After a bunch of hemming and hawing, I finally decided to say goodbye to ParentDish. Considering our increased household expenses (groceries! gas! Similac with Iron, which is apparently manufactured from pulverized Hope Diamond, uncut cocaine, and space meteorite particles, based on the per-ounce cost!), I worried that it would be irresponsible to give up any paying gig right now, but after listening to some of your feedback and thinking on things for a while it felt like the right thing to do. It wasn’t so much that the occasional negative comments directed at me were too difficult to deal with (although I won’t lie, they sometimes lingered in my brain for hours after reading them), it bothered me more that the environment can be so consistently hostile over there, about every ridiculous topic you can possibly think of, and being a part of the conversation was starting to feel like supporting a perpetually angry mob, their pointy rocks and Caps Lock keys aimed to fire at whoever crossed their path. It felt icky to ask you to join me there. It felt icky that I was sharing stories about the most important part of my life there. And the job was taking the subject that gives me the most joy to write about and making it an unpleasant, often unrewarding chore.

Despite how it sounds, it’s not true that I only have bad things to say about ParentDish. Writing for PD was like therapy while I was on maternity leave and tasked with churning out two posts a day — it was a lot of work, but helped me maintain a feeling of having accomplished some little thing (ANYTHING) other than the endless cycle of feedings, laundry, and cleanup in the early days after Dylan was born. There are a group of insanely talented writers working for that website (whether or not you enjoy reading celebrity stories or news items, consider the effort it takes to constantly search and report with skill on these topics, often without about five minutes’ lead time), the editors I’ve worked with have been unbelievably awesome, and there really are a ton of smart, cool, friendly people reading, fellow parents I wish lived down the block from me so I could stagger over with my kids in order to bleat over their fences: HELP HELP NEED ADULT COMPANY IMMEDIATELY ALSO CHOCOLATE.

I don’t know if there is a way to drive ParentDish towards developing a more positive environment without, at the very least, enforcing some comment moderation guidelines, but it would be nice to see it happen someday. There are missed opportunities when a community becomes so, well, cannibalistic, you know?

Okay, jesus, more than you ever wanted to hear on the subject I’m SURE, so anyway, how was your weekend? Mine was fairly vigorous: JB’s birthday, visiting grandparents, roseola-inflicted toddler, succumbing-to-another-mucusy-illness-just-as-we’re-wrapping-up-the-fucking-10-days-of-amoxicilin baby, a lengthy meandering train of thought which led me to this (that video is so totally why JB and I have been saying “WTF mate?” for about 5 years now).

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Birthday presents with the inevitable zombie invasion in mind. WHAT?

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Cake preparation, with extra contagious saliva.

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Suspicious damn kids.

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Random cute baby photo, because SMOOOOOOOOSH.

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Swistle
15 years ago

We had a TOTAL FAIL yard sale, a half-alive bird dragged in by a cat, and the news that my mother-in-law is planning a visit. But somehow now all I’m thinking about is SMOOSHING A BABY.

serror
serror
15 years ago

Aw. those kids is so danged cute!

Good for you for letting PD go. Enough negativity already!

Sara Moon
15 years ago

Proud of you for leaving PD behind. Life is too short, ya know? When you let that go, something else will fill that space. You are so f’ing talented. It’s sickening ;-)

Beautiful family pics. I wish I “knew” you…ya know, in person!

Felicia
Felicia
15 years ago

Yay! I’m glad you’ve made a choice you feel good about.

And I am totally loving your hair, by the way.

Victoria
15 years ago

cutest baby ever cutest baby EVER!

(please don’t tell my brother)

Jodi
Jodi
15 years ago

Ummm…ok… I would laugh out loud when I read your posts on PD… Then you leave and I’m forced to find you elsewhere… And holy SHIT. I’ve read maybe 4 posts here and you are absolutely cracking me up (something about a meat burrito text message). SO glad I found your real blog!

Danell
15 years ago

Yes, your hair really looks great!

Some of those PD conversations were so breath-takingly stupid…they reminded me of the scenes in Austin Powers where Dr. Evil’s son tries to talk to him and…well, nevermind. It was just occasionally entertaining from an uninvolved, viewer-type perspective.

Um…can I ask you about your maternity clothes again? =)

abbiebabble
15 years ago

Happy Birthday JB! My birthday was this weekend, too!
Anyway, those parent dish people seemed so nasty. Leaving seems like the right thing to do. Good for you.

Jem
Jem
15 years ago

Happy Birthday JB!

T
T
15 years ago

HAH! i forgot about the “wtf mate” thing. that was so great i had to watch it twice. : )

Kate
15 years ago

Great pictures! And totally SMOOOOSH. And then SQUEEEEZE, and then PFFTTHHLLBBTTT on those baby cheeks!

My weekend: company picnic complete with pig roast (as in ENTIRE pig on a spit) – gross yet yummy – working at our house-building site, saw Wall-E with son.

Delia
15 years ago

I saw this and thought of you. Hope that doesn’t sound too creepy.

http://www.mcphee.com/

Pete
Pete
15 years ago

Me and the boys poured some cement for a shed. First time I got both boys to help. They didn’t start to fight until the end when we were all tired (1600 lbs poured).

squandra
squandra
15 years ago

You look so good! Your hair! Your … I don’t know, face!

I’m selfishly pleased you left PD … Glad you’re happy about it, as well. :)

caleal
caleal
15 years ago

Glad you made a decision you’re happy with.

Also, how freaking adorable is your family? Even when wielding knives and deadly mucous?

Sonia
15 years ago

I’m proud of you for throwing in the towel at PD. I didn’t read there very often, mostly because I couldn’t tolerate the negativity of the SanctiMommies. I don’t know how you lasted as long as you did. Someone above said that life is too short, and I agree. I torched my blog almost a year ago, for several different reasons. I made mistakes in choosing topics, definitely. I wrote about personal stuff that I shouldn’t have. I broke several cardinal rules of blogging, and learned the hard way how NOT to be a good blogger. But, I also wrote about parenting a special needs kiddo, and talked as much about the good stuff as the difficult stuff. While I miss the outlet of writing, I don’t miss opening myself up to people who would just sit and wait for a reason to chew my face off. They had nothing to say about my child’s triumphs and were the first to point out any and all of my shortcomings as a person and as a parent. That is what finally did me in. Even when you know the comments are the equivalent of poo being flung by zoo monkeys, some of them do stick in your mind for much longer than they deserve. I’m not sure why there are so many people out in the world who think there’s only one way to do things (theirs!) and that they need to take anyone who disagrees to task. Blah, blah, I’ll put away my soap box for now.
Celebrated my 12th wedding anniversary today! The husband, boy and I all spent the weekend together just sorta lollygagging around the house and yard. I’ve been trying to edit wedding photos from a shoot I did a few weeks ago, but it’s slow going. Happy birthday JB, on the 6th anniversary of your 29th birthday!! Just a couple weeks ahead of me…… I’m in denial. Beautiful photos Linda, as always. The one of Dylan is so. Frigging. Cute.

Electra
Electra
15 years ago

Just wanted to add my support to your decision to stop writing at PD. Agree with another poster that life really is too short. And I love your posts here because of the photos of your adorable kids.

Oh, and your hair REALLY is looking good!

donna
donna
15 years ago

So I think you should set up a troll blog over there and deliberately post inflammatory stuff on it, and post stuff like “my child caught us making love, should we have stopped?”, and “teaching my 4 year old to hunt”, and “I’m 7 months pregnant, too late for an abortion?”. It could be big fun. Wait, also do “vaccines for children given twice because I had a momentary lapse of memory, and now they are genius’s”, and “sewing a stingray to my son’s khaki shirt for halloween (kidding, kidding)”, wait, that’s already been done, lol! Can you imagine the numbers of women losing their shit over real stupid things instead of just normal things that “they” think are dumb? You’d just have to make sure they didn’t find out who you are so they don’t send protective services to your house, although if the claims were farfetched enough, it could be big fun.

bouncy czech
15 years ago

Fucking kangaroos…

HA!

Michelle
Michelle
15 years ago

Linda, loooong-time reader here, but a lazy commenter. I just wanted to say how completely and utterly fantastic you look. With all you do, with your job and family and writing, etc., etc., you find the time to take care of yourself and be healthy. That is so inspiring. And mama, you are HOT. I always thought you were gorgeous, but in these pictures your beauty really shines through. Please keep doing what you’re doing b/c the results are amazing. I have never met you but I’m so proud of you! Sniff.

Janssen
15 years ago

Wow, your hair. . .it takes my breath away :)

Kaire
15 years ago

Gee, who will now take time out of their oh so busy day to claim the way you and those like you parent your children is the down fall of civilization? Life will be much better when you no longer have crazy parents wanting to burn you on a stake!

Jamie :)
Jamie :)
15 years ago

Damn, girl!! That picture of you and Riley looks like something out of Martha Stewart Living!! Gorgeous!!

warcrygirl
15 years ago

The Captain had his last swim meet of the season, the league conference, run by a coach who’s communication skills leave MUCH to be desired. He placed 2nd in two of his three heats (we don’t speak of the breast stroke event) and we lingered in the 92* heat for an extra hour and a half because of said poor communication skills. Sunday was spent snarfing baked Tostitos and salsa, lounging about with my boys and giving Jr a much needed haircut. SMOOOSH!!!!

Mandee
15 years ago

I’m even scared to comment on Parent Dish. I started to comment on your farewell post that if we could just get Whoorl and Friday Playdate away from there, I could unsubscribe. But, I chickened out.

You look great. Your kitchen looks great. And I want some of that cake!

Bumbling
15 years ago

Happy Birthday to JB, the husband I consider the second coolest in the world – the first being my own of course. (Whispers out of side of mouth: “Psst JB – you are the coolest, I had to write that last bit because a certain someone that I am married to also reads this site)…SO! Happy 35th! You are blessed with and awesome wife and 2 wonderful kids.
Sundry: I am glad you left the swirling maelstrom of hatred that was Parent Dish. You rock too hard to be a part of that dump.
Can I have a piece of cake now? Gracias.

Carol
15 years ago

Kinda makes me glad that I never signed that contract with them that sat on my desk for weeks. It just didn’t feel right.

Happy BD, JB!

Oh, and — adorable baby pic!

Carol

Shawna
Shawna
15 years ago

Yay for casting off the PD shackles! But Boo for having one less place to read posts by you!

Easy-peasy long weekend here: small mall-parking-lot fair attended, dinner eaten at the parents, etc. Good photo ops with our toddler though.

Kristen
Kristen
15 years ago

Good for you – glad you ditched the negative vibes. Also – completely unrelated – your hair looks awesome! :)

Jennifer
15 years ago

Hey – curious whether you and the family skipped the Blue Angels Seafair show this year (I’m guessing you took a break, especially if both kids were a bit under the weather and given Riley’s slight aversion to all the noise!!)

And – whoa on the cake. So it looks like you baked a bundt cake and cut it into three separate rings, smeared frosting/filling in between then put it back together. HOW DID YOU DO THAT without it falling apart at some point, wow, Martha Stewart indeed! :-)

Have a great week – weather is going to rock.

p.s. my weekend: bike riding, lots of riding past lots of towns and houses and markets. Close to 150 miles total. It’s the best feeling, it feels like freedom.

jonniker
15 years ago

Dude, is that the Man Knife I bought for Adam at JB’s recommendation? It IS, isn’t it?

Yay for man-knives! And happy birthday, JB!

Maria
15 years ago

Glad you came to a decision that worked for you on the PD thing. Hope you find a more brain-satisfying paying gig to replace it. You’re certainly awesome! I’ve been following your sick-kid twitters with lots of sympathetic cringes (and giggling).

Wendy
Wendy
15 years ago

I LOVE that video…we’ve become used to WTF at our house as well.

It looks like you do quite a bit without the gig at PD as far as your job outside the home, blogging, and being a mom…all which seem to be really well balanced, accompanied by a great sense of humor. It’s too bad some of their readers have such a close-minded view on things.

the goddess anna
15 years ago

Happy Birthday to JB! I haven’t commented in a while, I’m so lazy. I’m glad you left PD, but I have to say, you got in there a little too late anyway. I’ve been going there for years, and it’s been a downhill slide ever since they changed the name from Blogging Baby to Parent Dish. I have a thing for horrid trainwrecks, else I’d never go back.

It was for the best. : ) And my apologies if this posts twice, my browser has been a bit glitchy lately.

Leeann
15 years ago

Who is that gorgeous, put together woman you hire to play the “mommy” in all those shots? She must not have kids of her own, she looks WAY too good ;)

Good for you for leaving PD. It was the right thing to do.

rai
rai
15 years ago

Happy Birthday JB!

You should make a post about acceptable potential zombie fortresses. I’m going to be moving to WA next month and I have NO clue where acceptable strongholds might be. =]

Lane County (formerly Seattle) Suz

Because Greenman was such a hit at the OR Country Fair, he (we) were gifted full passes to this:
http://www.faerieworlds.com/index2008.html It was a bit on the queer-ish side, but still a nice change from watching our felines crap themselves courtesy of the F/A-18 Hornets we’re used to this time of year.

Lane County Suz
15 years ago

OH, and could it be that your Leo shares the same birthday as my favorite one? (And who is not my brother. RIP, Jerry Bear.)

Jessica
Jessica
15 years ago

Glad you were able to make a decision that works for you. As for $$, you don’t have a project sellout section on your site… Not sure how much $ ads would bring in, but that may be something to explore.

Also, what do you use to keep your hair back in the second photo? Nothing I’ve tried works…

mixette
mixette
15 years ago

So glad to hear that you ditched the PD gig. No need for all that insidious negative energy – it always seeps in even when you think “oh, it doesn’t bother me…”

This weekend, still living the vampire lifestyle of not venturing outside basically between 8 am and 8 pm. We could use some weather volatility here. 40+ days of over 100 temps. so far this summer. ENUF already!

Erin
15 years ago

Oh Dylan! My goodness your boys are handsome.

Sounds like you made the right decision about PD. I wouldn’t have handled all that judgement nearly as well. That kinds of thing really gets into my head and F–KS with my mind.

JennyM
15 years ago

1. Happy Birthday, JB!

2. SMOOOOOOSH!

3. WTF,indeed.

Meggish
Meggish
15 years ago

I never comment on blogs (lurk lurk), but here goes: ParentDish was bad news — way to go! Your hair looks fantastic! Your baby is smooshable! Now I am le tired, and must take a nap.

JAB
JAB
15 years ago

Happy Birthday, JB! And Linda, your hair looks AMAZING in both of those pictures!

SJ
SJ
15 years ago

My god, that video was awesome.

Not to sound all stalker-ish and stuff but even though I don’t know you, I love reading about you and your family and I totally relate and would absolutely enjoy your friendship in real life. You know, if I lived down the street from you.

And you lady are looking fine! Happy Birthday indeed to JB!

JLS
JLS
15 years ago

After going back to see the rest of the comments on PD I had to say to myself, “WTF, Mate?” Crazy bitches, indeed! Congrats on ridding yourself of the bad vibes! I need to take a Tums now because my stomach hurts from reading all the negative dribble! Who needs it? Not you!

deanan
deanan
15 years ago

Yeah for breaking up with PD! Feels good, huh? In a warped selfish way I am glad because I dislike the meanies over there but your take on parenting cracks me up so I would be forced to do the death march over there every once in awhile.

PS- have you signed up yourself and every family member with an address for similac coupons? (hint: say you are thinking about breastfeeding and they’ll send you more coupons!) Or you can just buy them on ebay and craigslist.

Josh
15 years ago

My weekend rocked ass. My buddy had his birthday party, and I managed to have a ton of fun and NOT get in trouble, or get seduced by any shady but highly attractive country girls, and not get any DUI’s, and generally managed to wrangle a ton of one on one fun time out of my long time friend despite his betrothed control hag. (I won, yay)

And I even knew I was feeling lazy so I went to McDonalds and got ten southern style chicken sandwiches so I wouldn’t have to cook all weekend. It was friggin awesome, and just so you know, McDonalds meat last indefinately, but their buns last one and a half days before becoming unbearable soggy and too-long-submerged-life-cereal-like.

liz
liz
15 years ago

Good decision to let go of PD. You don’t need to provide more fodder for those cranky people! It’s too bad it has to be that way, but sadly it is what it is.

Sharla
15 years ago

I know this comment is a few months late, but I have to say, I’m so glad that you wrote at Parent Dish. (even though some people really had sticks up their butts) I found you there through some totally unrelated search and after that I read your updates faithfully. You are so funny and relatable and I was so bummed when I found out you were leaving PD. That was, until I stalked you and found your blog here! I’ve read all of it up until this blog and I’ve loved reading about your life and family. My son is a month younger than Riley and my daughter is a few months older than Dylan and it’s so fun and refreshing to read about you raising your kids and say “Exactly! That’s EXACTLY how I feel!” You are amazing with words and I feel priveleged to get a glimpse into your life.