Day of Destruction

Even though her bithday isn’t until Thursday, we had to arrange things to accommodate the relatives, you know. It was a blast. Wait until you see what I smeared on her head.

(P.S. Jon took this photo because I was in the background somewhere silently freaking out.)

  • abc

    are those fake silk flowers in the background? awesome. The leta is one and we are glad.

  • mg2

    Leta it’s your birthday
    Happy Birthday, Leta!
    Leta it’s your birthday
    Happy Birthday, Leta!

    (any fans of the Simpsons or Michael Jackson know what that’s about)

  • Renae

    Wow, I can’t believe she’s gonna be ONE already!
    And that means MY son is gonna be one before I know it.

    Happy early Birthday, lovely Leta!
    And I am waiting for Jesus to knock on my door.

  • Stefani

    Best wishes for your birthday, Leta! Hope you had a wonderful party.

  • another mama

    Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

  • Big Gay Sam

    Happy Birthday Munchkin! (sorry for the belated birthday wish).

    Speaking of the second coming. When I was working on the Navajo Reservation a couple of years ago I was behind this car with a bumper sticker that read:

    “Jesus is coming.. look busy!!”

    I laughed so hard I had to pull over.

    I’m sick like that.

  • Super Turtle Girl


    (And many more. On Channel Four. And Frankenstein. On Channel Nine. And Scooby Doo. On Channel Two…)

    Oh, I want a piece of that cake…can I have one, huh?

    Leta, you are so cute. And one! That’s so old!

  • GMM

    I agree with April, I cannot believe she’s already a year old! Happy B-day, Leta!

  • Leilia

    Have watched her grow and followed her progress for the first year of her life. Thankyou for sharing such a wonderful thing with us. Happy Birthday Leta.
    Congratulations Jon and Heather! What a beautiful little girl.

  • Annette

    Happy Birthday to Leta and Happy First Year Survival to Heather! Looks like she’s ready to be washed down, after a dip into the cake : ) What a cutie!

  • Sue From ohio

    You say it’s Leta’s birthday
    It’s my birthday on the 23rd, too
    You say it’s Leta’s birthday
    You’re going to have a good time…..


  • Lisa

    Oooohhh…. watch out – next thing you know the Internet Police will be on your case for having an open flame near your little one! Ha Ha! Seriously, thank you for so generously sharing your lives and Happy Birthday to Leta and her parents- that first year goes so fast, doesn’t it?

  • maryse

    happy birthday little girl. congratulations for making it through the day parents.

  • Anne

    You’re braver than we are! There are certain children we have banned from coming over to our house because they inevitably wreck our furniture – and their parents are oblivious and unapologetic, which is doubly annoying.

  • honestyrain

    happy birthday Leta!

    enjoy your day sweet baby girl!

  • mg2

    precious baby, she’s growing up so quickly. Thanks for sharing this entire first year with us… I can’t wait for the day that we’ll see her prom picture up here on the daily photo! Happy Birthday, Leta. You’re a special girl!

  • bushra

    happy happy birthday!

    is there an after picture to this….?

  • Ed

    Is that a Dorito cake?

    Because it totally should be.

  • Bec

    From one birthday girl to another HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISS LETA and congrats Heather and Jon for growing her up :)

  • Jenni

    I’ve always had a certain attitude toward birthdays which only became stronger after I had my daughter. I think birthdays should be about the one who did the birthing! I make sure to give my Mom flowers on by birthday… she did the hard part. I hope that your handsome bearded hubby recognizes YOU on Thursday too. (This attitude of mine only seems to reinforce the NYT self-absorbed comment… oh well).

    Happy Birthday Leta!
    Happy Birthing Day Heather!

  • brittney

    I didn’t know Leta had a binkie addiction.

  • julied

    Fantastic picture in the NYT–it’s always nice to see someone you recognize (“hey! that baby looks very familiar…”) in the paper, especially huge and in color and incredibly cute. Way to be a cultural pioneer, dooce!

  • robin

    I thought I was smart waiting till the VERY END of the party to eat cake. But you were smart to feed Leta her cake with no shirt on. Damn. I’ll have to remember that for next time. :-)

  • Megan

    Ok, 90 people said the same thing as I just did. Maybe I should read the comments before I actually comment.

  • Sarah

    Happy Birthday, Frog Princess!

  • Michelle Brady


    As you celebrate Leta’s birthday, today and this week, let it be not just a celebration of her first year of life, but also of yourself. Look at how far you’ve come, how much you’ve learned, all the strength you found.

    You discovered how hard it is to be someone’s mother- her constant companion, her source of entertainment, her solace. You discovered and shared with us something that a lot of women still hide- what it’s like to be a mother with a mental illness. It takes all the strain that comes with motherhood and compounds it. I know, because I’m living through it, too.

    Your honesty amazes me, and I am so thankful for it, because it helps me (and, I’m sure, a lot of other mothers with small children who read you) be more honest in my own life. Thank you for making me laugh, and cry, and think “Yes! Somebody else GETS IT!”

    Happy Leta’s First Birthday to you, too. Congratulations on a job well done. May you share many more wonderful and frustrating years with your family, and with us.

  • Megan

    Were you so worried Leta would spill on herself that you had her go topless before she ate any chocolate cake?

  • Jenny

    birthday suit

  • Faye

    Happy Birthday Leta…you are loved by more people than you could possibly ever know.

  • Amy

    Liz, that is horrifying that your writing teacher would ho-hum about ‘the abortion story’! I had an instructor like that once, in a LIFE WRITING CLASS, who said, “Now Ladies, please, we’ve heard enough birth stories in here to last a lifetime. Write about something ELSE.”

    It’s unbelievable. You bring children into the world and try to raise them to become decent grown-ups, and then some of them ‘dis the process. If we don’t take an interest in the process, how on earth do we do it right?

    Keep writing, mamas. We all need it desperately.

  • Amanda B.

    If we’ve learned anything in the past year, it has to be that the media is fucked. There is very little, if any, true “objective” media left. Watching the news or reading the NY Times is like reading “US” magazine. (which i do) You have to take it with a grain of salt, and a sense of humor.

  • Katie

    Wow, it’s already been a year? I remember the day she was born (or maybe a few days after considering what you were going through day of) and thinking “Oh yaaa… she’s an aquarius.”

    Anyway, Happy Birthday Leta!

  • lizpenn

    hey eddo — thanks for plug! sorry, no new content for you yet. but soon, i promise.

    dooce, i hope you’ll address the weirdly dismissive tone of the NYT piece in a future post. i think it’s a big question actually … why is women’s experience (particularly parenting) so consistently dismissed, as if , gee, we all know what that is already, no one could possibly have anything new to say about it? i’m thinking about a writing workshop i once took (a useless one) in which the male teacher basically made fun of the fact that every semester he got at least one example of what he called “the abortion story.” as if that subject matter wasn’t rich enough to have more than one story written about it in the history of the world. i feel the same way about parenting — it’s a totally fascinating and life-changing experience that’s been happening in secret, without documentation, since time began, and now that people (particularly women) are starting to finally write about it, we’re all supposed to react with a big yawn, like, haven’t we heard enough from you mothers now?

  • Annejelynn


  • Annejelynn

    despite the NYT article’s sick, distorted twist on blogging mommies… LETA’s lil’ sweet cheeked face is there for all to see!?! and after ya see a lil’ cutie pie like that? ya forget any of the negative gibberish in that article (at least I do)!

    Yea! Heather and Lil’ Leta!

  • Nancy

    Happy Birthday Leta! Everyone knows that froggie charms increase exponentially with each cake!

  • eddo

    I guess my last post was too long, I should have just stuck with Happy Birthday LETA because the computer ate the other one!

    Hey Liz! You are awesome, now I have to go to your site and enjoy some of your writing….

  • eddo

    I hope this gets posted right after liz penn from I love her website and she is a brilliant writer…

    I see the piano in the background there in this photo of Leta and I want Jon to play The Devil in the Wishing Well by Five for Fighting-

    Happy Birthday Leta – from Eddo! I can’t believe it has been a year already!

    Five For Fighting

    I met Jane at the center of the earth
    It was dark there was dirt all around
    But I gather you can figure that

    Jane says I’m your body in the night
    And I’ll lead you where you might find yourself
    Better if you follow me

    So go right you’ll be left at a big hotel
    You’ll meet the devil at the bottom of a wishing well
    You know you better give him something
    Give him something good
    Like everybody else he’s misunderstood

    Jane says it’s a long way out…
    I’m gonna make it out
    Cause I’m about her

    Jane says, you’re as Holy as a ghost,
    But who loves you the most, if you offer
    I might let you carry me

    Jane there’s nobody here but yourself
    In the end it’s the wealth of your spirit
    Now hurry up get on with it

    I went left I got right at some big hotel
    There was a devil at the bottom of the wishing well
    He said you better give me something
    Give me something good
    Like everybody else I’m misunderstood

    Jane says it’s a long way out
    I’m gonna make it out
    Cause I’m about
    Jane says it’s a long way out
    I’m gonna make it out

    I took a guess and cut a portion out of my heart
    He said that’s nowhere close enough but it’s a damn good start
    I wrote the secret that I buried on the wishing well wall
    He said I’ve seen one… it follows that I’ve seen them all
    We spoke of human destination in a perfect world
    Derived the nature of the universe (found it unfulfilled)
    As I took him in my arms he screamed I’m not insane
    I’m just looking for someone to understand my pain…

    It’s a long way out…
    I’m gonna make it out

  • dooce

    when he was interviewing me, it didn’t seem like the article was going to go the way it did. how in the hell are people who write about their kids more self-involved than people who write about co-workers or other people who surround them every day?

    i’m used to this, giving an interview and the end result is WAY different than I thought it was going to be.

  • lizpenn

    Reading the above comments, I see that many people agree with me — right on. And by the way: a happy first to Leta!

  • bb

    So is this some sort of a joke or something, that there’s no more appropriate dress for the 1st birthday than the birthday suit? lol

  • lizpenn

    Sweet Lord Jesus. I just opened the Sunday Styles section and had the weird experience of seeing the most familiar baby face in my life, a kid I see more than my own nephew — LETA!!!– staring out from the paper.

    Dooce, that’s wonderful that you got the exposure, and Leta (and your hands!) look lovely, but I _completely_ disagree with the article’s basic premise, that blogging parents are some kind of attention-seeking, hand-wringing narcissists who are making too big a deal out of the experience of parenting, and that they should just shut up and raise their children. Sure, some blogging parents may fit that mold (just as a certain percentage of non-blogging parents do), but the fact is that no one is reading those people’s blogs, because narcissists are BORING. If 40,000 people do log (daily? weekly?) onto this site, it’s because they’re interested in reading consistently terrific writing by a thoughtful, interesting person with something to say. This website (and Fussy, and Finslippy, and many others — I don’t read all the ones mentioned in the NYT) is successful because it has something to offer that people find funny and meaningful and useful in their lives, not because we love watching strangers gaze at their navels. Is it just me who found the NYT piece kind of misogynistic, and dismissive of both parenting and writing? Sorry for the rant, but really, it bugged me.

  • Terri

    PS The picture in the newspaper was adorable! Happy Birthday Leta!

  • cee

    Ahha, you guys had the good foresight to remove clothing before the ritual eating of the first cake!! hahah! Good memories! What a year!
    Happy Birthday, little Leta

  • Mir

    When Jesus comes knocking, he’s gonna be so bummed that he missed the naked cake fest. I suggest offering him some tequila to ease his pain.

  • Terri

    From the NEW YORK TIMES

    Heather B. Armstrong of Salt Lake City credits her blog,, with saving her sanity, if not her life. When it began in February 2001, Dooce was a collection of anecdotes about Ms. Armstrong’s single life in Los Angeles, with provocative entries like “The Proper Way to Hate a Job” and “Dear Cranky Old Bitch Who Cut in Front of Me at Canter’s Deli.” After someone sent an unsigned, untraceable e-mail message about Ms. Armstrong’s blog to her company’s board in 2002, she was promptly dismissed, and “Dooced” entered as a term for “Losing your job for something you wrote in your online blog, journal, Web site, etc.”

    A year later Ms. Armstrong married, moved back to Utah, gave birth to a daughter, Leta, and was soon after hospitalized for severe postpartum depression. Her moving, confessional entries from that time generated thousands of e-mail messages and, she said, helped speed her recovery.

    Now about 40,000 people log on to read about Ms. Armstrong’s efforts to break her daughter’s binky habit and of her concern about swearing in front of Leta. Like most parent bloggers, Ms. Armstrong steals time at the computer when the child is napping, after the baby sitter arrives and late at night. She said she blogs at least 15 hours a week. “Dooce probably saved my life,” she said. “The writing and voice I had let me hold onto part of the original and old Heather, something that being a mother and the depression couldn’t take away.”

  • Terri

    You were in the New York Times!?!!?

    I saw the picture of Leta and thought, “Hey, wait just a minute I know that baby! Those hands!”

    Congratulations! I wish they’d phoneticly spelled “Dooced” as Dueced but other than that it was terrific!!!

  • Andrea in Canada

    She has this expression like: “it’s all mine? I can go for it? I’m going to dive in and it looks like it’s ok so…here.i.go….” I hope she enjoyed her cake! Glad you made it through the day! I was SO emotional on both my daughters’ first birthdays. I can’t wait to see more pictures!

    I am so envious by the way of all of you who actually could open up the NYT and see Leta this morning! I saw it online but it would have been great to see it in the actual newspaper!

    my husband bought our 16mth old, Jingba…the pink dancing and singing Boobah the other day…it was on sale half price. She was so excited…she wiggles her little butt to the music and holds his hand! Did Leta get any Boobah paraphernalia ?

  • April

    Can’t believe she is already a year old… I still remember posts about the belly. Wow.

  • Kassi

    Chocolate…Heather you ARE brave.