Remarkable friends by Susie Lubell

 Liv and Rachel at our retreat in 2010

I have some remarkable friends around the world for whom I feel incredibly grateful. I wish I saw them more often but when we do see each other, even on skype, it's like we were never apart (although less true with skype - I sometimes feel like a jackass on skype. But more on that later).

Two years ago I met a gorgeous group of women for an art retreat on Lake Superior. We spent four days getting to know each other offline, making yummy food, making juicy art and laughing hysterically. There might have been some crying too. That can happen with eight women in a cabin. Anyway, those lovely ladies met again this year and unfortunately I could not attend (more on this regretful decision another time) but I skyped in briefly and got a quick dose of awesome.

I was struck by how each one had undergone some enormous impossibly wonderful and challenging life altering event over the last two years. These are women who set goals and stick to them. Changing careers, writing books, delivering ecourses, teaching workshops, moving cross-country, completing giant projects resulting in massive bodies of new work and in some cases, all while raising kids. I feel so proud of them and I am reminded to write down my own damn goals in big ass letters on poster paper so I can keep cracking!

But first I want to tell you about a few important developments so that you can share in some of the wisdom and delight that I get from these girls.

Liv Lane is offering another ecourse and I'm taking it. It's called BUZZWORTHY and it's about how to attract the love and attention your soulful business deserves. I took her first course, Building a Blog You Truly Love, last January and it's what got me to finally take inventory of my blog and art business and start making some changes.

Rachel Awes' new SARK + Kelly Rae Roberts-endorsed book ALL I DID WAS LISTEN is now available in her ETSY shop for PRE-ORDERS including a special "girlfriend pack" (FIVE books and some bonus goodies so you can share the love). It's scheduled release date is December 1, 2012. If you, like me, ate up Succulent Wild Women and love Story People, you will love this book. It is a 236-page, full-color, illustrated gift book, filled with inspiring hand-written quotes from her psychotherapy clients, that, strung together, tell a story about how healing can happen for everyone.

That should keep you busy for a while. There's more to share, but there's also laundry to be folded.  Stay tuned.

Homies by Susie Lubell

A few cozy homies at a ceramics co-op on Yoel Salomon Street, Jerusalem

It has been a festive few weeks with visitors and celebrations. Right now we're especially delirious to have GRANDMA visiting all the way from California during what is possibly the rainiest week ever in the history of Israel dating back to the time of King Herrod. Sorry Grandma. But we managed to get in a few jaunts to favorite nearby cafes, ceramic co-ops and jewelry shops before the real deluge began. Grandma is here for another two weeks so my presence here will be sporadic, not to be confused with the presence of spores in our bathroom from all of the rain. Nice. Love rentals.

But before I go I have a favor to ask. My old friend and Inner Toddler enthusiast Mona has nominated me in the Best Family Blog category of the Homies on Apartment Therapy. I love Apartment Therapy and would love a Homie to go next to my Tony and my Oscar. Here's the catch: voting ends March 2 EST (Ack! That's tomorrow!) and you have to sign in to vote. Bummer. But don't let that discourage you!  It only takes a minute. Maybe less. Okay homies? Tell everyone you know! Let's start a revolution!

A few things to smile about by Susie Lubell

Mr. Happy Pita Man

OK. Here is why me and Mr. Pita Face are smiling:
  • I'm reading this book and it's great. I haven't read a book since Jumbo babypants was born so it's kind of nice.
  • Aimee just gave up the goods over at Artsyville. Her online workshop Three Little Words is posted and you can use her wordy workouts to get your poet mojo flow-jo. 
  • I just signed up for Liv Lane's e-course Building a Blog You Truly Love because Liv Lane is one of the most authentic, hard-working, creative, savvy and inspiring people I know. I saw this post featuring some of the content and decided it was a must.  Her class starts January 9th so there's still time to sign up.
  • Did you know that my brother has a blog? He lives in Mexico and runs a small hotel, surfs and plays piano. We live very different lives. That was an understatement of epic proportion. Go read his stuff and see what I mean. Tell him I said hi.

The four day gift by Susie Lubell


I am moving slowly today. I'm coming off four days with seven sassy women in the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. Still marinating in what we created there together. When I got the invitation back in August my husband took one look at it and was like, under no circumstances are you missing this thing. Whoever these women are who thought this up are clearly fabulous. And he was right. All of them fabulous. All of them with special gifts that unfolded beautifully over our long weekend together. There was a rough schedule which we only kind of abided. We mainly let the weather decide if we should go out or stay in. When we went out we took walks and breathed in the lake and bought candy and had moose mochas and admired Scandinavian handicrafts. And when we stayed in there was a lot of creating going on. Bookbinding and collaging and sketching and coloring and beading and inking. Not to mention the hysterical laughter, cooking, dancing, storytelling and sharing. I took advantage of my time away to read and take naps also. It was just what I needed. It was just who I needed too. Thank you Liv, Rachel, Aimee, Jen, Carissa, Kolleen and Lori. Big love to all of you.


Fair Winds





My clear conscience is your loss by Susie Lubell

Rocket Circle Name Print

I totally blew it guys because I am paranoid and lazy and here's how it all went down.

Someone from a company that aggregates discounted designer stuff for kids emailed that she wanted to do a giveaway on my site. Ordinarily I would say no because these solicitations all seem like scams (one guy actually reached out to me a few times, from different companies, but with the same name and form email. Who do you really work for Sam Goroff? CIA? Mossad?). But I went to her site and saw a few things that I like and I said I might be amenable to the idea.

She was offering to give away a little Crocodile Creek backpack with the solar system on it and since I had just been searching for backpacks for my son who is starting kindergarten on Monday, I thought, well, I'm someone who has an opinion about backpacks, plus I just finished this little print with space icons on it (above), so I could probably tie all of these otherwise unrelated things together for a co-promotional blog post and one of you lucky readers would get a free backpack! Win win! And then she offered to send me one too! Even better!

But then I forgot to email her back. And then a lot of time passed. But I finally did email and she agreed to do the promotion but I would have to endorse two of the designer brands they were featuring. And of the twenty or so brands, the only one I would even consider buying is Tea Collection and only at a serious discount. Because I just can't get behind spending $40 on a mass-produced blouse for a three-year-old? And the other brands were altogether ridiculous. Baby Lacoste? Baby Burburry? For now I'm sticking with Baby Target.And Baby Hand-me-down.

So, in good conscience, I declined her offer. Sorry Tracey Lin*. You seemed really nice. My readers and I would have been psyched to have matching free backpacks. I guess it wasn't in the stars. I'll do better next time and get us some really kickass lunch boxes or something.

* this is a pseudonym in case Tracey also works for the CIA.

From your Boccalone to God's ears by Susie Lubell


Hi. I've been thinking a lot lately about my life and my livelihood and I've decided to let you in on a little secret. I want to get paid for writing. Because shouldn't we all get paid for what we do best? For instance, I have a brother who is really amazing at spinning stuff on his index finger. I feel like someone should pay him to do that. And while I know that what I offer is not nearly as physically nourishing as Tasty Salted Pig Parts (see above), I think my blog does offer a kind of nourishment for the soul. Yes? Maybe?

(As an aside, we passed by this little shop, Boccalone, in the Ferry Building in San Francisco a few weeks ago. We didn't partake because we don't eat pork, but I like that when you go there, you know exactly what you're getting. And, incidentally, boccalone means big mouth, I think, in Italian American slang. You'll be needing your boccalone later on in the post).

I put this little message out into the universe a few years ago (about getting paid to write) and ended up with a copy writing job at Shutterfly which I didn't know at the time would be a first step toward starting my business and fulfilling my dream of being a working artist. So that's all good. Thanks universe.

But I'm understanding now that I needed to be more specific about the kind of writing for which I would like to be paid. I want to be paid money for writing this blog. Not that I want YOU to pay me money because lord knows none of us has any money. Seriously. But there are companies out there with a lot of money or even a little money and they should pay me because even though I don't get much traffic over here, my posts have above average grammar. This is something that many other blogs do not offer. Trust me.

Or maybe I could submit some of my funnier posts with a pitch for a BOOK to a publisher. How novel! A blogger that wants to write a book! That's just what the world needs! And how does one submit to publishers anyway? Just look up the address and send along a package? Would I need an agent? Maybe I should start with a magazine column? Self-publishing? A blog? YES! Maybe I'll write a blog! Wait.

I wish I could muster up some spirit, drive and enthusiasm on the subject but it all seems kind of big, daunting and impossible. I think that waiting for someone to find me would be more my style. I hang around and write little vignettes and you, marketer/publisher/editor, happen upon my work and we agree on a book concept and you write me a big check.

So while I'm waiting for that, here's what you can do, loyal reader:
  1. Subscribe to the blog, friends! It can only bring you joy and happiness. Just click the subscribe button and every post will come straight to your google reader or whatever your home page is. Then you don't have to rely on Facebook or check every five minutes to see if I've written anything new. You and your employer will thank me.
  2. Run up and down your street screaming my url. INNERTODDLER.COM If you do this without a shirt on it will really grab people's attention. You might also get arrested so be sure to tell everyone at the police department about the blog too. And if you're at the Mountain View Police Department, say hi to my friend Jill who works there.
  3. Call up the famous people in your life and let them know about me. A celebrity endorsement can go a long way. No doubt Tori Spelling or Nicole Ritchie could use some assurance that toddler erection (in a boy) is totally freaky normal. And all of those Hollywood Kabbalah junkies should certainly own at least one of my hamsas.
  4. Tell all of your publisher friends to come have a read. And mention that this blog ranks very high if not number one on several key search terms including, but not limited to, "toddler erection", "toddler mariachi costume" and "kiss my fannie mae".
  5. Send any of YOUR suggestions my way. I'll dedicate my book to you.
OK readers! Go forth! Spread the good word. Operators are standing by.

Discomblogulated by Susie Lubell


You'll have to be patient with me for the next little while as I figure out my blog. I have a vision of what it should look like but I'm not a designer so I'm having technical issues actualizing my vision. I'm making it up basically.

My blog has been essentially the same since I started it nearly three years ago until this summer when I began adding pictures. Novel! So I was downloading them from my camera, and then uploading them to Blogger. But they were too big. So I was downloading them from my camera, optimizing them in Photoshop and then uploading them to Blogger. But then I wouldn't like them so I'd upload another one but I come to find the original is still stored somewhere in Picasa which I don't use. And I don't want my pictures there. I want them on Flickr. I don't know why except that I once posted a few of my paintings on Flickr and next thing I knew a guy from Italy purchased one on ETSY that he saw on Flickr and I was all, hmmmm....So now I download from my camera, optimize in iPhoto, save in my blog file, upload to Flickr, write a blog, go back and copy the location of the image, paste it into blogger and publish. THERE MUST BE AN EASIER WAY. I just tried to blog straight from Flickr and it was formatted crazy and that's when my head came off. Someone please put my head back on. I'm the cute brunette in this picture.

Venti thank yous to the fabulous four by Susie Lubell

Thank you to Jenni H. who schlepped over with her beautiful three-week-old baby.

Thank you to Rebeca who schlepped her 37-week-big belly.

Thank you to Linda and Jessica who are so dear to indulge a total stranger's birthday wish.

And thank god for the little people in our lives that generate so so much fodder for Sunday morning coffee chatter.

I hope we can do it again.

Back to my regular programming following this message...

Meeting of the minds by Susie Lubell

In celebration of two major milestones, my 100th blog entry and my 35th birthday (gasp!) I am inviting local readers (all three of you) to join me for birthday coffee on Sunday September 7th at the Starbucks on the corner of El Camino Real and El Monte in Mountain View at 9:00 am. If no one shows up, I will just drink my java and read a magazine and enjoy my hour to myself. BUT I would love to meet those of you who are available. I will not have my kids with me, though you are welcome to bring yours (especially the kind that still sit in their carseats and sleep a lot). This is a major thing for me as I am usually quite shy and misanthropic (just kidding - sort of).

Looking forward to meeting/seeing you (special call out to Jessica, Linda, Jenni H., Rebeca, Veronica, Claire, Clara...)


Half-caff chai latte with a nipple by Susie Lubell

I have to say that one of the funnier aspects of blogging is that my site meter can tell me who's visiting my site (not by name, but by IP address), where s/he resides, what referred that person to me and a whole host of uninteresting data points like which browser was used. So of course I like to see where people are who read my little accounts of life with children. And how they found me. Many times it's via google search and I can actually see what people searched for and where my blog ranked. The searches don't necessily have anything to do with what I write about, but many of the keywords are the same. This is where it gets funny.

Some folks have searched for the usual parenting stuff:
Six year old poops his pants
Four year old peeing in his bed
Toddler is killing me
Toddler obssessed with ear thermometer

At least I know I'm not alone.

Then I saw one searching for advice regarding "poop stains on my husband's underwear". Oh jesus I say to that one. This poor woman. Was she looking for advice on how to tell him? Or if he had a medical condition?

But the best came from a woman in India who needed advice about her "husband wanting to nurse on lactating boob." Are you KIDDING me? Now, I'm not a prude. I realize it happens and it's not all that gross but clearly this woman is distressed by it. And she probably has enough to worry about with her new baby without accomodating her thirsty husband. I mean, Raj, if you want a chai masala, get your ass out of bed and go down to the corner tea house. Leave your poor wife alone. It's bad enough she has to endure the pity sex. Now this?

Oh I kill me.