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Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.


There is such a wide range of 'normal' when it comes to families... I'm curious what normal is for you. Let me know in the comments or feel free to post on your blog. The questions...

  1. How old were you when you got married?
  2. How long did you wait to have your first child?
  3. How old were you when you had your first child?
  4. If you have multiple children, how long did you wait in between?
  5. At what age did your baby wean or when do you plan to wean?
  6. When did your baby take their first steps?
  7. When did you begin to toilet train?
  8. At what age did you declare potty competency?
  9. At what age do family baths/nudity/etc. get a little creepy?
  10. Any questions you're itching to ask?


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  • Blogger Adventures In Babywearing says so:
    4:50 AM  

    Oh fun... here goes me:

    1. I was 21 when engaged, 22 when we got married
    2. We had Noah about 4 months after our 1st anniversary!
    3. Noah & Carter are 17 months apart (not planned, but this worked out awesome in our favor!) and Gray is 3 years younger than Carter. Planning our 3rd (Gray) was drawn out longer than we would have wished, but we wanted to 'get through' the tough times with Noah and his illness before trying for another baby. We got pregnant with him on the 1st try!
    4. Gray is still nursing strong at 17 months. No plans for weaning so far. Kinda want to keep it child-led, but am starting to think he'll nurse until college if given a choice!
    5. Gray walked at 11 months (my earliest) and N & C were more toward the end of 13 months.
    6. Toilet training is going by child-leading right now and we have had poo poos in the potty, but that's it so far! (17 mos)
    7. Noah was late with potty training and was finally in the clear by 3. Carter was more like 2 1/2.
    8. Family bath/nudity thing is a good question- I'm interested in what others say as I think we're quite open & liberal about this one!
    9. All these questions... are you planning for X's baby sister or brother sooner or later? (I am still hoping, if we decide to have another sooner, that we'll be preggy togetha!) top

  • Anonymous Brandy says so:
    8:37 AM  

    How old were you when you got married? - 1st time 18, 2nd time 24.

    How long did you wait to have your first child? - 1st time - already pregnant. 2nd time - 1 year

    How old were you when you had your first child? 19

    If you have multiple children, how long did you wait in between? 12 months and three weeks between baby one and two, six years between baby two and three

    At what age did your baby wean or when do you plan to wean? 12 to 14 months.

    When did your baby take their first steps? 1st at 9 months, 2nd at 12.5 months, 3rd at 11 months.

    When did you begin to toilet train? daughter (1st) - 18 months, son (2nd) - almost three. Other son is only 13 months, so we're not there yet.

    At what age did you declare potty competency? I never pushed potty training, they did it when they were ready. The older two were completely potty trained by around age three. Daughter was before, but had accidents occasionally until around age three. Son never had the desire to go until right before third birthday, then he just decided to start using the potty. He has never had an accident after that day.

    At what age do family baths/nudity/etc. get a little creepy? Around age 3.5. When son started asking questions and making comments about mom's body.

    Any questions you're itching to ask? None really, I love your blog, X is so lucky to have a mom that loves him so much. I guess I would like to know if you plan on giving the little guy a brother or sister any time soon? top

  • Blogger New Mama's Nest says so:
    8:54 AM  

    I guess I should answer these too!

    1. Had just turned 20
    2. 3 years
    3. 23
    4. I'd always thought 3 years would be perfect (my brother and I are 3 years apart) but now I think we'll know when the time is right.
    5. Still nursing strong at 15 months, plan to let X wean when ready- whenever that may be
    6. Still waiting on those steps, but oh so close!
    7. X started showing interest in the potty at about 12 months and we've been 'training' (no pressure) ever since
    8. Xavier has pooped in the potty 100% of the time since day one, but we still have a way to go before all the pee gets there!
    9. So curious what you all have to say about this one! We're pretty open to nekkid-ness at my house, I've alway just thought I'd know when we'd need to be more discrete. X has started to notice that I am different in him in ways and that his Papa is the same, but it's definitely not creepy yet, just super innocent curiosity.
    10. Steph and Brandy- More babes are definitely in our future, but we're still up in the air as to when to begin "work" on X's addition! Lately we've been throwing around the idea of adopting in between, either way we're going to wait just a bit. I can't wait to be pregnant again but am not ready to share my X time! And yes Steph, it would be sooo awesome to be pregnant together! top

  • Blogger Robin says so:
    9:04 AM  

    This is fun.

    1,2, and 3, are all sorta combined. I was pregnant with Monte when we got married. I was 20. He was born 2 weeks before my 21st birthday.

    4. We planned Hunter, he is 3 years younger than Monte. I liked this age span because Monte got to be my "baby" for 3 years. And then when he went to school, I got Hunter all to myself. As for Carter, he was a surprise 5 1/2 years later.

    5. Monte and Hunter were 1 1/2 when they weaned, but I plan to go longer with Carter. Keep it child-led.

    6. Monte and Hunter both walked a week before their first birthdays. Carter is already pulling up on everything so he'll probably be about the same I'm guessing.

    7, 8. Both Monte and Hunter were potty trained at 2. I didn't even start until then and it went crazy easy. Monte took one day and Hunter never even had a single accident. When they are ready, they are ready....

    9.. As for family bath/nudity, there just comes a day when "you know". Everything is open with dad, he's a boy. But mom is a girl, so you have to knock. But I think we have been more liberal with this then some people too.

    And a question? Well, I'm with Steph....Is a baby in the near future? top

  • Blogger Glass Half Full says so:
    9:11 AM  

    1. Steph and I share the same engagement and marriage age!! 21 then 22!!!

    2. We waited 5 years to start our family w. Matthew

    3. I was 27 for my first pregnancy

    4. My ideal was to have my two children 3 years apart, but since it took over a year trying to conceive Mark, they ended up being 4-1/2 years apart. You can't plan everything!!!

    5. Both of my boys weaned from the breast around 8 months. Matt wasn't interested anymore (surprised, huh??). I had a horrible stomach flu with Mark which diminished my milk supply, so that came sooner than expected. :(

    6. Matthew walked at the end of his 10th month. Mark started walking at 13 months.

    7. I started toilet training with Matt shortly after his turned two. I plan to do the same with Mark.

    8. Matt declared himself fully potty trained about two weeks later. My theory: once you start training, don't go back.

    9. Nudity -- obviously Mark is still young for this to affect him (under 2). With Matt getting older we limit his exposure. We teach "private times" and modesty. top

  • Blogger Stephanie says so:
    9:55 AM  

    Can I play? :)

    1. 24
    2. 8 years - we were both in school and relishing our time alone together
    3. 32
    4. 2.5 years
    5. James self weaned at around 17 months. He was flipping between one or 2x a day and my supply was dwindling. One day he popped off and signed "more" to me. HAHAHAHA. I suggested milk in a cup and we were done. I'll do the same with Ruby, whenever.
    6. James, 13 months. Ruby - guessing around 12 months. (10 mo. now)
    7. The boy is 3 and is off to a great start. I felt too overwhelmed with a little one for a long time, and then he just didn't seem ready. He is doing great now, but not fully trained yet.
    8. N/A - hopefully by fall
    9. Last bath with James he asked why my nipples were so big. I explained about nursing. He informed me he had nursed from Daddy. nice. We don't hide our bodies but he is definitely at the age where he comments on everything.
    10. Not really - just thanks for such a cool blog. top

  • Blogger Cyclone says so:
    10:01 AM  

    If I ever open up my blog to questions people ALWAYS ask when the heck I'm going to get pregnant, so I think it's cute people asked you that too :)

    I think it would be awesome if you guys adopted/fostered. I've thought a lot about that for my future. top

  • Blogger Heaven Sent says so:
    10:45 AM  

    1. Engaged at 21 and married at 22 (but turned 23 the next month).
    2. We waited 4 years to try, Emma was born just shy of 5 years.
    3. Well, when this new baby is born, they will be 2 years and 2 months apart. Emma is 19 months old now.
    4. Sadly, we weaned at 6 months. I would have liked to have gotten to a year.
    5. Emma took her first steps at 10 months and was a full-blown walker at 11 months.
    6. and 7. Haven't started yet.
    8. Not sure... maybe when they start asking too many questions or start getting embarassed?
    9. Great idea. What about your answers??? top

  • Anonymous oh amanda says so:
    11:21 AM  

    I was 21 when I got married.

    We waited 7 years to have our first! Seems long, but we did a lot of fun stuff--lived in 5 states!

    I was 28 when Lydia was born.

    I think I'd like to wait until she's 2.5. I agree that I think we'll just "know".

    I weaned Lydia at 14 months & 5 days. It was bittersweet. It wasn't child-led, but it certainly wasn't hard or full of fights and tears.

    Lydia started walking after she turned 1.

    Potty Training...oh, I need to think about this! She's 14 months!

    Haven't had to deal with the family baths, etc. I hope it doesn't get weird for awhile because Lydia is only happy if she's taking a bath with Daddy!

    fun post! top

  • Blogger Jamie says so:
    12:17 PM  

    I was 25 when I married Kyle.
    2 years later we had Avery.
    I was 27.
    Avery is our only child.
    I will probably nurse her for another month or so, when she will be 16-17 months old.
    She was 9 months old when she took her first steps.
    We have not started potty training, but we are going to go pick out a potty tonight!
    I am crazy modest, so nudity questions are not good for me. In general I would guess around age 3. But with some people it might never be creepy. top

  • Blogger JoynerFam says so:
    12:26 PM  

    1. We got married when I was 20
    2. Arthur came 6 months later so waiting wasnt really an option
    3. I dont want to wait between children but If i get pregnant this summer theyll be alittle more than a year apart. 4. Arthurs is just now starting to walk so not yet on the steps. 5. If you read about the poop fiasco yesterday I think potty training is not far off. 6. Michael has thought family baths were wierd since arthur was bored, he gets jealous very easily. WE MIGHT GET A HOUSE IN PORTAGE top

  • Anonymous Keri says so:
    1:00 PM  

    Got married at 23.

    Waited until after our 2nd year anniversary to get pregnant (I would have be willing to do so earlier since we had been together more than 5 years by that point but hubby was freaking out! =P)

    Lochlan was born when I was 26.

    Trying for second now...dunno when it will happen since we got pregnant at first try with Loch and now this time, it seems to be taking longer than we expected. It'll happen when it's meant to be. ;)

    Loch is still nursing strong at 20 months. Gonna do the child-led weaning thing so who knows when he will completely stop?

    Loch took his first steps two weeks after his first birthday.

    We introduced the potty at 14 months, I believe (would have done it earlier but didn't think of it). He pees in it between diaper changes. No poop in it yet. It's all very casual; no rush.

    Not potty competent yet! ;)

    We are pretty comfortable being naked in front of each other. I don't think we will try to cover up our nakedness at all, unless our children verbalize that they are uncomfortable seeing us naked and then we will respect them. Having a hot tub means we usually use it naked. I really don't think nakedness is creepy unless you make it out to be.

    No questions at this time...too brain-dead tired because of a certain 20-month-old being awake all night (new molars, perhaps?). =P top

  • Blogger Growing in Grace (Nicole) says so:
    1:05 PM  

    1. Just shy of 22 when we got married.
    2. We waited four year before we started having kids.
    3. 26 when J was born.
    4. 3.5 years between our two kids.
    5. Weaned J at 6 months. Never was successful at bfing E. Formula at 2 weeks old. :(
    6. 10 months and 12.5 months respectively.
    7 & 8. 18 months is when we first brought out the potty. Both trained by age 2.5.
    9. We stopped when J was 5 and E was 2. top

  • Blogger amy says so:
    2:10 PM  

    1. I was 24 when I got married- and then divorced soon after I turned 27. Trust me- it's sooo much healthier this way. I'll leave it at that for now.

    2. I was 25 when I got pregnant.

    3. 26 when she was born

    4. one child now- would like another before I am 35 - a third wouldn't be out of the question before 38

    5. Isabella and I had a very difficult time breastfeeding- situations were bad- we made it to about 3 months. Given the chance,I would have let her decide when to wean.

    6. First steps- about 11 months

    7. Toilet training around 13 months- no pressure

    8. complete competency around 2yrs

    9. I don't know what age nudity gets creepy. I guess it's different for everyone. Isabella really is pretty clueless about males being different in that way. We still hop in the bath or shower together- nothing creepy, so I guess we'll know when it is. Does that make sense? :) top

  • Blogger Jennifer says so:
    3:27 PM  

    Fun! I wanna play!

    1. 19 - one month from being 20
    2. CJ was born ON our 2 yr. anniversary - he was 3.5 months early
    3. 21
    4. 10.5 years - not by choice - it was God's timing (and we lost a few inbetween)
    5. Unfortunately, due to CJ's prematurity, he never did get the hang of nursing, broke my heart! But I pumped and he got my milk the first couple months. With Ruthi, I was determined, but I had some trauma which effected my supply, and she was dehydrating. I was devastated, but had to finally give it up at about 4 weeks.
    6. CJ was almost 18 months (15 mos. adjusted age). Ruthi was 11 months
    7. CJ - 2, Ruthi has been sitting on the potty since about 18 mos, but no real progress - going with the no pressure approach
    8. CJ was 4! Ruthi - n/a
    9. I don't know about creepy, but I quit being naked in front of CJ when he was around 4 or 5, (no big deal with Dad). Not an issue with Ruthi yet. top

  • Blogger TAS says so:
    6:39 PM  

    I've only visited here a few times, but thought I'd join in on what I can (haven't done the potty training thing yet!).
    1. I had just turned 20, my husband was also 20.
    2. We were married almost 5 years before we got pregnant with our son.
    3. We only have one baby so far!
    4. At ten months, our son is still primarily breastfed. He's never had a bottle! I don't think he would even know what to do with it. I'll definitely keep BFing until he is at least 18 months, past that is still up in the air. I'm not wild about cow's milk, which is encouraging me to nurse longer.
    5. At 10 months, our son is pulling up all the time, but isn't taking any steps on his own yet.
    6. NA
    7. NA
    8. Not really sure how I feel about this one - definitely at a young age - maybe 3? It will be interesting to see other's answers! top

  • Blogger Robin says so:
    9:45 PM  

    Okay, so I thought of a question besides when are you having a baby. Does X use a sippy cup? And if so, what does he drink in it? If not, what does he drink? Besides mama's milk of course!! top

  • Blogger New Mama's Nest says so:
    8:21 AM  

    X does not use a sippy cup, we have tried every kind imaginable and he just can't work them! He does drink very well out of an open cup or a water bottle. The only thing besides mama's milk he drinks is water (an occasional sip of soy milk too). He's really not a big drinker though. Other than nursing I can usually only get him to take a few sips a day. top

  • Blogger Michelle says so:
    2:45 PM  

    I've been lurking for awhile (came from Adv in Babywearing) and thought I'd finally de-lurk for this one. Thanks for writing such a thought-provoking, honest and optimistic blog.

    1. 25 (waited to finish grad school so we'd be in the same state).
    2. 3 years
    3. 28 (but 4 days from 29).
    4. We were hoping for 2 years apart, but just experienced a miscarriage. We're now going to wait until we feel emotionally ready to start again.
    5. 15 months.
    6. Around 13 months.
    7. We're starting to play with the potty now and to talk about it, but she doesn't seem too intereseted. She does, however, like to wave and say 'bye-bye tee-tee" when we flush.
    8. Likely to be awhile.
    9. Not sure yet.

    Thanks for letting me participate. top

  • Blogger Tracey says so:
    8:15 PM  

    How old were you when you got married? 21

    How long did you wait to have your first child? Got pregnant the first year.

    How old were you when you had your first child? 22

    If you have multiple children, how long did you wait in between? 3 years and 3 1/2 years, planned.

    At what age did your baby wean or when do you plan to wean? 5 months, 12 months, and 14 months

    When did your baby take their first steps? 13 months, 13 months and 9 months

    When did you begin to toilet train? (shuddering over the memories) 2 - 2 1/2 with #1, about 3 with #2, and whenever she's ready with #3.

    At what age did you declare potty competency? ds1, almost 4, ds2 almost 4 (see why I shuddered?)

    At what age do family baths/nudity/etc. get a little creepy? when they can ask intelligent questions regarding sex. Now I just ask for privacy, but don't freak if they see me naked.

    Any questions you're itching to ask? When are the Chicagoland ladies getting together again so I can join?!? :) top

  • Blogger New Mama's Nest says so:
    9:41 PM  

    Tracey, of course! We'll let you know! top

  • Anonymous Mama C-ta says so:
    11:17 PM  

    How old were you when you got married? - 27, it was 2 days after my birthday. On hubby's 30th. Boy did he think his life was over ;)

    How long did you wait to have your first child? - Married in April, pregnant in October. We had dated for 5 years by then and lived together for most of that.

    How old were you when you had your first child? 28

    If you have multiple children, how long did you wait in between? N/A, not having anymore thanks!

    At what age did your baby wean or when do you plan to wean? Still nursing strong at 20 months. I will nurse until he's at least 2 but would like to do a very gradual self-wean thing. Kinda undecided. I would like my body back.

    When did your baby take their first steps? 11 months but full on walker just past 12 months

    When did you begin to toilet train? Haven't really started yet. We have the potty and he sits on it occasionally. I have no motivation to do it.

    At what age did you declare potty competency? I'm guessing it'll be 12 :)

    At what age do family baths/nudity/etc. get a little creepy? Not sure yet, I'll let you know when we get there. But after I go pee and I stand up to pull up my pants he squats down and looks up at the va-jay-jay. :) I'm waiting for the questions. Hmmm, probably TMI? top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    9:11 PM  

    1. 20
    2. 6 years to start trying, 8 years before we succeeded
    3. 28
    4. 34 months
    5. #1 weaned at 28 months (because I was pregnant), #2 is still nursing
    6. #1 walked at 11 months, #2 doesn't even roll over yet!
    7. Ha, ha, ha, he hates the potty, wants nothing to do with it. He'll be in diapers until he's 10.
    8. not applicable
    9. Gosh, I dunno, we're not there yet. But he is starting to point at areas of my body which are different than his and it's freaking me out. Plus, he's asking to nurse so I am trying not to let him see my breasts so he doesn't think about it. I'm not up for tandem nursing.
    10. Nope top

  • Blogger Elizabeth says so:
    10:37 PM  

    1)met at 18, engaged and married at 22
    2) Hunter was conceived around our first anniversary
    3) 24 when he was born, I'll be 26 for #2
    4) got prego with #2 at 18 months
    5) weaned at 16 months
    6) 1st steps at 14 months
    7) 21 months and I am trying to start
    8) not there yet
    9) hmmm... I am not bathing much with H now that I'm prego. I don't think that I will anymore after #2 arrives? not sure though. He still sleeps with us.

    That was fun, thanks! top

  • Blogger Tonya says so:
    5:53 PM  

    I just found your blog and thought this looked fun. I hope you don't mind if I play along :)
    1. married at 21
    2. got pregnant 4 months later daughter born a month after our first anniversary
    3. 22
    4. 1st and 2nd are 18 months apart, 2nd and 3rd are 2 months shy of being 3 years apart (we had a miscarriage in between them) and 3rd and 4th will be 2 years and 3 months apart...Lord willing!
    5. 1st weaned at 16 months (I was 7 months pregnant with 2nd!) 2nd weaned a little over 2 years. 3rd weaned about 2 weeks ago at 22 months. Our next will probably be 2 when I wean them or older?!?!
    6. 1st on her first birthday, 2nd at 10 months had to keep up with sister, 3rd was a late walker at about 13 or 14 months.
    7. 1st toilet trained at 19 months in one day she didn't want to be like her baby brother in diapers! 2nd potty trained at 23 months in about 3 days of running around naked...in our house of course! 3rd occasional will tell us he has to potty but nothing consistent yet but it is probably done to my lack of energy but am planning on really starting with him come summer.
    8. whenever they went all day and night without accidents and without needing help wiping...each kid is so different in this area.
    9. I still sometimes take a shower with my daughter but my almost 5 year son I don't think should see me naked. The 22 month old boy I still think is ok but I don't really know. I think it is different for every family. My husband doesn't like anyone seeing him naked other than me. top

  • Blogger Sharon says so:
    7:59 PM  

    I;m a new visitor (thanks to Stephanie's blog!:), and this looks fun. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's answers so far.

    Here are mine:
    1. We got engaged 3 days before I turned 22 (right before graduation), and married a month after I turned 23.

    2. We got pregnant one month & one week after our wedding...not exaclty as WE planned, but God knows best. :) So we already had our first baby before our first anniversary!

    3.Our 2nd pregnancy ended in miscarriage, but they would've been about 2.5 years apart. I'm going on 36 weeks pregnant now, and they will be almost exactly 3 years apart. :)

    4. I never thought I'd nurse as long as I did, but now wish maybe longer. lol. My first nursed for roughly 14 months. I was into child-led weaning. Hope to do the same with this baby!

    5. Aidan took his first steps right around his 1st b-day. Later than I expected.

    6. We started potty training right before his 2nd b-day. We're into child-led for that, too. Unfortunately, I have held my son back. If I worked more w/ him, he's be fully potty trained by now. He shows a ton of interest.
    Our miscarriage and this complicated pregnancy have drained me from giving him the attention he deserves in this area. :(

    7. Aidan is almost 3, and we still change and go to the bathroom in front of him. I don't as much now being so hugely pregnant...
    He's starting to notice differences, pointing out "momma no pee-pee!" lol.

    8. Not much of a question, but good luck to all with future pregnancies!
    And I guess this is a favor/question...please pray for my patience, esp. this last few weeks of being pregnant! top

  • Anonymous Kim says so:
    10:07 PM  

    I've posted my answers on my blog. You can check out the post at: http://ispeakbeanish.wordpress.com/2007/03/29/a-timeline-get-to-know-me-survey/

    Thanks for sharing! top

  • Blogger goofball says so:
    6:05 AM  

    Hmm I want to play but I cannot answer any of these questions since I am not married, neither a mom yet. I do hope to be both one day :).

    Compared to what I see in my group of friends and relatives here in Belgium, I notice that the age of getting married or getting children for the people commenting seems to be considerable lower than what I am used to. That is just something that I notice. I do not want to say here that that is wrong or weird or something. As is stated "there is a wide range of normal".

    So it made me think and I decided to google a bit of Belgian statistics here as I thought it might be interested to compare "what is normal" on both sides of the ocean.

    Average age to get married in Belgium
    => for men in 1985: 27 Y. 04 m
    => for men in 2003: 34 Y. 02 m
    => for women in 1985: 24 Y. 11 m.
    => for women in 2003: 31 Y. 03 m.

    since averages can be influenced by extremes, here is the median as well (if you align all ages in one row, the median is the middle number).
    => for men in 1985: 24 y. 10 m.
    => for men in 2003: 30 y. 10 m.
    => for women in 1985: 22 y. 10 m
    => for women in 2003: 28 Y. 04 m.

    Interesting to see that I am at my age of 30 still relatively normal to not be married yet. Most of my friends are not married yet and will probably never marry.

    Average age of getting a first child in Belgium : 28,5 according to some sources, 30,5 according to other sources.
    Average age of getting a first child in the Netherlands: 29,1

    In my group of friends there was a babyboom in 2005: 17 babies were born. There were 8 babies that were a "first baby with a mom older than 30 years old". So it looks like my group of friends and relatives is quite representative for Belgium.

    Concerning those latter statistics (average age for a first child), the government and health institutions are warning us about this trend, about more fertility problems, about more health risks. But the trend is not turning around though, so far.

    I don't think I can find reliable statistics about the other questions.

    Bye bye from Belgium top