The Great Return
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I am already out of ideas

So I got a couple emails from readers during my little blogging vacation, and they all started with the same thing: I'm sure you're getting millions of emails like this, but...

And I wrote back to say thank you, but actually! I have gotten three! And yours is four! So, thank you, four people! You are the real heroes.

And then I got a little paranoid. I always get so many emails! Where are all my emails? Obviously I wasn't expecting millions of emails from people begging me to come back! come back! but...a couple, maybe? Would be nice?

But no, y'all called my bluff on the whole "unplugging from the Internet to spend quality time with my child, reconnecting with the simple joys of blowing dandelion seeds across a grassy field while the sunset bathes us in an amber 70s-type glow" thing. So I was forced to step away from the computer and go to Gymboree simply because I had no emails to read and had already beaten all the secret levels of Diner Dash. Damn it!

Then yesterday I realized that I'd accidentally removed my email address from my about page, in a breathtaking misuse of shift-down-arrow action, when all I'd meant to delete was my PO Box. Oh, and you know WHY I needed to delete my PO Box?

Hint: It's totally not because I no longer live two blocks from that post office, but because EVEN THOUGH I LIVED TWO BLOCKS FROM THAT POST OFFICE, I never remembered to go check the damn box and missed the notice informing me that I needed to renew the rental agreement. I realized this the last time I went to collect my mail* and discovered that the lock had been changed. I didn't pay the bill, so now I no longer have a PO Box, and somebody else out there may be in possession of  my mail, wondering who the hell "" or "CURRENT ONLINE BUSINESS OWNER" is and why nobody sends it naked pictures.** Because what kind of lame ass web site doesn't have naked pictures?

And now this is two entries in a row that allude to the Paris Hilton's storage unit scandal without even trying.

* I use the term "my mail" very loosely, as the vast majority of stuff I received was for the box's previous renter, and God, that was depressing, because it was all AARP membership renewal reminders and funeral home brochures.

** I sincerely hope none of y'all sent naked pictures to my PO Box.


Speaking of Gymboree (no, really, I did mention it. this is a completely appropriate seque!) Noah started Level 4 (16 - 22 months) this week. I certainly didn't think this would be a big deal, although I was relieved to get away from the  Bilingual Sign Language Genius Child's mother (I actually find BSLGChild to be adorable and delightful, but I want to throttle her mother on a weekly basis. THROT. TULE.).

BSLGChild moved up to Level 4 a couple weeks ago (OF COURSE) and I found out they were doing a Thursday class. So my friend Julie and I decided to preview a Wednesday class.

I pulled into the parking garage and noticed a mother and her son walking away from their car. The kid was holding her hand and walking.

Hmm, I thought.

As I was waiting for the elevator a father and his daughter walked up. And the little girl went over and pushed the elevator button. "Up!" she said.

Shit, I thought.

I waited outside Gymboree for Julie and hissed that THIS WAS WRONG. THIS WAS NOT THE CLASS FOR US. These are kids! Human kids! We still have babies! Babies who cannot walk across parking lots and don't know the up button from the ashtray and these kids DO NOT HAVE FAT BELLIES.

We went inside anyway. "Parachute!" said one little boy.

"Oh, fuck no." said Julie.

Noah freaking LOVED the class. He's been refusing to participate in any of the activities for a few weeks now, but Wednesday? With the big kids? Oh my hell, I could barely get him to wait his turn. He climbed and dropped balls on cue and went down slides and got stepped on by big boys and loved every minute of it. I looked at all those big boys and tried to wrap my mind around the fact that I will have one of those soon, even without baby signs and foreign language classes and tiny tot quantum mechanics or whatever the hell.  And I kind of understand why Jason refuses to cut Noah's hair. ("It's his ORIGINAL HAIR," he says, like we're going to sell him on eBay as a NEW IN BOX BABY! Mint condition with original hair! Certificate of authenticity included!)

It's just all happening so goddamned fast.

Julie's son is about a month too young for the class. I sadly told her that we'd have to arrange more non-Gymboree playdates, because clearly, it was time for Noah to move up.

She nodded, looking a little nostalgic herself. Then she called me a whore and made the sign for duck.


(One of our very first Gymboree classes, back when Noah was fuzzy-haired and chubby-wristed.)

(Not pictured: Bilingual Sign Language Genius Child's Mother, because I cropped her ass out. Get off my fucking parachute, bitch.)



GAWD, I missed you!


Diner Dash! (There are secret levels? What have I been missing?)

Eh, we knew you would know we missed you even without the emails. Plus, it is suddenly very, very *wintery* here and my hands are too numb to type much.

Welcome back. :)


I emailed your alter ego over at the advice smackdown. Does that count? Well, maybe not since I was apparently more worried about what to do with my damn hair than your well being. Sorry.

Maxine Dangerous

You're wonderful and we love you and I missed your blog while you were away. Hope you got a chance to rest and spend time with Noahdarling. In your absence, I became the Queen of the Internet. Just so you know. Gimme back the crown. It's my turn to wear it! Okay, you were here first so you can wear it. For awhile. ;)


you have absolutely no upper arm flab. and that makes me sick, since you only gave birth two months before I did and I still have new mom arm flab. One must be very brave to have a pic taken from that angle, but you did it and look great. Also, I notice that you're missing some bra fat as well. It's not fair, I tell you.

I would LOVE it if we had Gymboree in our tiny town. It looks like fun, and I'm sure it is, especially with you and Noah in the class.

Glad you're back!


Yeeaahhh! You're back! I really missed you. I didn't want to bug you with an email complaing that it is your duty to keep me entertained. (actually it is your duty.) However this blog is obviously starting feel like work and god knows we all hate that shit! You did need a break and I don't pay you or anything... I hope you had fun, please keep posting!

kelly jeanie

My baby is 22 months old and is not a big boy! NOT! And never will be! Never!!! *sob*


Harry was moved up to the 2-year-old class already at daycare (he is 19 months). He loves it. He is so much happier there. But me? I just worry that he is the littlest and maybe all the big kids are picking on him.

Glad Harry got the "glass is half full" mentality from his dad.

Bozoette Mary

Yes, it does go so fast, too fast, lightspeed fast. You will turn around and he will be talking to you about mortgages (HIS!) and how he's getting special Fraternal Order of Poe-leece tags for his car. And that? Will send you scurrying off to look at wistfully at his baby pictures.


I would've been emailing your ass all week if I knew it would have gotten you back here. I need gymboree stories (to make me wish we went) and pictures of the tire! My life has been a bit emptier without you. Although I did get to hear some things through clubmom (thanks for making me cry. twice.) We love you and are happy your back. Hopefully your break recharged you or at least let you snuggle Noah more.


for what it's worth, i missed u like mad!


*lol* You know next time you leave us, you're going to get a crapload of email because everyone will be like "OMG! Amalah notices when we don't email...we MUST email her and beg her to come back!" :)

But honestly? You love us way to much to ever leave for long. :)


C'mon everybody it's parachute tiiiiiiiime!!!! I swear to god, it's been over 5 years since I taught goddamn Gymboree and the songs will. not. leave. my. brain.

hello insomnia

I noticed they all have name tags. What does BSLGChild's name tag say, "I'm smarter than you"? And if so, is it in English or ASL?


Seriously? I checked EVERY DAY to see if you were back. I was going through withdrawal...thank God you came through with a Noah fix when you did...and the tire? It's back? GAH!


I missed you too.


"Whoreduck" is my new best word. Thank you.

Amy H

I came to your site every day. More than once. Hoping maybe the week-ish turned into a day or two-ish. And instead it was 10 days-ish. IT.WAS.AWFUL. (if that makes you feel any better)
Plus, didn't want to email harrass you about how I miss your posts and need your daily dose of humor and pictures of Noah, etc.etc.etc. because you.were.taking.a.break. Wanted to give you your space. So, didn't want you to think you weren't really really missed or anything.

Gymboree is starting to sound more appealing. Can't remember how old Noah was when you started going there. Avery is 6 months now. Too young to benefit? What are your thoughts?


I actually DID go looking for your e-mail address but couldn't find it. Oh well, you are back now, besides, it probably would have been a very awkward message that would have made you turn away from the computer verrry slowly. Anyway! Welcome back, again. So happy....


I love me some diner dash!


Haaaaaaaa! Vintage Amalah, back in style. Sweet.

Amy M

Welcome back with open arms! I refreshed your site, like, 10 times a day while you were on hiatus. Does that count?

I refuse to believe my little baby boy is a toddler. Just because he is propelling himself of his own volition is no reason to think he's a big boy.

Gymboree sounds like fun. There are apparently none in Wisconsin :(


We moved up to level 4 three weeks ago. Today, the first activity was 'Red Light, Green Light' - the kids had to run when the instructor held up a green square, and stop when she held up the red circle. WTF? Are 16 month olds really capable of ceasing all movement EVEN IF they can identify the colors??? I'm seriously considering moving back down to level 3.


You're back! Yay! You're back! You were certainly missed. And I LOVE Gymboree. Okay, wait. My girl loves Gymboree. I like getting out of the house.

Yay! You're back!


But you forgot to mention who sent the first email!



Missed, missed, missed you. Keep the Gymboree humor coming, if that's what ya got.


Seriously, you have to tell us about these secret levels of Diner Dash. Not that I have been able to beat all the non-secret levels yet.


Ahhhh your back!! Finally! I swear I might of been a little scared you weren't coming back and then I would have to find a new site to check 20 times a day. Not that I am addicted at all. No. I. Am. Not.


Loved this post, especially the part about the new in box baby! Mine is 19 months, almost, and definitely a little boy. But he's still got a fat belly that I love to kiss and blow raspberries on. I guess I'd better squeeze lots of cuddling in now, before he becomes an adolescent and starts hating me.


"Mint condition with original hair!" = HILARIOUS. I'm glad you're back, even though I didn't email you. I'd miss you if you stayed away.


TOTALLY didn't email because of the no email address thing AND because I was sure you were being innundated and thereby annoyed because how can you take an internet break when you have gobs of email? I did, however, post about you. :)

Cuz that's just what us bloggers do. We can't have a thought without blogging about it, right?

(oh, and the whole "original hair/mint in box" thing cracked my shit up. thanks.)


I'm glad you're back, too.
But Amy, as much as I know you love your NEWINBOX boy's hair, think about Kate Hudson's little guy, with those lovely blonde curls cascading down his back. Will Noah be the Ryder of the metro-DC area?


When your son learns how to wipe his own arse you will laugh at how sad you were over him growing up.

I want to learn how to make the duck sign. I'm going to start doing that during epic cases of road rage now that my kid is copying everything I do. "DUCK YOU!!"


Good thing you deleted your email, because my daily routine would have then resulted in me emailing dbegging you to daily to come back. You have become part of my morning ritual! Coffee and Amalah before work.


First they lose the chubby wrists. Then someone cuts their "original hair". The baby bellly? Gone.

And gets worse. They start kindergarten and two weeks later they leave for college. The End.


Well, though I didn't email you, I did think of you daily. And I thought of emailing you but figured, like everyone else apparently, that you were overflowing with "Come baaaaacccckkk!!!" emails.

And now since I'm sure people are emailing to make up for the lack, I will just email what I wanted to say last week here:

Hey, Amy.
I'm sorry you are feeling burned out. Definitely take some time off. We aren't going anywhere and will be waiting for your return. You do an awesome job blogging and always make my days a little better. Take care and I'll be here when you get back.


Welcome back.


Welcome back! Longest 10 days ever ;)


Glad you are back! didn't want to bother you on your "sabbatical", but kept checking, hoping....


Welcome back, was it only 10 days? Damn, I need to get a life.


NEW IN BOX BABY! Mint condition with original hair!
The house is completely quiet and I just laughed out loud and am now getting the look from hubby that says, "not alama again..." That is what we call you in our house...
SO GLAD YOU ARE BACK and funny as ever


I need to hear more about these secret levels of Diner Dash. Are there secret levels in Gymboree, too?


I miss Noah's fuzzy head.

And chubby wrists.

Need more video of him laughing.


Welcome back!


"Get off my fucking parachute, bitch" is my new favorite insult. Also, because of your posts about it, I found the nearest Gymboree and tried to get Kaitlyn enrolled, but ALL the classes are full! Until MARCH! So, no fun games and potential BSLGchildren for us this month, or the next. Dammit.

Heather B.

Ok honestly, I'm less concerned about missing you but my LORD do I miss that kid. Seriously. Or maybe that's the wine talking. I don't know.

Mrs. Why

So glad you're back, but this post was a little painful for me. You see I totally spaced out my 13-month-old's first day at music class this morning. It was to be our first class, and the teacher even called me yesterday to remind me, and I was totally excited.

That's what having two kids does to you, it shrinks your brain. After also totally spacing out on a birthday party and a hair appointment (!!!) I have decided I need a dry erase board for the back of the front door. That or a brain transplant.


SECRET LEVELS in Diner Dash??? DO tell!!!

and yes, I drank a whole bottle of wine tonight, but that has no influence on the copious amounts of tears I shed realizing that our babies do really grow up...I have to register my 4 y.o. twin boys for kindergarten next week...they start in September and I am freaking out in complete denial.

welcome back


i'm delurking just to ask you HOW DID YOU DO YOUR HAIR LIKE THAT?! i can never get my hair to be tied up like that!!! please please spill your secrets! or if you want i can ask smackdown but i have been trying so hard for that style and i have no clue how you can make it so perfectly messy. JEALOUS! is there a secret to how you tie the ponytail holder?
ps sorry for all the exclamation points ...

the bee

We did not want to spoil your little blog-cation.Please don't take another for a while.
We need the humor. - the bee

Mrs. Flinger

I'm just glad you're back. YOU'RE BACK!

And I feel so much like the neglectful mother that I am never having taken the SheChild to Gymboree. OBVIOUSLY all the cool kids do it.


Oh, thank God you are back!! I was having serious withdrawls. :)


So, does it mean that I am completely bass ackwards hillbilly-ish if I said that the first time you mentioned going to Gymboree to play, I thought you meant the children's clothing store. Because I had no idea that Gymboree also had playgroups. Because I am stuck living in Podunk USA.


Oh I tried to email you, too, especially when there was no place to leave comments.. but so glad you are back!




Totally missed you! So glad your back! :)


SHUT. UP. Diner Dash has secret levels?


Welcome back! Dude...DUDE! I thought about you because I have a fucking cold (I'm sweet, aren't I?), so I tried the SudaCare Soothers you mentioned, and OMG. I love them.
Thanks for that tip!

Mitch McDad

Welcome back. Love the parachute comment at the end.


god, i'm so glad you're back. i've been a lurker forever but i just wanted to say i love your writing and i'm glad you're back from your hiatus.


I'm I the only one who has no idea what dinner dash is?


Get off my parachute, bitch, is officially my new theme song. Glad you're back.


I'm so glad you're back. You're always my first read, and I was a little lost without you.

Noah's growing up so fast. Once they go humanoid, they never go back. It's so sad.


Missed you very much as well, and I also checked a few times to see if you were back. I figured you needed a few days to unwind and would be back soon. So GLAD you are! I missed all the cute Noah stories and your sense of humor and fabulous way of telling a story so that we were either on the edge of our seats or rolling with laughter. Hope your break gave you a chance to catch your breath.


so glad you're back :)

that is all.

oh, one more thing: love the mint condition hair. he's going to be able to give kate hudson's kid a run for his money soon. CUTE. LOVE.

why doesn't grown-out hair look as cute on me? sad.


I would have emailed you everyday if I didn't think you would ban me from your page..I saved your email in my address book. But you should give most of us points for the 43 times a day we went to your page to check and see if you were back yet. So glad to have you back and to know that I can participate in this years tire watch.


Dude, I could have sworn I left a "welcome back, I missed you" comment...but I guess not. I'm going crazy.

so...welcome back!!

And seriously, that kid is growing like a weed.

(I'm not sure what the really means. But, he's cute!)


Oh my. Today was a downer, but your last paragraph directed at BSLGChild's mom made me laugh out loud! Thanks!


I am glad that you are willing to write here and make all of us laugh! I did miss your posts very much! But, that said, when you say you want time to yourself what should you expect? I wouldn't have bothered you with an email for a million dollars! (Ok, I would have maybe for 30 million dollars or a dinner out with Tim Gunn - sue me.) Family and time for yourself is so much more important than blogging. Even really, really good blogging. Sorry! And wecome back!


OMG! Yay! I seriously checked your site like twice a day until the 2nd when I gave up hope and went to sleep really early and then woke up late.

Which is when I found 2 glorious new posts!

Then I was all, where the hell was I?! And I would have emailed you if I thought you were interested in emails about "where are you" and "Here! Let me tell you about my near death experience complete with drawings in Paint!" or "OMG! They totally moved my husband's interview from June 18 to April 24 and holy fuck I have to clean because he is a total neat freak and I am the world's biggest slob with PETS and you know what that means? Like hair and kitty litter crumbles in the dark recesses of things? Yeah."

PS mind if I apparantly make a post in your comments? :)

PPS-- I also thought about you because I had to sleep at work 2 days in a row because of ice and snow, and I got to watch "I love New York."


dude, my daughter has a sick mullet (like a hockey player--a Canadian hockey player) and she's only 6 months old. my hairdresser won't cut it and lord knows i can't do it. i try tucking it under her collar and pretend. when can she get it cut w/o invoking the wrath of the jasons out there?

Jenny H.

I missed you so much...never leave us again.

What the hell is diner dash? Noah's hair is too cute!! I have a really hard time cutting my babies hair, well they get little baby curls. It is so damn cute I can't stand it!!

Aishah Moen

Glad your back...


You're going to be drowning in email next time you take a break.

But, you know from your stats how much we missed you.

"Original Hair" is priceless.


Excuse me-

What are these special secret levels of Diner Dash that you speak of?
Which Diner Dash?
One or Two?
Or Flo on on the Go?

Please don't judge me.



Glitergirley - My hair is just up in a clip. I have no idea how to make it look exactly like that since all I'm usually aiming for is to just not have any long-ass tails hanging down.

And for everybody! Diner Dash 3! Flo on the Go! Get an Expert Score on every level in a particular restaurant and unlock a secret level! Kiss your loved ones goodbye and go play!


Welcome back Ames! So happy to have you back.

ANd yes, one day you WILL have a big boy. And he will come home drunk off his ass from a Super Bowl party and you will give your right arm to be back in Gymboree class.


Dude, I know I live in Chicago and all, but I totally know that girl and let me tell you; bitch is a whore.

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