the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Just a few hours before our lives changed forever

  • Nutter & Nutter Butter

    2005/02/03 at 7:19 am

    Happy, happy, happy birthday Leta! May you have many, many wonderful years ahead filled with love, laughter and many licorice sticks!

  • Carla Beth

    2005/02/03 at 7:18 am

    You’ve made it to the one year mark, which means I’ve made it to another-year mark. And that just amazes me.

  • Alena

    2005/02/03 at 7:18 am

    Happy, Happy Birthday, Leta! Your mommy and daddy love you so much.

    Heather, I hold you entirely responsible for that amazing letter accompanied by such beautiful pictures, both of which totally made me cry and now I’m feeling all sneefy. All that love makes me so damn happy. Hug Leta and Jon for me. 🙂

  • Redneck Diva

    2005/02/03 at 7:17 am

    I literally have tears streaming down my face as I type this.

    Who knew being a parent could be this kind of wonderful, eh?

  • Lavanotes

    2005/02/03 at 7:11 am

    Happy Birthday you little darling. And Congratulations to you and your husband for surviving the first year- it truly is an accomplishment.

  • Anita

    2005/02/03 at 7:14 am

    Holy Cow, that was an amazing birthday letter.

  • Lisa

    2005/02/03 at 7:15 am

    Happy Birthday, sweet baby! And congrats to you and DJ Blurb for having such a beautiful baby, and thanks for letting us into your lives!!

  • kim

    2005/02/03 at 7:16 am

    i didn’t read the post yet because i have an appointment after work and i just can’t mess up my make-up now which would totally happen if i read it now. so i’ll do it tomorrow. but anyway:

    *HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, LETA* you are going to have another great 20 years to come during which your mom will buy you burbon because she’s cool like that. and we’ll follow your life from the www as long as your mom and dad will let us.

    ps: these birthday wishes come all the way from germany and once you’re old enough to read this and if you care enough to ask, your mom and dad will tell you where that is ;o)

  • leilia

    2005/02/03 at 7:10 am

    Your post just brought absolute tears to my eyes. My daughter is 10 months old < april 9th baby> and we read your posts and relate to every word. Thankyou for sharing such wonderfulness < yes its a word!>

  • Meg

    2005/02/03 at 7:10 am

    Yom Huledet Sameach, Letale. 🙂

    The newsletter was incredibly moving, Heather – you know, you could teach MFA classes or something in your spare time…you are such a marvelous writer. And a marvelous mommie! =D

    Props to you & Jon (and Chuck, for patiently dealing with the shift in attention!).

    Thank you for It’s my first stop of the day, and usually my last. Best blog I read.

  • not-that-Andrea

    2005/02/03 at 7:09 am

    Happy birthday Leta!

    I have no kids, but my sister made me an aunt one year and 11 days ago. But she and my nephew are far, far away and I don’t get to see them. Leta is my daily surrogate so thank you, Heather & John, for that.

    Matt in London – please go kiss my nephew for me. Thanks.

  • jennifer

    2005/02/03 at 7:04 am

    Bah! ARMstrong.. not Amstrong. oops!

  • LisaG

    2005/02/03 at 7:07 am

    How many kids get birthday wishes from hundreds of sincerely loving strangers – how great is that?

    Add mine: Happy Birthday – Leta, I hope you always feel this loved!

  • GinaKay

    2005/02/03 at 7:02 am

    Happy Birthday Leta!
    Happy ‘BIRTH’ Day Heather!

  • jennifer

    2005/02/03 at 7:02 am

    Happy birthday, you precious girl!! Thank you and your momma and daddy and the Former Congressman for letting us out here in cyberspace share in your first year of life. We are all proud of you and your family and hope the very best for year two!

    Your momma may have been “dooced” because of this website, but we’ve been “frogged,” and the definition for that is enchanted by the Amstrong’s little frog because of this website 😉

  • yes I'm blonde

    2005/02/03 at 6:57 am

    Happy Happy Birthday, Leta! You go girl!

    PS Mommy has very nice legs for a pregnant woman about to give birth. You wore it well, Heather!

  • karinka

    2005/02/03 at 6:57 am

    How wonderful! Dooce, you make me want to have children, and I haven’t yet met the person I want to have children with. I think your writing about Leta is so beautiful.

    Happy birthday, Leta!

  • MKN

    2005/02/03 at 6:56 am

    Ack! Am crying like a baby over here. Heather, thank you for expressing so eloquently so many of the things I feel every time I look at my beautiful babies and their oh so wonderful father. This motherhood thing is an amazing wonderful adventure fraught with dangers and delight. I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. Enjoy this special day. Happy Birthday Leta!

  • andrea

    2005/02/03 at 6:54 am

    Happy Birthday darling Leta! Much love to you and your awesome mom and dad, and Chuck too!

  • kerrie

    2005/02/03 at 6:53 am

    Happy Birthday Leta!

  • Torrie

    2005/02/03 at 6:53 am

    I wish I could say something profound so that you could understand how much I have enjoyed watching you grow up this past year, but there are no words, so Happy Birthday Leta!

  • sweetney

    2005/02/03 at 6:49 am

    okay, i am self-voted “least likely to cry at a friggin’ blog post,” but after reading that 12 month update i’m all blubbery and shit. gah.

  • Neil

    2005/02/03 at 6:49 am

    Happy birthday, Leta! And congratulations to Dooce & Jon & Chuck

  • Jaia

    2005/02/03 at 6:52 am

    I can’t believe you’re looking over at that monitor and NOT at Janet Jackson’s nipple!

    I’m sorry, I’m just being an ass. Beautiful entry, Heather, and happy happy birthday to you, Leta!

  • christa

    2005/02/03 at 6:48 am

    happy birthday, leeeeta! thanks for making me cry at work, dooce.

  • Abi

    2005/02/03 at 6:47 am

    Happy Birthday Leta. You should always remember how much your parents love you!

  • Jeff

    2005/02/03 at 6:45 am

    Happy birthday, kiddo.

  • Kelly

    2005/02/03 at 6:44 am

    I don’t know how you do it, but every single time I read a monthly newsletter from you, I ball like a baby….
    WOW! And thank you!

  • JulesinTulsa

    2005/02/03 at 6:45 am

    I share a birthday with Leta!!! Happy Birthday baby girl! You are wonderful and perfect in everyway… and, oh so beautiful. The only bad thing about a birthday in February, is that you can’t have a swimming party… bummer when you’re young.

  • Ninotchka

    2005/02/03 at 6:42 am

    You blew me away with that entry. WOW. Happy Birthday to you ALL!

  • lara

    2005/02/03 at 6:41 am

    happy birthday, Leta!!

    and Dooce, I’ve read you for a year now and if I was more in love with you they’d have to get a retraining order.

    Thank you for Dooce. Really.

  • Sarcastic Journalist

    2005/02/03 at 6:40 am

    happy birthday! i’m having “baby birthing” flashbacks. Make them stop! Stop!

  • Mrs.Strizzay

    2005/02/03 at 6:41 am

    Technically Dooce its your birthday to. The birth of your motherhood and all. Have a bourbon tonight, and make it a double.

  • Nell

    2005/02/03 at 6:35 am

    Congratulations Leta and family!
    Today’s letter was beautiful. Also, is Leta turning out to be a redhead?

  • Susie

    2005/02/03 at 6:39 am

    Happy birthday to you, dear Leta, the internet’s most beloved baby (who happens to have the coolest parents on the planet). May you always have two socks on your scrumptious little feet.

    ps: I’ve been reading about you since before you were born, but I think this is my first time to post. I’m just so happy for you and your family, I couldn’t resist.

  • U.B.

    2005/02/03 at 6:39 am

    Happy 1st to both Leta and Dooce.

    What a beeyooteeful letter.

  • anna jr.

    2005/02/03 at 6:35 am

    happy one year of parenthood to the armstrongs!

    heather – i have been reading since right before you were fired and it has been wonderful to watch you find your heart a home.

    much love to all four of you.


    “Getting down on all fours and imitating a rhinoceros stops babies from crying. (Put an empty cigarette pack on your nose for a horn and make loud “snort” noises.) I don’t know why parents don’t do this more often. Usually it makes the kid laugh. Sometimes it sends him into shock. Either way it quiets him down. If you’re a parent, acting like a rhino has another advantage. Keep it up until the kid is a teenager and he definitely won’t have his friends hanging around your house all the time.”

    ~P.J. O’Rourke

  • Jessamyn

    2005/02/03 at 6:34 am

    Happy birthday, Leta! And happy one year of parenthood, Heather & Jon! My daughter will turn one in a month and 4 days – is that why I’m so incredibly moved by the monthly newsletter? Maybe that’s part of it; I’m thinking the other part has to do with how much you love Leta, and how well you express your love in your writing.

  • Trace

    2005/02/03 at 6:34 am

    Happy Birthday Little LetaLou!

  • Em

    2005/02/03 at 6:33 am

    Happy Birthday to Leta and to your whole family. You made it through the first year! I know it has been an amazing HARD experience. Thank you for sharing it with a bunch of crazy strangers. Lots of love to you, Jon, Leta and Chuck today.

  • Matt in London

    2005/02/03 at 6:33 am

    Circus Kelli – how right you are! What’s funny is that everyone else in our NCT class is only just having their kids and now look to us for advice!?!?!?!?!?

  • b

    2005/02/03 at 6:33 am

    am i first?

  • Christie

    2005/02/03 at 6:31 am

    Happy birthday Leta. You are so smart and so beautiful.

  • michele

    2005/02/03 at 6:32 am

    Ok almost started crying at my desk that was so sweet!!! And almost makes me want to have kids…until I remember the part about lack of sleep…the stress…the worrying…then I remember I can just read about it on Dooce and live vicariously instead. 🙂 But the pictures are adorable!!!!!!!!

  • Cathy

    2005/02/03 at 6:30 am

    Happy Birthday Leta! I started reading this site about a week before the Eviction notice was posted on Mama’s belly. How much fun to watch that baby grow. You’re doing a great job, Heather, she’s gorgeous.

  • Toren

    2005/02/03 at 6:30 am

    Happy Birthday Leta!
    Congratulations on the first year Jon and Heather.

  • jen

    2005/02/03 at 6:31 am

    Happy Birthday, little Leta…you are one cool girl.

    Heather, thanks for making my ovaries scream.

  • Stephanie

    2005/02/03 at 6:30 am

    what an incredibly beautiful post! leta you’re one lucky little girl to have such a wonderful mama. 🙂

  • ADD

    2005/02/03 at 6:30 am

    Happy 1st Birthday Leta!!! Thanks to you, your mom, your dad, and Chuck for sharing the last 365 days with us. Can’t wait to see where you go from here. 🙂

  • Jenny

    2005/02/03 at 6:30 am

    May I say that this was the most beautiful newsletter to date (wipes away tears).

    That child just gets more and more gorgeous with every single day.

    Happy Birthday, little one.

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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