Not Quite a Year in the Life of Amy's Camera Phone

The Vomitorium Tour

I believe it goes without saying that there will be no Advice Smackdown today. I simply cannot deal with the thinking and the responsibility and the shampoo talk, and oh GOD, I smell shampoo now, and it's disgusting.

We are sort of emerging from Hell. We are sort of completely dehydrated and weak like weak baby kittens. The most grievious neglect of our son amounted to skipping his bath last night and dressing him in a red and GREY outfit today, instead of the requested red and WHITE for the Valentine's Day calendar photo bullshit at daycare, because RED and WHITE? That, by its very definition, would require TWO loads of laundry, and y'all can bite me.

I have not thrown up since Monday night. And in that timeframe I have managed to consume the following:

One banana
Two pieces of white bread
A half cup of rice
Two spoonfuls of vile, vile soup
17 Saltine crackers

So if anyone is looking to shed those last few pregnancy pounds, I highly recommend you go out and get yourself a raging case of staphylococcal food poisoning. You will lose 10 pounds, and also your dignity.

Anyway. I'm back at work today, if only to break the nasty habit of taking sick leave that I don't actually have.

CONFIDENTIAL TO MY COWORKERS: Is it really necessary to make popcorn in the microwave at 9:45 in the morning? Really? Especially when there may be someone creeping into the kitchen for a harmless, odorless cup of water? Someone who is just coming off of a 48-hour food poisoning bender? IS POPCORN FOR BREAKFAST REALLY THE LIFESTYLE CHOICE YOU WANT TO MAKE?


Anyway. I have nothing. It's actually National De-Lurking Week, and has been since Monday, but I've been hesitant to encourage people to overcome The Shy and say hello when all I've been talking about is vomit, and not the cute hopeful pregnancy vomit either.

So now I will change the subject. Behold my skills!

Have any of you have seen this show called "Starting Over?" I mean, people, HAVE YOU SEEN THIS SHOW?

It's a lame self-help book crossed with an even lamer reality show, dumped right in the middle of your craptacular daytime TV lineup.

I might be in love. Just don't tell my TiVo.

Women with easily captionable problems and goals (like "Christina," who wants to "Drop the Hustle") live together (UNDER ONE ROOF!) and meet with various Life Coaches who spout inane psychobababullshit to help them achieve those goals, and then the woman all paint self portraits and...look for gold coins and...build backbones out of spools of thread. Or something.

(Now, I am no expert on this show, which is apparently in its THIRD SEASON, like, where have I been, so please forgive me if I get all the facts violently wrong. I watched exactly 20 minutes of it in a low-blood-sugar haze, but I swear to God, there was a BACKBONE MADE OUT OF SPOOLS OF THREAD.)

Anyway, I got to watch Christina (Goal: Become a Woman of Honor: Drop the Hustle, Break Hidden Addictions, Define Values, Discover new Path) try to sell a crepe paper flower she made for $500, so she could get naked pictures of herself off the Internet. This was actually terribly sad, because somebody (and I'm looking at the show's producer here) needs to explain the Internet to that poor girl. Also the going rate for crepe paper.

Oh, and Jill (Goal: Come out of Hiding: Build Personality Profile, Eliminate Chaos, Vision Correction, Claim Personal Power, Lift off) has a problem with all the "grocery shopping drama" that the newest housemate is causing! DUN DUN DUN.

Y'all, it's more suspenseful than Survivor! More real than The Real World!

At one point, Jason called out from his sofa of misery, "What the HELL are you watching?"

And I had to honestly answer, "I don't know. I just don't know."

But I could not turn away, because there was a Life Exercise involving handbags, and if there is a way to achieve emotional health and maturity through the power of purses, you know I am all up in dat. Life Coach Woman asked Lisa (Goal: Grow Up: Reality Check, Define Adulthood, Cut the Apron Strings, Walk without Crutches, Soar) to choose a purse that "best represented her" from a selection.

So she did. She chose a fairly cute one. She said it was fun. She was then asked to say what she didn't like about the other purses. She did.

And then Life Coach Woman had her open the purses to look for gold coins. The purse she'd selected had one, and the other purses had more and more, with the bag Lisa dismissed as "boring" holding the most coins.

"SEE?" Life Coach Woman shrieked triumphantly. "There is hidden value in someone YOU would call boring!"

Lisa's face said exactly what I was shouting at the television. "What the FUCK?"

But Lisa just hilariously kind of hmmm'ed and ohhhh'ed like her mind was totally blown away by this unbelievable life revelation. You know, the revelation that...she should have lied and purposely chosen the ugly purse so she could collect more Gold Coins of Personal Development? That a personal affinity for suede fringe makes you a useless, judgemental whore? That...ugly purses are people too?

And then the mixed metaphors came out of my TV and ate my eyeballs. The end.

It's probably kind of lame that I ask y'all to de-lurk today for no reason, when you've already come out of the woodwork by the hundreds several times since the last De-Lurking Day. You celebrated my big news, held my hand through some scary news, cheered for more big news and patted my head after I got some more scary news and then we celebrated the biggest news of all, ever.


(And you also de-lurked in record numbers to save the Smackdown, which apparently is even MORE exciting than a stupid old baby.)

But you know, if you'd like to say hi, today is a fine day for saying hi.

this is the same damn button she used last year



I've delurked a few times before but here I am again and if I type quickly enough I'll be number 200 so HI!


Thank you for the Starting Over synopsis!!


Wow...am apparently number 200 on this whole de-lurking list. However, I comment regularly. But Hi anyway, and Happy Delurking Week. Also - glad to hear you're feeling better.

As for the Life Whatever Show you caught, I have caught that too and one time they made dresses out of crepe paper, at least I think that's what it was - the whole thing confused me so much I think my brain shut down about 5 minutes in. It's all very strange.


Hi Amy Happy De-Lurking Week and greetings from NoVA! Glad to hear you're feeling better and I'm relived the Advice Smackdown survived, but don't people ask about anything but shampoo? :-)


Is it wrong that I kinda hope one of Noah's first words is "asshat?"

'Cause secretly I think that'd be GREAT!



Hi. Love the baby, love your writing, love it all!


Hi Amy,

Glad you are in the beginnings of feeling better. Just wanted to say how much I LOVE your site!! I am 38 and pregnant with my first child, a boy, due in April. I was a wreck my first trimester due to constant worry. But I noticed the article about you in Washingtonian and checked out your site. Even on my worse days, your posts would just crack me up. And the Noah pictures......priceless!


i think i have de-lurked once or twice already but since it IS national delurking week i thought i'd crawl out from behind the computer to say hi once again.


de-lurking....i love reading your site and looking at pictures of noah!


Your son is just gorgeous. I've been reading only for a short time now, but I'm already hooked. My son and I have been having a very similar problem with breastfeeding- low supply, pumping not doing shit, guilt about formula though he is fat and thriving on it, yaddayadda. It's nice to not feel like I'm alone.
Keep feeling better!


I think I've commented once on your blog like, once, so de-lurking. But I'm an avid reader - love your writing!

Glad you are feeling better. Bad pork, BAD!


I think I've commented on your blog like, once, so de-lurking. But I'm an avid reader - love your writing!

Glad you are feeling better. Bad pork, BAD!


When I was on maternity leave, I watched Starting Over EVERY DAY. And cried bitter tears, because there was a woman on that season who just had a baby, and she was all alone, and her goal was to make a better life for herself and her daughter and OH, MY GOD. Then my husband would come home from work and find me clutching the baby and swearing that no way in hell would I ever go back to work, because the Life Coach said the baby was the most important thing and going back to work would interfere with my Goal of Putting Her First. Or something.


I've had food poisioning and I feel your pain. Now I'm going back to lurking.


Ok. De-lurking. Hi. Your son is very cute and by the way, I love that Starting Over show. My favorite one was the one Toni Braxton's sister was on and she was always crying about her sister. Stupid asshole. Ah, it was great. Keep watching, it just gets more and more interesting. Enjoy!


Hi There and Hello!
Glad you and Hubby are feeling somewhat more humanlike after this week of hell.
You got sucked into the show only because your brain was so dehydrated it could not function enough to tell you to "TURN THE CHANNEL".
You'll do better next time.
Noah is the cutest baby in internetland isn't he?

Saltwater Princess

Saying Hi! I love all of it-the baby photos, the tantrums, the vomit and the laughter. Hope you're feeling better soon.


Hi, I am de-lurking!! I love your site and look forward to reading it and laughing my A** off.


Hi! Consider me de-lurked.


Hi! De-lurking! I love your site! It has been so helpful to me. I hope this Starting Over show is still on in August when I go on maternity leave. It sounds like something that would make me cry, though everything is making me cry right now. Noah is beautiful! ;-)


I caught Starting Over once last year and was amazed at its ability to confuse, intrigue, unnerve and bore me all at the same time.


If delurking is just the state of ceasing to lurk, and lurking is the state of reading at least one entry without commenting, then Hi! I can delurk again.

I love your website, and it is cool that I found it over a year ago because it was mentioned in a British newspaper, and yours was the first blog I ever read regularly. Plus, I found dooce's blog through your links, and well I read you first and check you more often. Sorry if that seems stalkery. I'm from Ireland and living in Barcelona so Washington is a long away away, and your life is quite different to mine (but we have Sephora too!) yet I find that your life is interesting and funny and well, I like reading your site.


De-lurking from Detroit area...Noah is beautiful.



Christina Mallet

Hi Amalah,

You caught me--I'm your biggest lurker yet. Not only do I check for updates obsessively, I also peruse your photos (worry not, I’m not psycho). Why? 1. You’re a fabu writer with a very unique voice. 2. Noah is one hell of a looker 3. I’m newly pregnant, due to explode this summer, and awaiting the rise of the bump. Your belly shots are a source of awe and inspiration, which I use as a reference to my own bump (be it slight, it's still a bump). I hope to be as astoundingly cute as you when you were pregnant.

Lastly, your updates keep me sane. I have the most boring job in the world, at The Institute of Extraterrestrial Humans (aka MIT). I don’t belong here. I’m a photographer who finds value in pretty things and can communicate with other adults in a friendly, non-geeky manner (how am I doing?) but my work is tortuous (think solitary confinement) and your blog saves me from eating the dust in my keyboard.

Sorry you and your Jason were sick--feel better soon.


Bad Penguin

Hi. Glad you are feeling better, because the food poisoning sounded awful. And popcorn at 9:45 am is wrong.



I just wanted to tell you that Noah and I have the same birthday.




Wow- what a way to guilt me into de-lurking!


What? Who? Me? Lurk? NEVER! Ok, maybe just a little bit. Glad to hear that you're feeling a little better. But seriously, popcorn for breakfast? Ewww


Total lurker, but I HEART you! (Don't worry... no stalking, just love your writing!)


I caught 20 minutes of that show once, too! I think it must have been the same "drop the hustle" lady because they had her stand on a corner crying, telling people her purse was just stolen and could they lend her money for a car. People would give her money and she'd have to give it right back and apologize for hustling them. Of course the people, forced now to take money BACK from a crying girl on a corner, were completely baffled and weirded out. Therapy!


As usual, I'm a day late. Oops. But still, delurking, and with nothing bad to say at all.
Noah is adorable. Love the advice smackdown (I have the foundation brush entry on my favorites). Love the 1 month anniversary of your marriage story too. could he be any sweeter? :) Thanks for taking the time to keep us all entertained.


Delurking to say I absolutely adore you & your family and your site.

Honestly, I read all of your archives from day one over New Year's (insomnia, whee) and still gleefully squeal when your site pops up in my reader queue.

You just plain ROCK.

Feel better soon!


Check it out - I'm delurking! While I'm supposed to be working from home - ha, ha!

I love your blog. I found it via Snarkywood, which I've kind of given up on. It's been Tyra Banks forever. I've enjoyed the whole Noah adventure, especially since now I'm expecting my own little puddin'.

I'm sorry you have been so ill. I hope you are feeling much better. I must confess - I consider it a little Mexico bonus, when I'm trotting about in a bikini on vacation, to have a wee touch of tummy bug. Not enough to make me as violently ill as you describe, but enough to make me lose a little body fat and water weight for a few days - woo-hoo!

I'm off to a school luncheon. Yes, I've already eaten at home. Elementary school cafeteria food is gross. Have a great day! Enjoy that lil Noah and that cutie-pie husband of yours.


I'm here too!


Since it's national delurking week i thought i would come say hi. Love the site, love you, love Noah!


I found your site while searching on a disgusting pregnancy-related term on google...I think it was "amniotic fluid consistency." So glad I found it! I've never read blogs, but now I'm addicted. Thanks for your candor about daycare - I just put my 2-month old son in daycare last week, and it's nice to have all my crazy feelings validated.


hello! i comment every once in a while, but here i am again. you're a great writer, and noah is absolutely adorable. also, i hope you are feeling better because that must have been horrific.


I usually don't comment because, honestly, you get a bazillion comments in every post and I really don't have anything new to say. Just, you know, YAY for the cutest baby ever (I actually emailed his first picture to my boyfriend and he freaked out and bought like 10 boxes of condoms).
So, happy delurking week, oh lovely amalah :)


De Lurking..avid reader! Hope oyu all feel better...I feel bad for the resturant who food poisioned a FOOD critic and his wife!


I'm sort of a lurker... well actually, I just am one. So hi!
Starting Over is very addictive, but I like how normal I can feel when I watch those women.


Hi Amy! Joining the end of the de-lurking conga line. I love the way you write and Noah is indeed cute enough to melt the entire internet.


This would be the first ever time that I have "de-lurked" (hyphen or no hyphen - big dilemma!)so, whilst trying not to sound too sheep-like, fabulous blog and great having an insight into "a typical American urban couple"(!)


I've seen that show and felt pretty much the same way you did. How did it get to the third season??? Glad you are on the path to feeling better.


I'm afraid my comment--no matter how witty--will get lost in the avalanche of other comments. So, I'm just telling you I'm here.


Just wanted to say hello and that I am a huge fan! I'm a dedicated reader as well as prayer sender outer when things get rough, even if I don't comment about it all the time. :)
Have a great day and hope you get to feeling better!


Okay, fine, here I am, de-lurking to say hi. So... hi! I actually discovered your site through Dave Barry's blog. I was intrigued by the Company Cookbook (which was hilarious, by the way) and I've been reading ever since. Love the site! Oh, and I'd also like to say... popcorn for breakfast? Now that's just wrong. The cheddar flavored pretzel bits I had for breakfast this morning are TOTALLY the way to go. Now there's the breakfast of champions!

Jamie Liu

Delurking. Noah is so cute. My niece is 13 months in two days. There's so much more to look forward to! And lots more snot!


I'm a lurker delurking. Hi!


Delurking to say hello, and I love your site. Who knew that vomit could be so darn entertaining?
p.s. cutest baby ever!


I watched Starting Over once and thought, "So THAT'S what therapy would have been like if I had lived in a house with the other crazies and been treated by people with absolutely no common sense much less credentials!" Hmmm, always wondered. Now I know.

I love your site and I make other people look at Noah's pictures to see how adorable he is. And they look at me like, "Why are you so excited about some stranger's baby? Maybe you should go live in a house with, you know, some other crazies...."


I delurked before, but hey, why not again? Love your blog. Love that baby, too. Can you believe I wasn't as excited to have this baby as I am after seeing those pics?


Aw, hope you're feeling better! On the bright side, add another person (ME!) to your list of the de-lurked!


I've been reading you for almost a year. Noah was born just one month before my own daughter, so his progress is like a look into the future. Love your sense of humour.


not exactly a lurker... but I certainly read waaaaay more than I comment.

Amalah y'all ROCK!




Okay, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to be in big trouble for telling the whole Internet this, but my husband LOVES the Starting Over house. I regularly tell him that he should turn in his man card because of this, but he can't help it. I think he wants to be a "life coach" when he grows up. That would be fantastic, because then I will have endless material for my blog about how he is a big tool.


Hi Amy! I am sheepishly de-lurking to wish you get better thoughts and whatnot.

I agree that popcorn before 5:00 pm is probably a bad lifestyle choice.

Unless, of course, you happen to be at a Brokeback Mountian matinee show.

Because everyone knows that movie needs popcorn.

Happy De-Lurking! And Feel Better soon!



Ok, down to business....

A. Keep the Smackdown
B. I'm de-lurking.
C. Oh yeah, I've commented before so I guess I'm not officially a "lurker" per se.
D. Lovely Baby


Love your blog. Noah is adorable. Sorry about all the vomit. Keep up the great work!


Just wanted to say I hope you feel better and that it's so nice to hear your issues because they're so similar to mine. I have a little girl born October 3, 2005 named Claire. I read your blog daily, but have never commented before. Thanks for putting into words all that we new mothers feel.


The pressure of delurking. I Noah turtle pics...and your commentary on cheese-based casseroles.


that was supposed to read I heart on my comment.


Since I've been so terrible about commenting anywhere lately, I'm glad delurking week has come around to give me a kick in the butt.

I say if you enjoy writing the smackdown, keep it. If not, just post extra photo essays of Noah. He's adorable enough to keep us coming back.


Hi Lurkers!

Thanks for saying hi. Also to ALL my commenters, who I love, even those who leave really long comments calling me a spoiled brat in a really nice roundabout way.

I wish I could banter with y'all and personally respond to every comment and email, but if I did, I would never have time to post, or shower, or pick my son's nose. It's something I had to quit trying to do a long time ago and it sucks, but I hope you know I do read every comment and email and think y'all are just fabulous.

Ps. Especially YOU, Laura GF, and yes, I really mean that. Thanks for reading.

Ps. Bethany: the couch is from Crate & Barrel.

PPs. Curly Haired Girl: You were SO not a spaz! You were adorable and I was wearing my fat jeans and Noah threw up on me later.

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