Turning 50,000

Sometime today, in all likelihood, On Balance will reach a remarkable milestone: 50,000 comments in less than one year. The equivalent of at least five books. So. instead of our usual race to be the first poster, one of us will be the 50,000th.

When washingtonpost.com asked me to start an online column about juggling work and family last year, I thought moms needed a forum to dish about our daily lives. What's surprised me most is that everyone -- fathers, babysitters, doctors, teachers, nannies, grandparents, and people who don't even have children -- have joined in.

Since the blog's start, we've written hundreds of thousands of words dissecting 245 columns about supermoms, single moms, stepfamilies, postnups, the lies moms tell, our best (and worst) moments as moms and dads who stay home, Britney Spears, Anna Nicole Smith, Ann Richards, Linda Hirshman, business trips, guilt trips, and $100,000 nannies. Thanks to all of you, I've learned what people of different ages, professions, religions, incomes, Zip codes, genders and politics think about hundreds of topics. And it's been good for me.

Despite the regular thrashings I (and others) regularly receive, I enjoy writing and reading this blog. I feel I know the regular posters like I know my family. For better or worse. Despite the fact that I don't even know your real names. I am perpetually perplexed that a community that doesn't physically exist still feels like a community.

What about you? Why do you visit On Balance? What's been your favorite topic? How do you explain the appeal of a cyberspace village?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  March 7, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  You Go Girl!
Previous: Looking for Balance in All the Wrong Places | Next: Dads Key to Solving 'Care Crisis'


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why do I visit? To learn how various personalities attack similar problem

what is the appeal? Well, those personalities sure do some out. None of us are particularly bland. We say anything about everything.

Shout out good morning to you all.

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 7:03 AM

so how do we know which is 50,000?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 7:11 AM

To be honest, I join in because at first I thought the topic was interesting. Then I got to know some people. Some days it is hard on balance because there is so much personal attacks. And anonymous posters seem to love to do that. But in general, I enjoy the banter and it makes up for inter office chatter. When work picks up, I am sure on balance will go down. But I do enjoy chatting with the regulars because you get a sort of feeling that you "know" people and we generally "care" about each other. Also this type of forum is hard. A lot of miscommunication. But with the regulars, we start to know more about their lives and start to know their sense of humor. Apologies go a long way with regulars. Even with the good and the bad, it helps pass the day. Good morning to all. I am hoping not to offend anyone today.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 7:20 AM

I will try to keep everyone up to date on the number of comments today. This comment is 49,905.

Posted by: Leslie | March 7, 2007 7:25 AM

Unrelated rant: Are we really closing schools for a snow prediction of 1-3"? Howard Couny has had ONE full week 5 day week since Winter Break.

Posted by: wls | March 7, 2007 7:28 AM

School is closed in Loudoun for the 1-3" STORM. This is the washington-metro area though, we can barely handle rain.

I don't know why I joined this forum but it has morphed and changed and is quite tolerable most days. I enjoy the regulars, the limmericks from Chris and information. I even enjoy pATRICK's rants.

Good Morning everyone.

Posted by: cmac | March 7, 2007 7:42 AM

Last I saw, Montgomery County was open. That surprised the heck out of me. We close on the threat of snow.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 7:45 AM

I tune in every now and again to learn more about how other people balance their lives (regardless of whether they are a SAHP or WOHP). It helps to give me perspective in my life. I generally enjoy the discussions, but tend to ignore the usual banter and off-topics.

Posted by: londonmom | March 7, 2007 7:47 AM

Sometimes I read On Balance so I can feel better about our decision to move away from DC. We moved to Tidewater about two years ago, and for a while my DH and I used to joke that we were "losers" who moved away from the big city because we couldn't hack the pressure. Actually, I think the issues for most of us -- balancing work, family, professional aspirations, life goals -- are the same no matter where we live. But there are times I get a glimpse of the frenetic, no holds barred, take no prisoners approach to parenthood (and life) that I remember from our days in Northern Virginia, and it helps me feel somewhat better about our decision to slow-track our lives for awhile.
I like feeling like I know some of the participants -- and as a 'work from home online professor', I sure do enjoy and need the socialization aspects. I'm not real comfortable with some of the bashers, mostly anonymous, particularly those who think that anyone who practices a religion is some kind of neofascist ignorant rube. I hope that I help contribute to the diversity of this forum. That's all.

Posted by: Armchair Mom | March 7, 2007 7:52 AM

Why do I read? Its my daily amusement to read the comments as people go back and forth debating topics.

Posted by: ruby | March 7, 2007 7:55 AM

I've been lurking on balance for a while. I enjoy most of the topics, and it is valuable for me to see how "been there, done that" people handle balancing their lives. I enjoy reading some of the regular posters, and they seem like folks I'd like to meet.

Posted by: Kat | March 7, 2007 7:58 AM

I am interested in other poster's solutions to childcare, the craziness of after school activities, and I must admit, the passionate feelings about SAHMS/SADMS/WOHMS/WOHDS has been very enlightening. I never have these discussions with my nighbors who fall into all of these categories so the blog gives me a greater perspective on that front.

I miss reading the comments of some of the old posters like Honda Guy and Glover Park etc... I thought they had valid perspectives to share. I wonder why they went away.

Posted by: Pink Plate | March 7, 2007 7:58 AM

I've been married four years and we've started seriously thinking about having kids. The whole idea scares the hell out of me, frankly, because I recognize the 24-7, no-ability-to-say-no-and-just-lock-the-door nature of parenthood. this blog gives me a window into the lives of people currently parenting and working. some days, it all seems doable, and some days it seems like a terrible idea. in the long run, i know i want kids, and i know i'll make it work, and i know i've got tremendous support from my DH and family and friends. but it's nice to get previews of your lives in the meantime.

Posted by: nokidsyet | March 7, 2007 7:58 AM

I read it for the cultural education. I hope that the Cultural Tidbit of the Day will be 50,000.

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 8:01 AM

and, of course, to talk about breastfeeding.

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 8:03 AM

Fred,
Are you providing the tidbit today?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 8:03 AM

Yes, the CTOTD is ready to go. It is on a painter today!

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 8:10 AM

It's part of my job to daily skim the WP. The first week of this blog someone made a crack about "sticking a child in day care" and a SAHM claimed to be "intimately involved in children's lives" and I was hooked!

It's a pleasant duty to attack fools, blowhards, and windbags and boy, there are plenty of 'em here!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 8:16 AM

whatever happened to the jokester?

Posted by: charlotte nc | March 7, 2007 8:18 AM

I read (and post) because these are issues that I just don't get to talk about in real life. Among my circle of acquaintences, at least, Nobody talks about this stuff, so it's fun to get a chance to do so elsewhere.

Although I'll admit, as this blog has become more popular and the comments more voluminous, I read less and less. If I can't get in on the ground floor of the discussion, there's no way I can persuade my daughter to keep quiet long enough for me to read 400 comments.

Posted by: NewSAHM | March 7, 2007 8:18 AM

"...some days, it all seems doable, and some days it seems like a terrible idea."

nokidsyet,

It seems this way because it is this way!

Sometimes things are just beyond a parent's control like the flair up of my son's chronic illness these last few weeks that has caused him to miss school, Fredia to miss work and me to miss work.

But today, #4 is on his way to school and the other 3 have not called with some crisis, so life is good today!

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 8:19 AM

49,924

Posted by: Leslie | March 7, 2007 8:24 AM

Leslie,

So what is the prize for the 50,000th?

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 8:25 AM

I read this blog because it affirms that I am smarter than pretty much all of you. And I like the way that feels.

No offense...ok, some offense.

Posted by: Mom of 14 | March 7, 2007 8:25 AM

"I read (and post) because these are issues that I just don't get to talk about in real life. Among my circle of acquaintances, at least, Nobody talks about this stuff, so it's fun to get a chance to do so elsewhere."

Same here. Most of the people in my life use reason and logic to guide their decisions. A lot of the posters are fearmongers who do quite the opposite.

And I never knew how many smug, shallow people there are in this country.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 8:26 AM

I miss Glover Park tremendously although he drove me nuts. Glover Park, are you out there? Will you come back and visit?

Mr. Honda not so much!

Posted by: Leslie | March 7, 2007 8:26 AM

I visit this blog because I truly think its the funniest blog on the web. Better than the comic section, which, by the way, I can't read.

My 4 year old came up to me a few minutes ago while I was reading the closing Barbie comments of yesterday's blog and told me to "quit blogging and get to work!" He knows that when I cuss at the computer I'm "working", and when I'm laughing at the computer, I'm blogging.

And the little punk dropped a popsickle in my lap and went off to watch spongeBob. I hate popsicles, but the damned thing is sitting here melting on my desk, and I can't get him to go upstairs and put it back into the freezer. Looks like I'll have to do it myself. Punks!

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 7, 2007 8:27 AM

Momof14: Do you really have 14 kids? Or do you have a 14 year old child? If you do have 14 kids, can you tell us a little bit of what it is like to raise a super large family? It sounds interesting to me.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 8:28 AM

It's a pleasant duty to attack fools, blowhards, and windbags and boy, there are plenty of 'em here!

Posted by: | March 7, 2007 08:16 AM

Yeah, you are one of them.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 8:29 AM

"I read this blog because it affirms that I am smarter than pretty much all of you. And I like the way that feels.

No offense...ok, some offense."

So glad that we can collectively improve the low self-esteem you must have.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 8:31 AM

I came to the column because as a business owner, I have found my perfect life. Ok, maybe not EVERYDAY is perfect, but ON BALANCE (like the way I twisted that?), I wouldn't change a thing. I believe being your own boss is so powerful, I am passionate about empowering others into entrepreneurship. You really CAN have a balanced life if you define what that means for you personally and don't worry about what everyone else thinks!

I admit - I wish I could read through the comments more often. But part of MY Balance is maintaining focus where it is needed.

Posted by: ParentPreneur | March 7, 2007 8:31 AM

The first time I read this blog was a day where there was guest column that was titled "The Opt-Between Revolution." I saw the title on the WP home page. The writer talked about how she and her friends didn't fit into the media's categories of opting-out, by becoming SAHMs, or opting-in by choosing full-time career. The author said it would be more appropriate to say they opted between -- by working part-time, from home, staying home for periods of time, working full-time at some point but in flexible jobs, and many of them had passed up more lucrative, career-advancing and sometimes more interesting career options in favor of having balance with family. It described my choices and those of friends really well. What struck me most about the article was how she hit the nail on the head in terms of the way an "opt betweener," like myself view our careers and our choices. She said something to the effect of - we want to succeed at work, care deeply about our performance and professional advancement, sometimes look on with envy at a colleague who has landed a great promotion but at the same time we use every minute of our vacation time to be with our families, leave early to make the soccer game and wouldn't hesitate to make a career change if it better served the needs of our family. Here, here! That's my life in a nutshell.

Since that article I have started reading regularly. Many of the articles resonate with me like the first one and I enjoy reading what our moms, dads, babysitters, etc. have to say. I have to say that I find the personal attacks unnecessary, not amusing in the slightest. I'm all for differences of opinion and think it's fine even to express surprise that someone could have a particular view but there's just no need to get personal.

Posted by: PT Fed Mof2 | March 7, 2007 8:34 AM

FG,

You know the feeling you get when you solve a complex partical matter physics conundrum using Rutherford's model?

That's what raising 14 kids is like.

Posted by: Mom of 14 | March 7, 2007 8:35 AM

I had two main reasons for participating -

1) I want to be the best Dad I can. There are lots of good parental examples on this blog and no matter what it is pretty clear that 99% of the posters give their kids lots of love. I have come to realize that this is what we all share and why all the normal posters seem to be successful parents -- We all CARE about being successful parents. I have learned that is more than half the battle.

2) I quickly realized that the working moms on this blog share lots of the concerns/worries/hot buttons/fears that Proud Mama does. Often comments made by Laura, Emily and Megan sound just like something my wife would say. So maybe by observing here I am also able to be a little better husband.

I know that this is not the "complaint box", but up until a few days ago I also would have said that I was enthused to see that most on this blog seemed to be learning from it. But I remain disheartened that Leslie regularly sees examples like Brian Reid, yet was able to assert that "No man has ever mentioned childcare to me as a concern in his life..." I truly think that comment on Tuesday set the blog back to square one.

-Pp.

Posted by: Proud Papa | March 7, 2007 8:39 AM

I've been reading this blog for awhile now, and though I don't post much, I find it highly entertaining and useful. See, I daydream that I'm on the precipice of an important life-changing decision pretty much all the time (scrapping my full-time job, having more kids, moving to a new place, selling the house and moving to a small apartment in the city). And this blog helps me gather information about what some of those decisions might really mean. So if I'm ever actually in the position to make one of them, I might have a clue what I'm getting into.

Posted by: NayNay | March 7, 2007 8:40 AM

"Don't know why you wear a bra when you have nothing to put in it."

"You wear pants don't you?"

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 8:41 AM

Momof14 - Sorry about the intrusive questions, but you seem like a real life Cheaper by the Dozen plus 2. Are you a blended family or are all 14 naturally yours? What are the age spans? You can tell me it is none of my business if you want - but I applaud you regardless.

I saw a show on parents that have 17 kids - 2 sets of twins and is ready for 18. They built their own house by combining 2 pre-made houses - it took them something like 2 years. I have never seen more tranquil parents in my whole life - made me look like a raving lunatic.

Posted by: CMAC | March 7, 2007 8:43 AM

I come because it makes me realize that maybe my single life is okay without kids. Though it does bother me sometimes that my parents may never be grandparents (I'm an only child). They have their friend's grandkids and great nieces/nephews, I guess.

Posted by: Columbia, MD | March 7, 2007 8:43 AM

I like reading On Balance to get other peoples' insights on things I'm going through, have been through, or will go through. That said, it also makes me insane. People bash each other just for the fun of it and behave as if someone having a different opinion is a personal attack on their style. But I still get sucked in. It's kind of like rubbernecking at a traffic accident.

Posted by: Rockville Mom | March 7, 2007 8:43 AM

Frankly, I check the main posting in case it is interesting (which it is about a third of the time). I find the comments to be utterly useless, and often offensive. All they seem to do is prove the point that people would rather spend time attacking those who have made different choices than they have - whether to work, to stay at home, to have multiple children or just one, etc. - rather than work towards solutions that would benefit the community as a whole. I almost never read the comments anymore because I find that they poison my day. My vote is to turn them off.

Posted by: dcatty | March 7, 2007 8:44 AM

I read the blog because I like most of the people on here and I like to get good, thoughtful advice.

father of 4,

I doubt I am having twins, but I sure am fat for six weeks. I busted a button on a pair of pants yesterday and I am sitting her in sweats!

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 8:44 AM

I read this blog because it makes me realize that I'm not alone in my struggles as a parent, as a wife, and as a worker. It kind of cracks me up that it is very possible in "real life" that I've met or am even good friends with some of the people who post here. Because of the anonymity of the blog world, I feel freer to post things I might not be comfortable saying. In a weird way, I am interested in the lives of some of the regular posters and wish the best for them.

On Balance was My First Blog experience, and it's been kind of surreal, actually.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | March 7, 2007 8:48 AM

CMAC -- I've seen that show too (Duggers or something like that). She started having kids at 21 and she's 38 (well she must be 40 by now, I think the show first aired 2 years ago). They're from AR, mom home school's the kids (how could one not at that rate?), and all their names begin with J. Dad must have a decent job.

There was a show on their road trip to Disneyland via educational stops (part of the home schooling, as was building the house) and they did it in a mobile home and a truck with a pop-up (oldest son drove that). They all wore the same colored shirt/dress on the same day, so it made doing laundry and organizing what to wear a little easier. Just packing was a feat in itself. All the food they had to bring!

Posted by: Columbia, MD | March 7, 2007 8:49 AM

Also, when reading about all the petty little problems that these ultra high functioning parents that are attracted to this blog, it gives me the feeling that I'm doing an outstanding job at handling all the major problems I overcome on a daily basis.

so thanks to you all, especially the anonymous trolls, for giving me a virtual ego boost and helping me overcome my problem of harboring a poor self image of myself. :-)

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 7, 2007 8:49 AM

After thinking about this for a bit, one unexpected benefit of blogging is I'm learning how to say what I mean. Too many differences of opinion really happen because of misunderstandings, mistypes, or whatever. Saying what I mean to say is transferring over to my first life. I see that as a good thing. Believe me, it is! ha ha ha

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 8:53 AM

Cmac,
Here are the details:

My husband has 3 additional wives and one male "partner". 12 of the children were born to me. We all live together in a raised ranch, and run a mini-golf course franchise in Alberta. I have a PhD. in behavioral economics. I am 3'11". My mother is Scottish-Romanian.

Posted by: Mom of 14 | March 7, 2007 8:56 AM

"12 of the children were born to me."

Fake. I don't believe a mother would put it this way.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 9:04 AM

Hmmm. A Canadian born, husband-sharing, scotch-romanian midget mother of 14 with a PhD and a mini-golf business on the side.

I don't bloody think so. But thanks for the laugh!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | March 7, 2007 9:07 AM

I visited this blog originally because, since my wife and I are just now trying to start a family, I wanted to see how those who've gone before me figured out how to handle work, life and kids at the same time. Sometimes the information here has been helpful, sometimes it hasn't, but it's always been entertaining!

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 9:07 AM

Or is that a proposed script for a new episode of Twin Peaks?

Posted by: WorkingMomX | March 7, 2007 9:08 AM

"Fake. I don't believe a mother would put it this way."

THAT's the comment you chose to highlight? Not the height, or the mini-golf in Alberta?

"Regulars" (puke) know Mom of 14 from "back in the day". She used to post a lot more, until it became clear that most readers didn't "get" the humor. It's clear they still don't.

Posted by: Mom of 14 | March 7, 2007 9:10 AM

"A Canadian born, husband-sharing, scotch-romanian midget mother of 14 with a PhD and a mini-golf business on the side."

Darn it, there goes my original screenplay idea.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 9:10 AM

There is an exotic appeal to boards like this for the childfree, a fascination with a life that is very different from my own (at least for me). Seriously, I know so few people with children on a very close, personal level that boards like this is the only way I find out about things like the "Princess" culture, et al.

For those of you that have never been to a childfree board let me tell you, a bigger group of whiners cannot exist anywhere on the face of the earth. I knew that the victim mentality had reached a new low when the amount of griping, sniping and "we're victims too" from the childfree had reached a level that seemed really out of proportion to the "hardship" (if you can call it that) of those that have decided not to have children. I'd much rather read about folks juggling kids and what else life throws at them, as that IS a lot of work and worthy of discussion, rants and raves. And a bit of: "wow, how in Gods name do people get all this done on a day to day basis?" (I'm a slowpoke and enjoy a laid back life, so hard to imagine having to schedule every detail). Every now and then, you get to read a real shining example of sacrifice, dedication and love - and that is much more inspiring than a couple of DINK's complaining that a crying child ruined their visit to the coffee shop.

Posted by: ALP | March 7, 2007 9:10 AM

"A Canadian born, husband-sharing, scotch-romanian midget mother of 14 with a PhD and a mini-golf business on the side."

But the real question is what kind of tatoos does she have?

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 9:11 AM

COLUMBIA - Maybe it was the Discovery Channel on the Duggers(?)- but when they built the house it looked like whoever was filming kicked in appliances and decorating costs. Regardelss - they got compensation. They had 4 washers/dryers, one commercial kitchen and another conventional - with 2 ovens, refrig, dishwashers. The husband was a Real Estate Agent. Didn't see the Disney travel show but I can only imagine the logistics involved.

Mom of 14 - I guess that is your way of telling me to mind my own business?

Posted by: CMAC | March 7, 2007 9:13 AM

"I doubt I am having twins, but I sure am fat for six weeks. I busted a button on a pair of pants yesterday and I am sitting her in sweats! "

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 08:44 AM

Scarry,

I hope that you are not driving a minivan!

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 9:14 AM

Ha! Thanks for the laugh Mom of 14 - there are def some gullible people on this blog!

Posted by: reeray | March 7, 2007 9:14 AM

CMAC -- I've seen that show too (Duggers or something like that). She started having kids at 21 and she's 38 (well she must be 40 by now, I think the show first aired 2 years ago). They're from AR, mom home school's the kids (how could one not at that rate?), and all their names begin with J. Dad must have a decent job."

I highly doubt ANY person (other than the super super rich) has a good enough job to support 14 or more kids. Instead, they just sponge off everyone in their church and the federal government. These large families usually get free food, houses, cars, because they are so "in need". Why a ton of condoms isn't dropped on their doorstep I'll never know, but having 14 or more kids is irresponsible and ridiculous unless they are all needed to run a farm.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 9:15 AM

yikes, fred I am not driving a minni van, but I do have a small SUV! It is an equinox. I swear before anyone jumps on me that I am buying a hybrid next time. :)

We only buy GM and that was the only car I liked.

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 9:16 AM

I pretty much always read the main post, and usually skip the comments since I can't keep up, and post a comment myself every third week or so ...

That said, the main reason I read is because I'm working on my own balancing act and I get some good tips here. More importantly, it's just nice to know that I'm not alone in dealing with these issues.

Posted by: VAMom | March 7, 2007 9:16 AM

Scarry, when pregnant with your second child (and subsequent children), you start showing as soon as you see the positive pregnancy test. I swear this is true.

Congratulations, by the way!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | March 7, 2007 9:16 AM

I started reading the blog because I was interested in how people dealt with kids and work. I stayed because, like two other posters today, I don't know anyone else who talks about this stuff, so it's eye opening. I can be honest without fear of reprisal (except for some jerks, which is easy to ignore). I've also learned about what motivates some people. For example, I used to have negative opinions about SAHMs, but after reading about why some of them made that choice, I can respect their decision. I also enjoy catching up with the regulars. This is like a community, but it's hard to explain why.

This is the only blog I read and contribute to. I may try to find a childless person blog, but I have a feeling that it won't be as much fun!

I thought "Mom of 14" was a fictitious poster. I guess I'm wrong.

Posted by: Meesh | March 7, 2007 9:17 AM

I started reading just before the room mother topic last spring -- I stay because lots of my friends have kids, I might have them some day, and people like Megan, Laura, foamgnome, Father of 4 and other make me realize however scary raising kids is that it's a fun ride and if you work at it they don't turn out to be little monsters.

Not that we are ever on topic but off topic question: What do parents of younger ones do about spring forward and sleep schedules? Monday night my "nephew" skipped his late nap and went to bed early so he may be self correcting and not even knowing it but any other ideas?

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | March 7, 2007 9:18 AM

thanks! I look like I did at 6 months with my daughter. :)

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 9:18 AM

I visit because I don't live in DC or on the East Coast and sometimes it's fun to compare that with the "wild west." Also, I'm in a field where I'm one of few women and one of few folks with young children so I don't have the sense of community with co-workers that I find on the blog. Last, I read On Balance because after reading Leslie's book, it is a bit reassuring and a bit disconcerting that the same issues I faced 13 years ago with my first child are still the same issues parents face on the blog. I've learned from some posters, laughed at some, cringed at some, skipped over many (!) but in spite of some of the unwarranted hostility, it's genereally a community of like-minded folks with interesting discussions of how we're all trying to do our best to balance life in challenging times and make it through another day.

Posted by: Stacey | March 7, 2007 9:19 AM

Well, I'm not a "regular" I come often, but I'm certainly not in on the cave assignments and sage green stuff (I think I missed that day) but anyway...

We all go to message boards and blogs to either express what we're afraid to in another forum or just because this is the new way to connect to people. So many don't interact (or even know) their neighbors and don't live close to family, so we head to what is available for developing relationships.

It's also a great way to get anonymous advice when there is a problem difficult to deal with (such as Chrissy and her husband)

Last, and maybe biggest contributor, is we all want to be heard. We get to see our thoughts in print, get immediate response, and develop a dialogue. Maybe a 15 minutes of fame kind of twist?

Message boards can be great. i know I wouldn't have made it through my pregnancy without a message board for woman all due in the same month.

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | March 7, 2007 9:20 AM

"For those of you that have never been to a childfree board let me tell you, a bigger group of whiners cannot exist anywhere on the face of the earth"

Nope, the biggest whiners and complainers are on the NYC boards!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 9:20 AM

I guess that you can givew them as many condoms as you want, they are not going to use them.

I'm here b/c it is sometimes interesting, always entertaining and nice to know you're not alone.

Posted by: atlmom | March 7, 2007 9:21 AM

Posted by: | March 7, 2007 09:15 AM

Actually - it seemed like the family of 17 kids provided a lot to their church. They showed them hosting Sunday services in their house and having a huge buffet style meal for the congregation. They weren't on any type of assistance, looked like they led the frugalist of lives. I am sure the compensation from the filming of their documentary helps out quite a bit.

On the other hand, I have a friend that is one of 12. Both of his parents are dead but he says he does not remember one moment where he was alone with his mother or father. He considers his Oldest sister his mother. He decided to only have 4 because he thought he could not give the time to each that they deserved if he had more.


Ha! Thanks for the laugh Mom of 14 - there are def some gullible people on this blog!

Posted by: reeray | March 7, 2007 09:14 AM

Color me gullible. I don't know Mom of 14 - or if I do I don't remember.

Posted by: cmac | March 7, 2007 9:23 AM

Oh yeah, it's also a way for me to feel in touch with the DC area. I like hearing about the counties and roads. It's like a trip down memory lane.

"ALP", I'm thankful for the warning against the childless blogs. Somehow I thought that that would be the case.

Posted by: Meesh | March 7, 2007 9:24 AM

What do parents of younger ones do about spring forward and sleep schedules? Monday night my "nephew" skipped his late nap and went to bed early so he may be self correcting and not even knowing it but any other ideas?

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | March 7, 2007 09:18 AM


For your nephew and time change:

Most parents I know either put them to bed 15 min earlier each day for a week or just make the switch that day and deal with the consequences of adjusting for a week or so.

When she was little and I was a SAHM I'd adjust the clocks and do it gradually, but now that I work and she's older it's easier to make sleep changes. So we'll see where the week takes us!

Room darkening blinds also help during the summer months- it stays light until 8-8:30 and is so hard ot get them to sleep!

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | March 7, 2007 9:26 AM

Because the drama is better then a soap opera and I don't have to leave my chair.

And all the helpful hints and other perspectives I get... I'm just a lurker though.

Posted by: CentrevilleMom | March 7, 2007 9:28 AM

So you all like to come on this board and laugh at us DC folks? How nice.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 9:29 AM

I like the blog for several reasons. I have found the banter, discussions, and even controversies to be highly entertaining, as well as informative. The regulars feel like kindred spirits who are truly part of a community here. I can be absolutely honest about my opinions because the blog is anonymous. And I like to flirt with Fo4. That's about it, really.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 9:29 AM

"I am buying a hybrid next time. :)"

Scarry,

As long as it has the baby seal skin seats option!

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 9:29 AM

we also like to laugh the the NYC ones

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 9:30 AM

scarry,

congrats on the news! just found out i was prego with baby#2 last week as well. hope everything goes well for you!

Posted by: londonmom | March 7, 2007 9:31 AM

Scarry: congrats on your new addition.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 9:33 AM

congrats back at ya londonmom!

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 9:33 AM

"I highly doubt ANY person (other than the super super rich) has a good enough job to support 14 or more kids."

That's why I pointed out that they live in Arkansas. It's a lot cheaper to live there (I know people who do). They ordered the two pre-fab houses and pretty much built them on their own that's why it took two years. The kids don't have their own bedrooms, they don't have the latest fashions (heck, mom cuts the hair), they don't buy the fancy food (they eat a lot of canned goods) -- we shouldn't be so quick to judge and assume they get handouts! Good grief.

And yes, CMAC -- Discovery Channel group. It was on again last night (though it was an older episode since she was pregnant).

Re. getting something for showing their story. Why not? People do it on Extreme Home Makeover every week!! Even before the charity cases started pouring in the last couple of seasons.

For those interested the "On the Road" show is replaying Sunday, March 10th at 1:00 PM on Discovery Health. It's an eye-opener.

Posted by: Columbia, MD | March 7, 2007 9:35 AM

I definitely find the comments and the "arguments" amusing....I do also sometimes feel I am better informed about others points of view.
And of course to practise my Latin...

Posted by: Missicat | March 7, 2007 9:35 AM

I originally read the blog to see how others balance their lives. Looking back, I have to say thank you to Leslie and to all of you -- by reading this blog, it has helped me work through the guilt that I had as a working-outside-the-home-mom. It has raised issues (sometime a number of times) that have made me think through some tough issues and learn more about myself -- why I work, why I like to work, and why I truly am happy, thereby helping my family. Thank you everyone!!

Posted by: Marie | March 7, 2007 9:38 AM

Looks like there are lots of congrats today. Woo hoo to scarry and londonmom...and anyone else!

At my stage in life (late 40s), I love seeing others pregnant. Better you than me! :)))))

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 9:38 AM

Wasn't Mom of 14 also posting as several other people? I think one of her personas was also the gay guy and his partner who had adopted a child who seemed very precocious. All of them very funny characters.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 9:38 AM

My youngest is 42,I have 2 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. I read this blog because I have been a single, working mom and "I remember when." The problems are different and yet, so much the same: childcare, uncomprehending employers, etc.

Almost all posters, positive and negative, are adding to the dialog and that is good. I am encouraged by your willingness to share and listen.

Good luck to all.

Posted by: BC | March 7, 2007 9:39 AM

missicat-I forgot about the latin practicing! I try to figure it out, but you are always there ahead of me. where is Fred?

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 9:39 AM

Franky,

I check in every now and again to remind myself why I don't really want children, even though everyone around me says I'll change my mind and be happy once the kids are here. [Don't get me started about what a dangerous proposition that is -what happens if someone believes it, then really realizes they don't want kids, but its too late!] Don't get me wrong, I 100% admire those who want children and have children and all of the work & love they give to them. I'm not anti-child, I just don't happen to want them. Its not a bad choice to have kids, its just not my choice. I know my strengths and weaknesses, and reading this blog every now and again and realizing just how hard you all work to do the right thing with your kids awes me, but also makes me realize it isnt the life for me.

Posted by: Childless | March 7, 2007 9:42 AM

I read to make sure that I remember that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 9:43 AM

klb-but I read to see your grass is greener!

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 9:44 AM

Fred is doing culture today, not languages.

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 9:45 AM

To answer, I visit without an intent
Other than my views to vent.
Sometimes on topic, and sometimes not
I talk about whatever is hot.

From breastfeeding in public
To crude acronyms
This blog is amusing
And so are your whims.

Learning from others-
Their trials and woes,
Some very dark secrets
They dare to expose
Are all quite amusing;
That's it I suppose.

Posted by: Chris | March 7, 2007 9:46 AM

Why do you visit On Balance?
It's fun to read

What's been your favorite topic?
Just reading some of the replies is enough to entertain me.

How do you explain the appeal of a cyberspace village?
You can say what you like without begin identified

Posted by: John Q | March 7, 2007 9:46 AM

Fred-aren't languages culture? After all, there are tons of people out there having their babies listen to both mozart and french tapes in order to improve their IQ! I never believed in that, by the way.

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 9:46 AM

It also helps to be more humble. I tend to get wrapped up in work (taking care of the sick and wounded is hard some days)and family and sometimes can't see past that. When I read about other people's struggles it kind of brings me back to reality.
It also makes me laugh.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 9:47 AM

sometimes I come here because I can't make it to my gym. The destresser of it all.

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 9:48 AM

Dotted,
If I had your gym I would go every day!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 9:48 AM

Look. Chris went from begin stupid to being a stupid poet.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 9:48 AM

klb-your humble post hits a nerve with me. Too often we get caught up in what we think is the 'right' or 'only' answer, it turns out there are more than one 'good' answer. That is humble-fying.

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 9:49 AM

And Fred is just plain stupid

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 9:50 AM

Originally, I posted on this board just to see if I had the skills to use my voice software and fill out forms on the internet.

Now there is Scarry and Londonmom pregnant, John who is trying (and Chrissy too), Niner who is getting ready to pop if she hasn't already, Fred who is really cool and the only real person I know that lived through the Katrina disaster, military folks, nurses with inside stories, lawyers to poke fun at, and it's all part of life.

And Emily, someday I hope to do a cup of coffee with you, just for the smell of it.

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 7, 2007 9:50 AM

I read this blog because it's educational, thought provoking, amusing, and sometimes very funny. I comment because I can't stop myself. Even when I tell myself my time could be better spent elsewhere, I come back because the community aspect is rather addictive. I feel that the regulars are my friends (and yes I have plenty of other friends whose names I actually know!), and I appreciate the commiseration and advice that I get from the others on this board.

Posted by: experienced mom | March 7, 2007 9:50 AM

To childless: you are correct - don't listen to others. I would think you know u better than others.
I have a sister who I think is like you, but listens to everyone else too much so she thought she would be happy when she got married (to someone not so nice-my other sister recently, finally, kicked him out of her house to not return). Then she had one, two, three kids because she thinks society says it will make you happy. Now she's a harried SAHM with little to no support from her husband (and he typicallty puts her down, etc). And surprise, she's still not happy.
So do what you want for youi, it is the only way.
Congrats scarry and londonmom! Should be a great time...

Posted by: atlmom | March 7, 2007 9:52 AM

Anyone win the lottery today? :-)

Posted by: Missicat | March 7, 2007 9:53 AM

I have a feeling that Jokester and Mother of 14 (and perhaps some of the anonymous posters) are one and the same.

Posted by: Neighbor | March 7, 2007 9:54 AM

missicat-
I find I'm still in love with my husband today. I think that is winning the lottery enough for me.

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 9:54 AM

"And Fred is just plain stupid"

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 09:50 AM

Thank you! :)

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 9:55 AM

Fo4-
Chrissy isn't trying anymore. You must have missed her post on March 1 at 10:12, and the ensuing discussion.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 9:56 AM

Congrats scarry and londonmom. Add me to the list of expecting #2. Belly popped out much faster -- the moment the test came back positive, yet seems to have taken longer to go from looking fat to looking pregnant.
Yes, I'm hoping #2 wants to breastfeed on the Metro, I have daycare lined up (current provider is worth her weight and then some), I'm facing job interviews either very pregnant or while on maternity leave. We're looking for a good double jogger and local races that will let us use it.
I also fall in love each day with my DD and look forward to meeting the new one DH and I were very blessed to create.

Posted by: Stroller Momma | March 7, 2007 10:00 AM

John, thanks, and you are an impudent troll who can not spell.

I bet you are proud of yourself for being such an @$$.
At least I make sense when I try to be crass.

:-)

Posted by: Chris | March 7, 2007 10:01 AM

I'm presently childless but I want to adopt and reading books on parent can sometimes get a bit dry, besides I haven't found one that feels right (that might not make sense) but the comments on this blog do because the responders are "on balance" everyday. This blog is one of the avenues where I can get another look at what parenting and working is like and there are a couple of single working moms as well so I get my mom's advice and I've got this blog. It's a win win situation.

Jeez, I can't remember my favorite topic. I did like the question of "Is child care a woman's issue" and the "Commuting in a Dead Zone" but those two are recent so...

I think a cyberspace village is appealing because it's a community and human beings just need a community. It's a sense of being a part of something. You get to know people on the blogs from their responses and some you agree with others not so much, that's a long way of saying I think the appeal is the connection.

Posted by: petal | March 7, 2007 10:02 AM

"Mom of 14" makes a good point. We don't know whether any of the stuff posted on here is true! i imagine some people post just to make sure that all the stuff being posted isn't just from the delusional mind of someone with a multi personality disfunction!

And that's is OK-- the poster "Christy" is a case in point. If this is a real person who is actually going through what Christie described, I hope you take the following in the spirit that I intend, but your story is unbelievable to me. Literally. And when i am feeling so cynical about so many other things (I was POSITIVE Libby was going to get off-- I imagined the jury shrugging and saying "so he lied-- what do you expect from these people?") it is great to have confirmation that there are some dark aspects of human behavior that I think belong only in the realm of fiction-- and not very believable fiction at that. Again, "Christie", if you really are experiencing everything you described, I hope you take what I am writing as just further support for getting out of the unreal, unimaginable situation you are in.

If you are actually a novelist trying to try out some literary ideas, well the ectopic preganancy bit was nice, but still doesn't fully explain the character's motivation to allow the lie to go on for so long. Maybe he had a debt he had to pay off and the only way to ddo was to get the vascectomy-- I don't know why-- if you're the novelist-- you work it out!

And, p.s., having the surgery done while "Christy" was looking a wedding sites with her mother-- well that is just over the top! I mean come on-- WHO is that cruel?

another point, after i posted yesterday it occured to me that people may think Neighbor and I are actually the same person-- that "Neighbor" created this "Clarina" persona in order to create a side conversation about how much we "both" enjoy UU. Since UUs don't typically proselitize, it occurred to me that someone may think that we UUs just come up with more creative ways to spread "the Good Word". (See what I mean about being cynical? Ya'll can see that Neighbor would never be like that, right? Our writing styles and personalities are sufficiently different, right?)

Posted by: Clarina | March 7, 2007 10:02 AM

Where is the Jokester?

Posted by: charlotte nc | March 7, 2007 10:03 AM

I started reading when the topic was something about worst mom moments and I was hooked! Boy do I have a lot of moments where I feel like the worst mom ever.

I keep reading because it is kinda like being a peeping tom, looking into the windows of others peoples lives and seeing how they manage or don't and how they fix what needs to be fixed.

I enjoy reading the contributions of the regulars and I keep hoping mcewn will post what really happened to him that makes him hate all women so much. I was so sad for Chrissy and her marriage and I love to read from the regulars about their lives and struggles. I see my kids reflected in all of your kids and know that they are normal, not perfect, not the greatest, on average just good kids like yours. It is reassuring to read and know that parents are working hard and loving those kids out there. It gives me new respect for people everywhere.

My favorite topics have been the clothes topics, the brat on the plane throwing a fit, and the one about the sandwhich generation raising kids and taking care of elderly parents.

Congratulations to scarry and londonmom and new additions. To scarry, I have two sets of twins and yes, you do show immediately--you might want to have that confirmed or not asap. It takes the whole nine months to wrap your mind around the idea of twins.

Keep writing everyone--

Posted by: magnificent7mom | March 7, 2007 10:04 AM

Leslie, I post extremely occasionally, but overall, I am turned off by the viciousness of many of the posts to the blog, from the debates to the personal attacks. I had hoped for more constructive discussions of how to make lives better for all moms and dads, and not the constant SAH-WOH fights, amongst other things. Too many people in the world still blame mothers for everything, and it gets tiresome. I'm glad the Post has started the On Parenting Blog, but maybe we really need two more blogs, one for working parents and one for stay-at-home parents. This blog was probably intended for just working parents, but it's morphed into a very unpleasant daily screaming match between SAHMs and WOHMs. Then mix in the militant "I-will-never-have-kids-and-you-should-all-get-you-tubes-snipped-or-tied" types, and it gets very tiresome. No wonder politicians will do nothing -- everyone is too busy stoking these fires.

Posted by: Arlington Mom | March 7, 2007 10:05 AM

Arlington Mom-
While your comments are addressed to Leslie, I'd like to take an opposing tack, if I may. I like hearing all the different viewpoints. It keeps me out of a rut. It is so easy to just see your own particular viewpoint. Sometimes it does get rough speaking, but at its worst, it still only virtually rough. I can always just walk away with no harm done.

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 10:08 AM

Cultural Tidbit of the Day


Pablo Picasso would include newspaper clippings, sheet music, wall paper and other media in his paintings. This represented the beginning of collage as a component of fine art. One example is his "Pipe and Sheet Music" (1914) which is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Tomorrow, an obscure fact about the Impressionists.

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 10:08 AM

Chris, you're not only a bad poet, you're a bone head too. Go back to writing dumb poems. You're pretty good at it.

As for the grammar and spelling? I don't see the Post rushing to your door asking you to be an editor, so don't act like one.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 10:09 AM

It was funny to read that Clarina and I might be the same person. Hi, Clarina!

Actually, I have been wondering the opposite-- how many folks have been identified via their "anonymous" pseudonyms. There is sometimes enough information on someone that they either recognize someone they know or can google them.

I've been identified twice by friends and acquaintances based on this board, and I know who a few of the regulars are (I'm not a stalker or anything, I just like to Google). Anyone else been found out by someone else based on what they've written?

It was quite strange to me to realize I'm not so anonymous after all.

Posted by: Neighbor | March 7, 2007 10:11 AM

I see the fake John is trying to besmirch my posting again. Go find yourself another name!

Posted by: John (the real one) | March 7, 2007 10:11 AM

Fred - any particular Impressionist? I love Cezanne, though I guess he is technically a post-Impressionist. The exhibit at the National Gallery was well worth the wait to get in.

Posted by: Missicat | March 7, 2007 10:12 AM

John,

I knew that wasn't you!

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 10:12 AM

Stroller Momma, "I'm hoping #2 wants to breastfeed on the Metro"

I would be careful about doing that. The DC Metro I ride has printed signs that say "Eating, drinking, or using audio-visual devices without the use of headphones is unlawful within the Metrorail system" and they also announce it over the sound system.

Although you will probably be safe for breast-feeding, the Metro police are not above arresting and charging your baby to the maximum extend of the law with this obvious infraction.

Someday, I'm afraid, I'll get gbusted for popping a mint in my mouth on the Metro, but I have a good defense - They don't print the signs in braille.

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 7, 2007 10:12 AM

By "John" to "Chris"

"As for the grammar and spelling? I don't see the Post rushing to your door asking you to be an editor, so don't act like one."

Um, how do you know? He could be a world-class editor for all you know.

Posted by: Not John. Not Chris | March 7, 2007 10:13 AM

I first came to the blog because the topic was something that I couldn't hold my tongue about (I don't even remember what it was now) - I have stayed partly because I am quite fond of most of the regulars and am always curious what they will say about any new (or re-hashed) topic, and partly because, I must admit, I discovered early on that this blog wasn't really made up of many "people like me" and it gives me a window into other perspectives that I was really clueless about. I don't quite know how to explain this - it gets jumbled in my head when I try to sort it out, but includes something about the east coast, type-A, money money money-obsessed, feminism and social progress ... I don't know, it's confusing, but I sometimes get the sense that in the "real" world, the people here would a) intimidate me and b) not give me the time of day, so it's kind of empowering to be able to speak just as freely as everyone else.

Posted by: TakomaMom | March 7, 2007 10:14 AM

Well, we hit 50,000.

The 4th post today was 49,905 and we have 123 posts so far (probably more by now).

Somebody want to count?

Posted by: Father of 2 | March 7, 2007 10:14 AM

Great news stroller mommma!

Have any of you newly pregnant ladies have any morning sickness yet? I usually get mine the second week I know I am pregnant, so I stoked up on preggie pops, I hope they help.

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 10:14 AM

Congratulations to all the newly-pregnant posters here. Hopefully I'll be able to make that announcement soon for my wife!

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 10:15 AM

Silliness aside, it is great to learn from others experience, and in situations where some like Chrissy bare their souls, it renews my faith in humanity- a little bit at least- when people respond with supportive comments and advice.
It is a way to share experiences, and hopefully influence what gets written about in future columns. This is one avenue in which awareness of bigger problems can come to light- and when more people are informed of an issue, the more strength they will have when approaching those with the power to do something about the issue. Granted, we may not solve all the world's problems here, but we help eachother. That is what this is about- synergy, and learning from the experience of others to improve our lot in life. Through sharing we learn and adapt...well, not John, but most of us. :-)

Posted by: Chris | March 7, 2007 10:15 AM

Congrats scarry and all the new pregnant posters. Scarry, what's a preggo pop?

Posted by: Missicat | March 7, 2007 10:15 AM

Jim Bob Dugger - the father of the family talked about above - is (or was, I'm not sure if he's still in office) an Arkansas state senator. I'm also not sure what his day job is.

But in any case, I doubt he's sponging off the government (anymore than any other senator sponges off the government.)

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 10:17 AM

Sorry, real John, that was directed at fake John- not you. ;-)

Posted by: Chris | March 7, 2007 10:18 AM

Delurking for a moment to suggest to Leslie that TPTB find a way to number the comments. It would make it much easier for me to find where I left off when I pop back in to see how the discussion is evolving. and it will be easier to determine which is the 75,000th comment.

Posted by: tessajp | March 7, 2007 10:18 AM

Missicat,

You will just have to wait, I know that the suspense will kill you. Paul Gauguin is my personal hero. Ah, to chuck conventional life and to love & live in Polynesia!

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 10:20 AM

For all those who come to this blog looking for parenting advice, please do not, I repeat, do not read advice from Father of 4 and try it at home.

He has a hidden agenda to corrupt all parenting virtue and drag the people who read this blog to a substandard level.

How selfish of him, just to try to make his parenting techniques look better in contrast...

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 7, 2007 10:23 AM

"It would make it much easier for me to find where I left off when I pop back in to see how the discussion is evolving"

Hey tessajp, each post was the time and date. If you can remember a number (i.e. I left off reading post 50,102), you can remember a time and date (i.e. I last read a post at 10:20 am on 3/6/07)

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 10:23 AM

If you would look up the phrase self-effacing in the dictionary, you would find a picture of Fo4.

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 10:26 AM

I can assure you that Jokester is his own creation, and is in no way affiliated with Mom of 14, Liam, Blanche or Mrs. Jeffs.

Posted by: puppetmaster | March 7, 2007 10:26 AM

50,000th post:

And Fred is just plain stupid

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 09:50 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 10:27 AM

I saw that show on the Duggars and besides all their TV stunts, they do not get any additional funding. They live an extremely frugal and sheltered life. Their sheltered life does help because they are simply not tempted by the outside world. I think living in AK probably helps with budgeting.
Clarina, glad your posting. I hope we did not get off on the wrong foot and no I don't think your too religious. I know quite a few UUs too. They always seem to be bright and engaging people.

Neighbor, one of my good friends did recognize me on the blog too. But since I tell the truth on a blog, it wasn't too hard.

Really don't get why people would make up lies on blog. But to each it's own. (Learning from yesterday saying whatever gives the wrong impression;))

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 10:29 AM

That's right. Liam. The guy guy who is one of Mom of 14's alter egos. I haven't seem Blanche or Mrs. Jeffs in a long time. What gives, puppetmater?

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 10:29 AM

Just counted down to the 50,000th post, and it was a most undistinguished one :-(

Ah, well, that's life.

Posted by: catlady | March 7, 2007 10:29 AM

Wow, that's a horrendous 50,000th post. Leslie should delete 1-2, just to make #50,000 something useful.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 10:29 AM

Am I a dork for saying that this board serves as some form of neighborhood coffeehouse for me? We moved to a part of the country where we didn't know anyone and our closest relatives live 7 hours away. So, finding commonality (and disagreement) with a group of people interested (or not) in many of the same issues I go through makes me feel connected. I can't say that I have had a favorite topic, but it has been interesting. I'll keep reading, if not always posting.

Posted by: LM in WI | March 7, 2007 10:31 AM

I am a wee bit obsessed with the Duggar family. If you go to televisionwithoutpity.com you can see all the discussion that has taken place about this family over the course of their several tv shows.
According to the show, it takes $5000/month to support Jim Bob and his brood. His fam has no debt. They run their church in their home. All the kids are homeschooled by Michelle, a HS graduate (as is JimBob). They own lots of real estate in NW Arkansas (not as poor an area as you would think; think of a large retailer headquartered there). They built their house themselves (7000 square feet) but it took 3 years, and they needed to be bailed out by TLC to get it done. If you watch the show you can see all their kids helping out (including 8-year-olds with drills). They shop at Aldi. They go out to dinner on "kids eat free" night (not all kids eat free; their oldest is like 18 or so). They stopped using birth control pills after the birth of their oldest son because they believe that using birth control messes up the hormones and causes miscarriages in later pregnancies (even if you aren't using birth control at the time you get pregnant). Each kid is nursed for 6 months and is passed off to a "buddy" who is responsible for much of their day-to-day care. Michelle is pregnant and due in July.

Posted by: Delurking today | March 7, 2007 10:34 AM

I post very infrequently, but read almost every day. I find this blog appealling because we are considering starting a family, relatively new to the DC area, and I am in a very male dominated field. It seems that every time someone gets pregnant in our office, they leave...I keep hoping for someone to set the precedent for how mom's function in our company. Another big issue is living in DC; I'm from AL and things are definitely a lot slower and a lot less complicated there. I am terrified at the thought of dealing with children, work, the commute, etc. without the family network we were accustomed to back home.

Anyway...rambling aside...this blog has shown me how others deal with similar situations. Although, some accounts haven't exactly eased my anxieties about the whole thing :)

Posted by: engineer | March 7, 2007 10:34 AM

I'm a regular but will go anonymous today so that I can be frank.

I read this blog primarily for entertainment, to watch the daily trainwreck that occurs when people show their meanest and most petty selves and then pretend to like each other for a while before getting nasty again.

The analogies to a school playground are hilarious. Posters bond and become buddies, then get angry and tell off their former friends. And then hunt for other alliances.

Cliques form; someone gets cast out and trolls for revenge. Some people hog all the attention for a while, only to be replaced by someone with a juicier story.

There are bullies, loudmouths, tough guys (usually female), flirts, manipulators, instigators, pseudo-intellectuals, garden-variety know-it-alls, attention-seekers, faux peacemakers, and even the occasional genuine peacemaker.

Just like 6th grade.

It's a hoot.

Posted by: anony today | March 7, 2007 10:34 AM

If you have the time and lack of activities to sit at a computer counting posts, then you have obviously found a way to have balance in your life...move on the the next problem.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 10:36 AM

"Wow, that's a horrendous 50,000th post. Leslie should delete 1-2, just to make #50,000 something useful."

I thought it was funny. Sums up the regular state of affairs around here.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 10:36 AM

Wow, Michele is pregnant again. Yes, they are a weird train wreck sort of curiosity. I noticed a lot of those health shows also feature large families. But they are not as interesting as the Duggars. So the shows do not go on in a series.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 10:38 AM

The comment about me was the 50,000th post? Hey, this completes my 15 minutes of fame!

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 10:38 AM

"If you have the time and lack of activities to sit at a computer counting posts, then you have obviously found a way to have balance in your life...move on the the next problem."

Oh yeah - it took hours of time away from my job and my family to count to 76.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 10:38 AM

"Moms go into business to help other moms"
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
By Sally Kalson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07066/767302-51.stm

Several local women with young children have noticed something missing for mothers like themselves and have moved to fill the gap by tapping their inner entrepreneur.

The result is three businesses by moms for moms, aimed at providing services that fellow mothers (and some dads, too) might find useful and fun.

Leigh Levy, a Mt. Lebanon resident with a master's degree in marketing, who left her job to stay home with her son and daughter, now 5 and 3, was disappointed in her attempts to sell consignment clothing that her children had outgrown.

Last fall, she launched Snuggle Bugs & Co., which stages large-scale consignment events for the public. The spring sale kicks off today and runs through Saturday in a vacant store in Century III Mall.

Here's how it works: Consignors register their items online, set the price and designate the disposition of anything that doesn't sell (drop the price, donate it to charity or pick it up). Sellers keep at least 70 percent of the sale price and can collect their money at the sale's conclusion.

The whole event is staffed by volunteers. Their payoff -- they get to shop before the sale opens. Consignors get the next pre-sale crack, followed by expectant parents who need the big things like cribs, high chairs and strollers.

Only clothing for the coming season is accepted, and everything must be in excellent condition. Maternity clothes, baby equipment, furniture, books and toys are also welcome.

"We set everything up like a store with garment racks, tables, baskets, etc.," said Ms. Levy. "We take care of the advertising, and we man the sale."

The first Snuggle Bugs sale, held in the fall at the Castle Shannon fire hall, was a big success and brought a lot of positive feedback, Ms. Levy said.

"We're an unintentional nonprofit right now because of the start-up cost of purchasing equipment," she said. "But down the road I see this becoming a profitable business."

For details, go to www.snugglebugsconsignment.com, or 412-832-0642.

Cultural events

Two other new moms, Jennifer Bails of Squirrel Hill and Sheila Solomon of Shadyside, were looking to connect with other mothers in an intellectually and culturally stimulating way. So they founded Urban Mommies to organize tours of galleries, museums and art studios for women and their stroller-bound kids.

The two women have been friends since childhood, and now they have their own offspring -- Ms. Bails is a freelance science writer with a 2-month-old daughter, and Ms. Solomon is a part-time genetic counselor with two small children.

"I meet a lot of new moms, and they all say the same thing -- 'I love my infant or toddler, but there are times I want to think about something beyond diapers and feeding schedules,'" said Ms. Bails.

The tours are designed to be private, behind-the-scenes and led by insiders. The first series of seven trips will take place on Thursdays or Fridays from April 12 to June 1. Locations include the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, Heinz Hall, Carnegie Museum of Art, Society for Contemporary Craft, Frick Art & Historical Center, Andy Warhol Museum and The Mattress Factory.

Cost is $165. Moms provide their own transportation, and outings are followed by an optional lunch at a nearby restaurant.

"After this first round we hope to diversify the places we go," she added. "You could probably tour the Carnegie every day and not see everything. There are also neighborhoods, culinary gatherings and other possibilities, depending on the interest."

For more information, go to www.urban-mommies.com or call 412-551-6400.

Workout classes

Michelle Bisno, a fitness trainer with multiple certifications, had yet another idea for a business after her son was born two years ago.

New to Pittsburgh, wanting to get back in shape and connect with other new mothers, she founded Cardiomom, a baby-inclusive workout program. Women were invited to bring their little ones to class so there was no need to worry about child care. At the same time, they could meet other moms and overcome some of the isolation that comes with a new baby.

Now, after two years of group classes that met outdoors in good weather, Cardiomom has moved into personal training.

"We found that a lot of the women were going back to work, so a 9:30 a.m. class wasn't working for them," said Ms. Bisno of Point Breeze. "We moved to personal training to work around their schedules, trying to go where the need is."

Workouts are led by Ms. Bisno and two other instructors; both of the latter are pregnant with their second children.

"We're all moms, so we have a lot of the same experiences," she said. "We talk about motherhood, the aches and pains of pregnancy and delivery, sonograms, nursing, staying up all night.

"Maybe they want to lose their hips, or they just had a C-section. I'm certified in pre- and post-natal fitness, so I individualize the workouts depending on what they want and need."

Some clients work out during pregnancy; others are joined by their spouses.

The cost of a personal training session is $60 for an hour; some women buddy up and split the cost.

"We try to work within people's budgets and schedules," she said, adding that group classes may resume in the spring if there's enough interest.

For more information, visit www.cardiomom.com or call 412-441-1000.
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(Sally Kalson can be reached at skalson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1610. )

Posted by: In da 'Burgh | March 7, 2007 10:39 AM

No morning sickness yet. Didn't get sick at all with DS so hoping I can avoid morning sickness again with this one. Trying VERY hard to watch my diet as I gained a TON with the first.

to Momma Stroller: Your post made me smile. For some reason, every time I think about getting a double stroller, I get anxious. Otherwise, I just feel excited. Wonder if I can make do without one as DS will be just over 2 when baby#2 is due...

Posted by: londonmom | March 7, 2007 10:39 AM

On Balance has helped me understand the reality of motherhood and marriage. It helped me deal with the grief and regret I felt after having an abortion that I thought i had to have because it wasn't compatible with my high-powered career. On Balance has helped me embrace God's calling on my life to be a mother. By reading this board, I now believe that being a mother can actually teach me skills that will be helpful in my career. On Balance has been an invaluable resource in preparing me for the difficulties, frustrations and rewards of motherhood.

For that, I thank you all.

Posted by: ML | March 7, 2007 10:39 AM

I must be the real John one because I was 50,000. Now I can go about my day with my head held high.

As for Chris and Fred, go find another blog to talk your trash. We girls have important things to talk about here.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 10:41 AM

Not hardly, imposter. I am the real John!

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 10:42 AM

preggie pops are lolli pops that taste like lavender, sour fruits and ginger.

I doubt they will help me, but they taste good!

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 10:42 AM


I recall a poster, quite a while back, who signed herself "Mom of 14." She seemed to be a created persona who had fun saying really ignorant and outrageous things, and she wrote and spelled intentionally badly.

People on the blog knew not to take her seriously.

Could this be the same "Mom of 14"?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 10:43 AM

Fred wrote: "Ah, to chuck conventional life and to love & live in Polynesia!"

But we all know that the person he'd take with him would be the divine Fredia, so it's not quite the same thing as what Gauguin did (fortunately).

Posted by: catlady | March 7, 2007 10:45 AM

Gee, try to bring a little culture to a blog that has been savaged the last few days about the lack of it!

I am going to go home and cry in my corner, sniff, sniff, sniff!

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 10:46 AM

I was just reading through yesterday's posts and am so sorry I missed the NC Barbie conversation! Dotted and Megan's Neighbor, I really enjoyed reading your posts. The Carborro Barbie cracked me up. Any thoughts on the Apex Barbie? The Chapel Hill Barbie? I hope I'm not being a thread hijacker!

My favorite blog topics, by the way, were the best and worst moments as moms. I'd love to hear the best and worst moments as dads. I wonder what they get most embarrassed or proud of!

Posted by: Meesh | March 7, 2007 10:48 AM

No, I am the real John

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 10:51 AM

"But we all know that the person he'd take with him would be the divine Fredia..."

Fredia would let me go but as she has said on more than one occasion, I would be going without 2 things that are near and dear to me!

Leslie,

Since John at 50,000 was obviously an imposter, what prize do I win?

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 10:52 AM

49,953

Posted by: Trying | March 7, 2007 10:53 AM

Congrats on being the topic of 50,000! Just remember, he attacked me first.
:-P

Posted by: Chris | March 7, 2007 10:56 AM

Not the Darwin awards but close: It covers our friends to the south and our friends in Northern Va.

Buxton , NC : A man died on a beach when an 8-foot-deep hole he had dug into the sand caved in as he sat inside it. Beach-goers said Daniel>Jones, 21, dug the hole for fun, or protection from the wind, and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom Thursday afternoon when it
collapsed, burying him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach, on the outer banks, used their hands and shovels, trying to claw their way to Jones, a resident of Woodbridge , VA , but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy equipment almost an hour to free him while about 200 people looked on. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 10:58 AM

Chris,

I do like your poems. I think that they have a bit of wit and style about them.

And (sainted) mom always liked my baby brother best!

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 11:00 AM

A friend of mine in college went to high school with this Darwin awards guy. It happened about 10 years ago. She was pretty sad about it. That's got to be the worst nightmare-- not only to die young, but to die so stupidly that you get a Darwin award.

Posted by: Neighbor | March 7, 2007 11:02 AM

You remind me of someting I told my husband when we were dating:

Of course, honey you can date whoever you want (surprised look from now DH). You just can't date me afterwards.

It was eye opening when I said it to him, b/c I was talking to him differently than he had ever been spoken to- other women had threatened him,etc.
We have the same deal now, of course, and he knows the costs, he jokes all the time that he can't afford to divorce me. So he is stuck w us...:)

Posted by: atlmom | March 7, 2007 11:02 AM

Yikes on the man who died on the beach. I have read that this used to be a risk for grave diggers, in the old days. Poor guy.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 11:04 AM

I meant to say: *fred* you reminded me...

Posted by: atlmom | March 7, 2007 11:07 AM

I visit because I want to know what to expect when I have a child or children of my own. I never wanted them till I met BF, so it was never an issue, and now here I am at 28, trying to plan something I never knew I wanted. The regulars here have given me advice and information on everything from career to childbirth ages to post-pregnancy weight loss. Trolls add some laughter, and I can join a good debate every now and then (I'm a scorpio, I can't help it).

On large families: my dad was one of fifteen, three sets of twins total, but three children died young. They were Amerindian and lived on a large farm in a small 3-bedroom house. My grandmother is in her late 80's and still doing really well. My great-grandmother died between 104 and 110 (not sure because the calendar her tribe used was different from ours). Both she and my grandmother babysat multitudes of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. My grandmother can still cook a full seven-course meal from scratch in thirty minutes, on a wood-burning stove. I guess she had to perfect these skills. With fifteen kids, she pretty much had to! Talk about balance!

Oh, and someone mentioned gullibility. That was me yesterday! I'm still surprised I didn't see the sarcasm in Emily's post. Something must have been wrong with me yesterday!

Posted by: Mona | March 7, 2007 11:08 AM

Hi Neighbor and FG!

Neighbor, I just read yesterday's posts and I was really surprized you were "attacked" for not having your child with you 24/7 while on vacation-- I'm sure it must be very tempting to just ignore such nonsense-- you were a SAHM for goodness sakes! You need a little break from them, and I'm sure they enjoyed the attention of someone new. As much as Christy's posts and my doubts of their authenticity showed me that there is still something "Sweet" about myself, your posts about your family and especially your neighborhood, give me so much hope for "Sweetness" of others and of community.

FG, I think you are a very good writer and you take chances and can be edgy-- which is great, but I figure you'd like feedback when your writing seems "off" or tone deaf. I figure you are smart enough to give such feedback the weight and credit it deserves-- which often may not be much! I know I like feedback and assume others do too.

Posted by: Clarina | March 7, 2007 11:10 AM

50000? I demand a recount!

Posted by: Al Gore | March 7, 2007 11:10 AM

Al Gore you should demand a recount.

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 11:11 AM

Emily, the absences can be explained thusly:

Mom of 14: was busy finishing up her PhD (at Yale btw), and has since clearly cleaned up her spelling and grammar

Liam: with his partner took his precious angel to Geneva, CH for testing just to make sure she really was ready for Swarthmore at 6

Blanche: volunteered for border duty with the Minutemen, and was last seen repelling British Columbians at an outpost somewhere near Oroville, WA with a flurry of ice laden snowballs

Mrs. Jeffs: caught up in the UT legal system, used net access budget money to bake oversized cake in the shape of John Smith's head.

Posted by: puppetmaster | March 7, 2007 11:11 AM

I want one too! Hmmmm, was I for the recount before I was against it?

Posted by: John Kerry | March 7, 2007 11:13 AM

(as is JimBob).


His name is JIM BOB???? You've got ot be kidding me.

I can't help but jump on my elitist pedestal in this case. If you can't take care of em, don't have em. The older kids shouldn't have a buddy baby to take care of! It's just strange

5K/month barely takes care of a family wiht 1 kid around here.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:15 AM

Ok, puppetmaster, but what about Thierry?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:19 AM

ISTR that news story about the man dying in a hole dug at the beach was from some time ago. Now, down here in NC we did have a guy who recently died when he fell into a concrete plant's sand pit, but that's different.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 11:20 AM

"I can't help but jump on my elitist pedestal in this case. If you can't take care of em, don't have em. The older kids shouldn't have a buddy baby to take care of! It's just strange"

OK - I'm not necessarily advocating for couples to have 16-17 children, but really, what is the problem? They are supporting their family financially and are not a drain on society in that way. And how exactly is it "not taking care of" your kids to have the older children in the family help care for the younger ones? How is that any different from sending your children to daycare? Either way you're enlisting the help of someone other than the parents.

"5K/month barely takes care of a family wiht 1 kid around here. "

They don't live "around here", they live in Arkansas.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:23 AM

"Congrats on being the topic of 50,000! Just remember, he attacked me first."

Chris, you have redeemed yourself. That was funny!!

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 11:23 AM

I saw that Duggar show and I can tell you that they were pretty frugal. One real estate in rural AK is a far cry compared to DC area. Also, they bought all their stuff at the annual 1/2 priced sale at the local thrift store. They also seemed to allow their children to wear anything that fit. Even if it was not weather appropriate. I remember in this one scene, some of the kids were wearing sandals and some of them were wearing rubber boots. Now it was either warm enough for sandals or cold enough for boots. But not both. They accepted all hand me downs and sewed a lot of the girls dresses. It pretty much seemed like the kids did most of the work while mom was the manager. Dad worked outside the home. They also did not have TV but they do seem to have had computers, internet, and other media type stuff. They were very interesting and obviously appeal to the tv audience. I think they made like 3 shows about them.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 11:25 AM

For those who know about this very large family- what about college for the kids? IS that on the radar at all? Do they get to play instruments or sports?
Just wondering!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:26 AM

I originally came to the blog after reading Mommy Wars and visiting Leslie's website and seeing she had a blog. Being from the west coast and coming into it that way rather than being a WaPo reader from the DC area, I mistakenly assumed that the blog would be more "national" than it is. So I guess the reason I've stayed is because it's interesting to me to hear how different it is back there. That and to take the occasional beating for having voiced my opinion. ;o)

Posted by: momof4 | March 7, 2007 11:27 AM

"His name is JIM BOB???? You've got ot be kidding me."

I think both parents are college graduates, but it is very very difficult to believe whent they are speaking on camera. They have the scary religious zealot look in their eyes - Picture Rusty Yates. They believe in traditional roles for males and females.

The story is very sad because the parents aren't raising the children, the older children are raising their siblings. The little ones are passed off by the mother to the older ones on camera!!

It's a real good example of a white monoculture.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:27 AM

The road to perdition, to road to redemption, I just cannot find my way. Help me, John, help me.

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 11:30 AM

I saw one of the shows about the Duggers - I believe it was the 16 children and pregnant again episode.
The first thing I thought was they seem almost cultish and brainwashed to be happy and content with their lot. It seemed sad to me that the older ones had to care for the younger ones and that they never got new clothes.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 11:31 AM

All of those birth control hormones in the past 40 years causing miscarrriage and birth defects! why haven't they used condoms, then? and WHEN do they even have sex? i would run SCREAMING from my husband to GET OFF ME if I had that many kids!

what planet do these people live on? Maybe it's all of the nasty canned food they eat that causes miscarriages and birth defects! I can't imagine they have great eating habits- the big families i know liveo ff of those bags of artifical cereal, hamburger helper (and that grade D meat too), and eggs.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:31 AM

With all these puppets, what are there, like 5 REAL people posting every day? We could all go get coffee (and take 1 car).

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:32 AM

From the Duggar's website, the mom talking:

"Days later, I was at our piano teacher's home (at 7 AM) trying to catch up on paperwork while the children were taking their lessons. "

So apparently they do have music lessons. But they have to start at 7 am to get them all in!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:32 AM

What the heck. You are redeemed too Fred. I was 50,000 today. I can spread the love.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 11:33 AM

I log in daily to read the posts and arguments, but I rarely post. Balance in my work/life existence is important to me even though I don't have kids. It lets me know what's in store for me when/if I do. :)

Posted by: Aerogirl | March 7, 2007 11:33 AM

"With all these puppets, what are there, like 5 REAL people posting every day? We could all go get coffee (and take 1 car)."

Just as long as it is a hybrid mommy van.

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 11:33 AM

Why shoulkdnt older kids have to help around the house? Help w the others? They are all in a family together. They have decided to have a family their way, and while it is not the way I would, more power to them.
It was said before that they are just very frugal, and they don't get handouts, so leave them alone.

I did, however read a story abouit how 1/2 their day is spent on chores, so I wonder how much 'learning@ is going on, but it is not for me to judge.

Posted by: atlmom | March 7, 2007 11:35 AM

It's a real good example of a white monoculture.

Other races don't do this?

Posted by: please | March 7, 2007 11:35 AM

"How is that any different from sending your children to daycare? Either way you're enlisting the help of someone other than the parents"

Let me tell you, as an oldest child who was often stuck with the younger kids, that it is not fair for the parents to expect the older children to be surrogate parents. When I was a kid, I was expected to do a fair amount of free babysitting for my younger siblings. Two weekends a month, the occasional evening out. Every Saturday morning. It wasn't unfair, but it was work. But to be encumbered by the constant and continuing responsibility of a child you did not choose to have is patently unfair to the older kids. I think it's wrong.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 11:36 AM

I remember reading something about Mrs. Duggar sharing her recipes...I think one was a tater tot casserole.(!) And another had lots of mayonnaise in it...does anyone remember what that was?

Posted by: Missicat | March 7, 2007 11:36 AM

"It seemed sad to me that the older ones had to care for the younger ones and that they never got new clothes."

Nice materialism and lack of work ethic. How horrible that the children are being raised to be responsible young people and that they don't shop at Nordstroms.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:38 AM

"So apparently they do have music lessons. But they have to start at 7 am to get them all in!"

So what? The parents are cuckoo bird religious nuts!!! that are so much like Rusty Yates that they might be related.


Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:38 AM

Um, yeah. The younger Duggar kids kinda have a weird look to their faces. There's got to be a correlation between having so many children in succession and a deficiency in gene quality. Humans aren't meant to do that. (And just because they can, doesn't mean they should.) That woman is going to die well before her time, too. I just don't get it. And the sad part is, she's probably only had sex 17 times. Creepy!

Posted by: JU | March 7, 2007 11:40 AM

Missicat - their favorite family recipes (including the tater tot one) are on their website. http://www.duggarfamily.com/

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:40 AM

You people are horribly judgmental.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:42 AM

New Topic Suggestion: What inconsequential behaviors did you have while prego that you do not have normally?

Fredia loves onions but when she was preggers she could not stand them.

I saw my neighbor cutting the grass when she was 5 months prego. I had never seen her do this otherwise. I ask her why and she said that she loved the smell of freshly cut grass while preggers but could not care less otherwise.

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 11:42 AM

"It seemed sad to me that the older ones had to care for the younger ones and that they never got new clothes."

Nice materialism and lack of work ethic. How horrible that the children are being raised to be responsible young people and that they don't shop at Nordstroms.

Posted by: | March 7, 2007 11:38 AM

It's Nordstrom- no "s" at the end.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:42 AM

And you aren't?

You people are horribly judgmental.

Posted by: | March 7, 2007 11:42 AM

Posted by: DC lurker | March 7, 2007 11:43 AM

read all about the Duggar family!
www.jimbob.info
somewhere the mom said that her kids don't need to go to college. they are the God will provide type.

Posted by: experienced mom | March 7, 2007 11:43 AM

NUMBER 50,000 IS:

Experienced Mom at 9:40, who wrote:

"I read this blog because it's educational, thought provoking, amusing, and sometimes very funny. I comment because I can't stop myself. Even when I tell myself my time could be better spent elsewhere, I come back because the community aspect is rather addictive. I feel that the regulars are my friends (and yes I have plenty of other friends whose names I actually know!), and I appreciate the commiseration and advice that I get from the others on this board."

Congrats, Experienced Mom. And Scarry and Londonmom on #2s!

Posted by: Leslie | March 7, 2007 11:43 AM

"How is that any different from sending your children to daycare? Either way you're enlisting the help of someone other than the parents"

In daycare or preschool (or out and about in our neighborhood), the teacher or neighborhood parent is an authority figure. You instruct your kids that mom and dad have shared some of their authority with this very special person, and you need to listen to her, do as she asks, and be respectful of her.

Older siblings, on the other hand, don't have mom's and dad's authority, but have the responsiblity. It is often not fair to older siblings to routinely expect that they will watch younger siblings. Sometimes younger siblings grow to resent that older siblings have even a little power over them. Not always though. Lots of siblings in large families are really, really tight with each other, so it must all depend on how mom and dad handle it.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:44 AM

http://www.jimbob.info/statesenate06.html


Jim BOb is running for the SENATE????? You have GOT to be KIDDING. Are these folks crazy?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:44 AM

Jim BOb is running for the SENATE????? You have GOT to be KIDDING. Are these folks crazy?

Posted by: | March 7, 2007 11:44 AM

are only lawyers or rich men with 2 children allowed to run the country?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:46 AM

He WAS ALREADY a state senator for two terms.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:47 AM

He's a state legislator? no way he makes enough money to support them on a state leg. salary

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:47 AM

I think they self taught music lessons. They were not paying for outside music lessons. I think the difference in day care is that the children are being watched by other adults. The duggars had 6 and 7 year old children looking after smaller ones. Their lifestyle is definitely not for me but I did not see anything abusive or neglectful about them. The one thing that seemed to appear is that the parents never spent alone time with any of the children. Of course it is hard to know on a one hour show. But they did not seem to ever take a single child to a ride in a car or out for a walk by themselves. They did seem to do a lot of chores but that might be a good thing.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 11:47 AM

Maybe if words fell at our feet and didn't go away for a day, we'd say more with less and discourse could carry real value. Blah Blah Blah

Posted by: just another of 50,000 | March 7, 2007 11:48 AM

I feel much better knowing ExperiencedMom has slid into the 50K slot.

ExperiencedMom, drinks on you at the bar!!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:49 AM

Experienced mom at 50,000. Now I demand a recount!

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 11:50 AM

Regarding the posts about daycare vs. older kids caring for younger ones - my point was that the original poster said something about how people should take care of their own children. You all quickly send your kids to daycare or call a babysitter or Grandma or hire a nanny and get ticked off when someone says "you should take care of your own children" and start screaming "DON'T JUDGE ME!!!!" - and then you think it's a problem when an older child in the family cares for the younger children? If it works for them, do you care?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:50 AM

"The younger Duggar kids kinda have a weird look to their faces"

The parents and all of the kids have the inbred look of a tot who sits in the front yard eating dirt and snot.

There is something really really out of whack with this bunch.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 11:50 AM

ha! I wasn't trying to hit 50K. Drinks on me at 5pm.

Posted by: experienced mom | March 7, 2007 11:53 AM

Re Jim Bob running for senate -- he's already been a member of the Arkansas House of Rep. (1999-2002). His values are in line with many people in Arkansas/the heartland at large. Hard to understand but I bet he'd find my NPR listening/NY Times reading tough to take too!

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | March 7, 2007 11:53 AM

On one of the duggar shows, the oldest kid was attending or planning to attend an online college. He was hoping to go to law school. The father did one term in the state senate but lost in the congressional election. I think she won mother of the year on year and boy the press was all over them. Some of the nastiest comments were said about them. It definitely beat an of the on balance attacks for lifestyles. I find them interesting but can't really relate to wanting to live like that. I also wondered (not passive aggressive) if they get some tax breaks for having an "established" church in their home. They sort of formed their own religion/church with several other families in their area. So their home may be considered church property and not taxed in the same way. I am just guessing and no I am not attacking their choice to have a large family.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 11:53 AM

I wouldn't want 17 kids, but the Duggars look happy to me. (My daughter watches them when they are on tv, so I get sucked in.) Their family vacation was subsidized by the tv channel that did that story about them, but so what!?!

Posted by: experienced mom | March 7, 2007 11:56 AM

11:50: I understand your point. And I don't think what the Duggars are doing is so bad. But it is not really the same argument. I think the government would have a problem if a WOHF hired a 7 year old to babsit a 3 year old. I think the government would also have a problem with just their adult to child ratio, if they were truly running a day care. I don't think the argument is that non parents are caring for the kids. If this family had 16 kids and hired outside adults to help manage them, that would be more acceptable to most people then asking a 9 year old to educate a 7 year old. Most of their education was team taught between the mother and the older kids. Again, I don't care what they do and find that family sort of interesting.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 11:57 AM

I found this blog just as I found out I was pregnant with my first child. Now that she's here and I am a mom, I read and contribute to get other's perspectives about being a parent. The information has been invaluable. Thanks!

Posted by: Formerly Soon to be Mom | March 7, 2007 11:58 AM

the Duggar system of big kid/little kid match up is common in larger families. And while an older kid is helping out, mom is home. I would have more respect for them if they at some point decided that they had enough children, however.

Posted by: experienced mom | March 7, 2007 11:59 AM

faomgnome- GREAT point about them evading taxes. His website points out that he is no fan of taxes, so I wouldn't be surprised if he found a lot of loop holes. They also seem to have lots of money to spend on matching outfits (cringe)

Also, there is nothing wrong with older kids HELPING out- but they shouldn't be RAISING their siblings.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 12:00 PM

I think I made a decison recently. I am not going to try for another child. When I miscarried last time, my gut reaction was to keep on trying, no matter what. I was going to do IVF. If that didn't work I was going to get donated eggs. If that didn't work, I was going to adopt. I just couldn't take no for an answer. It was almost as if I were rebelling against something that was greater than me and out of my control, and I did not want to give up.

A couple of months later, I feel less distressed about it. And my little family of three people feels just right. We are completely portable and go everywhere together. We can afford the life we live. We love each other. We have time for each other. And we just might go on our dream vacation this summer, and take a full month to explore another country and just be with each other full time.

But I wish I could feel completely settled about it. There is still a part of me that is on the fence. I hate feeling like that. Sigh.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 12:01 PM

What does your post have to do with today's topic, Emily, really??

Posted by: to Emily | March 7, 2007 12:03 PM

Nothing. Obviously, you are a newbie.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 12:04 PM

No, I'm not. Has it occured to you, though, that we might not be interested in your inner battles?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 12:06 PM

The Duggars are clearly fundamentalist something-or-other. The whole thing creeps me out; a woman her age continuing to have babies and being sure that is what her life is *for*; the horrible nutrition, the blissed-out mindless cheefulness of it all (especially the husband's -- well sure, he's got everything his way); and the naming of all the kids with the 'j' or 'g' names, the dressing the same... Blech!

Posted by: Grimm | March 7, 2007 12:06 PM

Emily - where are you planning to go on vacation? I would love to take a month off and explore England and Ireland.

Posted by: Missicat | March 7, 2007 12:07 PM

What does your post have to do with today's topic, Emily, really??

Posted by: to Emily | March 7, 2007 12:03 PM

I do not understand what makes a person type something like this.

Emily, Please ignore the stray nastiness. Thanks for updating us on your decision. You sound closer to being at peace. It's easier for some of us than others to cope with not feeling as though we are fully in control of big life decisions. I'm sorry for the stress you've been going through.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 7, 2007 12:07 PM

Emily-my thoughts are with you. Being on the fence is exactly the definition of being unsettled.

OT alert-
Meesh- Chapel hill Barbie
This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, arch-less feet, hairy armpits, no makeup and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her Willow. She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Chapel Hill Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag bumper sticker for free.

And her outfit must be in Carolina blue and white of course.

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 12:08 PM

Emily: congrats on your decision. As one of my older and wiser friends told me, the decision to have just one child needs to be made over and over again. When her 8 year old daughter asks for a sibling, she simply buys her another AG doll. For $100 it seems to satisfy her.

Update: We have also decided to put off the adoption and baby making for the near term. We want DD to get settled and mainstreamed by kindergarten. If she is mainstreamed by kindergarten and the conditions are right we will revisit the idea of a second child. But your right, it seems highly unlikely because I would be 39 and I think I would be scared to have another biological child. Also since our adoption failed, we would be weary of trying again.

Emily, go home and hug your only child and know in your hearts, he or she is all that you need.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 12:08 PM

No, I'm not. Has it occured to you, though, that we might not be interested in your inner battles?

Here's an easy solution for you. Then don't read my posts, genius!!

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 12:10 PM

A man and a woman had a little baby.
Yes, they did.
They had three in the family.
That's a magic number.

3 Is a Magic Number

Posted by: Schoolhouse Rock | March 7, 2007 12:13 PM

Get back to work, you!

Posted by: Your Boss | March 7, 2007 12:13 PM

Almost all parents have to decide at some point when to say 'when.' Sometimes the decision is made for them (biology, operation, illness, whatever). It is one of the toughest decisions I ever made to let go of that stage in life. It turned out to be the right decision at the right time for me, though I didn't know it then!

Obviously, the duggar family hasn't made that decision yet.

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 12:14 PM

"the Duggars look happy to me"

Right, the same way Rusty Yates looks happy.

Can't you spot a loony tune when its biting you on the ass?

Does the mother ever get post pardon?

Posted by: Blanche | March 7, 2007 12:14 PM

Thanks, FG. I do feel truly blessed with my little boy.

We are thinking about getting a dog though. I have always loved them, but when my son was little, I did not feel like training a puppy (they are so much work). But maybe after our vacation, we can commit some time to that. I am thinking maybe a Westie. I love terriers.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 12:14 PM

No, I'm not. Has it occured to you, though, that we might not be interested in your inner battles?

Posted by: | March 7, 2007 12:06 PM

Has it ever occurred to you that some of us are?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 12:16 PM

Emily, Whatever kind of dog you get PLEASE go to a shelter or a dog rescue! We have a wonderful black lab that we got from Lost Dog Rescue as a young puppy, cheaper and better for your soul than going to a breeder!

Posted by: Fairfax | March 7, 2007 12:17 PM

OT to emily and foamgnome

Thanks for the updates -- though I "know" you only through the blog I was drawn in by your stories. I'm an only and at the rate I am going may only end up with one child (or no child).

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | March 7, 2007 12:18 PM

Emily:
A friend of mine noted to me that our society (and our religion in particular) did not have any kind of way to say: hey, I'm done with having kids (they have three).

Another friend of mine had horrible complications with no. 1 and the dr. told her next time, the baby may not be able to make it (no. 1 was born 12 or more weeks early). So they've decided one is enuf - and cited some of the things you said - they like to go away together and another one completely complicates things.

Foamgnome:
A friend of mine just adopted her second little girl. She was only contemplating it in December, and she got a baby (white, american) right away. If you keep trying, I'm sure there is a baby out there (if you want to, that is). The kids are less than 2 1/2 years apart. Another of mine adopted two kids and they are a year apart. I'm sure I only saw half the story, but it seems that the adoptions weren't so difficult.

Posted by: atlmom | March 7, 2007 12:20 PM

Emily (and foamgnome)- We have also decided to stick with 1- at least until out little one is in kinder/1st grade. Good thing too- my company is going under and it looks as if I'll be losing my job soon. If I had 2 I think I would have had a heart attack already. Very stressful!

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | March 7, 2007 12:21 PM

No, I'm not. Has it occured to you, though, that we might not be interested in your inner battles?

Posted by: | March 7, 2007 12:06 PM

Has it ever occured to you to not read this blog?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 12:21 PM

Re: double stroller

If you are going to be solo with the two kids - baby and two year old, I would definitely recommend a double stroller.

I got a double stroller when my second child was born. My oldest was 2 1/2. It was definitely worth it. It is great to be able to "contain" the oldest child in certain situations and it beats the heck out of carrying them (or hearing them whine) when they get tired.

I would recommend the strollers that have two seats in row - one behind the other - if you are planning on using the strollers in stores. The side by sides are just to wide for most places.

Posted by: Robin | March 7, 2007 12:23 PM

Dotted, I am dying laughing! I missed the barbie discussion yesterday also, but when I read your description, I immediately thought Seattle barbie (or Bellingham or Olympia or any number of other cities on the Washington coast) - I had no idea Chapel Hill was like that - fun trivia for me :)

Posted by: TakomaMom | March 7, 2007 12:23 PM

My favorite post was the guest blog by Father of 4. I found his family life to be similar to mine. No focus on lost career opportunities or moving up the ladder, or concerns about who is doing "equal" amounts at home. Just a regular family with regular jobs trying to get through their days, weeks, and lives the best they can. Not enough money (CC debt and less than desired savings), not enough time, but more than enough love to go around. Sounds like home to me.

Posted by: xyz | March 7, 2007 12:24 PM

altmom:Our decision wasn't just based on the failed adoption. I think because DD has learning disabilities, we want to be sure she will be mainstreamed before we introduce another child. DD's prognosis is good. The school expects her to be mainstreamed in elementary school with pull out speech services. But we feel weary and just want to make sure she will be OK before adding in another baby.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 12:24 PM

I was attracted to On Balance because of the work-life balance discussions. As a single parent, I'm always looking for creative and effective ways to balance career and parenthood. Even though I perceive a bias towards more affluent, married posters, I continue to check in daily to learn what others are doing so that one day if/when I'm married and comfortable with my finances I'll have great ideas about how to continue balancing career & parenthood. Also, some of the jokes you all put out there are pretty entertaining.

Posted by: Cali Esq | March 7, 2007 12:25 PM

TakomaMom-
Sen Jessie Helms, while explaining why he was voting against using federal funds to pay for the NC zoo, said something like "why pay for a zoo, just put a fence around Chapel Hill"

Megan's neighbor-where are you/

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 12:26 PM

Grimm, I agree with you. I never understood naming kids after their fathers, or having all kids the same initial. Look, it's Cody and Caleb! What?! Too cutesy for me. I feel the same about twins/triplets names that rhyme. Zack and Jack? Sheri and Larry? Really? BF's family members all have the same initials--except, of course, for the mom. I thought that was ridiculous; what's the point of inclusiveness if the mom is excluded? We compromised: the first kid will have the initials, the others will be whatever we want.

Yes, we're naming kids already, even though we are at least 5 years from marriage. It's silly, I know.

Posted by: Mona | March 7, 2007 12:29 PM

Now that the 50,000th post has been correctly awarded, perhaps now the Fake John will go away.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 12:29 PM

The Washed up Pop Singer Barbie has removable hair, chews gum when she isn't smoking and has special black eye makeup that runs with her faux tears. Her pickup truck is specially equipped with a pet carrier for her mini dog - the two boys sit on her lap. Accessories include an umbrella for attacking the press and hair clippers.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 12:32 PM

Also, after reading the Duggars' school day, it seems more like home-bible-schooling than homeschooling. I think I counted about three or four hours of non-bible schoolwork. Whatever religion you force your children into, should it really take precedence over actual schoolwork?

Posted by: Mona | March 7, 2007 12:32 PM

"Yes, we're naming kids already, even though we are at least 5 years from marriage. It's silly, I know."

No it's not. Both my wife and I are already working on names for our future child, no matter which gender it may be. She gets to come up with the boy names, I get to come up with the girl names. Now if we can just agree on them...

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 12:34 PM

When we named our two, we avoided all the politics around naming after someone; we wanted them to have their own names from the get go. It was slightly complicated, because we also wanted them to work in both English and French, and to be non-fashionable (there were enough Britanys and Tiffanys and Jessicas in those years that it became confusing, and downright odd), while at the same time not being bizarrely old-fashioned (so not Doris or Ethel!). Finally, because of our interests and education, we wanted both of them to have a literary allusion.

We managed it, but only after a) agonizing for weeks and b) meeting the kid.

The foster kids came already named, thank goodness (as did four of the six rescue dogs and cats) or I think our brains would have exploded!

Posted by: Grimm | March 7, 2007 12:35 PM

"I think I counted about three or four hours of non-bible schoolwork. Whatever religion you force your children into, should it really take precedence over actual schoolwork?"

Haven't we talked about this before? Homeschoolers generally don't spend the 6-7 hours a day in "school" that institional-schooled children do. 4-5 hours a day of non-bible schoolwork is actually a lot for a homeschooler.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 12:36 PM

Mona, in a one hour show it was hard to get a grasp of what their home school curriculum consisted of. On a couple of the shows involving large families and home schooling, it seemed like their lessons were geared towards the little children. It was way to advanced for the tinest child and way to simple for the older children. They did say the kids took regular state exams to check their progress.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 12:36 PM

Father of 4: I ride the Metro every day, the food/drink LAW sure isn't enforced on the Red or Orange lines. Aren't you curious to see who they'd cite?
londonmom: my DD is 4 and still heads out for runs with us whenever she can. We'll keep the single and get a double just to have flexibility.
Fred: I, a card-carrying chocolate lover, cannot go near chocolate. Same for both pregnancies.
scarry: morning sickness at night, candy canes helped, as did small meals. And running.

Posted by: Stroller Momma | March 7, 2007 12:37 PM

We loved to choose names. It was really hard for DH and myself to agree on boys name. We did come up with at least three girl names that we both liked.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 12:38 PM

Grimm and John, what were your final decisions? I'm fine with having the initials of an ancestor or whatever if that's what he's got his heart set on, but why did his grandfather have to pick "K"? There are so few decent K-names for boys. We both hate the few American ones, and he refuses to have a Japanese name (of which there are a plethora, some really charming), because their last name will be Japanese. We have both happily settled on a pretty French non-K name for a girl, though. And I'd like to adopt someday too, but he wants a young one and I want a slightly older already-named one. Who knows how it will all turn out? Maybe like foamgnome, we'll end up with only one. I just hope it's the non-K girl! :-)

Posted by: Mona | March 7, 2007 12:41 PM

I try to read On Balance most days. I suppose I am a 'lurker...the times when I've wanted to post, I've noticed one of the various regulars have already made my point. We have 4 kids ages 8-19mo. My DH is self employed and I work 30hrs from home and have been very fortunate to do so. I enjoy most topics and resulting posts as a fresh perspective into parenting and life balance in general.

Posted by: Jennifer | March 7, 2007 12:41 PM

Well, one advantage of the Duggers giving their kids the same initials as dad is that at least they all have an equal chance at the monogrammed family heirlooms. Oh, wait...

And if Jim Bob were to win a US Senate seat (yeah, right), he'd double his monthly salary.

Posted by: cynic | March 7, 2007 12:43 PM

Ellen Lucy (now nearly 21) and Anne Rachel (now 18).

And the three dogs we named ourselves were Tod, Broc and Yeoman.

Posted by: Grimm | March 7, 2007 12:44 PM

"We both hate the few American ones"

Are there really any "American" names? I suppose there are some uniquely "American" ones more common in the black community, or some of the more recently made up ones.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 12:45 PM

"When her 8 year old daughter asks for a sibling, she simply buys her another AG doll. For $100 it seems to satisfy her."

that's a good parenting tactic for you. this mother probably talks about how they can't afford another child and can't make it on one salary either.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 12:46 PM

Re: Chapel Hill Barbie

Sorry I missed that conversation, too. Did you know that there are also the same Barbies for Northern Virginia? With an extra one or two. Pretty funny.

I think Chapel Hill Barbie was misnamed. That's really Carrboro Barbie. Chapel Hill Barbie, clad in Carolina blue and white, lives in a big house only a professor or doctor could afford. She moved there for the school system, but most likely works elsewhere, probably Durham. She also blames all Chapel Hill crime on neighboring Durham.

Posted by: NC too | March 7, 2007 12:46 PM

foamgnome -

I don't think you're understanding my point. The poster I was responding to said that people shouldn't have children if they aren't going to take care of them. And I see no difference (as far as whether or not the parent is taking care of them) if they hire a daycare or ask their older child to be a buddy to a younger one.

I would assume they aren't leaving 7 year olds home alone to babysit the 2 year olds. But rather the older children are matched up with younger ones to teach them basic skills (hygiene, housekeeping, literacy, math). That sounds pretty cool to me and it benefits both children. It's actually one of the things that the Montessori philosophy uses - the older kids help the younger ones as part of their own education.

This blog has had discussions about chores and allowance and responsibility before, and the majority of posters said that yes, their children had chores, and yes, it's important to start them young so they learn responsibility. And most of the posters here have children who are in daycare and/or school all day, so they're not only doing chores but spending 7-10 hours a day away from their home. The Duggar children don't go to school or daycare - they likely have more free time a day than the children of most working parents - so what exactly is the big deal if a 12 year old helps the 3 year old brush his teeth and get dressed and make his bed and practice his ABC's??

Here's an article about a day in the life of the Duggar family.

http://www.duggarfamily.com/articles/typical-day.php

Posted by: 11:50 | March 7, 2007 12:48 PM

I read and occasionally post because the life I provide my kids is going to be very different from the life I had growing up, and I don't know how to make it work! I was raised by a SAHM who breastfed me until I was 3 years old. I work full-time now, and I want to keep working after we have kid(s), but since I've never experienced that lifestyle, I am always trolling for ideas. Some of the topics that I have found interesting (some planned by Leslie, some not), and topics I'd like to see more about:
- Breastfeeding while working full time (pumping, supplementing with formula, etc.). I feel strongly that I want to breastfeed for as long as possible(or at least try), but how long *is* possible for a woman who is working full-time?
- Daycare (centers vs. home-based, reliability, what to look for)
- How do you prepare for kids? How do you know when you are "ready"? (Or can you ever be?)
- How do you get enough sleep after the baby is born to function safely and productively?
- How do you divide up housework and childcare in families where both parents work so neither feels unfairly burdened?
- How do you raise "good" kids? I see SO MANY brats roaming stores, malls, and other public places. Some of my friends have really nice kids, and some have bratty ones. What do I do to increase the odds that mine will be among the "good" kids?

That's all I can think of at the moment. I usually lurk, and I rarely get through all the comments in a day. I don't mind the banter and even know what some of it is about, but I don't appreciate the nasty posts. Debate is good, attacks are not.

Oh, and sometimes, it's good to able to ask anonymously the things that it's hard to ask even a good friend. Examples that come to mind are the mechanics of breastfeeding (Thanks, Fred!) and sex after baby questions.

Posted by: FutureMom | March 7, 2007 12:48 PM

Re: The Duggars' family mother.

Wow! My boobs hang down to my knees and look like 2 deflated balloons after just two really bad labors and deliveries. My bikini and dating days are gone forever.

God only knows what my body would be like after so many births.

Her babies must slide out when she bends over.

Posted by: Elaine | March 7, 2007 12:49 PM

NC too and KLB, I think I love you. At least you gave me a couple of great laughs today.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 7, 2007 12:50 PM

Kanye
Karl
Karol (Woytlya)
Kellen (Winslow)
Kelvin
Ken
Kent
Kevin
Kim (Philby)
Kingsley (Amis)
Kip
Kirby
Kit (short for Christopher)
Kobe
Kofi
Kurt

Posted by: so few decent K-names for boys | March 7, 2007 12:51 PM

Her babies must slide out when she bends over.

Posted by: Elaine | March 7, 2007 12:49 PM

ROFL!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 12:51 PM

Mona,

My wife likes Marcus Christopher for a boy's name; I like Angelina Catherine for a girl's.

I don't like her choice (too many s's and it doesn't go well with our last name), and she's not too hot for my choice. I suppose there will be some revisions and negotiations in the future!

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 12:52 PM

Kyle
Kristopher
Keith

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 12:53 PM

"But to be encumbered by the constant and continuing responsibility of a child you did not choose to have is patently unfair to the older kids. I think it's wrong."

I agree, Emily. It IS wrong.

Ultimately, it's the younger ones who will likely suffer most. Each is forming an attachment to a primary caregiver -- essentially a surrogate parent -- but these caregivers are going to want to take off and have their own lives at some point. Then, the kids with the surrogate parents lose the one primary bond they have.

Horrible thing to do to children.

Posted by: pittypat | March 7, 2007 12:55 PM

If you like Golden Retrievers, try GRREAT.org (I think you're in the DC area)

I had one golden for 16 years, he was a stray and at least 17 years old when I had him put to sleep. My current golden is 8, we got him when he was 5.

Posted by: to Emily | March 7, 2007 12:55 PM

I know a family whose first names start with J (dad) K (mom) L, M, N, O, & P (5 kids.) I didn't realize their little cutesy name thing until I saw a card on the wall at the OB-GYNs office from the mom signing it the JKLMNOP family.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 12:56 PM

Wow! We've already got enough K-names for a Dugger-sized family!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 12:57 PM

When her 8 year old daughter asks for a sibling, she simply buys her another AG doll. For $100 it seems to satisfy her."

that's a good parenting tactic for you. this mother probably talks about how they can't afford another child and can't make it on one salary either.

Posted by: | March 7, 2007 12:46 PM

On the contrary, they are very up front that their decision to have one child is not a financial decision. It was a lifestyle choice and timing choice. She was around 35 when she conceived her daughter. They tell her the truth that they were very satisified with their life as a family of three. Also she only works 6 hours a day and is home in time to meet her daughter's school bus. Her husband is a school psychologist. So he only works during school times. It is closer to co parenting model then two full time working parents. My guess is she keeps buying her daughter dolls because she still has some lingering doubts but also knows her daughters interest in a sibling is a very fleeting desire. Sort of like her desire to have a pony.

11:50 : I understand what you are saying and yes I must have missed the post of stay home and take care of your own kid. It seemed with the Duggars that the kids did a little bit more then just help practice ABCs and help a younger sibling brush their teeth. They had an 11 year old girl in charge of the laundry for 18 people. Again, I just want to say that I think that was a bad thing. Just trying to explain why some people had issues with it.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 12:58 PM

Name a boy Kyle and you can pretty much look forward to him getting his ass kicked in the playground and school yard.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:00 PM

Kristopher

Ugggh

don't curse your child with an unconventionally spelled name. If you name your child something unusual, like "Dakota", everyone can spell it. If you name your child, "Kristopher", only his spouse or partner will get it right. He will spend his life correcting everyone from teachers to hotel clerks on the spelling of his name.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:00 PM

Name a boy Kyle and you can pretty much look forward to him getting his ass kicked in the playground and school yard.

Have you checked out that totally hot Kyle Chandler on Friday Night Lights? And he was on THe Homefront, too.

Posted by: Kyle | March 7, 2007 1:03 PM

Name a boy Kyle and you can pretty much look forward to him getting his ass kicked in the playground and school yard.

Posted by: | March 7, 2007 01:00 PM

Add Kirby to the list of inevitably picked on children.

reminds me of something I heard on the radio this morning about the need for Scooter Libby to lose that nickname before showing up at the penitentiary if he wants to remain assault-free.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 7, 2007 1:04 PM

Keagean
Keenan
Killigan
Kiarran

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:05 PM

Yep, hate all those. Might possibly settle for Kyle, but I can't stop thinking about the kid from South Park and the "Kyle's mom's a b!tch" song. The only other decent one is his father's name. I'm stuck on either Kiyoshi, Kaleo, Keanu (only if Keanu Reeves is no longer famous at the time the kid is born), or Katsuo. But the BF is dead-set against Japanese or Hawaiian names. ::shrug:: I don't know what we're going to do. Another alternative would be to name the kid one thing and call him by his middle name, but in this case his middle name would be MY last name. Though I do think my last name is interesting as a first name...I just don't know.

John, I like your choice as well. Very elegant. For a girl we've agreed on Joelle, possibly with a middle name Kiyo (yeah, I know, she can have a Japanese middle name but not a Japanese first name?!).

Emily, I agree with you as well. Older children should be helpers, not caretakers, for younger children. And while I didn't initially consider it, pittypat had a great point regarding how the younger children fare as well.

Posted by: Mona | March 7, 2007 1:07 PM

"Add Kirby to the list of inevitably picked on children.

reminds me of something I heard on the radio this morning about the need for Scooter Libby to lose that nickname before showing up at the penitentiary if he wants to remain assault-free."

Skippy, Sheldon, and Fennington also will end up human ashtrays in the Big House.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:07 PM

NC too-yeah I knew there were same descriptions for the Northern VA barbies. Your description of chapel hill barbie is terribly correct.

I have never figured out anyone's real identity. I've never tried though. Has anyone ever tried? gasp!

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 1:09 PM

Too Irish! He's okay with Karsten. To me that sounds too much like Kirsten. And I don't do the "intentionally misspelled common name so it seems original" thing.

Heh, new topic: baby names! Scarry, londonmom, jump in! (And congrats, since I didn't say it before!)

Posted by: Mona | March 7, 2007 1:09 PM

Kirk

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 1:10 PM

"are only lawyers or rich men with 2 children allowed to run the country?"

Might be nice if he helped with those gazillion kids instead of trying to get a job that will keep him away from home much of the year.

Talk about personal responsibility -- which you all LOVE to do.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:10 PM

Mona, years ago, I used to date a man named Kiyoshi. He was a lovely man who treated me like a queen. I fully support you in this matter!

Posted by: MplsMama | March 7, 2007 1:12 PM

I really don't like naming all kids with the same first initial. My husband and his siblings are all K's. I think his mother thought it was really cute at the time, but she keeps commenting on how they should have been named _____ after her father, or uncle, or whatever.

I have to look at the Duggar's website since I am the one that started this. Elaine - I am sure her body is probably paying the price for so many pregnancies, that was too funny.

Posted by: CMAC | March 7, 2007 1:14 PM

All of the K names listed will land the kid in a fistfight.

Remember your baby boy will be a teenager and a MAN someday and have to live with the kooky moniker.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:14 PM

"Fred: I, a card-carrying chocolate lover, cannot go near chocolate. Same for both pregnancies."

Stroller Momma, Best case for permanent birth control that I have ever heard! :)

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 1:15 PM

I read this forum because I am not a mother, but I hope I will be someday. My mom raised me with the knowledge that I could do and be anything, and I am so grateful that she did so. However it had the unintended consequence of giving me the inaccurate perception that having a successful carreer is the strongest measure of success in a woman's life, even though my mother was a stay-at-home mom until her youngest was in elementary school. Now I am getting married in 7 1/2 weeks and my future husband and I look forward to having children. I have struggled for years with the question of whether or not I can have a career and be a mother simultaneously, and whether or not I can view myself as a successful woman if I try to succeed at both. It is refreshing and reassuring to read that there are so many wonderful women--and men-- who have gone before me with these same conflicts. I have learned from you all that the key to succeeding at both is to be flexible. I no longer dread the possibility that I will have to sacrifice my career for children. I have better balanced my priorities and am better prepared to deal with the sacrifices I know I will have to make, whatever they may be. Thank you all for helping me gain that perspective.

Posted by: Regan | March 7, 2007 1:15 PM

"Has it occured to you, though, that we might not be interested in your inner battles?"

Huh?

I thought that's what this blog is about -- people struggling with difficult decisions in life.

Of COURSE we're interested in her inner battles, you nincompoop.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:16 PM

Kolton

Posted by: Pink Plate | March 7, 2007 1:17 PM

I have never figured out anyone's real identity. I've never tried though. Has anyone ever tried? gasp!

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 01:09 PM

dotted, too creepy and stalker -y to imagine. what would they do, google an engineer who lives in Chapel Hill, is fond of Carolina blue, and has teenagers? 8000 hits on Google, none of them you.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:19 PM

This
Has
Run
Out
Of
Steam

Posted by: DC lurker | March 7, 2007 1:19 PM

Did anyone mention Kai? My son has a playmate w that name.

I think it is a neat name. I believe it is hawaiian, tho.

My DH and I named the first after his grandma and picked out a boy name but could not find a girl name we liked (using first letter of grandma's name). Good thing he was a boy. For the second we knew early on he was a boy, and we didn't name after anyone, and we could not find a name we liked. We chose something very unique for him.

Posted by: atlmom | March 7, 2007 1:21 PM

You could always name your boy Fred!

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 1:24 PM

Woah did I miss something? does Mona have a bun in the oven?

Posted by: moxiemom | March 7, 2007 1:25 PM

Is it me or do most "K" names look like they were thought of by low-literacy parents?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:26 PM

All of the K names listed will land the kid in a fistfight.

Remember your baby boy will be a teenager and a MAN someday and have to live with the kooky moniker.

Posted by: | March 7, 2007 01:14 PM

A bit extreme, don't you agree? Ken and Kevin are not kooky and will not land him in a fistfight. Bland is the best discriptor for each.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:29 PM

"...But I wish I could feel completely settled about it. There is still a part of me that is on the fence. I hate feeling like that. Sigh"

Emily,

I believe in time that you will come to peace with your situation. I do not know if the longing will completely disappear but I am pretty sure that acceptance will come.

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 1:29 PM

All of this discussion of names reminds me of an overheard conversation between two Jewish great-grandfathers: "My granddaughter just had a son, and she named him Logan! What kind of [Yiddish word for ridiculous] name is Logan?" "Hey, I got a Jackson Preston!"

Posted by: BxNY | March 7, 2007 1:29 PM

Cruel names - I saw a woman interviewed on tv who had named her daughter Latrina. Anyone who has ever gone to camp or has been in the military would certainly know better than that. She must have thought it was pretty.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 1:29 PM

I had a good friend named Karson. :-)

Anyway, I found a good topic for balance:
Toxic Wives!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070307/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_life_toxic;_ylt=ApSzv_UtiLQsUvUiwxVOTJrMWM0F

Posted by: Chris | March 7, 2007 1:30 PM

"Is it me or do most "K" names look like they were thought of by low-literacy parents?"

Don't know about the literacy level, I always figure the dumbass names were picked out by teenager parents, who don't know any better.

Posted by: Trixie | March 7, 2007 1:30 PM

"Her babies must slide out when she bends over."

Nah. Her husband strikes me as a guy who would instruct the doc to "sew her up tighter" after the birth.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:31 PM

Has the topic of Flex Days ever been discussed? How many of you have the possibility of taking a Flex Day & do you? Flex Days give working parents, working caregivers and anyone else really the possibility of a more balanced life. Kenneth is a nice name too.

Posted by: PinK Plate | March 7, 2007 1:32 PM

Is it me or do most "K" names look like they were thought of by low-literacy parents?

Posted by: | March 7, 2007 01:26 PM

Yea, like Karl Marx!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:33 PM

Mona,

My wife wanted to honor both our families with her name, but for some reason picked about the worst names from our ancestors.

My name, OTOH, isn't from any of our female ancestors (they had hideous names for the most part), but sounded well with our last name. Plus, we could shorten either name (Angie, Angela, Cathy, etc), for routine, day-to-day use, and pull out all the syllables when we were REALLY upset.

"Angelina Catherine, what ARE you doing???"

We always knew when my mom was really mad; she used our entire name, so I figured that would work for me too. :)

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 1:34 PM

I liked Kai too, BF hates it. I think it means "water" but I'm not sure.

He said if there was a non-K boy's name I liked that really won him over, he'd consider breaking tradition. I think that's really sweet of him, considering how important the tradition is to his family, but to be honest, I can't think of ANY boys' names that I actually like. :-( Plus if we don't name the boy K-something, he'll probably want a girl K-something. And I am really in love with "Joelle."

Posted by: Mona | March 7, 2007 1:35 PM

That aside, check out that cow that catches and eats live chickens! OMG!

Posted by: Chris | March 7, 2007 1:35 PM

"reminds me of something I heard on the radio this morning about the need for Scooter Libby to lose that nickname before showing up at the penitentiary if he wants to remain assault-free."

Don't think he's gonna be going to that type of place. He's more likely to be exchanging stock tips with his co-inmates.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:35 PM

LOL! Thanks dotted and NC too.

Posted by: Meesh | March 7, 2007 1:36 PM

moxiemom: Mona is just speculating on future babies.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 1:38 PM

Nah. Her husband strikes me as a guy who would instruct the doc to "sew her up tighter" after the birth.

Yeah, to get rid of that "throwing a hot dog down a hallway" feeling.

Posted by: hotdog! | March 7, 2007 1:38 PM

John, you know, I don't like shortened names. I konsidered Kenneth (he hates it) but wouldn't like him to be kalled Ken. I like Matthew but not Matt, Khristopher but not Khris, etk. So the "full name" skold wouldn't go into effekt. But using first and middle name worked for my mom, so maybe that's what I'd have to do.

Okay, I have GOT to stop posting. I think I alone have made 50,000 komments today!

Posted by: Mona | March 7, 2007 1:38 PM

"My name, OTOH, isn't from any of our female ancestors"

I thought your name was John, not OTOH. :-P

Posted by: Chris | March 7, 2007 1:38 PM

I started reading this blog for a reality check during busy days at work, when I woild rather be cuddling with my little one. What I have found, however has been just the opposite - I don't learn as much as I had hoped, and I end spending too much time skimming through all the personal attacks and off topic comments in an effort to prove to myself that there is a reason for checking this blog. Needless to say, I usually end up dissapointed. I still have hope for it... I think?

Posted by: Dissapointed | March 7, 2007 1:39 PM

Kasper (or its variant, Kaspar)

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:40 PM

Minimum security facilities have communal showers. A mens prison does not have to be supermax security to be a place you'd rather not be with a silly boys prep-school nickname.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:41 PM

"Nah. Her husband strikes me as a guy who would instruct the doc to "sew her up tighter" after the birth.

Yeah, to get rid of that "throwing a hot dog down a hallway" feeling."

True, true. That hallway can be a problem.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:41 PM

"That hallway can be a problem."

And you know this from personal experience?


Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:42 PM

Chris,

your link to Toxic Wives is noted. Fredia is rather high maintenance herself. Just last night, she wanted me to help her disinfect a breast pump!

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 1:45 PM

Minimum security facilities have communal showers

and you know this how?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:46 PM

As a first-born, with 7 years seniority on my younger sister, I want to second just how badly it stinks to be regularly saddled with the responsibility but not the authority (cause the little stinkers KNOW that big as you may be, you are not their PARENT [can't give out groundings, can't tie 'em up and flog 'em {there was this one time I SO wanted to do this...}]) of younger siblings.

It wasn't everyday, but it was a regular thing for me, and it was an economic necessity. And you may rest assured that my younger sibling took full advantage of it and tried very hard to drive me 'round the twist.

Maybe it's a good thing though, built-in birth control. I never dreamt of having kids anyway though, so maybe it was too much of a good thing.

Posted by: anon for this one | March 7, 2007 1:46 PM

Can I just say as a woman with very high arches I am terribly offended at the thought of an "arch-less" Barbie doll?

For shame!!! You just can't avoid offending someone, eh? LOL!

Posted by: ALP | March 7, 2007 1:46 PM

"That hallway can be a problem."

And you know this from personal experience?"

You bet your ass I know from personal experience!


Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:48 PM

"You bet your ass I know from personal experience!"

Experience with a woman who has had 16 children?


Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:50 PM

Real K names of children whose parents I know personally:

Kash
Kutter


Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 1:51 PM

K name comment: I love the name Ciaran, and convieniently, a baby boy is going to be coming out of me any day now! (Still here, Father of 4!) But my husband thought we should spell it Kieran. We went with this for a bit. TIP: if you already have a kid or kids, have them start referring to the baby by his/her planned name. I recommend this because my son told his teacher, "My brother's name is going to be Kieran!" The teacher looked at me and said, "Karen?" As much as I still love that name, and it goes well with our Irish last name, that moment got it crossed off the list.

Emily and foamgnome, you sound comfortable with your decisions family number decisions--good for you! Give me a week, and I'll give you an initial report on what 3 is like.

Oh, what was our topic? Yeah, why I read this blog. Like Marie said early on, it's really helped me make peace with my own decisions about parenting, including working full time and having a third child--not in an "I'm holier than thou" way of comparing myself to others, but I've learned to follow the advice of the wise posters who recommend making the decisions that are right for you, and not regretting them regardless of what others might say or think. Thanks, Leslie and all, for that!

In addition to the "virtual" community of regulars--my husband knows a lot of your handles because I talk about you, yet he's never read a post--I know some regulars in real life. Rockville Mom and I knew each other before I started posting, and we recognized each other from postings. Megan and I live about 1600 miles from WaPo headquarters, but only a couple of miles from each other. I think the attraction is that there's a support net in the regulars, and all of the trolls give us an opportunity to thicken our skin against the kind of comments about our parenting choices that we may or do get in real life.

Posted by: niner | March 7, 2007 1:51 PM

Fred, first you are disinfecting the pump, next thing you know she will have you hooked up to it so she can be liberated!

Posted by: Chris | March 7, 2007 1:52 PM

Mom of 14: You're a hoot!!! Keep 'em coming... Where have you been for the last year!

Posted by: Anon XX | March 7, 2007 1:52 PM

I always considered that men who end-up with toxic or high-maintenance wives got exactly what they were seeking. They looked for a girl who met a certain physical ideal (long blonde hair, long legs, great smile), married her and now the only way for her to keep him from straying to the younger model of the same is to do everything possible to maintain that physique, the hair, the nails, etc. and the sexy wardrobe. If she doesn't, she'll soon be wife 1, and wife 2 will be a younger version of that same ideal he sought when he was 23. Should guys who approach dating and marriage as a contest for who can snare the hottest babe be surprised, or feel wronged, when the babe they married turns out to have approached marriage as a contest for who can snare the guy who with the highest earning potential?

On average, guys who are interested in substance, partnership, AND looks tend to more often end up with all 3. You know, like Fred and Fredia.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 7, 2007 1:54 PM

Disappointed: Some....well recently, most days I agree. Today is no exception.

Posted by: Cali Esq | March 7, 2007 1:58 PM

Thanks foam - speculating is so much eaiser and fun that doing it for real sometimes! names are really fun or daunting. Have fun Mona!

Posted by: moxiemom | March 7, 2007 1:58 PM

We like names that can't be shortened. If you want to name your kid joey, name him joey, not joseph...

Posted by: atlmom | March 7, 2007 1:58 PM

Based on Mona's last response to me, it appears her "K" key has gotten stuck every time she wants to type a "C" ;)

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 2:00 PM

Kiss up to me all you want MN but I still desire Salma Hayek, Lisa Edelstein and Sela Ward

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 2:06 PM

Thanks, John. I wondered if anyone would notice. ;-) I was typing along and accidentally typed a K where a C should be (I guess because I've been talking about Ks so much), and decided to change them all to see who noticed.

Today's blog has been brought to you by the letter K!

Posted by: Mona | March 7, 2007 2:06 PM

"cause the little stinkers KNOW that big as you may be, you are not their PARENT [can't give out groundings, can't tie 'em up and flog 'em {there was this one time I SO wanted to do this"

Actually, I never grounded my errant younger siblings, but I did smack them around some, at least until they were strong enough to do some damage when they hit back. At that point, I did not have to babysit anymore. Which is another reason why parents should not overly burden their immature adolescent older children with the wild little ones.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 2:07 PM

Armchair Mom,
Moving to Tidewater doesn't make you a loser. The area is growing and changing constantly, mainly in a good way.

Posted by: Former Hamptonian | March 7, 2007 2:10 PM

Fred,

Salma's aren't real, LOL.

Seriously, would you have married a girl who (a) took 2 hours to get ready for a date, and kept you waiting in the living room while she finished the last 40 minutes of getting ready, or(b)asked what all of your buddies do professionally, and then silently calculated the annual earnings of each, or was otherwise perpetually looking over your shoulder to see if there was a better opportunity?

Do you feel sorry for these men, or do you laugh at their purported misery?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 7, 2007 2:13 PM

Scooter Libby's greatest danger will be tripping over checkers in the communal game room.

Even if these joints have communal showers, I doubt they are populated with the same upright citizens you would find in a SuperMax.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 2:14 PM

Just name your kid K. That will make them wonder what it is short for. On the playground when they tease him and ask him what it stands for he can say: It stands for kick yo @$$ if you don't shut up, fool!

Alternatively:
check out:
http://www.20000-names.com/male_k_names.htm

Posted by: Chris | March 7, 2007 2:14 PM

Yeah, I smacked her around once or twice too...but I ended up getting beaten with a belt for it.

Not saying that I didn't learn a lot from the experience in the how-to department of child-rearing, but there were times when it was a really miserable experience for all of us. Despite my taking the baby-sitting course (I wanted to earn $$$), despite knowing that I was probably right and would eventually backed up by our parents, it's just different somehow.

Okay, enough of the "true confessions" part of my postings today.

I enjoy reading what people have to say.

I do wish Leslie and more of her guest writers (not FoamGnome [I never read Fo4's posting]) would address the child-rearing aspects to both sexes rather than one or the other though. It doesn't help with the balancing act.

We do want both parties to raise their kids, right? Of course. Then address them as parents, rather than emphasizing which parent.

I'm tired and I think that was terribly unclear, but I just don't have it in me to tidy it up. May the grammar gods and goddesses forgive me.

Posted by: anon for this one | March 7, 2007 2:15 PM

All this K & C stuff is reminding me of an old Monty Python routine about a guy who couldn't say the letter "C"; instead, he has to substitute "B." For instance, he has to say "bolor" for "color."

Then someone comes along and asks him why he doesn't just substitute a "K" instead. He's shocked and amazed. "K instead of B," he says. "You mean 'kolor.'" (Which, of course, he pronounces "color.") He walks away shaking his head and saying, "Now why didn't I think of that?"

And the other guy's response is a muttered, "Stupid bunt!"

Posted by: pittypat | March 7, 2007 2:15 PM

I love Monty Python. Netflix here I come.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 2:18 PM

Have to agree with the disappointed readers. In the past couple of weeks this blog has become the playground for certain readers to develope vertual chummy friendships. The discussions raised by Leslie seem to have become secondary. & it is all good and well for those bloggers to say well than don't read this blog, but in all honesty, is this blog really the appropriate venue for you to chit chat with your new virtual friends. I like to read what others say about Leslie's topics but the back & forth banter between new best friends is really... well unfair to everyone else and it goes on and on. That is only my opinion so don't jump all over me, maybe join Fred or Father of 4's new website or blog. I forget which one of them suggested that.

Posted by: weary | March 7, 2007 2:18 PM

Wow, is there something in the water lately?

Congrats again to Scarry, and new congrats to Londonmom and Experienced Mom!

I'm glad for you that you didn't take CBC's (or whatever name she's using these days) advise, and keep your pants on and your legs closed. :~)

Maybe the Moms on here can explain one point to me, though. Other than keeping healthy overall and being able to get the weight back off after the baby, though, I've always wondered why so many women seem to fret so about how they look while they are pregnant.

Perhaps I'm naive about the number of slimy guys there are out there, but when a woman is having your baby, the accompanying body changes just don't seem to be anywhere in the top priority category of concerns, unless the guy is just a class A jerk. At least that always been my take.

Kind of reminds me of the perennial question of "does my a$$ look fat in these jeans" that y'all always ask, and which any smart guy of any age knows there is only one (if even that) correct answer to.

And beyond that, y'all go through that period of incredible horniness during pregnancy anyway, so what more should we guys want?? ;-)

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | March 7, 2007 2:21 PM

I like the blog for a lot of reasons - the spirited discussions speak to a lot of passion around both work and life. I like to know that other people are struggling with similar issues (or different ones). I like the way my own ambivalence towards my decisions is mirrored in other people's ideas. And I like the moments of wit.

Yay WP.com and Leslie for providing the space & blog entries. :)

Posted by: Shandra | March 7, 2007 2:22 PM

I agree with everything you said. I don't think there would be 50,000 if all the chit-chat comments were not counted.

Posted by: to weary | March 7, 2007 2:22 PM

Emily:

I hear ya - my best memories are when my two older sisters would fight about me.

It was saturday afternoon.

'No, I babysat LAST week - it's your turn!'
'No - YOU have to stay home with her this week! *I* did it last week!'

Ah, I can still feel the love!

Posted by: atlmom | March 7, 2007 2:22 PM

Emily,

The best Monty Python routines are actually on their record albums (e.g., "Matching Tie and Handkerchief," "Monty Python's Previous Record," etc.). The "color" routine was from one of those or another album from the early 70s.

Posted by: pittypat | March 7, 2007 2:25 PM

I like the names:

Donnell, Donovan, Darby, Niall and Ewan.

We fight over girls names. My husband likes McKenna. I like Eaven, Fallon Devin,Shea and Rory. We name our children Irish first names, family middle names, which one my side are Irish and then just my husband's last name which is Welsh.

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 2:25 PM


Salma Hayek, Lisa Edelstein and Sela Ward

Who said anything about marrying any of them?

"Do you feel sorry for these men, or do you laugh at their purported misery?"

I actually ran into one of my female friends at the wedding who is like this (HM). She has a new beau (again) who constantly has to reassure her of her beauty. The woman cannot walk past any reflective surface without checking herself out. Granted, she looks damned fine for a 58 yr old. I would not have the patience to deal with this but I do tell Fredia that I love her every time we talk on the phone.

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 2:27 PM

To Mona -
I have friends/relatives who agree with your naming philosophy about names being shortened, and the adult children shorten their own names and HATE that their mother won't use the shortened version. Whatever you name the kids, the little monsters develop minds of their own and tend to make their own decisions about those things. ;-)

Also, I would strongly caution against giving a child a nickname as a first name, especially a cute little-boy name like Joey. I've known some of them, too, and they do NOT appreciate it later on.

Posted by: FutureMom | March 7, 2007 2:28 PM

Should guys who approach dating and marriage as a contest for who can snare the hottest babe be surprised, or feel wronged, when the babe they married turns out to have approached marriage as a contest for who can snare the guy who with the highest earning potential?

Think of Gabriele and Carlos Solis on Desperate Housweives.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 2:29 PM

"I've always wondered why so many women seem to fret so about how they look while they are pregnant"

Thanks texas dad of 2,

To answer your question, I only worry about my hair, which is black and grey! I don't dye when I am pregnant. (paraniod)

I only gained ten pounds last time, but this time, I have already gained 5 and I am six weeks! My husband never says anything about my weight.

Are you watching the black donnellys?

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 2:30 PM

Texas Dad of 2 - I don't know why women feel that way. I found pregnancy liberating in that my body was doing something wonderful and what it was supposed to do. I didn't feel like I had to be anything other than what I was. Truly one of the few times I really embraced my body and the wonder and power of it. It was really nice to let go of the body critical feelings for awhile. I do think that now (dd is 4) there is more pressure to be sexy and pregnant like Heidi Klum. I squeaked in just as the maternity thongs were coming on board. I'd like to know what's up with that? as if the whole thing isn't uncomfortable enough. Anyway, overall, I love being pregnant and love my body during.

Posted by: moxiemom | March 7, 2007 2:31 PM

Texas dad of 2: my husband has a theory that pregnant women are attractive to men because you KNOW that they, uh...as he crudely jokes, "put out!"

For me, I'm not as concerned with the big belly and boobs, but with the un-glamourous varicose veins, heartburn, etc. That stuff bugs me more and makes me feel not-so-pretty, when really, my husband reassures me, I look great.

Posted by: niner | March 7, 2007 2:31 PM

While a hunky guy is awesome to look at, the first things I look at in a man are the eyes and smile (simultaneously checking out the teeth - once had a blind date and when the guy smiled his teeth were green).
Most of my friends agree - women don't take off points for baldness so guys, lose the combovers.
Check out how he treats his mother and waiters/waitresses. Once had a date where the guy wouldn't even look at the waitress and never said please or thank you to anyone.
Who is more superficial at first sight - men or women? Or are we all equal now?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 2:31 PM

On toxic wives, it reminds me of my brother. He's my best friend and I love him dearly, but he does not know how to pick a girlfriend. He dates these beautiful but completely vapid women. They take hours to get ready, flirt with other guys at the bar, and ask for outrageous gifts for every holiday! One asked for Tiffany's jewelry for her birthday, and my brother is a poor grad student. It blows my mind.

I would like to read an article about equally toxic husbands who promise equality before marraige and then don't deliver. Oh shoot, but then we'd be male bashing...

Posted by: Meesh | March 7, 2007 2:33 PM

"I've always wondered why so many women seem to fret so about how they look while they are pregnant.
... but when a woman is having your baby, the accompanying body changes just don't seem to be anywhere in the top priority category of concerns, unless the guy is just a class A jerk. At least that always been my take."

Texas Dad of 2, I think the thing is that sometimes we think about our appearance NOT based on what a man thinks of it, but based on what WE want to look like. Some of us just like to look good for the sake of looking good, who cares what anyone else thinks. And so that would be true during pregnancy too.

Posted by: Megan | March 7, 2007 2:34 PM

KLB - green teeth? what?
It's funny how my views change as far as male attractiveness the older I get. I agree about the waiter treatment...I hate people who are rude to waitstaff just because they think they can be.
I think men and women can both be superficial, whether we admit it or not.

Posted by: Missicat | March 7, 2007 2:34 PM

What first drew me to this blog was a discussion on how to get ready for the arrival of the baby; the mental, fisical and financial preparations that should be made beforehand. I'm not a regular poster, but consider myself a regular reader of this blog. What keeps me here, ironically, are the OT discussions which most of the time are a lot more interesting than the topic of the day. I like reading about how others with so much more experience than me deal with parenting, relationships with spouses and friends, etc. In sum, how they find balance in their lives (or add to their chaos!).

On baby names, my husband and I have to find names that are both Spanish and Italian. This is not so difficult for girl names, but it gets tricky when considering boy names. Andrea, for example, is a boy's name in Italian, but it's a girl's name in Spanish!

Posted by: MV | March 7, 2007 2:35 PM

"On toxic wives, it reminds me of my brother. He's my best friend and I love him dearly, but he does not know how to pick a girlfriend. He dates these beautiful but completely vapid women."

Yes, my brother is like that too. He dates a string of barbies, one after another, gets his heart broken and his wallet emptied, hangs out with his GI Joe friends for a month in between women, and then goes back to the pattern. I don't get it.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 2:38 PM

So how do you say Andrea in Italian?

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 2:39 PM

whatever you name a boy, by fourth or fifth grade his classmates will turn his name into a one syllable name.

Posted by: experienced mom | March 7, 2007 2:41 PM

scarry,

Shea is very nice.

I haven't been able to read every post today, but what about the name Ian? Has the benefit of going pretty well if you have a long last name...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | March 7, 2007 2:42 PM

Emily, my brother is the same way. It's like they don't know what they need in a woman!

Posted by: niner | March 7, 2007 2:43 PM

I have heard the saying that women are looking for daddy - are men looking for mommy or the opposite of mommy?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 2:44 PM

KLB...agree with you on the eyes and smile, and I'll include the hands

Posted by: MV | March 7, 2007 2:46 PM

"I like to read what others say about Leslie's topics but the back & forth banter between new best friends is really... well unfair to everyone else and it goes on and on."

Weary,
We have had this comment made before. Most of us regulars do have serious comment for the daily topic but after a certain time, the comments become repetitive and the topic has run it course. Some of the off topic (OT) discussions become more valuable to some of the readers than the original topic. We regulars are not the only ones who run off topic as the trolls and anons lead the discussions there also. I mean I did not exactly enjoy being called stupid today but I can live with it. I have also been thanked today for some of my previous posting on serious topics. What more can I say?

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 2:48 PM

Ian is a bigger wuss than Kyle.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 2:51 PM

scarry,

>Are you watching the black donnellys?

I've heard a bunch lately about this, but haven't had the pleasure yet. When/where does this come on? (with my luck it's probably HBO, which I don't get)

I'm glad to hear that you and the other posters so far haven't experienced much negative feedback on body issues during pregnancy. That's pleasant news...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | March 7, 2007 2:52 PM

Emily, there really isn't a corresponding girl's name for Andrea. I asked my husband if it would be Andreina and he said possibly, but she would have to be at least 100 years old with than name :-).

I always joke and tell him that we're going to use the current fad in the DR, combining both the mother and father's name. I've heard names that have made me feel so sorry for those kids.

Posted by: MV | March 7, 2007 2:53 PM

"And beyond that, y'all go through that period of incredible horniness during pregnancy anyway, so what more should we guys want?? ;-)"

Powerful horniness lso happens during menopause; accounts for a lot of "change of life" babies.


Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 2:54 PM

"I have heard the saying that women are looking for daddy - are men looking for mommy or the opposite of mommy?"

Based on my experience with my Italian husband, I have to say that he most definitely was! But I brought him back to reality...

Posted by: MV | March 7, 2007 2:55 PM

Fredia's real name is a male name. Altho, it is not a very common one so most people think it is a female name unless they know some male by that name.

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 2:58 PM

MV,
You didn't say whether your husband got mommy or the opposite :-)- fess up.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 2:58 PM

MV ---

You should be golden with lots of the male names ending in 'o' --- Mario, Angelo, etc, being identical in both Spanish and Italian. I know the Italian names better - but I think Antonio, Enrico, Marco, Carlo, Claudio, Piero, Alessandro all lift directly to Spanish too.

If you don't worry about spelling being exactly the same in both, lots of saint's names will do (Rafael, Emmanuel = Rafaele, Emmanuele in Italian)

We do Italian names, too. Easy for girls which is what we received but for boys we were actually noting that Italian names with Spanish sound-alikes are easier/more familiar to American ears.

Busy day, gotta go back to editing . . .

>On baby names, my husband and I have to find >names that are both Spanish and Italian. This is >not so difficult for girl names, but it gets >tricky when considering boy names. Andrea, for >example, is a boy's name in Italian, but it's a >girl's name in Spanish!

Posted by: KB | March 7, 2007 2:59 PM

"Powerful horniness also happens during menopause; accounts for a lot of "change of life" babies."

This is very true!

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 3:00 PM

Scarry wrote: "Are you watching the black donnellys?"

Yes, indeed!

To Texas Dad of 2: It's on NBC Monday nights at 10 PM ET (9 PM CT).

I find it to be more cinematic than the average network TV crime show. The pilot's first half-hour ran without commercial interruption, which was a perk.

Even though, to my knowledge, I have no Irish ancestry, I did feel a bit that the series unjustly stereotypes Irish-Americans. Daniel Moynihan was living proof that one could grow up Irish-Catholic in NYC's Hell's Kitchen, yet not become a thug (he was a Harvard prof., Cabinet Secretary and UN ambassador, bon vivant, etc.). I'm sure other posters can provide additional illustrious examples from that neighborhood.

Posted by: catlady | March 7, 2007 3:00 PM

"Yes, my brother is like that too. He dates a string of barbies, one after another, gets his heart broken and his wallet emptied, hangs out with his GI Joe friends for a month in between women, and then goes back to the pattern. I don't get it."

Maybe he just likes to get laid?

Posted by: pATRICK | March 7, 2007 3:01 PM

Texas dad of 2,

I know my husband wouldn't go for Ian. We both like the name Donovan.

The black Donnelly's are on Monday nights at 9:00 at least here in the Midwest. I think they are either on NBC or ABC. My favorite character is Joey ice cream.

There are a lot of stereotypes, but I am watching it anyway. A few of the actors aren't "black" enough for me, as in their looks, but at least they try to explain about being black Irish.

It is not something kids should watch.

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 3:03 PM

Then there's the On Balance Barbie: Comes equipped with a foreign SUV with soccer association decals; laptop computer to blog this drivel while the kid is at soccer practice or music lessons; cell phone with 10 babysitters, 4 pediatricians, 2 shrinks and school counselor on speed dial; Blackberry; Graco car seat, approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission but improperly installed; Starbucks commuter mug. Tastefully dressed in sweats and Bass weejuns, a nursing bra, a 3 carat Ascher cut diamond and diamond eternity band on her left hand. Her purse contains a "John Kerry for President" button, charge cards for Nordstroms, Bloomies, and Gap, an EPT bought in panic, an appointment book filled with such engagements as "Moms at Work" meetings, Botox treatments, and orthodontia appointments; a prescription for Prozac for herself and Ritalin for her ADHD kids. She has an advanced liberal arts degree that qualifies her to volunteer at school or summer camp but no legitimate paying job. Is married to a pussy-whipped husband and has produced 2 ADHD kids who masturbate and pick their nose while they suck their thumbs. One kid enters middle school this year, the other isn't weaned yet. She thinks this is perfectly normal.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:03 PM

Property taxes & the Duggars.

Gotta hand it to old Jim Bob, he's pretty slick. Their home is owned by the First Baptist Church of Springdale and is Tax Exempt. Other tax Exempt buildings on the property are listed as "Missionaries Housing."

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:04 PM

Isn't Andrea a girl's name?

Weary, sorry you don't like all the OT. I agree there are a lot of them. I think it is just the regulars have gotten to know each other and are generally interested in each other's lives. I agree with Fred, most of the regulars start their day with responding to the topic. Usually the topic of the day runs its course before noon. So maybe the best thing is just check the first few hours of comments.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 3:05 PM

March 7, 2007 03:03 PM
You forgot the Journey Pendant.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:05 PM

ROFLMAO at 3:03!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Chris | March 7, 2007 3:06 PM

"Then there's the On Balance Barbie: Comes equipped with a foreign SUV with soccer association decals; laptop computer to blog this drivel while the kid is at soccer practice or music lessons; cell phone with 10 babysitters, 4 pediatricians, 2 shrinks and school counselor on speed dial; Blackberry; Graco car seat, approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission but improperly installed; Starbucks commuter mug. Tastefully dressed in sweats and Bass weejuns, a nursing bra, a 3 carat Ascher cut diamond and diamond eternity band on her left hand. Her purse contains a "John Kerry for President" button, charge cards for Nordstroms, Bloomies, and Gap, an EPT bought in panic, an appointment book filled with such engagements as "Moms at Work" meetings, Botox treatments, and orthodontia appointments; a prescription for Prozac for herself and Ritalin for her ADHD kids. She has an advanced liberal arts degree that qualifies her to volunteer at school or summer camp but no legitimate paying job. Is married to a pussy-whipped husband and has produced 2 ADHD kids who masturbate and pick their nose while they suck their thumbs. One kid enters middle school this year, the other isn't weaned yet. She thinks this is perfectly normal. "


This wins my ridiculous post of the week award. It was a tough competition with lots of contenders, but this one rose above the rest. Congrats

Posted by: pATRICK | March 7, 2007 3:07 PM

Tenor Andrea Boccelli.

Posted by: Isn't Andrea a girl's name? | March 7, 2007 3:07 PM

KLB...let's just say he got a rude awakening :-)

Posted by: MV | March 7, 2007 3:07 PM

Kai is Hawaiian for Water, had a friend who used it as a middle name for her daughter.
It's not the body changes so much as the maternity tents that are discouraging. Thank goodness we're moving towards more flattering fashions. I personally love my changing body, DH loves it even more.

Posted by: Stroller Momma | March 7, 2007 3:08 PM

Pregnant women always look extremely attractive to me, especially in the 2nd trimester when they start showing just a little. I always made a point to tell the women I knew who were pregnant that they were very attractive and not to worry about their appearance, that they were supposed to look like that. They all seemed to appreciate the comments, too.

I never had the patience when I was dating for women who were in love with their own appearance. The less makeup and fuss they made with their clothes, the more I appreciated them. Now, if we were going somewhere formal, some attention to appearance was nice, but anything else? Oh please; just put on some decent clothes and let's go.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 3:09 PM

Maybe he just likes to get laid?

Yes, I'm sure that's part of it. But I imagine that he could go about the same thing without so much drama if he picked more suitable women.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 3:10 PM

I asked one of the guys I work with what men want in a wife - mommory or the opposite. His answer - they want a woman who can cook like Julia Childs, clean like Martha Stewart, look like a movie star and .... like a hooker.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 3:10 PM

"You should be golden with lots of the male names ending in 'o' --- Mario, Angelo, etc, being identical in both Spanish and Italian. I know the Italian names better - but I think Antonio, Enrico, Marco, Carlo, Claudio, Piero, Alessandro all lift directly to Spanish too."

KB, my husband would have a fit if we went with this very traditional names! Emanuele is a name that runs in the family so our kid will definitely have that name as his second (or third) name.

Posted by: MV | March 7, 2007 3:11 PM

Tenor Andrea Boccelli

Hmm, Johnny Cash wrote a song that comes to mind " A boy named Sue". Required reading for those who want to condemn their children to a lifetime of taunting.

Posted by: pATRICK | March 7, 2007 3:13 PM

And I'm sure Tenor Andrea Boccelli is laughing all the way to the bank

Posted by: To Patrick | March 7, 2007 3:15 PM

Back in the late 80s (I think) there was a pretty good sitcom on called Grace Under Fire. It was about a struggling divorced mother who had to work the night shift as a welder (or something like that) in order to support her three kids. Once, she was asked what she wanted in a man, and this was her answer. She wasn't picky. All she wanted was a kind man with a job, a sense of humor and a dead mother.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 3:15 PM

KLB, sounds like your male coworkers can't think for themselves; that is a quote from something I heard or read long ago.

It's also not always true; I married a woman who had none of those qualities, but was intelligent, self assured, good looking, had no really bad habits (drugs, smoking, excessive drinking, etc), could hold her own in a convesation on just about any topic, had mutal interests with me, and I enjoyed spending time with. The rest of it came over time.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 3:17 PM

A Boy Named Sue was actually written by Shel Silverstein.

My favorite line "my name is Sue; how do you do?" right before he pummels his father

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:18 PM

pATRICK wrote: Maybe he just likes to get laid?

Absolutely! Don't we all? But I bet he also likes to arrive places on time (doesn't happen with the image obsessed girls), show off his girlfriends so his friends know he's getting laid (not happening when she's flirting with said friends), and not getting drinks thrown in his face (not happening when he doesn't give the girls exactly what they want).

As Emily said, I bet he'd really like to avoid all the drama that comes along with the beautiful but brainless women. But it's like he doesn't know how to find normal women! I want to be like "look around you! You're in grad school. Date one of your classmates. At least you know that she can spell classmate!"

Posted by: Meesh | March 7, 2007 3:20 PM

"Check out how he treats his mother and waiters/waitresses. Once had a date where the guy wouldn't even look at the waitress and never said please or thank you to anyone. "

Amen, KLB. and if she doesn't care how you treat your mother and waiters, don't marry her.

moxiemom - maternity thongs!??!! ughhh.


products of dysfunctional families are way less likely to be looking for anyone even slightly like the opposite sex parent. My husband is everything dad isn't/wasn't, including a fab dad. He's got his issues, but they are blessedly different ones. Reactionary? probably, but I don't have to live the first twenty years over again like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

the OnBalance Barbie drives a Windstar. . . with soccer decals and one of those ubiquitous bragging bumper stickers: "My Child is an Honor Student at Langley High School."

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 7, 2007 3:21 PM

All she wanted was a kind man with a job, a sense of humor and a dead mother.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 03:15 PM

How true! Two of the three isn't enough when the mother is like my husband's...not wishing death on anyone, just a little reprieve from the meddling.

Posted by: to Emily | March 7, 2007 3:22 PM

Then there's the On Balance Barbie: Comes equipped with a foreign SUV with soccer association decals; laptop computer to blog this drivel while the kid is at soccer practice or music lessons; cell phone with 10 babysitters, 4 pediatricians, 2 shrinks and school counselor on speed dial; Blackberry; Graco car seat, approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission but improperly installed; Starbucks commuter mug. Tastefully dressed in sweats and Bass weejuns, a nursing bra, a 3 carat Ascher cut diamond and diamond eternity band on her left hand. Her purse contains a "John Kerry for President" button, charge cards for Nordstroms, Bloomies, and Gap, an EPT bought in panic, an appointment book filled with such engagements as "Moms at Work" meetings, Botox treatments, and orthodontia appointments; a prescription for Prozac for herself and Ritalin for her ADHD kids. She has an advanced liberal arts degree that qualifies her to volunteer at school or summer camp but no legitimate paying job. Is married to a pussy-whipped husband and has produced 2 ADHD kids who masturbate and pick their nose while they suck their thumbs. One kid enters middle school this year, the other isn't weaned yet. She thinks this is perfectly normal.

Posted by: | March 7, 2007 03:03 PM

This is hilarious! Thanks for this- I needed a good laugh!

now fess up, who wrote this???

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:23 PM

To Patrick and others, Andrea is a boy's name in Italian, and since Andrea Bocelli is Italian no one is taunting him.

Posted by: MV | March 7, 2007 3:24 PM

"Check out how he treats his mother and waiters/waitresses."

Good advice. My mother also suggests that you play monopoly with him. This will tell you a lot. How does he handle money? How generous is he? Does he gloat when you land on his hotels, or is he gracious about it. Is he a sore loser? If the game is no fun, the marriage won't be either.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 3:25 PM

"And I'm sure Tenor Andrea Boccelli is laughing all the way to the bank"


Yes, his name and not his singing got him where he is. Yawn, fifth grade called, said that recess was over.

Posted by: pATRICK | March 7, 2007 3:25 PM

Then there's the On Balance Barbie: Comes equipped with a foreign SUV with soccer association decals; laptop computer to blog this drivel while the kid is at soccer practice or music lessons; cell phone with 10 babysitters, 4 pediatricians, 2 shrinks and school counselor on speed dial; Blackberry; Graco car seat, approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission but improperly installed; Starbucks commuter mug. Tastefully dressed in sweats and Bass weejuns, a nursing bra, a 3 carat Ascher cut diamond and diamond eternity band on her left hand. Her purse contains a "John Kerry for President" button, charge cards for Nordstroms, Bloomies, and Gap, an EPT bought in panic, an appointment book filled with such engagements as "Moms at Work" meetings, Botox treatments, and orthodontia appointments; a prescription for Prozac for herself and Ritalin for her ADHD kids. She has an advanced liberal arts degree that qualifies her to volunteer at school or summer camp but no legitimate paying job. Is married to a pussy-whipped husband and has produced 2 ADHD kids who masturbate and pick their nose while they suck their thumbs. One kid enters middle school this year, the other isn't weaned yet. She thinks this is perfectly normal.

Wow, someone wrote this a little to well. Maybe they are talking about themselves! :)

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 3:28 PM

"pussy-whipped"

I could live without seeing this on this blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:29 PM

Monopoly isn't a good indicator of someone's tendencies, though. After all, you're not required to save money in that game, it's all about acquiring property and then squeezing every cent you can out of the other guy.

Instead, play "The Game of Life" with them. Seeing their reactions if they ended up with a low paying job and a carload of kids (or high paying job and few kids) might be more indicative of how they'd be as a prospective mate (I once ended up with six children in that game!).

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 3:30 PM

"Yes, my brother is like that too. He dates a string of barbies, one after another, gets his heart broken and his wallet emptied, hangs out with his GI Joe friends for a month in between women, and then goes back to the pattern. I don't get it."

Maybe he just likes to get laid?

Posted by: pATRICK | March 7, 2007 03:01 PM

there are a lot of beautiful women in the world that don't put you through hell for sex, and don't require you to work two jobs for the pleasure. your wife probably is one of those girls.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:31 PM

Obviously a man wrote this. I don't know one woman who would call a man "pussy whipped" We call that being a GOOD HUSBAND! lol.

too funny


have we had a DC barbie yet?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:33 PM

Our PTA discussed the word scrotum yesterday. Our media center did not want to buy "The Higher Power of Lucky" without the PTA's clearance because of the controversey over the word scrotum. Scrotum. I like the word. It sounds like what it is.

I don't get why it's such a big deal. It seems to me that we are spiraling into a helicopter society, that needs to control every aspect of everything these days. When did we become such out of control mother divas?

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 3:33 PM

Does OnBalance Barbie also have a "Baby on board" sign in the back window? An OBX decal on the back door? A bumper sticker that says I (heart) my (fill in name of pedigreed dog breed).

Posted by: OnBalance Barbie? | March 7, 2007 3:34 PM

That Neiman Marcus ad banner at the top of the page is driving me crazy- I just saw the cutest clutch that probably costs $500. Yay advertising.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:36 PM

My best friend in high school ended up married to one of those women. She was a cheerleader he met at a party (with her boyfriend), and she left her BF there and went off with my friend. She was vain, obsessed with her appearance, didn't have a clue how to manage a home (or a long-term relationship), but she sure knew how to manipulate whatever male was with her.

They got married and suddenly all her shortcomings became big problems. Didn't know how to cook, clean house, balance a checkbook, etc, and when she got bored with now-Husband, found out that it was no longer considered Socially Cool to go out with someone else. For some reason she didn't figure out, now-Husband doesn't appreciate now-Wife flirting with his friends.

This would have all ended up as a bad experience, except (yes you guessed it) she got pregnant. All us friends privately wondered if it was his child, but he acted as if it was. Didn't help; she divorced him shortly after the child was born and went off to live with her parents in an attempt to resurrect her boytoy ways. Never heard about her after that.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 3:38 PM

definitely a man wrote it. women know that no one but Leslie has the numbers of twelve babysitters anywhere including her cell phone.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:39 PM

Fred,

In Weary's defense, the only OT conversations I see take off are those that the regulars (you, Foam, KB and a few others) initiate or reply to. Otherwise they are ignored. Maybe this is because its not deemed an interesting OT, but maybe the comfort some posters have with each other has led to cliquish (for lack of a better term) behavior. I don't imply you are mean or spiteful (like school-girl cliques) but you seem to stick with who you know.

Again, just my observation....

Posted by: Cali Esq | March 7, 2007 3:39 PM

K names:

Kent
Kirk
Kurt
Katherine
Kathleen
Kerry (boy or girl)
Kimberly
Kristine
Kendall
Kennebunkport

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:42 PM

"Our PTA discussed the word scrotum yesterday. Our media center did not want to buy "The Higher Power of Lucky" without the PTA's clearance because of the controversey over the word scrotum. Scrotum. I like the word. It sounds like what it is."

Dude, do not even get me started on that. I think if you want to know how we came to this, you should check out the On Parenting blog re: HPV and I'm guessing those who want to ban that book are also the ones who think that their daughter won't have premarital sex so she doesn't need the vaccine.

Posted by: moxiemom | March 7, 2007 3:44 PM

Fred,

I am actually a regular as well I just don't post as prolifically as others & today I have a new name. When the topic is worn out why not change it to something else? Pink Plate offered up something new and on topic to Leslie's balance subject., but no one wanted to discuss anything except , well unrelated things and it was only around 2pm or thereabouts. I think people should be a little more thoughtful of other readers & posters who are not here to become virtually personal with other posters.

Its great that so many people are pregnant & I wish them well, I love babies but are we going to hear point by point up-dates by everyone for the next nine months? Do yo see what I mean, I usually exit the bog when this starts but I feel like it is just increasing and thought I would say something. What happened to your other website for the "regular" bloggers?

Posted by: weary | March 7, 2007 3:47 PM

What's a secret you want to spill on here??


I have to unload mine because no one knows- I smoke everyday. Seriously, no one knows. My husband HATES smoking and would call me out on it in a second.
I smoke 1 in the morning before work, 1 at lunch, and 1 on the way home. I love it. People would be shocked if they knew- I'm a vegetarian and eat very healthy, go to the gym 4 days/week plus walk everywhere, yet I really love smoking.

Ok, that was my secret

Posted by: OT alert | March 7, 2007 3:47 PM

"the only OT conversations I see take off are those that the regulars (you, Foam, KB and a few others) initiate or reply to."

I guess she missed the thread prompted by Chrissy's post last week, as well as the anon post at 3:03 today.

who defines a regular when there are many posters, or many names used by few posters as far as we know, who comment from time to time and have been doing so for more than a year? it's not a club with membership requirements.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:47 PM

"there are a lot of beautiful women in the world that don't put you through hell for sex, and don't require you to work two jobs for the pleasure. your wife probably is one of those girls."

I hope this was meant as a compliment to my lovely wife.

Posted by: pATRICK | March 7, 2007 3:47 PM

Emily, I cannot BELIEVE the hubbub over the use of the word "scrotum" in a book for 10 year olds. Good grief. Not only is it truly an interesting sounding word, which is part of the book, it's the correct word to describe a body part. I can't believe all these people saying "that is not a word a ten year old should know." Are you kidding me? My two year old knows it.

Posted by: Megan | March 7, 2007 3:48 PM

The On Balance Barbie is a self-made coal miner's daughter who has pulled herself up by her bootstraps into the real of upper middle class life. She drives an Odyssey. She wears her hair in a bob with elegant blond highlights to camouflage the grey. Her wardrobe is from Talbots, J. Crew, Gap, and Nordstrom. She has two kids, one biological, the other adopted, three years apart. She lives in NW DC and sends her kids to private school. She is the president of her school PTA, and is VP of marketing for her company. She works at home 2 days a week. Her husband is an engineer who travels all the time, but they keep in touch on line between meetings. She loves to read and goes to the gym every day. It helps her to relax. She has granite counters in her kitchen. She loves professional basketball. She has a crazy sister who never had children and hates everyone who does. She is contemplating an affair with a blind man she met online, who has asked to meet her in real life.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:50 PM

'twas.

Posted by: to pATRICK | March 7, 2007 3:52 PM

"I think people should be a little more thoughtful of other readers & posters who are not here to become virtually personal with other posters."

Or perhaps it is you who should be more thoughtful of the posters and readers who ARE here to be friendly. It's all in how you look at it, dude, and last time I checked, there was no requirement that you read every single post.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:53 PM

"What happened to your other website for the "regular" bloggers?"

It is quite alive. We were talking about taxes last week and some other boring stuff.

I was not and did not mean to be critical of you.

But I will say that we are not the ones who control the flow of conversation. Anyone can start up a new topic and often do. Some of us regulars have floated alternative topics which were not picked up also.

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 3:54 PM

This blog has been going on for a year and I have only posted since the spring maybe summer. So I am not sure about the regular status. But people come and people go and some posters are really multiple ids. So we can make an conserted effort to do a little less OT. But when people do feel like they get to know each other, then they liked to be caught up with each other. I actually see that as a good thing. And plenty of OTs do seem to get discussed from non regulars. The latest being Chrissy's situation. Lots of people cared and jumped in and wanted to see if she was doing OK. The easiest way to stay on topic is to have a new and different guest blogger. It is fine if people don't want me to be a guest blogger again. Frankly, I wouldn't want to do it again. But weary, why don't your write a guest blog on a topic your interested in hearing about. The other thing is there is only so much to say about work/life balance. I think Leslie is probably stretching to come up with three new blogs a week. That is why I wish more people would contribute some fresh ideas through a guest blog. It doesn't have to be well written. Leslie will help you with it. It doesn't have to be well researched. It can just be your idea.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 3:55 PM

On Balance Barbie is the best - how do I get one?

Posted by: cmac | March 7, 2007 3:57 PM

"I guess she missed the thread prompted by Chrissy's post last week, as well as the anon post at 3:03 today."

Possibly as I've come to the point where I will check in and if the topic has been thrashed out as Fred described and things are OT, I may not check back. However I bet you a name-brand canned soda that Chrissy's post took off because one or two regulars replied to it.

No, its not a club with membership requirements but its been my observation that a handdul of people dominate the conversation on this board. Sometimes that's good (for me) sometimes its not...but it is the case...(again, just MY observation)

Posted by: Cali Esq | March 7, 2007 4:00 PM

Your weak imitation is not as good as the original. I think that broad with the granite countertops in Rockville looks like Betty Friedan and the blind man is lucky he's blind.

Posted by: To 3:50 | March 7, 2007 4:00 PM

If you smoke, it won't matter how hard you try and hide it, people really close to you will be able to notice. The smell is impossible to get rid of; it clings to your clothes, your skin and your breath. Most smokers' sense of smell is atrophied from the constant smoke, so they don't notice the odor, but it is --very-- apparent to nonsmokers. I dated occasional smokers in the past and even if they hadn't smoked in hours I could still detect the odor.

I suspect if your husband is a nonsmoker, he already knows you smoke and just isn't going to confront you on it.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 4:01 PM

Hey!!
I do not look like Betty Friedan. I look like Penelope Cruz (to a blind man, at least).

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 4:02 PM

Anonymous at 3:03 is cracking me the h3ll up! Kind sounds like Childless by Choice.

I post on this blog off and on for the laughs and the thoughtful comments. Sometimes I rant, sometimes I just lurk. But it's always entertaining!!

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | March 7, 2007 4:04 PM

"I smoke 1 in the morning before work, 1 at lunch, and 1 on the way home."

If you smoke in your car, he knows.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 4:04 PM

I don't think you Fred are being critical of me or my comments. No worries, & Foamgnome I enjoyed your guest blog very much. I'll have to think about the guest blog thing. ba bye.

Posted by: Weary | March 7, 2007 4:05 PM

Chrissy, that is huge. I'm so sorry. I would leave and try to find someone else to have a life with. I don't see how a person could recover from such a lie.

Posted by: | March 1, 2007 10:16 AM

Caliesq: Actually the first poster to respond was anonymous followed by a regular Meesh and then me. I just think the topic of the day was not all that interesting and Chrissy's story was so compelling. I noticed tons of regulars and non regulars weighed in. And some regulars said they really did not have enough information to weigh in, dotted. So I am not sure your assessment is really true.

Posted by: foamgome | March 7, 2007 4:06 PM

I don't smoke in the car
Just outside
believe me, he would confront me on it

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 4:06 PM

I think the smoker's husband must know. Nonsmokers can smell the smoke on people. It sticks to their hair and their clothes. A husband would certainly know, especially if he leans over to give you a hug. Maybe he's just decided to keep the peace, since it's ultimately your choice and your life.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 4:10 PM

on the smoking thing, the first question I would ask is, what would carolyn hax say?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 4:10 PM

I can smell cigarette smoke on someone standing --next-- to a smoker. Maybe I've just got a well developed sense of smell, but even three cigarettes a day ought to be noticeable to someone really close to you.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 4:10 PM

mmmmmmmmmmmm, I love smoking too. Love it , love it love it!!! I miss it desperately!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 4:15 PM

Foam:

Again, I said it was my perception, not the truth. But you proved my point that a regular replied and the string continued. I don't have a problem with that. As I said before, sometimes I think that's great, sometimes I don't. There are times I find the banter on here very entertaining. There are other times when I'd rather read something else. My original statement was in agreement with Weary, that yes, at times the OT is too much. Others times its great.

BTW, I've only followed this blog for a couple of months, so to me, a neo, you Foamgome are a regular. And I too enjoyed your guestblog.

Posted by: Cali Esq | March 7, 2007 4:15 PM

Alrighty then...

I just wanted to say congratulations, and, keep up the good work. I enjoy reading and learning about topics I'm interested in.

Career and Kids

Posted by: Elizabeth | March 7, 2007 4:16 PM

Ok this is actually somewhat on topic ;-) It seems that most entries that advocate more help from [insert government or your employer] to help achieve work life balance on child, elder or health care flame out rather quickly. Whether you're on Texas Dad of 2's or my end of the political spectrum there is a strong sense of personal responsibility displayed among posters here . Combine that with a generalized consensus that if Uncle Sam was helping us achieve work life balance it'd be a disaster. So if isn't Uncle Sam or the few innovative employers out there - how do we advocate for change? I am heartened when I read posts about parents helping other parents and community building but are these just isolated incidents?

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | March 7, 2007 4:16 PM

Emily and Megan: it's truly sad how many kid's books like this are called into question everyday. The American Library Association tracks this info, and celebrates a "banned books week" every year. It goes all the way back to Judy Blume.

The reluctance toward the HPV vaccination amazes me, too: parents are willing to let their own squeamishness interfere with their daughter's health? LACK of information, not hearing words like "scrotum," will hurt your kids!

Posted by: niner | March 7, 2007 4:17 PM

CaliEsq: the point is we don't know if a nonregular were the next three post, the OT would have continued. Again, just think her topic was so compelling. BTW, I just started remembering your name a few days ago. So maybe you will become a regular.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 4:17 PM

Happy 50,000, Leslie!

"On Balance" is one of those fortuituous items that I have stumbled on, liked, and continue to follow. It shares this distinction with, among others, Quadrant Magazine and The American Spectator.

I first heard of Quadrant in early 1989. Philosophy Professor Michael Levin had been forced to give up the introductory course he taught at City College of New York because of an article he had written for Quadrant in early 1988. Curious about this magazine, published 12,000 miles away in Melbourne with a circulation around 5,000, I wrote to them and got a subscription. I have renewed every year. It's like a combination of Atlantic, Harper's and the New Yorker, with poetry and short stories mixed with articles about current affairs. There used to be a "special summer double reading issue" every January-February, and a corresponding winter double issue every July-August. Read Quadrant and learn how the world looks from the Antipodes.

As for the American Spectator, the fellow who answered the telephone when I asked about subscribing asked how I had heard of them. I told him, "You won't believe this, but I read about you in the Washington Afro." This was in April 1992. The Afro had a front-page story about David Brock's Spectator cover article about Anita Hill (Yale Law '80), which appeared during the controversy over the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas (Yale Law '74). The guy on the telephone offered to start my subscription with the very issue that had Professor Hill on the cover. The magazine was interesting for several years, although I tended to skip the "scandal" articles. Then, George Gilder '62 took it over and filled it with boring "futurist" articles about how an abundance of bandwidth would lead to the Telecosm. In 2003, the original publisher bought the Spectator back for $1 and made it interesting again.

I first heard of "On Balance" during the flap about Professor Linda Hirshman's notorious article in the American Prospect, entitled "Homeward Bound," which (to put it mildly) took the "Work Outside the Home" side in the mommy wars. Reading "On Balance" from my perspective, scores of miles outside the Beltway, I was pleasantly surprised to encounter real people writing about their experiences, as opposed to the screaming ideologues who used to post to the old "soc.men" and "soc.women" newsgroups on Usenet before Al Gore '69 invented the point-and-click Internet.

The best part about the Washington Post online is that there is no ink to rub off on the reader's fingers, as there is with the printed Post. I look at "On Balance" only if the topic is one that I'm interested in. Usually the main article is by Leslie Morgan Steiner '87, but there are frequently guest articles that are just as thought-provoking.

The real people who post to "On Balance" demonstrate (for the most part) the resilience and ingenuity characteristic of Americans, as they deal with the day-to-day business of work and family, as Oscar Hammerstein II put it, "Pullin' them boats from the dawn till sunset, gettin' no rest till the judgment day." Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | March 7, 2007 4:19 PM

My dad gave me an excellent piece of advice about marriage. He said that many men marry a beautiful woman that they have hot sex with. The problem then is that the sex grows stale, she loses her beauty and you are stuck with someone who does not know how to be a good partner, wife, pay bills etc. Very wise words from the old man. The moral is find someone you can wake up to that makes everyday life worth living.

Posted by: pATRICK | March 7, 2007 4:20 PM

Why are people upset about the off topics? Did three fat pregnant ladies offend you that much? :) Things are always going to veer off track on this blog. I am sorry if that upsets you, but I don't see a way around it, and I actually don't think it would be as interesting if people didn't relate to each other and talk about balancing their lives. Do you really think it is helpful if people just post and read and then don't respond to one another.

Also the on balance Barbie is great, I love it!

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 4:21 PM

Megan, I totally agree. We wouldn't teach a kid that the "correct" term for arm is "reachy grabby thingy," would we? Why call a scrotum/penis/vagina wee-wee or woo-woo? We're not doing our children any injustice to teach them correct things, and we're not doing them any favors by attaching cute but nonsensical monikers to organs that are a part of them.

And all the K names listed today just prove my point: there are no good K names. Okay, there are a few, but he hates mine. And his all sound Irish. Some people like Irish names, I do not. I'm still hung up on Kiyoshi though! And the funny thing is the name came about as a joke. We were joking about Japanese names and I mentioned Yoshi (after the little Super Mario Bros. lizard guy), and then joked, "but we'd have to name him Kiyoshi because of your tradition." He was silent for a minute, and then said, "you know that's a real name, right? I had a friend named Kiyoshi in high school." Ever since then, I've wanted that name. ;-)

Posted by: Mona | March 7, 2007 4:21 PM

Pregnant women aren't fat.

Pregnant women are...pregnant.

And very attractive.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 4:23 PM

ha John, this pregnant girl feels FAT and attractive.

on topic, I come here to talk to john about feeling fat and attractive.

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 4:24 PM

What's for dinner tonight??

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 4:25 PM

My son announced the other day that armpit is a bad word. Apparently, one of the teachers at school put a kid in the corner for saying armpit. I couldn't get my son to explain the context. Now I could explain it if the kid said something like, "You have smelly armpits." Or if he maybe was trying to do armpit farts. But all my son got out of it is that armpit is a BAAAD word.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 4:26 PM

John- you're freaking me out re: your fascination with beautiful pregnant women!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 4:27 PM

The funniest thing you'll ever hear is your 2 yr old daughter showing you her "gina"

i almost spit out my coffee and choked i was laughing so hard

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 4:28 PM

Emily are they allowed to put kids in the corner? Yikes, I would be pissed. I can see sitting at their desk in time out but not in the corner.

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 4:28 PM

Thanks, John!

Posted by: niner | March 7, 2007 4:30 PM

(how long does it take Matt to draft these speeches to himself?)

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 4:31 PM

Skip what you don't like or go start a blog called ontopiconly.

Posted by: to weary | March 7, 2007 4:32 PM

I can say this since it is an anonymous blog and is funny even though it I was horrified at the time. My 3 YR old daughter walked into the bathroom while I was taking a shower and asked me something and I answered her. Then when she was leaving said, "Daddy you have a pretty pee-pee". I nearly had a stroke I was so horrified. I then said in my parent voice, thank you honey, but pee-pees are private, remember? She said ok and left. I told my wife who laughed so hysterically at my discomfort that she nearly peed herself. I have banished my daughter from the bathroom and wear a robe at all times.

Posted by: pATRICK | March 7, 2007 4:33 PM

"BTW, I just started remembering your name a few days ago. So maybe you will become a regular."

LOL!!! Take it back!!! LOL some more...

Seriously, Foam, I really do enjoy this blog at times. I really like hearing about how others work through similar issues and that regardless of which Barbie or Ken you are, we have similar struggles. Sometimes its just nice to know you're not the only one.

With that said, I'm going to jump on the OT train for a minute...

As for pregnant women being attractive, I got hit on more when I was pregnant than before I conceived. One guy approached me when I was 38 wks (I thought that was sick). I met a co-worker at 5 months who confided years later that he thought I was "hot" when I was pregnant. To each his own...

Posted by: Cali Esq | March 7, 2007 4:37 PM

pATRICK, that's hilarious. My 2-year-old daughter is fascinated with rear ends, and even if you are wearing a robe, will lift it up, smack your butt, and announce loudly, "BUTT!"

Posted by: niner | March 7, 2007 4:37 PM

John "KLB, sounds like your male coworkers can't think for themselves; that is a quote from something I heard or read long ago. "

It was a joke.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 4:38 PM

pATRICK, that story had me howling! What a stitch.

Also Mona, I'm so with you on: "We wouldn't teach a kid that the "correct" term for arm is "reachy grabby thingy," would we?" It's so crazy to teach kids that their genitals can't be called by their proper name.

Posted by: Megan | March 7, 2007 4:43 PM

John is nuts.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 4:47 PM

That is too funny. My sides still ache from laughing so hard.

Posted by: Patrick | March 7, 2007 4:49 PM

OOps. That was me. I did not mean to impersonate Patrick (not that I could). I just meant to say, "Patrick, that is too funny...."

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 4:50 PM

pATRICK, You have turned out to be such a different guy than that perpetually angry soul who used to show up every now and then. Now will you please come and clean up the iced tea I blurted over my desk during your last post?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 7, 2007 4:52 PM

Gives me the heebie jeebies just recalling it.

Posted by: pATRICK | March 7, 2007 4:52 PM

Then you've got that 400-pound dame in San Francisco who didn't know she was knocked up until she gave birth. How incredibly stupid can a person get? Who would want to **** a 400-pound woman in the first place? Jeez.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 4:52 PM

I sort of agree with weary. I don't mind the o/t's and chit chat I actually don't even mind the trolls and anons and snarks because frankly, the blog topics are always about the samed damned thing and I'm not sure how many times I can read the same exact posts by different posters without going crazy. At least the ot/cc/trolls/anons/snarks provide variety.

However - the blog has gotten a little cliquey. Case in point - I thought I was a regular yet I have absolutely no idea what Fred's blog is about, which is supposed to be a place where the regulars are chatting. I'm wondering exactly what one has to be to be a "regular" - a 5'10" gorgeous blonde with a D cup? Wittier than the average poster? A Mensa member? Make over $200K a year?

And before you say it foamgnome, no, I'm not jealous. Just curious.

Posted by: anonymous regular | March 7, 2007 4:57 PM

RE: 400 lb woman in SF

"Believing that she had hit early menopause, the 39-year-old mom says she had given up on the idea of having children years ago. At one point, the Garden Grove woman weighed about 500 pounds and even struggled with an unsuccessful gastric bypass surgery.

According to Branum, the procedure didn't help her lose much weight and left her with a lot of sagging skin. She says the sagging skin is where the baby was hiding out all those months and that's the reason she never felt him. "

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 4:57 PM

Every time I see the words "sage green" or "cave" or "Fredia" or "DD" I throw up on myself.

Posted by: regulars | March 7, 2007 5:02 PM

Anonymous at 4:57. It's not Fred's blog, it's Fo4,s blog. All you have to do to join is send your email address to Fo4. You are not being deliberately excluded. You just must have missed the invitation to join the blog, which was made to everyone.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 5:04 PM

Doesn't weight have something to do with a woman's chances of becoming pregnant?

Posted by: MV | March 7, 2007 5:06 PM

"Case in point - I thought I was a regular yet I have absolutely no idea what Fred's blog is about, which is supposed to be a place where the regulars are chatting. I'm wondering exactly what one has to be to be a "regular" - a 5'10" gorgeous blonde with a D cup? Wittier than the average poster? A Mensa member? Make over $200K a year?"

Father of 4 offered a while back to set up an email list for anyone on the blog who wanted to be able to get to know each other more offline. I think if you email him at mommyblogger2007@verizon.net you can get on.

Also, how do you know you're not a regular? I'm confused about the distinction to be honest. I always think of myself as a regular because I read and post often, but I only sometimes make the "lists" that people put in their posts - it seems like that will vary depending on who is active at the moment and who the lister most closely identifies with. But I've never thought there was any definitiveness to that sort of thing...

Posted by: Megan | March 7, 2007 5:07 PM

All you have to do to join is send your email address to Fo4.

Oh, in that case, I'll just go look up Fo4's e-mail address in the "people whose names you don't know" e-mail address search engine.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 5:08 PM

My last point was in reference to KLB's 4:57 post. Sorry for the confusion.

Posted by: MV | March 7, 2007 5:09 PM

When you write to Fof4 give him your usual posting name so he knows who you are.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 5:09 PM

I love this blog.

I'm not sure what I would do without you regular posters. I agree it's incredibly de-stressing to read people's posts. Always something to make me laugh really hard.

Way to go, Emily. Everybody has to say "when" at some point. Different for everyone. Westies are incredible dogs -- check out my friend Leslie McGuirk's children's books about her old Westie, Tucker, one of the most amazing pooches ever. Her website is http://www.lesliemcguirk.com/

And we have a shelter dog, Chief, who is a black lab/shepherd mix. A great addition to the family.

Posted by: Leslie | March 7, 2007 5:10 PM

Sorry for the sarcasm Megan - I was posting at the same time as you were.

I don't know how to define a regular. But Fred used the term "us regulars" when talking about exhausting the topic early in the day (so I guess that if you don't log on until noon you're not a regular), and the off-blog discussion group/website for regulars has been mentioned a few times (so I guess if you don't even know what it is you're not a regular.)

You might be a regular if.......

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 5:12 PM

"one of the most amazing pooches ever"

I find that incredibly difficult to believe, given the billions of pooches that have graced this planet over the years.

Posted by: Clifford | March 7, 2007 5:12 PM

MV,
Weight can be a factor in fertility but it is such an individual thing that there is no general statement someone can make as far as an obese person having a more difficult time conceiving (obviously not true in this lady's case). Underweight does as some women stop having regular periods when they are severely underweight.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 5:13 PM

I agree with weary. I don't mind so much if it goes off topic as long as the new topic has something to do with balance. but basketball, caves, kid's names, high def tv's, etc are really just subjects for people who want to chat.

And foamgnome regularly suggests changing topics to clothes or some other thing when she doesn't like the topic at hand. I actually wonder if she has friends because she seems to spend an inordinate amount of time posting. Yes, I read the blog a lot, but don't have nearly the same amount of interaction as she does.

Another thing is some of the insults that are posted. I think it would be better to ignore some of the posts than to engage in some of the back and forth that goes on.

Posted by: Another | March 7, 2007 5:15 PM

I'm wondering exactly what one has to be to be a "regular" - a 5'10" gorgeous blonde with a D cup? Wittier than the average poster? A Mensa member? Make over $200K a year?

so no one qualifies? I think the question is what other posters mean when they refer to "regulars" because I would have considered Cali Esq a regular since I recall her posting before on several occasions. She doesn't think she is, though, so . . .

Regularity must be in the eye of the beholder. Just ask the folks who brought us Metamucil.

If Fred has a blog, I haven't found it yet. Here's the deal though. Can't different people connect about different topics? Across all topics, TakomaMom's posts have always taught me something. I share with moxiemom an appreciation for keeping the bar low for all of us. I share a love of ACC basketball with dotted, but not with Fred or Product of a Working Mother. I laugh at almost everything KLB posts, but we don't have kids in common. Chris makes me laugh. I haven't figured out a darn thing I have in common with scarry but I appreciate her good nature and sense of humor. and it doesn't mean anything that I've mentioned these particular posters and not others. Posters on a blog become virtual acquaintances over time. Someone will post for the first time tomorrow -- or for the first time under a new name - and I will look for their posts again because something struck me as valuable. Others will never read another of my posts and save themselves the irritation. You take what you like and ignore the rest. In my opinion.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 7, 2007 5:16 PM

but basketball, caves, kid's names, high def tv's, etc are really just subjects for people who want to chat.

So what? Let them chat. Otherwise, there would just be dead air. I remember back when the blog first started, sometimes, there were less than 50 posts on a subject. And people did not chat becasue we were new to each other then. When a topic has run it's course, it's run it's course. No one is making you read about basketball or high def tv's (I skip these posts as well). Why on earth would you insist that other people not chat just because you choose not to participate.

I have to say that all the whining about the off topic stuff is ridiculous. If you have something you want to say, say it. If someone wants to respond, they will. If not, too bad. This is not a required break-out session for history class, where you are supposed to discuss points a, b, and c and come back to the class with your thoughts. People can talk about whatever they want, and you are free to take it or leave it. So quit whining. It's even more boring than basketball.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 5:25 PM

It's even more boring than basketball.


*sniff*, *sniff*.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 5:29 PM

"Regularity must be in the eye of the beholder"

See now, Megan's Neighbor, I was just about to post that being a regular seems to me to be self defined - if you think of yourself as one, you are! And I also would have put Cali Esq in the regular category, so who knows.

More seriously though, I can definitely understand where people are coming from on this. I remember back when there was a little mommy-blog/Achenblog spat going on, and I went over to the Achenblog for a while to see what that was all about but there was just soooo much background among the "regular" posters there that it was just too much work to try to get in on it all, and like Cali Esq said about here, it seemed like new folks got ignored. So maybe that's happened here and I haven't noticed because it's built up over time. But I also just don't mind here when I don't know what folks are talking about in reference to some of the "inside jokes" - like I missed the whole caves thing, and the first invite by Fo4, but I just blip over stuff I don't get.

But I personally really enjoy the sense of connection I have with a lot of the people on this blog - for me it's a nice substitute for office chatter (since I work from home like ON Balance Barbie) and also to learn from so many other parents and non-parents, for that matter.

Posted by: Megan | March 7, 2007 5:30 PM

and that's why I like being your neighbor, LOL! I'll look at the posts at 2 or 3 p.m. some days and skip over whatever doesn't resonate with me (names starting with k, anyone), but that's just me.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 7, 2007 5:34 PM

What's the deal with people picking on foamgnome? Not only is it tiring, it is also uncalled for. I loved her guestblog and find most of her posts enlightening. I don't have children, but even I can appreciate how difficult it must be to face the issues that she faces with her daughter - and to do that with the kind of grace that foamgnome exhibits.

Posted by: MV | March 7, 2007 5:35 PM

"Every time I see the words "sage green" or "cave" or "Fredia" or "DD" I throw up on myself."

Posted by: regulars | March 7, 2007 05:02 PM

1) Fred does not have blog.

2) If you want know about sage green, caves or whatever, just ask! I, as the self appointed institutional memory of this blog, will attempt an answer

3) I am glad that I have never used the term "DD"

4) If not Fredia, what should I call my wife?

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 5:36 PM

picking on foamgnome: can't explain the ferocity of it. could just be one vindictive and miserable person.

Posted by: to MV | March 7, 2007 5:38 PM

Foamgnome rocks. She is my hero.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 5:39 PM

FOAMGNOME, just ignore it, I always do.

Posted by: pATRICK | March 7, 2007 5:40 PM

Emily, if I'm not mistaking you for someone else, you said that you have Latino origins. Where from?

Posted by: MV | March 7, 2007 5:41 PM

Right back at ya, neighbor! The whole name thing, basketballs and any discussion on TV loses me right away.

"4) If not Fredia, what should I call my wife?"

Well, I always think of her as Freida, myself, and stumble over Fredia. But that's just me...

Posted by: Megan | March 7, 2007 5:44 PM

and I think Foamgnome rocks too!

Posted by: Megan | March 7, 2007 5:45 PM

Fred,
Call her MOMC (mother of my children). Or DW. Or ES (exalted spouse).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 5:45 PM

Leave Foamgnome alone please. If you have the time to notice that she posts to much, you are reading to much! :)

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 5:54 PM

The reason she is Fredia rather than Frieda is my fingers got dyslexic one day. I will try Frieda. But I was really trying to spell Frida, the role that Salma Hayek played but I guess I got too excited just spelling Salma...

Posted by: Fred | March 7, 2007 5:54 PM

Maybe we should have a regular strike day so the anger people can post on topic.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 5:55 PM

I don't have children, but even I can appreciate how difficult it must be to face the issues that she faces with her daughter - and to do that with the kind of grace that foamgnome exhibits.

Oh yes, the issues of wondering whether or not she will be able to afford to spoil future children by buying them every single new toy their hearts desire and to outfit them in brand new clothes because used clothes will make them feel bad and take cruises and spend hundreds of dollars on a couple of hours out with the family.


Posted by: foamgnome=shallow | March 7, 2007 6:11 PM

Argentina, Bolivia, Italy, and Spain. And a tiny, tiny, bit of Irish, but you would never be able to tell by looking at me.

Posted by: Emily | March 7, 2007 6:24 PM

Hey now, I'm not "fascinated" with pregnant women; I just happen to think that their condition enhances their attractiveness. Plus, I've been around enough pregnant women to realize that many of them get really conscious about how their bodies look at this time, and they appreciate being told they look great.

As for the quote being a joke, well, let's just say I know some men who feel it does describe their "ideal woman", joke or not.

Posted by: John | March 7, 2007 6:30 PM

John,
I am sure there are guy who feel like that but honestly, my guys are not them. They are all married for over 20 years to the same woman with lots of kids 1,2,3,3,and 4).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 7, 2007 6:34 PM

Wow, never was a person so reviled for spending $140.

Posted by: Charlottesville | March 7, 2007 6:35 PM

uh, snarky person - she was talking about dealing with a developmentally delayed child. And all the hassles that brings with the doctors/school system/therapists/etc. Not to be dealt with by the fainthearted.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I don't have children, but even I can appreciate how difficult it must be to face the issues that she faces with her daughter - and to do that with the kind of grace that foamgnome exhibits.

Oh yes, the issues of wondering whether or not she will be able to afford to spoil future children by buying them every single new toy their hearts desire and to outfit them in brand new clothes because used clothes will make them feel bad and take cruises and spend hundreds of dollars on a couple of hours out with the family.

Posted by: to the troll picking on foamgnome | March 7, 2007 6:38 PM

To Megan's Neighbor:

Won't you be my neighbor? :-) Actually, I find that many of Megan's Neighbor's reasons for participating in the blog are in synch with mine. As I try to figure out what balance means (and will mean) for me, it's useful to read how other blog participants have dealt with/feel about various issues. Someone else early today mentioned that the blog helped her say what she really means. I, too, in some of my first posts was reminded of how thoughts put down quickly in this kind of forum can come off stronger than intended.

OT, though late in the day, I do want to comment on Emily's post:
"Our PTA discussed the word scrotum yesterday. Our media center did not want to buy "The Higher Power of Lucky" without the PTA's clearance because of the controversey over the word scrotum. Scrotum. I like the word. It sounds like what it is."

Regarding the The Higher Power of Lucky, I too think it's terrible that a school librarian would feel the need to get a sign-off for a Newbery award winner. I haven't read the book yet, and I don't always love Newbery selections. I do trust that the committee reviewing the book did it's job of judging the book in its entirety according to "literary quality and quality of presentation for children." Context means an awful lot, no?

I've thought about becoming certified for school libraries partly because it seems the hours would be conducive to work/family balance. The thought of dealing with parents over something like this gives me pause though. Also, as much as I enjoyed helping kids and students in a public library setting, I think I would miss adult services. It would feel like a total career change to work with children full-time.

Stream of conciousness thought for a topic: What experiences do people have with making a drastic change in career to accommodate work/life balance?

Posted by: Another Librarianmom | March 7, 2007 6:47 PM

"Oh yes, the issues of wondering whether or not she will be able to afford to spoil future children by buying them every single new toy their hearts desire and to outfit them in brand new clothes because used clothes will make them feel bad and take cruises and spend hundreds of dollars on a couple of hours out with the family."


Why John Edwards the presidential candidate and espouser of two americas is posting today, who would have thunk it.

Posted by: pATRICK | March 7, 2007 6:51 PM

I'm thinking of getting a bumper sticker:

WWCHD (What would Carolyn Hax do?)

Posted by: Another Librarianmom | March 7, 2007 6:51 PM

An6ther Librarianmom: sign me up for the Hax bumpersticker if there's a volume discount. I aspire to be Hax when I grow up, but it's looking as though death will precede maturity.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 7, 2007 7:03 PM

Oh yes, the issues of wondering whether or not she will be able to afford to spoil future children by buying them every single new toy their hearts desire and to outfit them in brand new clothes because used clothes will make them feel bad and take cruises and spend hundreds of dollars on a couple of hours out with the family.

Posted by: foamgnome=shallow | March 7, 2007 06:11 PM

instead foamgnome should spend her money on replacing the transmission on a decrepit minivan, and tell her daughter to show some responsibility and raise herself and stop being such a drain on society.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 7:08 PM

hey foamgnome=shallow:
I have to say this, regardless of how you probably aren't around, but how dare you tell anyone how to spend their money? How dare anyone tell anyone the value of $140? In this case, she thought it was fun and worth it. You evidently don't agree. That doesn't give you the right to trash her having fun with her family. Try agreeing respectfully and I'd respend differently.

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 7:26 PM

Wow, seems like I my own I hate foamgnome club. Seriously, no I don't think anyone is jealous but it does sound like people feel like they are not being included. I apologize for that have a couple of suggestions. Number one, sign all your posts consistently, even if you disagree or what to pick on my, then we will get to know who you are. Number two, write a guest blog. That is the easiest way to discuss a topic you would like. Number three, give us some personal information so we can get to know you. My guess it is the same person making most if not all of these snarky comments about me. Clarina and April were the only ones who signed their posts and I addressed and apologized to each of them. I don't think this snarky poster understood my guest blog at all if they think the reason we are not having another child was because we want to spoil our child. But when your child has developmental delays you want to make sure you can do everything in your power to enrich their lives. That being said, all I said in my blog was the money would be easier. And yes, I do have friends and I was the first to admit that we have little work right now, so blogging is high. I sit in my office all day doing research and this an easy way to pass time while running programs. When work picks up, blogging will go down. Anyway, don't know why I offended someone so much but sorry I ruined your blogging life. I will try not to jump on your toes. But it seems to me like the same person that was picking on Scarry.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 7, 2007 7:48 PM

real quick here:
I'm a member of the i heart foamgnome club. It really just burns my bisquits when I read people disrespecting others.

Posted by: dotted | March 7, 2007 8:11 PM

"Sometimes I worry that we are so overly focused on DD. I know I was the only mother who sent her child to preschool in a snow suit before it even snowed. In fact the school sent me a polite email asking me not to send her in a snow suit. Of course in retropsect it does seem ridiculous to provide a $60 snow suit when she is only out doors from bus to front door. And Christmas is another huge night mare. I actually even embarrassed myself when I looked at all the gifts that DD received on one day. But all that aside, it does seem like the money would be tight with two kids. We make adequate money that we could still afford quality day care, retirement, and college. But there would need to be choices made because we refuse to have cc debt. Maybe only two extra curricular activities at a time. I think a lot of the small extras would be completely cut out. Like we are taking DD to Go Diego Go Live show. Tickets for three were $140. Add on parking, lunch out (even at McD's) and balloon and a few trinkets of the day and we spent $200 bucks. I still think we could do days like that with two kids. But it would be like once or twice a year. We did the Disney cruise last year and I can't even imagine paying for two kids on a trip like that. You can do hand me downs but that will only save you so much $$. Besides doesn't younger child start to resent hand me downs?"

Posted by: by foamgnome | March 7, 2007 8:11 PM

Hey, Foamgnome. Nearly everyone who signs him/herself on this blog admires, respects and supports you (even, I imagine, the ones who sometimes differ with you). P*** on the cowards who won't use a consistent nom-de-blog so we can know them more surely by their snark. And speaking personally, how could I NOT like someone who left a foam gnome behind, not to mention someone who also thought History of Math was a fun course? ;-))))

Illegitimi non carborundum!

Posted by: catlady | March 7, 2007 8:17 PM

the highest form of compliment is to entirely republish someone else's post.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 8:48 PM

I heart foamgnome

Posted by: experienced mom | March 7, 2007 8:48 PM

I'm not sure how much traffic the blog gets this late, but I wanted to add that I've generally enjoyed reading it this past year. I usually read some of the comments at work, but I don't post from there-employees have gotten in trouble for that sort of thing. When it started, I had a 1 year old daughter and was feeling a little stressed trying to keep some sort of organization in my life. I love my job and wouldn't leave it, but it's also hard to leave DD even though she's very happy at her daycare and is learning more than she would have gotten from me at home. At least my husband and I have been able to use flex-time so that she's in daycare only 4 days a week. It's been fascinating to read what others have to say on the topic of balancing work and home life with--and without--kids. I have learned a lot from folks on the blog, and I've been especially interested in the threads on onlies, since I'm pretty sure I've decided that my daughter will be one. A family of three works pretty well for us.

Keep up the interesting comments!

Posted by: Tigerlily | March 7, 2007 8:55 PM

foamgnome,

Don't let them get you down! Yes, people do like to pick on people a lot on this board. It has gotten better, but I guess it is just your turn today.

Don't tell people you are sorry either, you didn't do anything to anyone. I know I have told you this before and it is really the only thing that you ever say that annoys me.

They have the problem, not you.

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 9:32 PM

It's not even really an annoyance, I just hate to see you say sorry for something you didn't do. :)

Posted by: scarry | March 7, 2007 9:33 PM

Oh my gosh, foamgnome spent $140 on tickets for her family to go to a show? HOLY COW! ALERT THE PRESSES!

Cripes, we looked at getting tickets to see the Police and they were more like $100 EACH, wouldn't even have been a family day, just a night out for my husband and I.

Foamgnone, like Scarry said, you've got nothing to apologize for. I know how much it sucks to get singled out in a forum like this, but try not to let it bother you - there are lots of us who think you're great (as you can see)...

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Posted by: xiaonanok | March 8, 2007 12:55 AM

I can't help but apologize because I do feel bad that people feel left out. But as far as someone thinking that I am shallow, there is really nothing to say about that. That is there opinion and is entitled. Why they feel they need to go on and on is a wonder to us all.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 8, 2007 7:30 AM

foamgnome,

If someone feels left out because people on here talk about their pregnancy, basketball, or dating, then I don't no what to say, but it is certianly not sorry!

Posted by: scarry | March 8, 2007 8:44 AM

Megan: It's 'Stop the presses' OR 'Alert the media.' You can't alert the presses because they are machines. Much like some of these @*&#^%! posters.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 3:15 PM

March 8, 2007 03:15 PM

But you didn't get the last word.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 3:32 PM

Hee hee, that's funny. Good catch, 3:15. What am I doing here right now? Augh.

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