An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

The inside track

Last week Leta learned how to make get well cards at school, and so over the weekend she ran with that idea, holed herself up in her room and started her own printing press:

From Leta

I have to admit, yes, this is adorable and such a sweet gesture, but the first thing I thought is OH GOD. MARCO? Not only do we have to deal with the whole MARIO scenario, now people might mistake the L for a C?! Are we going to spend the rest of our lives going, no, in fact I did not name my daughter Marco, but I appreciate your concern. Now, let’s have a talk about your son, Kayedynne.

Sorry, that was mean. But if you live in Utah YOU TOTALLY UNDERSTAND, AM I RIGHT?

Anyway, we suggested that it might be a good idea to make cards for all the grandparents; for Grandmommy, for Grandpa Rob, for Grandpa Mike, for Grandma Nelta, for Grandma Della— and she was all, WAIT WAIT WAIT. That’s WAY too much, and she says, “How about I just do one for Linda and Rob?”

“Why just one for Linda and Rob?” I asked, learning for the first time that she knows my mother’s first name.

“Because I don’t want to have to do all that writing. I’d get SO tired.”

I told her we’d help her with all those other names, and as she handed me this card she leaned in close to my ear and whispered, “Guess what Linda does sometimes?”

Always eager for gossip on my mother I said, “Please tell me what Linda does sometimes!” I cannot wait until she is old enough that I can follow up that sentence with, “How about another martini!”

“Sometimes,” she said, “sometimes Linda calls Rob, ‘ROBERT’!!” And then she gasped as if she had just revealed that Grandmommy is actually a baby-killing liberal who hopes for a public option.

My eyes widened as far as they could go, and I was all NO SHE DOESN’T! And Leta was all OH HELL YES! Except without the HELL. It’s just, that was the expression on her face. And if she knew that I wouldn’t take away her Nintendo DS for saying it, she probably would have.

So I called my mother and said, dude, do I ever have the dirt on you.

  • eddeaux

    OMW. These are my favorite kind of posts… so funny.

    Also, Leta’s handwriting is better than most adults that I know… and come to think of it, her art is better too.

    Happy Thanksgiving Armstrongs!


  • TropicalPopsicle

    I think I will now have to start going by Tashley, as seen on the Utah Baby Namer site. It’s an excellent mix of my first and last names. Either that or Desdedididawn. Did this whole weird name thing begin with a contest a long time ago? Or maybe a bet gone wrong?

  • apostate

    Yes, I know what you mean. (sigh)
    Because I am from Utah. (sigh)
    And it’s going to be “wintering” here for 6 more months. (sigh)

    (I just wanted to throw that last one in.)


  • amysev

    Wow – followed the Utah baby name link, and now I fear my daughter is a reincarnated Mormon. What else could explain the fact that she gives her stuffed animals names like Trissa and Lurga? (Lurga is one of her favorites. Many things have been “Lurga for a day”). I really hope it’s just a phase (she is only 3, after all) or someday I may have a grandchild named Zyx or somkething equally lovely.

  • Cadence

    My name is Cadence. I met someone who named their child Kaydynce a few months ago. It made me sad.

  • mamadouce

    Don’t have to be from Utah to get the Kayedynne reference. Even when it is spelled Caden, I just can’t get over the fact that it is NOT a name. It is one thing to have a unique name for your kid (i.e. Leta, which is pretty as well as personal for your family, I know) but to start popularizing a made-up name just drives me nuts!!!! I also know 3 different Kaleighs (Kaleigh, Kailee and Caileigh). What the hell?

    Oh, and my name is Heather and I once knew someone named Keather and she ALWAYS introduced herself as Keather, it’s Heather with a K. ARRRRRGGGG!!! Please, parents-to-be out there, think before ye name!

  • hopelds

    The name problem seems to exist for even commmon names – we all assume that something like Jane must be spelled some esoteric way, like Jaaynie.

    My name is Hope – I get called Faith a lot. My daughter is named Harmony – she gets Melody and Heather. Joy usually remains Joy – sometimes Joi or Joiey.

    Stand tall, and teach Marlo – people will get it straigt… someday.

  • agablack

    My name is Agnieszka. (Did you just try to say it out loud? Good luck.) So I go by Agi (pronounced as Aggie). When I introduce myself, I often help people by saying:
    “Hi, I’m Agi. It’s like Maggie without the M.”
    “Nice to meet you, Agi. And where are you from?” they respond.
    “From Poland. It’s like Holland but with a P.”

    Marlo is kick ass, btw. Love the name.

  • Star.trippin.astronaut.

    It’s not too late to go Marb…

  • mamanat

    That list of baby names made me cry. I was laughing that hard. Sorry, Friends Forsaken, but have fun in high school!

  • curlsz

    As soon as I saw it I thought – MARCO!!!? Poor baby she’s in for it – try growing up with the name Malita Marlo it’s hell!!!!

  • bfmchoul

    Best terrible Utah baby name I’ve heard:

    Le-ah. Pronounced “ledashah.” Yep. Le dash ah. The hypen isn’t silent.

  • Shamelessly Sassy

    The mothers of the Kayedynnes in the world need be be shaken vigorously. Spelling your child’s name funky doesn’t make you unique, it makes you a douche.

    (I should probably put that on a bumper sticker.)

    Update after hitting preview: Kayedynne’s mommy must be regulating the formatting of comments because it took FOREVER for this screen to pop up.

  • mariacelina

    This post made me laugh because I personally connected it with Marlo’s other endearing nickname, “Not Maria”. My own name is Maria — don’t worry, I didn’t take it personally that you preferred another name — and when I saw what looked like “Marco” instead of “Marlo” on the card, I had another good laugh, as that’s the name of my brother.

    In seriousness, you have a budding artist in your midst.

  • LeahBeah

    Dude. Every day I am more and more convinced Leta and my 4-year-old should be best friends. Their conversations would be…epic.

  • Music for Mother and Child

    Hi Heather, LOL! Great and fun post! What a loving get well card!

    Greetings from Denmark!

  • MeghanCL

    My brother- and sister-in-law have two sets of twins (I know, OMG – the oldest are 3 and the youngest 6 months), named Mychal (pronounced Michael), Macyn (Mason), Kendyl, and Kamryn. Guess which one’s the boy?

    Kamryn. That poor boy. Could be worse though, they almost named him Kendyl and his sister Kamryn but switched.

    I also have a niece named Kamryn. It’s so confusing!!

  • MissCaron

    OMG. Freakin adorable. Love it! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving y’all!

  • Katiewa

    Totally rad Utah names website! My sister and I spend Saturday morning making fun of freaky baby names in the birth announcements in the local paper but have never seen anything like those Utah names!!!
    I’m thnking of changing my name to Khrysalis. Seriously.

  • William

    I am sure she tells Linda all kinds of dirt on you.

  • beads in the belfry

    That was hilarious. Makes you wonder what she tells Linda about you though. I did a little Sunday school teaching this summer and boy the kids really let anything out! LOL. Good times.

  • KatR

    Let me just say that after learning about weird Mormon names,that “Renesmee” from Twilight makes a whooole lot more sense now.

  • MeghanCL

    KatR – ROFLMAO!!!!! So true.

  • Lilliah

    Heatherrrrrr! The photo you picked for the “safe” version of the calendar ONLY MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT TO DECIDE for those of us who aren’t offended or worried about safety! Couldn’t you have picked a LESS ADORABLE one or something? Oh, wait- there probably *aren’t* any, huh? Pssssh. 😉


  • Snaptress

    You’re so funny. The card is cute 🙂 Ahhhh kids — someday

  • Sheyfey

    Get her a mac and a camera. She can go into business already!

  • Amy J

    My 6 year old also runs a printing press out of his room, and seems to think we need to keep every piece of artwork produced because “Mom, you’ll be glad you have all of this when I’m famous.” I’m sure I will.

    I do live in Utah and I do know exactly what you are talking about.

  • louloupink

    She is an artist!

  • Lolabreeze

    amazing. period.

  • jonerthon

    When the time comes, I am definitely naming my kid Lyn-Z. I mean, look what the hyphen has done for Jay-Z. And if it’s a boy I think I’m going with Budge.

  • AnnieMadison

    HA – POLO!


    Happy thanksgiving to Heather, Jon, Leta, the dogs, and baby Mario. Erm, Marco. Marlo. Phew.

  • Deborah

    Thanks for the list of baby names. Too bad I am about 30 years past all that. However, I’ll pass it on to the Duggars.

    wv: of groins. Ha. Ha.

  • StacieinAtlanta

    That is too funny!

  • Jenna Jean

    I hope you tell her that it’s no good to tattle tell because imagine what she might be telling your mom!
    Jenna Jean

  • Remarks from Sparks

    Grew up in Utah. Escaped. Feel awfully good about it.

    Wrote something myself a bit ago on Utah names: here. Even called the nasty namers trailer trash. Very PC.

    I’m completely horrified by the names people make up for their kids in Utah Valley. My sister (still imprisoned there), met a kid named Wadlee the other day. Never mind that the parents made that shit up, think of all the terrific perversions kids in elementary school can concoct. It’s just mean-spirited.

  • P

    Have a friend whose Mom is a teacher in the Florida panhandle. She had a student who pronounced her name Paw-Juh-May.

    At an open house, she inquired of the Mother as to how the name came about. She replied, “Oh, I saw it on some clothes in the store and liked it.”

    I should mention, it was spelled “Pajama”.

    Trust me, it’s not limited to Utah…

  • nemiccolo

    I love the red hair. I just now realized that Marlo has it too.

    Your kids are so gorgeous with the incredible green eyes Leta has and now Marlo’s unbelievable blues and then that pretty hair….

    Sorry, it’s really shallow of me but I love the colors!!!


  • SerenityNOW

    Bwahhh. Hahaha. I’m laughing at the comments, not the post. That link kept me occupied for a good 30 minutes
    Can you imagine naming your son Bonner? Once, I took so much shit for questioning a woman naming her son “Ethyn.”
    Marlo is a cool name. She will love it. I used to be pissed my parents named me “Cristin” but I learned to live with it. “It’s Gaelic,” they said. Yeah, but no one else in the world knows that!
    Is it any coincidence the security word below is NAZARETH?

  • simin


    i wonder if its in order of preference……….. 😀 sigh don’t mind me.


  • Azucar

    I understand.

    Oh boy, do I understand.

  • shannondawn100

    This has SO made me smile!

  • beadbabe49

    Great giveaway from one of my fav bloggers (I love chuck, so my best stacation would have to include him and my two cats…whoowee, would that be fun!)

  • AmyM

    I take a staycation a few times a year. It involves sending my husband to work and my kids to school and having the house to myself to clean, organize, or sit on the couch and eat ice cream while watching bad day time TV and surfing the internet.

  • tanyetta

    “Because I don’t want to have to do all that writing. I’d get SO tired.”

  • May

    This is off topic but has Leta read the Magic Tree House series yet? My 5 year old son is so obsessed with the series that I can’t keep him supplied fast enough.

  • jojobelle

    I live in Hawaii, so of course, I have the best staycation here!!!!!! In May, my husband and I stayed at the Moana Surfrider in Waikiki. It was Fabulous with an oooh so comfy bed you wouldn’t believe it. Why! you ask. Who stays in bed on a trip to Hawaii? I dunno, but my sleep was the best in years!!!! I wtb that bed. The hotel even has advertisement brochures to buy the bed and accessories! Anyway… we had dinner at Jimmy Buffett’s not so new restarant and a show with some oldies who were in town, The Fabulous SOS(a popular group in Hawaii and Las Vegas, kinda oldies). Not to mention the weekly jaunts to beaches, outdoor activities(water skiing,diving,fishing,etc.)the very popular surfing!!!!! Also, Waikiki!!!, parades, hiking, karaoke(very popular here) helicopter rides, visit the beautiful waterfalls, visit other islands, visit polynesian shows! Oh too much, I can mention more, but you catch my drift. Any weekend can be a staycation here in Hawaii. Just living here in Hawaii, enjoying the people, scenery and activities is a vacation in itself!!!! Aloha, my post may be late, but I wanted to let you know Dooce! Fun reading your stuff!

  • John Duke

    I’m not from Utah. But I get it.

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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