My Forceful Valentine
Not Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You: The 'Don't Be a Selfish Asshole' Guide to Parenting

Dear Peanut Gallery:

Okay. Let's just start typing and see how this goes:

I am burnt the fuck out, you guys. 

I suspect that doesn't surprise many of you; after years of writing-writing-writing hundreds of words here five days a week about everything-anything, my output here has noticeably slowed. Whereas before I would simply stare at the blank page and force myself to write something, and was fine spending a couple hours mashing that something into submission of NOT ALTOGETHER SUCKING, lately I've been coming here and if a topic doesn't pop (fully formed, with an outline and several bullet points) into my head within 30 seconds I'm like: Nooooope. Maybe tomorrow.

And before you rush to the comments section all GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK WE UNDERSTAND, let me assure you that I am definitely 100% giving myself a damn break about it. I do not feel guilty or panicked or ZOMG MAH RELEVANCE IS FADING about it at fucking all. Dish, please.

I have three children who constantly need things or rides to things or want to talk to me about all the things. I've somehow fallen ass-over-teakettle into a consulting career that demands a lot of hours, hours that I am happy to hand over because it's all personally rewarding and challenging in a way that blabbering on about myself stopped being a long time ago. At 3 pm every afternoon I close the laptop, collect Noah at the bus and spend the rest of the day fully engaged with my children and husband without a second thought at what's going on in my email/blog/Twitter/whatever. 

And before you rush to the comments section all STFU WITH YOUR DISTRACTING PERSONAL GROWTH AND ENTERTAIN US, WHORECAKES, let me also assure you that this is not (at all, not even a little bit) some bloggy setup for announcing my retirement or shut-down or resignation from teh royal Internet. This is just me sitting down and forcing myself to write something, anything, just like I've done on an almost-daily basis since two-thousand-and-oh-fucking-three. 

It IS, however, a shameless ploy for a little crowd-sourced inspiration. What would you like me to write about? I believe I've caught requests for posts about Montessori and why we chose it, a hair tutorial for making crappy ultra-fine hair look slightly less crappy (HA!), and SOMETHING TELLS ME there have been additional questions about cloth diapers that have somehow gone unanswered in the 2430434502098765 words I've written about that topic already. Is there anything...else? Other plots I've left dangling because OOH LOOK SOMETHING SHINY or questions that aren't necessarily Advice Smackdown material but you still want to ask because nosy? Or I don't know, feel free to just start shouting random words at me like MEGGINGS or PACKING PEANUTS or DEODORANTS ON SPRING BREAK. 

Anyway, I'd super appreciate hearing from you and getting some writing prompts to help me get back into a groove. (Not to mention that EVERY. TIME. I've done this in the past something immediately interesting happens in my life as a convenient double-shock to the writing reflexes, so let's just tempt some fate up in this bitch.)

Just be your nice usual lovely non-asshole selves about it, is all I ask. If you tell me to write about why I suck we'll never get to address any other topic ever, since that would require a novel-length 20-part series and ain't nobody got time for that. 

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(Plus, Ike will eat you. Grarrrr.)

Comments

Carrie

Ann Coulter. This needs to be discussed in detail.

Alicia

I would like to hear more stories of your dad. I know that's a hard subject, but I like seeing old pics of you and your parents from the 80's. ;) Maybe what you'll tell your boys about your dad and the memories you two had together. And an update on how your mom is doing. maybe even venture over to Jason's side of the family. I guess I'm a big family/generations person.

jodifur

The house...any more renovations?

Also, I went and had my nails done at the place you and I went to together that one time and I thought of you and I miss you. That is all.

Maxine Dangerous

I suggest:

-- More adventures of The Tire That Once Occupied Your Foyer (I seem to recall that situation came to a logical conclusion, but you could always talk about The Tire's adventures had it made it to Hollywood to pursue its dreams of being on the silver screen :D)

-- What life might be like if you had three girls instead of three boys (basically a blatant rip-off of a Malcolm in the Middle episode, minus a fourth child :))

-- More Deodorant Wars installments -- always and forever, amen

-- More toy train stories (Thomas, Sodor, et al.)

-- More stories about your alleged breathtaking dumbness because you make oven fires, potential basement snakes, and bird/bug infestations absolutely hysterical. As someone who has almost set her kitchen on fire, does laundry in an unfinished basement reminiscent of the final scene of Blair Witch, and has had more birds in my apartment than I care to think about, courtesy of two rambunctious cats who think I need "treats," I both sympathize and empathize.

And for the touchy feelies: Though my blog was never as popular as yours, I basically abandoned it after years of trying to come up with something interesting to say because I just couldn't. So I understand. Good luck with your writing! :)

Maxine Dangerous

I suggest:

-- More adventures of The Tire That Once Occupied Your Foyer (I seem to recall that situation came to a logical conclusion, but you could always talk about The Tire's adventures had it made it to Hollywood to pursue its dreams of being on the silver screen :D)

-- What life might be like if you had three girls instead of three boys (basically a blatant rip-off of a Malcolm in the Middle episode, minus a fourth child :))

-- More Deodorant Wars installments -- always and forever, amen

-- More toy train stories (Thomas, Sodor, et al.)

-- More stories about your alleged breathtaking dumbness because you make oven fires, potential basement snakes, and bird/bug infestations absolutely hysterical. As someone who has almost set her kitchen on fire, does laundry in an unfinished basement reminiscent of the final scene of Blair Witch, and has had more birds in my apartment than I care to think about, courtesy of two rambunctious cats who think I need "treats," I both sympathize and empathize.

And for the touchy feelies: Though my blog was never as popular as yours, I basically abandoned it after years of trying to come up with something interesting to say because I just couldn't. So I understand. Good luck with your writing! :)

Kerry

Life with three kids. I end up loving the posts (like with Ezra and the lunch box) that focus on the individuality of your boys, and I'm curious how/if you manage to get one-on-one time with each of them, because it seems like you find a nice balance between precious individual snowflakes and teeming horde.

Kerry

Life with three kids. I end up loving the posts (like with Ezra and the lunch box) that focus on the individuality of your boys, and I'm curious how/if you manage to get one-on-one time with each of them, because it seems like you find a nice balance between precious individual snowflakes and teeming horde.

Kerry

Life with three kids. I end up loving the posts (like with Ezra and the lunch box) that focus on the individuality of your boys, and I'm curious how/if you manage to get one-on-one time with each of them, because it seems like you find a nice balance between precious individual snowflakes and teeming horde.

Kerry

Life with three kids. I end up loving the posts (like with Ezra and the lunch box) that focus on the individuality of your boys, and I'm curious how/if you manage to get one-on-one time with each of them, because it seems like you find a nice balance between precious individual snowflakes and teeming horde.

Veronique

I miss the Deodorant Wars... but could be with toothbrushes, or dental floss, or fridge wars...

I love the funny Amalah!

KristenSue

-an update on the chalkboard wall.
-compare/contrast posts of your sweet childrens at the same ages, complete with pictures (bonus if they wear the same outfit in the pictures)
-another 'how do I find a good baby sitter in the suburbs when i don't know my neighbors' advice column

Wendy

The big looming question in my mind might be one that you purposefully don't want to write about... I recall you touching upon it once or twice, but nothing in great detail... That is, your religious beliefs. From what you have posted, you were a big church kid, as was Jason. My question is what turned you off of religion (assuming that you were turned off?), and what went into your decision to not raise your kids in the church? It seems like it was a huge part of who you were growing up, and it seems that when that is the case for people, there is usually some pivotal moment that changes their mind?

bessa

Work/life balance is always tricky for me. Love to read about it. Fashion, home decor, makeup always fun.
What's it like having 3 boys, knowing no girls? (I have 2 & 2 myself, so curious.) What do you think of people asking about
What future careers do you imagine for your kids? How are they unique from each other & how do you notice their strengths...yet keep from pidgeon-holeing them as "my athlete" or "my reader..." How do you keep your house/toys clean & organized. What ages do you think its appropriate to give kids allowance? What tasks can they do by themselves at what ages (my 4 year old loves to cut veggies!). Do you fear holding your eldest back because you don't yet know all he can do, but do you worry about pushing your youngest too soon because "he should be able to X by himself."

Kelli

I will second more adventures in Sodor...wasn't there an unresolved oil spill?

Carrie

Please, please: cloth training pants. What? Or ow to potty train in prefolds because heck if I'm dealing with snappi and cover every 20 minutes ll day long thank you very much.

How to get a toddler to eat vegetables. Or really anything. PLEASE.

witty banter about how to not lose your ever lovin crap at said toddler who asks for something then immediately says no.

Anything toddler, really.

Seriously: how to not give one kid more attention than the other. How to be enough for everyone. It's hard.

Laney

Amy, I have read (and loved!) your blog since waaaay back and I've thoroughly enjoyed everything from married! wine! shopping! Amalah to mama of three adorable little boys Amalah.

I guess (considering the fact that I'm a mother of one and my husband and I are now starting to think about adding another child or two into the mix eventually) I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on the transition from one child to two, two children to three. Which was the hardest? How do you maintain some balance/romance/sanity? In what ways is it getting easier? Harder?

Meep

I'd honestly like to hear more about your religious upbringing. Cause I'm nosy. And about how you relate to faith/church/family still all up in that stuff because it is not at all relevant to shit I'm going through now. Not at all. *shifty eyes*

Tricia O.

I know you've been blogging since forever, which is exactly how long I've been reading your blog. I've started and stopped blogging, and then I took some advice, started a completely new blog and stopped cursing on my blog posts because The Man (who is obviously keeping me down)doesn't like that.

However, since I curse quite often in real life, I feel like my "authentic voice" or some shit doesn't come out in my blog posts. They'd be much more entertaining if I could drop some Eff Bombs in there.

My readership has grown in the past 16 months since I restarted, but I'm not making the money I'd like to make and I'm starting to wonder if selling out to the man for some free crap has been worth it.

I just wanna be meeeeeee. Thoughts?

Thanks!

Debbie

I was debating writing to you at Advice Smackdown about life with a newborn, visits from in-laws, things of that nature. I think I will still write with my questions on that, but I'm one of your not-yet-mom readers, and I'm having a baby soonish (June). If you wanted to hearken back to the good old days when having only one baby was overwhelming, I'd love to read about that!

I'd really appreciate a round up post on everything you've ever written about cloth diapers. I'm thinking about cloth vs. disposable right now, and I am extremely unmotivated about researching options. Do you want to do my research for me? I trust you THAT MUCH. :)

Just so you know, I enjoy what I read here, I couldn't even tell that you were burnt out. Other mom bloggers are just uploading post after post that are sponsored and boring, and it's getting seriously old, meanwhile, even though you do sponsored posts, they're always funny, and although the majority of your posts are about the mundane and you always self-consciously state that it's like mindless navel-gazing, I really enjoy coming here and getting exactly that from your blog.

You are funny and entertaining and sometimes you throw in a heartfelt, super-well written tearjerker, and I love that. I also still remember the post you wrote about that hard time in your marriage, the one you wrote just after the almost-divorce that happened around the Chipotle incident? If you wrote more about marriage I'd be into that too, if you're looking for "serious" topics.

But, as Bruno Mars says, I love you just the way you are. :)

Sarah

I was just telling my mom on Sunday how I love the creativity in your writing. Some of your posts are timelines, some are fake interviews, and I really loved all of the misadventures in Sodor. I like knowing about what music you're listening to, how you cook with your kids, and about Noah's synesthesia. if we're talking categories I think my favorite 1 is breathtaking dumbness.

Casey

I would be interested to read more about your personal journey. Obviously a lot of it is documented on this website but you are kind of in a position now to really look back and see how it all got you here. I know, introspection, personal exploration, GAH nevermind lets talk about deodorant.

caleal

I know you and Jason went through a rough patch and you're seemingly awesome again now. How'd you work that magic?
If you want to talk about it.
And if Jason wants you to.
If not, I will also accept anything about sparkles.

Kendra

I am interested in how you made the transition to eating healthier. We have been trying to do the same at home and I would be interested to hear more about recipes you use, your garden, tips, tricks, etc.. and how the hell you do it when there is no time for anything anymore.

Jasmine

Wanted to thank you for answering a question I had on dandruff (eek) something like 5 years ago .. yup, SO overdue. *shame*

Debra

Your post the other day about the milk jugs had me cry laughing. THAT's MY LIFE TOO! OMG why do they fight about the DUMBEST things!

Deodorant wars! Those are always hysterical. I'm also interested in why you chose Montessori. We did as well and just curious about other perspectives on it. I love the school my daughter attends and she's doing GREAT, but some of the policies and some of the other parents can bite me.

Slane

Suggestions, recipes, tips for getting a toddler to eat vegetables would be great. My two year old will drink her veggies but won't touch them on a plate! I'm even good with sneaking the veggies into her food!

Megan

I am just starting to potty train my very-nearly-almost-three-year-old boy, and I have NO CLUE what I am doing. Tell me about how you potty trained! Also, put a plea out to the universe to design boys' underwear with the characters on the FRONT! My kid only wants to wear his underwear backward so he can see Thomas. It's madness!

SarahB

Why do toddlers make such cute little scrunched up faces like that? Just a whole bunch of posts of Ike faces would suit me fine. :)

Kudos to you for your consulting gig!

ssheers

Please write about the dog or the cat.

Sarah

Food! What're you all cooking at home, what restaurants are you trying out.

Susannah

Suggestions. I wish I had them. But if I did, I'd probably keep them to my damn self because oh what a relief to read that other people are burnt out too. I HATE staring at that white screen of judgement and feeling like it is telling me I have no stories to tell or that I have absolutely nothing fucking relevant to say.

But one thing I've always admired about you is your ability to make the everyday things into something entertaining and creative. It's a rare gift.

Jennifer

How about how being a mother has (and hasn't) changed you?

That's something I think about and wonder about and struggle with a lot, and I'd love to hear your perspective!

Jenny

Something about marriage after 10+ years? My husband and I are about to celebrate 10 years together, with one kid, and hoo boy, it has been interesting.

Lauren

Hi Amy! I recently bought a house with a small backyard and am very interested in container gardening! I read your 'welcome to the nursery' post as well as your AlphaMom post about container gardening. I was hoping you could go in more detail, like what vegetables worked best for you and what didn't. What kind of containers you prefer. Anything really. Thanks!!

Zeynep

Cheese, preferences in. Optional, preferences of children in.

Current favorite restaurant in your area, because I think I am a couple of suburbs away from you and I always like discovering new restaurants.

Shoe closet, current state of.

Geese (simply because I can see them flying outside right now, and I know that they are going to be nesting closeby here and we'll have goslings across the street from my work in a few monhts, and hey, maybe it'll spark something?)

Paige

Of course there's more to be said about cloth diapers!

How about a post on pulling cloth diapers out of storage? Sometime next month I'm going to pull out our small size diapers again (for after we run out of the free landfill diapers from the hospital) and get them ready for when our new baby arrives. But they've been stored in a plastic tote in the shed for 3 years, at this point. Anything special I need to do to them? They're all prefold cotton with Thirsties Duo-wrap hook and loop tab covers. I want to re-use what we have, rather than buy anything new if I can avoid it. We're on an even tighter budget than last time!

Also, I've never cloth diapered a boy... should I use a different fold than we did on our girl? Actually, could you write about different folds, too? I let my husband pick the method we're used to (buy-in for cloth diapers came at a price) and never bothered to research that part myself. So I'm not even sure the method we were using was the best, or if he just picked one that looked easy.

Arlene

I miss stories about your sweet pets! I just got a chihuahua and always wonder how it will be if I have a kid since they aren't recommended for small children.

Beekeebear

Meal planning for a family of five when you've got 2 working parents! Gah! I'm about to be a family of 4 and it's already overwhelming!

Also, my favorite posts are always your breakthroughs with Noah. :)

gemma

I'm putting in a vote for Life After (Several) Kids - What Your Child-Free Friends Should Know. Zero kids here, but all but one of my friends have many, many offspring and it is ALL DIFFERENT NOW. This isn't necessarily the kind of thing friends can dispassionately talk about with each other, so a view from the other side of the fence would be nice.

Also, much more Ceiba please :)

Brenda

I'd like to hear more about Jason, and what it's like living with a culinary professional. Preferably with recipes. Also, maybe he should do a guest post and tell us about what it's like to live with you!

Also also we need a guest post from Noah, preferably about dino-robots.

Shari

How about something on non-toxic or less-toxic nail polishes?
Also, the return of deodorant wars, maybe a toothpaste spinoff?
How about non-lego toys that your kids like to play with?

Ang

Potty training with cloth!! I really wanted to write in to Advice Smackdown but I'm afraid there are people with bigger issues who need your help. How did you potty train using cloth with Ezra? Do you plan to change up your game plan with Ike? We have used prefolds with covers from day 1, and I am not prepared to spend a crap-ton of money on all-in-one training pants. Also, love you, love your blog, your babies are adorbs, etc., etc.

Meghan

Potty Training!

I'm just starting with my son, and feel like I have no idea what I'm doing (which I suppose is true for any new aspect of parenting).

You've trained two boys (and soon 3), and I'd love to read about your approach and (mis)adventures.

Stephanie

I love hearing about your kids, but I also want to hear about Ceiba and Max. I miss them!

Lisa

Being a working mother. Choosing to have a career and raise children. What you've given up by staying home, blogging, what you've missed career wise. What you're friends have been able to do with career & children.

sandra

You're not truly a baby-mama anymore. So, what about being married 10+ years and 3 kids--how has that changed you and Jason? How is that transition to school-age children going? And technology for the under-10 set, a parenting problem that NO PARENT had before this current generation? Transitions, transitions, transitions....

Call Me Jo

Holy inspiration Batman! Your readers have some ideas for you!

That said, so do I. I'd love to hear how you learned to/continue to respond to your children as individuals rather than using the blanket-parental-response on all three.

Thanks for continuing to be entertaining!

Amy M.

I'd love to hear stories of how you maintain your sanity while living with 4 boys. (At least I have a girl to break up the testosterone craziness, and I know the crazy will flip in 10 years)

I love the idea Brenda had about Jason doing a guest post.

And thank you for keeping me entertained during my lunch hour for years! My coworkers have given me many funny looks over the years while I laugh insanely over your posts!

Sarah

I'm a first time Mom, struggling with what's "normal". I'd love a breakdown of how different your boys are in all areas - food, sleep, routines. My 12 week old naps 45 minutes and so many websites say this is WRONG. I guess I just want to hear from someone I "trust" that there are lots of different ways to be right, depending on the child.

Basically I want 1000 posts about how you survived infants and managed to still want more.

Amy

More about Sodor! Your initial posts were before my son was into Thomas, and now it's "omg THOMAS!!!) in our house.
I'd also like to hear how you're balancing work and family. I tried telecommuting (part time hours even) and failed after 2 years.
Have you tried implementing any Montessori principles/approaches in your house? There isn't a Montessori preschool in our area, so my son's at a regular preschool, but I'm thinking about doing some Montessori stuff when he's home.
Some old skool smackdown would be cool too. Deodorant wars or not. I love the Advice Smackdown, but the tone is a bit different there than the old Wednesday Amalah ones.
I've been reading since the Washingtonian profile all of those years ago. Thank you for sharing so much of your life and making me laugh (and sometimes cry) for all of these years!

DeNae

I'll add another vote for the "things to do with annoyingly ultra-fine hair" post.

Also, I keep meaning to email you and ask about products you'd suggest for a face that is producing both zits and nearly raw excema patches.

Molly

I vote for stories from your childhood (complete with pictures). I love reminiscing about growing up in the 80's (just had a convo last night about "taping" songs off the radio - good times.)

Molly

I would love to hear how working from home is going for you -- logistically, whether you feel it's affected your parenting to transition between stay vs work at home mom. Plus if you're lucky you'll throw some gasoline on the eternal SAHM/WOHM wars and have plenty to talk about for weeks!

Sheenah

I would love a post on how you balance working from home and being a mom. Also, how did you make Jason realize that you don't sit arond doing nothing all day?

Halala Mama

More stories about "how ain't nobody got time for that," because as a mother of three, I'll bet you could say that every other minute to someone and be dead on accurate. :) Also...love the pics of the kids. It's amazing to see them grow up and how much they look like each other.

Zak

ZOMG, please don't stop blogging.

I will read whatever you write, but maybe you could blog about more home improvements because it cracks me the eff up and I'm a selfish whore that way.

Karen

Sex toys.

RzDrms

Any stories about Noah's synesthesia and the way he perceives the world are really interesting to me, maybe because I feel like I can relate(?) a tiny, tiny bit? I'm fascinated by how smart minds like his work (as well as how identical twins relate to one another, and the complexity that is sleep and dreams, etc.). I didn't realize you'd given up religion and you and Jason had had a rough spot (re: comments above). I believe y'all married young or something? Married fast? Whatever the case, I ALWAYS thought y'all are besties and two really good people who love AND like one another. Also, with three boys having Biblical names, it never occurred to me that y'all were anything BUT spiritual/religious. But what the heck do I know? You do type "GD" periodically, so maybe not? All I know is, y'all seem genuinely NICE and warm and friendly and caring and normal. Thanks for opening your life to us. :) P.S. I don't like the deodorant wars, mainly because I don't understand them so I stop reading at the first photo. I also don't care for blog-events posts, mainly because I'm an introvert and don't trust the concept of blog events (I dunno). Anyhow! You rock. Seriously. :)

erin

Traveling with kids, particularly of the toddler variety! I was going to write to smackdown, but have not yet needed to, as day care germs ate all our leave during our first year as parents. So far, Baby's only getaways have been weekend trips to see grandparents (not too far away), which we can handle, but actual travel involving planes or trains, and staying in places unknown to us is scary!

Kathleen

Ohhh - I did love Sodor! More please? Lego version? I don't think we've ever actually seen Hagrid's hut. (That is officially the most stalker thing I think I've ever typed...)

You sucked me into the whole baby-led weaning thing, so how is that going anyway or any retrospective thoughts? (Six months of no sleep means I can' t do math on what Ike is probably eating like now)

Yes, more on Montessori, although every time you do a diaper post I buy more stuff.... why isn't GMD paying you yet? Cooking with Ez, too - what recipes work?

Of course, I admit, my favorites are always the boys, narrated. I love hearing about how they're growing up and becoming humans - although with two boys at 4 and 6 mo I'm scared to hear how the sibling/lego takeover goes. But the simple posts, just pictures with basic narration - always crack me up.

In the advice column, I'm still stuck at assvice - particularly when it is somewhat safety related, like my friends who can't figure out how to properly use a carseat. I've tried the subtle (facebook posts, or subtle comments), but at what point do you give up and go all assvicey on someone?? How do you, oh professional advicer, decide when to keep your mouth shut, or, well, not?

In other words, yes, do what you've got to, but yes, I'll be here whenever the inspiration does strike!! Thank you for all the chuckles and even the damn tears at work..

Jen

I honestly just love what you are currently doing. Fill us in in YOU and YOUR LIFE. It's clearly entertaining to all of us that keep coming back to your blog. Bodily fluids, vacations, diapers...it's all good. WE LOVE YOU! (Well, I do. You inspired me to CD and I just bought newborn dipes for #2 coming in 7 weeks!--YIKES!)

Jill

differences in transitioning from 0-1, then 1-2, then 2-3 kids. For example, I though going from 0-1 was WAY harder than adding a second. And now we are expecting twins so I get to experience 2-4 in a couple of months. Frightening! Bonus points if you can discuss it without using that tired "man-to-man vs. zone" reference that everyone thinks is soooo original.

marybeth

How were you sure (if you are) done with 3 kiddos. I have 3 boys too, and still debate 3 vs 4 kids- do you?

Ps. take your boys to disneyworld during star wars weekends- you will not regret it!!

Karen

I understand as I abandoned my blog when my mom moved around the corner from us. I realized I was always writing with her in mind.

Speaking of which, how is your mom?

My son is basically being forced out of the EC (SPED) program because sensory processing is more of a 504 plan type of issue and the schools don't see it as a hinderence to his education. Are you going through that with Noah? What types of reality checks are you getting with him? My 6 nearly 7 year-old is learning lovely things at school that make me cringe. He wants to watch all things pg-13 and he has a pre-teen attitude at times. How do you cope with a growing boy? How much does he know about his various diagnoses over the years? Does he still see himself as different? Does he have a lot of friends?

That is all for me!

Brigid Keely

How about more cooking posts? Stuff you make for your kids to eat, stuff that you and Jason eat, stuff that your kids help you make? I'm a big fan of cooking AND eating food, personally, and am ALSO nosy and want to know what other people are eating.

lisa

I completely understand your need for a change, plus, with your kids getting older, it's probably time to stop blogging about them (personally) anyway, regardless of how entertaining that might be for us.

Don't worry, you are funny and you have a great writing style. The every day thing is probably just too much.

I'm curious about all the other everyday stuff, stores, food, traffic, renovation, government, restaurants, tv, movies, bureaucracy, suburbia, cities, general breathtaking dumbness in the real world.

er, I'm good on the deodorant reviews.

Congratulations on your first mid life crisis, such an early achiever.

C

How do you maintain friendships being so busy with two jobs and three kids? Do you feel guilty at all about (I presume from reading between the lines a bit) having more money and raising your kids "rich" as compared with how you grew up? Conversely, you joked about how your townhouse is on the "wrong side of the tracks" in your wealthy 'burb. Do you feel like you need to "keep up with the joneses"? if yes, how do you quelch that feeling?

Hez

I'm going to repeat a request for potty training...our 3.5 year old is rocking it out on #1...#2 has been rough...on all of us. Thoughts on the good, bad, and ugly of surviving please!

Any tips on keeping the marriage happy amid all the crazy...also...some specifics on how you and Jason balance sharing the work load with three at home and careers...

Thoughts on "Mommy Guilt"...how do you balance and come to terms with the things that slip...

Do you ever get free time? If so, how?

And finally...keep posting the pictures...you make beautiful boy babies!!!

LD's Mom

I think many of us pretend like we are friends with you in real life, so I'm always happy when there's a picture of a kid, or your house, or your dog and a funny caption. I think Instagram/twitter has robbed the simple options from your blog, but I'm old school so I don't always remember to look at Twitter to see "what my friend Amy" is up to.

joaaanna

*I would love to see more of your house and how you have decorated it. Kids rooms, family room, etc.
*Are you still into Coach?
*What's the dealio with your siblings?
*How did you learn to cook all fancy?
*Weren't you writing a book at some point?

Whatever you write, I'll read. I've been a huge fan since forever!

Erin

I would love an update on your thoughts re: going from 2 kids to 3. I read "To Three or Not to Three" on Alpha Mom, which was brilliant, and would love to hear more now that Ike is a little older. My husband and I are in negotiations on whether or not to go for #3 and I want more input!!

ras

Honestly, I'd like to know how you're doing this all and staying sane. My three kids are each three months younger than your corresponding boys, I don't work and I don't have a blog, and I am hanging on by my fingernails. It never ceases to amaze me that you're handling so much so well (and so entertainingly). How do you handle chores? Whining? The never-ending whack-a-mole of little kids' needs?

Lindsey

I love the suggestions you've gotten so far. I'll also throw in something about friendships. How to develop them as an adult, particularly when working from home. And if you want to do this through a girls weekend at the spa as inspiration for the post, more power to you!

Just Shireen

Stink bugs and why they all deserve to DIE IN A FIRE.

*ahem*

TheKitchWitch

I love a girl that can throw a "fuck!" with verve.

nicole

deodorant on spring break...yes, YES, yes, please

Catherine

I'd love for you to post more about the food you cook at home, and/or dinner time with three children. We are a working-parents household with a four-year-old and a one-year-old. The preschooler is entering a picky phase, but it's manageable; the baby would eat his placemat if we let him. But what I struggle with is time: it's really important to me to have (mostly) home-cooked meals, but we get home at 5:30 and it needs to be done, like, 15 minutes ago. I rarely get it together to have meals ready in the freezer. I know you and Jason love good food, so how do you handle meal time and meal prep?

Tiffany

I eleventy-ith the deodorant wars! They are the shiz.

Also: In-laws and how to talk to my new husband about them. They are nice people, but not very understanding of the new dynamic.

Ooooh - or how to convince DH that just because someone bought something for him doesn't mean we must keep it FOR-EV-ER. He's one t-shirt away from his own Hording special!

Jodie

Would you be comfortable sharing more about your marriage? Keeping the spark alive while living together in a house full of small animals (er, I mean "children")? How to stay in love (with more detail that just "have a date night!")?

Cris

I'm perfectly happy with day-in-day-out anecdotes of the boys. And of you trying to be social with the other mommies :D So I suggest 1 serious post, and 3 family light ones per week.

Ok, I lie. 1 serious post and 14 family light ones.

Theresa

1. How do you and Jason still keep the magic alive? I only have 2 kids and am usually wiped out by the end of each day. So, please don't touch me.
2. Love the idea of hearing from Jason once in a while.
3. How do you make/keep girlfriends? Or does your blog/readers give you all the social interaction you need?

JenVegas

Another vote for potty training stories and tips, please dear lord I am about to embark on this and I don't know WTF I'm doing. Also...do you write fiction? Have you thought about short stories? I would read your short stories.

Liz

Gardening! Composting! Growing veggies!

Laura

FOOD! Especially the food you make/grow.

Being present- I feel like I am becoming a complete failure in this area. I'm BORED of playing and the guilt I feel is overwhelming.
Also- what else should I be doing with my three year olds at home? Play with them all day? Clean? Read the internet? So very lost...

Alison

I would like to hear more about your coping techniques for Noah. I have a child who has a lot in common with him and always like to hear people's tried and true techniques.

Laura

Ohhhh, now you've done it! I have a bunch of random questions that have seemed to silly to ask!! Like: how did you wean Ike? Was it hard? I'm facing weaning my one year old and it's breaking my heart! Do you still compost? How's Noah doing? And your mom? How do you get am almost four year old to get up and use the damn potty at night? He's awake and pees I'm his pull up anyway??!!

anon

My ideas:

1)I would like to hear more about what dirty hippies you guys have become: talk to us about non-toxic stuff you've switched over to . . .shampoos, soaps, laundry detergent, etc.

2) More about food -- like what/how to cook good, whole simple food that the whole family can enjoy together.

3) The BURNING question for me and most of my friends is that THIRD CHILD DILEMMA. Really, everyone I know with two kids is totally unsure about whether to have another. Let's hear your thoughts on pros/cons, is it how you expected? Do you ever regret it? Did you secretly hope your third would be a girl? Do you ever want a fourth? Do you ever think life would be simpler with just two? Help us sisters out with that sticky question.

OK Thanks!

Kate

I'm not sure how to frame it as a question, but I'll tell you what I'm struggling with and maybe you are in a similar spot or have suggestions?

My older boy, 3rd grade and almost 9, has pretty severe dyslexia and some moderate ADHD. My younger boy is in kindergarten and age 6. I WOHM, and pick my kids up around 5:00 from extended day, we usually can start homework around 5:20 (after snack, of course).

Now that my younger son is home, I feel like I'm not being fair to him. Older son needs So Much Help with homework. He has a really hard time reading the assignments and, because his meds are starting to wear off by then, has a hard time focusing on getting the work done. He needs to do a fair amount of writing for homework, but writing is his biggest challenge. Anyway, I sit there with him for a good 45minutes to an hour trying to get through the homework. That's how it's always been.

Meanwhile, now that my other son is not in daycare (and therefore not picked up by his dad) he comes home with us... and he doesn't have homework yet or, what he has he is able to get done quickly. I feel like every day I'm all "DS2 - go play by yourself" or "DS2 - go read in your room" or "DS2 - don't bother us now, we're doing DS1's homework!"

And that's not fair to him. I don't want him to feel like I think he's less special or less important or like i care less. But his brother's needs are so much greater right now.

So how do I make sure that both my boys get everything they need from me? That my non SN kid knows I love him just as much even though it looks like I'm spending time with him? How do I keep one boys need's from taking over the whole family?

Amy in StL

Well, I'm always up for a little Ceiba. And I love deodorant wars, but what about Mascara wars or creams that promise to make me look younger but lie wars? (or is that just my bathroom?) Also what about some hippie gardening crap? I bought a house last fall and this will be my first year for non-container gardening. Any kind of advice on what to do/not do to soils is a good thing. Also, do you know anything about rubber tree care? (again, maybe just my house?)

Melanie

My dog would love an update on the pets! He thought the notorious waffle post was hilarious.

Kate

My 3 year old is OBSESSED with his peeper! I find him on his tummy slyly humping the ground. No matter how many times I tell him it's only appropriate when he's by himself, I always find him doing it again later...in the living room, at the playground, at nursery school. How do you distract a little boy from his "Mommy-It's-LONG-now!" penis???

Also, skincare, alpha hydroxy acids, vitamin C serums, makeup application tips and tutorials for moms on the go...

Also your cat. And Ceiba stealing waffles never got old!

Melanie

Oh! And once upon a time you wrote something about trying out a bunch I dry shampoos and I don't ever remember reading that. I'd love to know how long I can go without washing my hair!

Angela N

I'm a teacher, so I'd love to hear more about the boys' schools, especially Noah's now that he'll be in 2nd (is that right?) grade next year. How you handle homework, reading time, school lunches, all that stuff.

I love everything you write!

Michelle

You used to write stuff about makeup and skincare that was interesting to me and gave a nice perspective.

Zanbar

OK so I reckon you're coming out of that phase when you have one kid at least at home all day, and they kinda take over your life to a new phase which is more about yourself, and your work, and even friends, and obviously family is important but not, like, your whole life. And yet you have this 'mommy blog' niche. I was reading your old stuff, and I loved the stuff about that nutty woman on the intranet at work, or that person you were watching on the commute home. So I guess I'm interested in that. More Amy. God I love to hear about your gorgeous boys, but if your life has shifted so that it is no longer ALL about them, your blog might come a bit easier if it reflected that shift. x

Ariel

Tell me about how and why you chose a Montessori preschool from the myriad of choices out there

Hillarie

How to use CAPS LOCK responsibly and thoughtfully.

:)

Amelia

Oh, thank goodness you're not hanging up your blogging shoes just yet. Or slippers.

I wouldn't mind hearing about what else you like to read.

Guest posts from your kids! Transcriptions of interviews or arguments!

By the way, I was totally inspired by your birthday video posts, and made some Amalah-style videos to send to my ailing grandfather. I always look forward to those when they come around.

anon

How did you know for sure you were done having kids? (I think you've said you're done.) Do you feel sad about it, or very matter of fact?

Agree with the religion questions, because I am also nosy and because I really think everyone has a Big Story About Religion and how it affected their upbringing.

Mkp

I always get a kick out of hearing from you but my absolute favorite posts are just the munchkin stories. I won't say who my favorite is but let's just say you better ONLY WRITE ABOUT HIM or I'll complain vociferously

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