Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

Jon’s 44th

In an attempt to shed the forty pounds I gained during my pregnancy with Marlo I’ve gone back to eating that one boring diet where you eat healthy green things and avoid all those processed white things, so this means I haven’t had a Hostess Donette in almost seven weeks. The strength! The willpower! The inconsolable crying into my leafy green salad!

The first twenty-five came off pretty fast, what with the almost eight-pound baby, the placenta, and the gallons of water I’d retained in my face. It’s those pesky last fifteen that are going to give me all sorts of problems, and I think I’d be fine with this extra weight except for the part that none of my clothes fit. And so I’m still wearing my maternity pants and shirts, and I swear to God, the first stranger to ask me when my baby is due is not going to live to tell the story about how some crazy Southern woman in Humpty Dumpty pants jumped into her car and ran them over.


Anyway, last Friday night we realized that we’d run out of healthy green things and anything containing lean protein, and after scrounging around our bare pantry we settled on a dinner of black beans and cheese. Meaning, for the first time in, I don’t know, EVER, we didn’t have to make a separate meal for Leta.

Do I even need to mention here that she has eaten black beans and cheese for the last, oh, seven hundred meals? The doctor says it’s fine because, hey! She’s still alive!

I tell you this only because that was the first bowl of beans I’d eaten since giving birth, and lo, it was a big bowl of beans. A colossal amount of beans. Titanic in volume and weight. Maybe I ate so many because I know how to make a good bowl of beans having prepared them over seven hundred times, maybe because it was the first substantial portion of carbohydrates I’d had in days AND I WENT A LITTLE NUTS. Okay, a lot nuts. A colossal amount of nuts.

Any breastfeeding mother knows exactly where this is going. Because, oh my god, was that one of the dumbest mistakes I have ever made as a mother. And that night Marlo had one hell of a time processing all that fiber or whatever it is about beans that gives you gas. It was one of the most sleepless nights we’ve had since her birth, full of toots and poots and all the moaning that goes with trying to push it out. I mean, she’s a loud baby anyway. Throw in that amount of farting and it sounded like a trombone being raped repeatedly by a tuba.

So we don’t sleep at all, and Leta comes traipsing in at RIDICULOUS O’CLOCK, and to keep her occupied Jon fumbles around for the remote and somehow manages to turn on the television, I don’t know how he summoned the strength to manage it, I am still in awe. That feat ranks right up there with figuring out how to assemble Ikea furniture.

Thankfully the TV is already tuned to one of the kid channels, Sprout or Nick Jr. or Noggin, what are known collectively in our house as The Babysitter, and some whacked out show called “Oswald” is on about this blue Octopus and his pet dachshund, and it happens to be one of those episodes where everything goes wrong. Do I have to point out again how I cannot abide shows like this? My Dad and I, we have this thing about movies and shows where the main character just keeps getting beat up by life (for instance, every movie Ben Stiller has ever made), and I just can’t handle it, I start to squirm and suddenly I’ve pulled out every hair on my head. And thanks to some stupid blue Octopus I’m now bald. MAYBE THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED TO BRITNEY.

So I guess the plumbing in Oswald’s kitchen sink is broken, so broken in fact that it floods his house and then goes on to flood THE ENTIRE TOWN, I’D HATE TO SEE THE BILL FOR THAT ONE. And Jon and I are lying there half asleep, the baby between us shooting sparks out of her ass, and we both somehow notice that Oswald is floating on his couch through the town so that he doesn’t drown. That’s when Jon hazily lifts up his head and goes, “YOU’RE A FUCKING OCTOPUS! WHY AREN’T YOU SWIMMING?!”

And that was how we started Jon’s 44th birthday.

  • Idgiepug

    Oh, sweet baby Jesus, I HATE Oswald. Have you seen the one in which the penguin won’t get wet? HE’S A PENGUIN! That show makes me stabby. This, for you folks without children, explains the popularity of Spongebob. He’s ridiculously funny, especially when compared with all those shows that have a moral or a lesson about life or some other crap.

    Anyway, happy birthday, Jon!

  • happy birthday, jon! to 150 more!

  • To a very lucky man… Happy Birthday! Cheers from NY!

  • Allen

    Yay for birthdays!!

  • Julia

    Happy birthday Jon!

  • leslie

    Hilarious. The excrutiating and hilarious events of life with kids.
    How do you prepare the black beans and cheese? sounds yummy but i never make beans.
    happy birthday jon.

  • Amanda

    Happy Birthday Jon!

  • I want cake. I really really want cake. Not so much the beans and cheese:) Happy birthday Jon!

  • mmh

    Cannot agree more about Ben Stiller movies — why is watching him suffer supposed to be entertainment?!!!!

  • Trish

    Dear LAWD, you have me laughing like a goon daily. THANK YOU!!!

    Happy birthday, Jon!!!

  • Jane

    That was seriously the best spent 10 minutes of my life reading this post…I’m still laughing. Thanks for making my day!

  • So – I never usually comment on your page, since, well, you get thousands of comments, and by the time I comment, the joke is moot! Anyhow – I just bugged the hell out of my hubby so I could read him the bit about Oswald. He totally didn’t get why it was funny. Oh well! You rock. My sister (who has a 2.5yr old and a 15wk old) just finished your book and is telling anyone w/a pulse how awesome it is! I’m waiting til after I have my first child – whenever that day comes!

  • The endless “oh it is terrible, but it gets WORSE” is so unrealistic and stupid … glad Jon was able to point out its obvious flaws — shows what a smart 44 year old he is!

  • Tami in NY

    Eating a bean burrito as I read this. Poor Marlo!

    Happy Birthday Jon!

  • Oh, yeah, and Happy Birthday to Jon!

  • Well, hell, he’s made it through 44 years, so it can’t be too much harder from here on out, right? (Excluding, of course, those two years where he has two teenage daughters.)

  • BAHA! A charming story!

  • I am all too familiar with the time of day called ridiculous o’ clock. Did you know that Fred Savage (Wonder Years) is the voice of Oswald? Yes, I know this because I have watched the credits. Happy birthday, John!! Totally stealing the cake idea for my husband!

  • Anonymous

    nice full head of hair on that 44 year old head! Hippo Bird Day Two Ewes!!

  • Oswald is one of the oddest shows on Noggin. I can’t really handle it, either.

    Also, that is the best fart-sound description ever. There were giggle tears from reading it.

  • Watching Ben Stiller movies is even worse than an octopus that can’t swim. Way worse.

    Happy birthday, Jon!

  • Happy Birthday Jon!

    Oswald is an odd show that has made me giggle since it came out – especially since his dog looks like a hot dog 🙂

  • Kellie

    Greatest Start to a Birthday EVER! AND a Star Wars Cake! Heaven!

  • I’ve always wanted a flying bed. But a floating couch would do.

    Or, the ability to swim like an octopus would do as well.

    Happy Birthday, Jon!

  • Happy birthday, Jon!

  • Ilyssa


    That is an awesome cake Heather! And hahaha, the story about Oswald cracks me up. My 6 year old sister loves that show. But it truly is so obscure!

  • I want that goddamned cake!

  • PS–I didn’t have to type in something silly to ensure that I was a human visitor. Anyone else run into this? Maybe Dooce just got rid of the filter.

  • devoted fan

    “shows where the main character just keeps getting beat up by life”

    Ummmm Pot? This is Kettle… we need to talk.

    I love the trials and tribulations of the Armstrong family and how you always pull it together Macgyver style. With Tape, a tube sock, explosives you have sitting around…and prozac. just like my family. Thanks for making me feel a little less weird.

    lots of love and many happy birthdays to come 🙂

  • Megs

    The cake is freaking me out. Seriously.

  • and thats why I never eat beans and i dont even have a baby:-) Jon’s cake is awesome, im getting one of those for my geek hubby:-)Good luck with the diet, sounds like you are doing amazingly well:-)
    Love, M

  • Jennifer P

    Happy birthday Jon, you’re a trooper AND you make cute babies 🙂

  • Meagan D

    Happy Birthday, Jon!

    Hope that you all have a great time today!

    My husband and son will be jealous of the cake! I also HATE Oswald, it just doesn’t make sense.

  • My sister was friends with/dated/liked (who remembers? It was, like, 25 years ago!) Oswald’s creator, Danny Yaccarino.
    If I ever run into him again, I’ll have to thank him, NOT, for that blue octopus.
    I’m NOT a fan!
    Happy Birthday, Jon!

  • Happy happy birthday Jon!!!

  • Hmmm…

    I wonder if it’s safe to use “BEANO” when one is breast feeding?

  • Jessica

    Awesome cake first of all! Secondly, I am so glad to find out that I am not the only one who cannot physically sit through a Ben Stiller movie! I couldn’t explain it to my last boyfriend, but the amount of anxiety I experience watching those types of movies makes my stomach twist into a tiny ball! Nice to know I’m not alone…

  • Karen

    Brass instruments raping each other? Dammit Heather, you are hella awesome. Happy Birthday Jon!

  • Nothing says nerdalicious like a cake with the opposing forces of Star Wars in battle in frosting. Epic.

  • Oh I love it. Happy Birthday to Jon and thank you for making me laugh so hard I, er, tooted. My family needs no help in the fiber department, believe me, but like the others I’d love this bean-cheese recipe. Bring it on.

    The only Sprout-ish show I can abide is WordGirl. I refuse to let my kids watch that other shit. Because then I’d have to listen to it too. And I’m already getting stupid enough from the evening cocktails I inhale. I’m selfish that way.

  • Mack

    Heather – I still wear flip flops and maternity clothes 10 months later, and I’m les than my normal weight. It’s called laziness and not wanting to relearn walking in heels.

    Rest assured, with all that breastfeeding, you’ll shed the 15 within 2 or 3 more months. Breastfeeding is like smoking. Enjoy it. In a few months, you’ll be trying to eat lots of pizza and cake so that you don’t get too thin. At least, that’s what happened to me.

  • Happy Day to Jon. May the farts be with you.

  • Lisa

    Heather, I would not stress the diet too much. I found that my body kept weight on when I was nursing for at least the first four or five months. Suddenly the weight fell off around month five for both of my kids. It didn’t matter what I was eating. I personally think dieting now is futile and you really need some good meals to make it through these early days! Just my 2 cents!

  • Missey

    Re: your baby weight. You’ll keep on at least ten of those pounds while you are breastfeeding- your body needs that extra cushion to create milk effectively for your child. So…don’t beat yourself up or freak out over your weight, you need it for now!

  • kristin

    Oswald? That’s nothing. Does anyone remember Oobi, the super creepy bare hand puppet? *shudders*

    Seriously, can I just forward my kid’s future therapy bills to Noggin?

  • Jenny

    I’m still recovering from the Teletubbies and Oobi to even start to watch Oswald. I would love your recipe for beans too. HB Jon!

  • Jill

    Okay, one, Happy Bday Jon! Two – I hate those pick-on-and-beat-up-the-main-character movies too! Almost as much as I hate the Borat and Bruno movies and Candid Camera type shows where they do nothing but make people feel stupid and inferior… where is the humor in that? It just makes me squirm too. Give me potty jokes (Marlo’s toots) anyday… Now that’s funny shit!

  • Kristine

    Humpty Dumpty has just replaced Fancy as my favorite kind of pants.

  • What a cake! Love it 🙂 Happy Birthday!

  • Lisa

    Happy birthday, Jon, but, wow, does that cake belong on Cake Wrecks.

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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