willy-nilly. Go ahead, laugh. I can’t hear you over the sound of my own denial.

potty training: check

I’ve been dreading potty training the kid, but it turns out I had nothing to worry about: he did it on his own.

Yes. You read that right. He potty trained himself.

About two weeks ago, Ellison announced that he wanted to use the potty. Nothing new; he’d been doing that periodically for months, but last time I hunkered down and tried to get him to use it reliably resulted in nothing but soiled underpants and tears. So, sure, he used the potty, and then I went to put his diaper on and he was like “No! No diaper!”

Okay. So I let him wear some big-boy underpants, thinking what the hell, we don’t have to be anywhere.

And he wore them all day. And didn’t have any accidents.

And then his diaper was dry in the morning. And he wore underpants all that day, too.

And then all of the next night.

And it’s been two weeks.

DUDE. If I had known potty training would be this easy I would never have stressed out about it. This parenting thing is a piece of cake.

scratch & sniff

My kid’s breath smells different when he’s sick. Not gross-different, but definitely different. My mom used to say that my breath smelled like rubbing alcohol when I was sick, and it’s kind of like that with Ellison too. It’s cool that the mom nose notices things like that, isn’t it? It’s like an early warning system.

I mention this because today Ellison’s breath smells like rubbing alcohol, and I foresee nothing but doooooom. (Though it does explain yesterday’s foray into Meltdown City, in which a sobbing tantrum was thrown every five minutes or so by my normally cheerful kid.) We all had the flu a couple of weeks ago & are only just now getting back to normal; the last thing I want is another illness! But the kid’s got a fantastic immune system and usually kicks whatever bug he gets pretty quickly. Mommy and daddy, though, are another story…


It was my birthday last week. Yes. I am 35 now, a solid, respectable age. I would have posted about it sooner, but usually I loathe my birthday for reasons which have absolutely nothing to do with age and absolutely everything to do with that one time when I was 14 and no one came to my party, but this year? My birthday did not suck! In fact, it was as lovely as a birthday of mine can be (which, as it turns out? Pretty lovely). Not So took me out for a phenomenal dinner at bluehour, which is pretty much my favorite restaurant anywhere ever, and we partook of the cheese plate, about which sonnets could be written. I also had two lemon drops, and anyone who knows me will recognize that 2 lemon drops = 1 drunk me. (This picture illustrates, pre-inebriation, how ridiculously excited I was to go out on a date with my husband. Behold, the massive smile and flushed cheeks!)

splitting hairs

So-o, I got my hair cut. All of them, in fact. Which is always a little nerve-wracking, especially since a) I’m a control freak and b) I go to the cheapest haircutting place in town. I know, right? But up until recently I’ve had really good luck there. It’s just the last few haircuts that have been somewhat, er, lacking. For example, I went in today saying I wanted a chunky A-line bob, and got…this weird gamine cut, instead.

Whatev. It’s cute, even if it isn’t what I wanted. Also (and you can’t see this in the photo) it’s still blue, which is happy-making. It’s fading in an entertaining way, and the bleachy bits mean that I can add fun colors without having to do any real work, and isn’t that what everyone wants from their hair?