Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Babbling Of Another Kind

Has this blog just become a big fucking Babble whore bummer? Do you hate me now?

I know, I know!

I'm sorry about that. Really, I am! It's just that I'm trying to get used to having two kids and also writing three articles a day for Babble. God bless you, you sweet, sweet readers who keep coming here, and not only that, you click over to Babble.

Within a week all will be explained to you. Big news is coming. Big, mind blowing news is coming, I swear!


Having a baby is like jumping off the high dive for the first time. You jump and then you go deep. Way deep. It's not until a month after the baby is born that you break the surface. That first month is spent holding your breath and swimming toward sunlight. Literally. I've been waiting for the sun since February. Today was the first day it made a solid appearance and oh my God it was amazing.

There was this moment yesterday where we all went for a walk in a nearby canyon. Serge carried Violet in a backpack and held the dogs' leashes, I had Henry in a sling against my chest and were walking - very nearly hiking! - and I thought Oh my God we are doing this! We have two kids and two dogs and we are totally doing this! Everyone is alive and well and we are transporting them safely in the sunshine and WE ARE DOING THIS!

For my birthday last Sunday - yes, I'm officially in my mid-thirties, thirty-four to be exact - Serge gave me a gift certificate to my hair salon. Today I got my hair did. Fixed the Tony the Tiger stripes and this time I am thrilled with the results. I am back to being me, albeit a 30 pounds heavier me. I wonder when I'm going to learn my damn lesson and just stick with the blonde already, you know? I keep having these brown hair epiphanies and I just need to ignore those impulses and stick with blonde.

I digressed there, didn't I? I've got to admit, it's Friday night and I'm a little drunk. What I mean to say is I drove home tonight with newly blonde hair, the stereo was on, it was eight o'clock and it was still light outside. God bless America. Yeah, it's supposed to snow tomorrow (sonuvabitching Utah) but fuck it. It was in the seventies today.

Anyway, listen. Stick around. I've got a lot of stuff to share with you and I will do so, finally, exactly one week from today. I mean, I'll be around before then but the big news is coming on Friday.

Roll call: I want to know who you are! Who's still out there? Where are you? What are you doing?

Reader Comments (124)

Can't wait for the news!
Your blog cracks me up, you and your husband remind me of me & mine. Keep on writing, mama. I'm a big fan.

April 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNicole R

Happy belated birthday!!! I'm so glad you were born. Reading your blog is not like reading at all. It's like engaging in a private secret with a friend. I have learned alot from you. You turned me on to "The Heartless Bastards" and "Marah". You make me laugh and cry. So yeah, I love you, your family & your blog. Roll call: Just chillin on a Friday nite, husband is watching "Deliverance" on the boob tube. We own a restaurant near Santa Fe, NM and run it together. We have a 23 year old son who is a sweetheart. He has been sober for a year after kicking oxycontin. He had an older sister who was born on the same day as him, 8 years apart. Our daughter was killed in a car accident when she was only 19. So it is an ongoing struggle to cope with that. "Hard it was to lose her, harder still to miss her". YOU remind me of our Anna. She too was astute, opinionated, loved writing and marched to her own beat. So keep marching Monica. Can't wait to hear your news... I can't believe I'm the first poster. Yea!!

April 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterniobe19

I'm still here!

April 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjeneria

Wow your comment section has got to be my favourite one of all the blogs I read. Anyway Niobe up there, I second what you write about Monica, ha the wonders of the internet.
Waiting on the pics of the new hair!

April 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiss A

Ooops spoke too soon, Nicole beat me to 1st comment. When I started typing no comments had arrived. Monica, here's a joke for ya. What is 6 inches long, has a big head, and girls love it?

$100 dollar bill! Love ya, Happy April Fool's Day!

April 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterniobe19


Wow. I am so sorry to read about Anna but honored to even be compared to her. Thank you for your comment. Really. Thank you so much. Congrats on your son's sobriety. I have a brother with the same issues and he is just now climbing out of that hole. It's hard to be the sister of someone who has overdosed and died (technically) twice, but I can't imagine being a mama. So, so hard. Am so glad to hear he's doing well.

Also, I love Santa Fe. Went there once with an ex-boyfriend. He sucked, but Santa Fe was awesome.

April 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterMonica

still here! love reading your blog and I'm patiently waiting for Serge's post Henry update... I'm happy to support you guys however I can so clicking over to babble is NEVER a problem. Keep it up, you make me laugh all the time.

April 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura B

I've been here since you were in Brooklyn and I saw you linked by S. Klein. I stopped reading her years ago, but have followed you to Utah and now to Babble, with baby #2! And the whole time I've been in grad school in NYC, living in Harlem USA, hoping I actually finish this dissertation and graduate so I can move back to Austin one of these days. I really hope you get to announce in a week that you get to write from home and and take care of your kiddos, if that's what you want. More power to you!!
PS - I started reading City Wendy's blog because you linked to her a long time ago, and now she's in NYC and one of my real life friends. Love how this blog world works.
You have a gorgeous family. Congrats!

April 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteremily

You're welcome. OMG I love this
"Oh my God we are doing this! We have two kids and two dogs and we are totally doing this! Everyone is alive and well and we are transporting them safely in the sunshine and WE ARE DOING THIS!"
Just superb...

Love to host you guys in Santa Fe, anytime!

April 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterniobe19

LOVE your blog. I've been reading for several months after a friend linked me to your husband's blog about Violet and the play tent. So happy she sent me this way! I live in AZ and am also a mama to 2 little ones with a husband who thinks it's normal to leave iron skillets on the stovetop as though they are art.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

I found this blog...I forget how I found this blog. I'm a 20 year old college student in an almost 3 year long monogamous relationship living with her boyfriend. I mostly like to read "mommy blogs" and found yours shortly after Violet was born. I fell in love with your writing (I won't just read any "mommy blog" or even regular blog for that matter the writing has to speek to me) and promptly went and read everything from the beginning, or as far as I could anyways. I just love how you write, the honesty of it-it's like you're speaking to me and I read everything because when I grow up (if I ever do) I want to be a combination of you, my mom, and a couple other successful empowered women like you whom I also follow online.

Also: I'm not ready for kids...but looking at cute pics/hearing the stories helps because I want them really bad. Someday I hope to be as awesome a mom as you are, until then...I kinda live vicariously through you.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

I'm here!! I'm not a blogger per se, but i read only 4 and yours is still one of them! I met my husband via internet back in January of 2005 and he moved from SC to VA in April of the same year, we married in 2006 and had our first baby in 07. I can't tell you HOW many times I have read your and serge's love story! I love you guys... P.S. you guys make some DAMN good looking babies!!! ;-)

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterApril

HERE! :)
I can't wait to hear your news. Sounds like it's something great! Which is good, cause you deserve something great.
So, I'm present for roll call. Little ol' me, one of your distant neighbors in this salt lake valley (and also enjoying this short lived sunshine with ya!)

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenny B

Present! I have been reading about two years & love all your stories. I escaped Utah 7 years ago, moved to Scottsdale. Met and married the best guy I have ever known. What am I doing? Going to nursing school, working, trying to keep up with life & keeping my eye on the light at the end of the tunnel. Graduation in May! Thanks Monica for all the laughs & honesty.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess


I agree with all of the above comments. Especially feeling like I am hearing all of your secrets whispered in my ear like I am a close friend, your writing really brings the reader to a very intimate level which I have yet to find on many other blogs. I totally don't mind running over to babble. I cannot remember how I found your blog, but I added about 5 or 6 others after I found yours. Including Herny's mame Kgranju.

Love the writing I can't wait to hear your big news next friday!!!

Happy weekend, enjoy the snow! ;)

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHillary

I am here - I live in the UK and came to you through the Daily Mail in the UK, via Mammapundit.
I try but babble is a messy kinda website in my opinion and I can only get to your posts via your links!
Happy Birthday.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersaffron

I'm 24 days out from giving birth to my son, which explains why I'm awake at 7 AM on a Saturday and have already fed and bathed him and somehow also fed myself. I have not, as of yet, stripped my bed of the sheet he pooped on... yet I seem to be online. Funny about those priorities.

Anyhow, even with just the one baby it's difficult to keep up - with two... I think I'd probably spend the first few months being the social equivalent of one of those hermits in the mountains, never to be heard from again.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

I'm still here, still reading and enjoying what I read. I had my second child in December (my first is 3 years old) and now I'm on maternity leave 'til September. I can't blame you if you can't write for Babble AND for the blog, I'm not even able to update my children's diary I started when I was pregnant with my first daughter, so I admire you if you can write 3 times a day with 2 kids.
Can't wait to read next friday's news!!!!
You've 2 beautiful lovely sons!

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSerena from Italy

I meant 2 beautiful and lovely children! :D

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSerena from Italy

been here for awhile....lurking in the deep shadows of the non commenting corner---or maybe I'm just lazy or buzzed.......either way, I'm here :)

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmilie-VT

hey! i'm still here!
i started reading this blog in 2006, (yikes! it's been a long time!) since ryan from "i serve idiots" recommended it. i was very happy when you restarted it after violet was born.
i'm a paraguayan girl also named monica, just turned 30, and since i've been reading you i changed jobs 5 times, house 4 times, country 3 times, and went from being a single gal to living with my gay best friend to getting married.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranother monica

I'm relatively new to your blog, but found it instantly addictive! Can't wait to see what you post on Friday!

PS: Your babies are beautiful :-)

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBex_Rox

You know I'm here, wishing you all the best on that babble-clicking endeavor! I'm a criminal defense lawyer, from Austin, with an 18 month old little boy and a baby girl due this summer. Photographer on the side, but I don't have much of a side right now. I've been reading you for a couple of years and I can't even remember how I found you. But you turned me onto Heartless Bastards, too.

I had a dream last night that Dooce tweeted the do-nothing-baby-holder babble piece (you didn't link to it here?! people, go find it on Monica's babble column. it's called 3 things you must do when a friend has a baby) because I asked her to. Since she does that sort of thing for me, right?

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertherobynnest

Hi! I've been reading since Katie Granju linked you several months ago, and of course I had to begin with your amazing love story. I'm 31 and about to move from Nashville, my home of four years, to Louisville, where my boyfriend lives. I like to think it's an amazing love story of its own :). I'm also about to embark upon a new career--massage therapy--after many failed other "life plans" (I was an English major, if that helps clarify any).

I always love reading you here, and you're pretty much the only person I will read on Babble (besides Katie), so keep linking.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterholly wynne

still here...not going anywhere. Love reading all your stuff and I can't wait to hear the big news. Me, I'm working on graduation stuff for my daugher, how does this happen??? Most days I feel like I'm still in my 20's and actually I'm just a little older than you:)

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkacy

I'm here! I found you through Twitter just before Henry was born. I went back and read your story about meeting Serge and I click over every day. I even click the Babble articles because it doesn't bother me that you link there!

Congrats on your beautiful family! Hope it gets warm up here in Ontario soon!

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrandi

Erica here. . . I've been reading your blog since you moved to NYC. . . I can't remember how I came across it??? I'm a married, mother of 3 living in the midwest and think I have read your entire archives. I do click over to babble and am glad to do that. . . I hope you are able to make a living off of your writing and your blog!! I hope this big news means that you are going to be able to do that!

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErica

Monica! I'm 40, still single (fun most of the time, painful others), living in San Diego w/ a dog and very low overhead. Found you through @mamapundit and I just adore you! I've read through some of your archives and just have to say, thank you for making me feel a little less alone.


April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenn in San Diego

I'm here! Clicking over to Babble when you post a link, searching for you over there when my reader doesn't update correctly. I love to read your writing, even if I don't comment very often. (I don't find myself very witty so I'm pretty sure others don't either).

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnjie B.

I am still reading here in Michigan. Small business owner with my boyfriend of 8+years. we don't have any kids together. he has 2 from previous marriages. anyway I crave your writing so much I would probably read your grocery list, and think it's funny... so day after day I follow the trail over to babble...finding out about such things as, hairy vaginas, poop on tables and mucous plugs. thanks for that by the way, and thanks for the occasional thing that I can apply to my own the crazy shit your husband does. oh, and I read his stuff too.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

Obviously, I am Jill. And I am here to stay - with you AND Babble. Like others, I found you through Katie Granju, through your comments on her post about Mormonism. I too, am a recovering Mormon, and just instantly felt a connection with you and your writing. I've got three kids - two dogs - a vicious cat - and a beta fish named Gary. Lifelong Murray resident, child Mormon, found the light when I was 15 or so, am now a worshiper of Mother Nature.
I saw you at Walmart and wanted to profess my undying love, but didn't want to come across as a crazed stalker. Next time, I will happily introduce myself. Unless, of course, your big Friday news has something to do with leaving this beautiful, yet very close minded, state. I hope not, but am excited to hear what it is! OH! And Happy Birthday! Mine is next Sunday! Lets get together and have a drink!

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJust Jill


New as of Henry's birth and I'm sticking around because damn lady, you sound like a big pile of fun! I migrated over on Katie Granju's good word.

As far as whom I am, etc: Live in London, UK but originally from small town Massachusetts. Found my perfect British gent and we'll be married soon. I shan't bore you with any more details.

Very glad that things are going well and that you managed to juggle two adults, two babbens, and two dogs in the sunshine! :). Keep on keepin' on...

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLo

Hi Monica! Lara here. Found you through mamapundit and have been reading for about a year and following you on Babble (you're one of the few bloggers I can actually stand over there, btw). I really like your writing and I identify with your outlook on/struggles with marriage, family, etc. You seem like a rad gal who I would be friends with if I knew you in "real life."
Happy birthday and congrats on Henry and making the 2 kid/2 dog family work (we have 2 big dogs and a 14 month old and are going to try for number 2 in the next few months, so I'm following you closely to see how it all unfolds!). Can't wait to hear your exciting news!

P.S. I live in Santa Fe, too - you should visit again now that you're free of the crappy ex-bf!

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLK

@LK - Did you just use the word "rad"? Because that is so rad.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who...

Hey, here I am. Been here since waaayyy back in the day when you were dealing with the crazy ex-girlfriend. Wow. A lifetime ago. Living in Skippack, PA, raising two awesome kids, working hard...turned 40 this year...that was interesting. I've got a couple of senarios in my head about your news. Can't wait to find out if I'm on the right track. Your family is beautiful. So very happy for you all. Tell your husband I'm anxious to read his musings on baby Henry...where has he been? Happy Belated Birthday! Love ya.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTricia L

Happy Belated Birthday...I am a semi-new reader came to the blog about a month before Henry was born but I have gone back and read a lot of your old stuff. I love it all!! You have a great outlook on life and I look forward to reading because of that...please keep it up... :D Cant wait to hear the BIG NEWS :D

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Here! I found you through Mamapundit as well, and have been reading regularly ever since. I am in Oregon, a new momma via surrogate, and a sometimes writer. I dig you and Serge both, and am happy that I landed on your corner of the internet. Can't wait for big news!

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

Present! Happy belated birthday! I can't wait to hear your news.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarahO

I'm Jacqueline. I'm 47 and live in Minneapolis. I'm a massage therapist. My children are 21, 18 and 11 (baby uh-oh!). I like your blog because it makes me laugh and also because you tell the truth and don't sugarcoat much of anything. I also think those babies are adorable and I'm a sucker for adorable babies. While I'm far past having tiny ones around the house I still enjoy reading about yours. Thank you for writing. All the best to you.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline

Hey there,

I came wandering over one day from Babble and haven't left. Well, okay, I lie, I had to go have a baby, BUT just about three weeks later I'M BACK! I live in Denmark and since they lack birth classes in English on my little island I had to turn to the intertoobs for my ed-u-mah-cation (I know, it's like trying to write a master's thesis using only wikipedia, I'm obviously insane). But I gotta say, blogs like this really do make a girl feel like she can own this mommy business. I mean, I kinda have to, now that I've got a mini-me in my lap, but I might just turn out to rock this whole mom thang. So, thanks for the confidence boosting!

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArchaeogoddess

Hey, I've been around here for a year and half, ever since Dooce led me to your blog at the time of that big twitter fiasco with the Mormon church. I come from a Mormon upbringing also, so I love reading your musings and rants about the church. I dont know many women in real life who've left the church and are still awesome, admirable, and a force to be reckon with, so I totally look up to you. I'm a 21-yr-old college student in Washington state, in a 3-year relationship with an amazing boy, and although I dont want kids for a while I still adore your two and I guess that qualifies as living vicariously through you and your writing (ha, hey previous poster Courtney, apparently we have a lot in common).

I love knowing I'm helping you out financially by just clicking a button over to Babble, so I'm happy to do it. That being said, I also love reading your stuff on subjects other than just babies, so if it's not too much trouble for ya don't forget about The Girl Who!

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAsh

New reader Christy! Love your writing! Kiddos are adorable! Exclamation points!!

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

I'm still here regularly tuning in to the GirlWho channel. Mr. Henry is super-cute, I can't believe you haven't devoured him, he looks terribly yummy!!! (is that werd?) I think I have been reading since very nearly the beginning, back when blogs were a soapbox hobby instead of the enterprise they've become. I haven't enjoyed every single thing you've written, but It's been fun to see your life evolve, and your writing change along the way. I anticipate your good news is about something you've been working towards for some time. I look forward to extending a cyber-high-five in celebration.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternovemberjuliet

Been reading off and on for three years or so. Not a big commenter, but figured it was time to say hi since you asked. I'm a mom of two boys, ages 21 and 16 in Ohio, missing the baby days, but enjoying the freedom of having my kids being not so dependent on me being around all the time. I think your stories are hiarious, and your children are adorable.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterchrissy

Hey I'm still here. I love reading what you & Serge have to say. I also let Rachel come over & look at your pictures b/c she talks about you guys like you're old friends of hers.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChrissyD

Still here -- recently turned 30, childless, and hating a job I'm good at. I was just thinking this morning that I should tell you what I tell myself (and then ignore). Leaping off is so scarey, but the rewards are even greater blah blah blah blah.... I can't wait to hear your news!

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNina

You're killing me with anticipation. What's the big news?!

I don't know how long I've been reading your story - a year? year and a half? I cried happy tears when I watched the Father's Day video; I was so happy for you guys. I think that was the first time I had a real "happy for my friend" reaction to something that was happening in the life of a complete stranger whose blog I read. You and Serge, I think you guys are pretty cool.

I'm on vacation in Washington, D.C. We're going back to Kentucky on Monday. I love vacation.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie


Still reading! Like Tricia, I started reading right around the time of the crazy ex girlfriend, maybe 4 years ago? I'm 24, a social worker in child welfare and living in Florida. I think your writing is awesome and I dig your Babble stuff even though I'm childless. There have been a couple times where I've emailed you while in a wine daze (for some reason I feel lame emailing you if I'm not?) and you've always written me back. I always feel super-awesome when you do, so thanks.

Can't wait to hear the big news on Friday!

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSara

I've already commented, but after thinking about it, I just wanted to add in these bits:
I also love Marah, and they're a band I probably would've never heard of if I had never stumbled across your blog. Their music has been the soundtrack to my life this past year. (Still dreaming of a west coast tour.)

I really dig Serge's corner of the blog, and whenever I read his stuff I feel like I have put on poetic goggles and am looking at the universe in a whole new way. I think it beautifully complements your style of writing.

Okay, that's enough from me.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAsh

Happy Belated and can't wait to hear the news. I'm not sure how I found your blog but I am glad I did. I love your brutally honest approach to life, love, and motherhood. Plus I'm a fellow Utahn and mother of 2 under three years old. As for what I am doing right now. I'm taking a break from shopping on this cloudy and windy spring-in-Utah-on-conference-weekend day. Best times to shop are during crowds or traffic anywhere.

April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

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