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. 

IMG_2979

(Plus, Ike will eat you. Grarrrr.)

Comments

Mary Mihaha

I found the stories about Ezra the budding chef quite entertaining. Is Ezra still interested in cooking? Also just hearing stories about life with three boys if what keeps me coming back, so keep 'em coming.

Cara

Like I'm sure most everyone here will say is take a break! Life happens! Who is actually motivated and has something to write about all the time? Talking to people is hard enough, writing is, whoa now. I love that you are looking for topics though because I sure can think of some:

Keeping up your relationship with Jason - how is that possible with 3 kids, loads to write, etc. etc. You seem relevant and put together and still keep all the balls you are juggling up in the air.

Being green. I know you shop with a lot of awareness and mention things here and there such as makeup (wait, maybe I'm mixing up Advice Smackdown stuff) either way, what else do you do as a family? Around the house? What stuff could we easily do in our own lives because it's tested and proven by you?

Blogging itself. You are like, the master of blogs and have been around the blog block, in a good way. What are things you have to do now vs. in the past to keep up a blog, write a blog, have others interested in your blog?

Advice to people considering having children and wanting to do the SAHM thing. I read your blog all the time and have gone through all your archives. Because of you, I want to be a mom and ideally would love to stay at home. How do you make that work (w/o the traditional answers like, get dressed for the start of the day, blah blah blah). You've had the experience of working with a baby and then making that decision and I'm not sure I want to go through that stress and would rather make the decision before the actual kid is here.

But really, anything you write about is worth reading. You have the ability to entertain with your words, so I'm pretty sure if you wrote about bed sheets or cell phone plans I'd still read it.

Good luck! Glad you aren't giving it all up. :)

Lg

More about balancing blogging and the privacy of your family and kids as they grow older.

And pictures of Ike. And anyone in tiny little karate outfits.

Jillian

Just a couple off the top of my head: recipes (the food you do post always looks so YUMMY!), how you divvy up your time between individual/all three/family/running a house, and green-ifying your life (products you found that work, etc). I also have a particular interest in the myriad of things you've tried along the path of all things Noah. I recently had a son diagnosed with Dyspraxia and was wondering the different approaches you've tried to help get him on a better path. Right now we are following SCD and GAPS diets.

jill (mrschaos)

I was about to comment with "MEGGINGS" but that would have to be followed up woth "should die all the deaths." and I suppose that defeats the purpose of all this.

So, yeah...I'm not helpful at all.

Elizabeth

I just --- thank you. I appreciate you not quitting, because facing hours of Googling each day without your wit and humor and charm and charmed life to make it all fun and interesting would be so much sadder. I love everything you write about, especially how you and Jason make it after so many years together --- and still seem genuinely interested in each other. I would like to hear you on just about any topic under the sun, but maybe especially about how plain no-makeup no hair-care people like myself can start looking just a teensy, weensy bit better. I KNOW you've written about this in the past, I just like to read your makeup/hair posts for inspiration. For someday. :)

Brandi

Deodorants on Spring Break? YES! YES! THIS!!!

Anna B Lynch

I second (third?) anything toddler/preschooler as I have a 3.5 year old who will NOT eat and will NOT pee on the potty. He says he will do it when he's older, and I'm all like, "When?!!" And he is obsessed with Thomas, so anything that can make me laugh at the frickin island of Sodor would be appreciated as my house has become one giant train track. And work life balance is a plus, as is how to adjust life from 1 baby to 2. My little one is 6 months and I feel so super neglectful of her because the 3.5 year old is SO LOUD! And Demanding! ALL THE TIME!

Or anything. Heck, you could probaly just type your shopping list and I will find it hysterical.

Rachel

You could write about beauty and fashion as a mom! I'm about to become a mom and I'm a little afraid of what will happen to my morning routine/personal care. Also I love hearing about the individuality of your boys, and will there be a fourth baby? Maybe a girl this time? How does having three kids change your marriage/relationship? Good, bad, ugly? Also anything the other commenters mentioned, because I just shamelessly love your writing.

Becca Lynn

A long time ago, You did a video blog about the PeePee TeePee's.

The point for bringing that up is... MOAR VIDEO BLOGS.

Also, I guess I'm happy that your personal life, family life, career, and otherwise non-bloggy-life are all doing so well

Shelby Roberts

If you post more on cloth diapers, though I am sure the readers with potty trained kids will cringe, please let me know how you liked the gDiapers that you were sent.

I always like hearing about Jason. The stuff he says always reminds me of my husband, and it is nice to already have a witty (stolen from you) remark for my hubs.

jbo

How to care for dyed red hair. I want to dye mine, but my stylist keeps warning me of the upkeep, cost, blah blah.

How do you know when your family is complete- am arguing with hubby over 3 vs 4 kids. He was firmly set for 2, now I am vying for 4.

Anti again skincare- common girl- we know we are all in the same boat.

Fitness post babies- we know you are a skinny minnie- but do you suffer from post 3 baby weird stomach pooch?

Healthy meals for the whole family.

Would love to see decor of kids rooms.

Will you stop blogging about kids when they are older? Just curious, not getting all psycho judgey on ya.

Love to offer suggestions- thanks for asking :)

cheers,
jen

Christina

How about updates on some now defunct bloggers that you still keep in touch with? Martha Kimes? Chicky? The Judith Light Brigade? I'm not sayin recycle but how fun would it be to reminisce? Would it be fun? Something to ponder. Hope they helps!!

Megan

I am sorry if this is too much, but I remember you went through a really difficult time after you had Noah. Now that many years have passed, can you reflect on that time? What worked for you? Uh, asking for a friend.

I don't know if you've ever mentioned this, but has Jason ever requested for you to not write about a certain topic? I always think that's interesting.

kari

Will you send Ez to kindergarten a bit later like Noah? I sent my older son at almost 6, but my 4 year old is reading, writing, etc, and I can not decide if I should just let him go and be the youngest in his class.

Agree with the fitness tips- years post baby- yet still poochy, bleh.

Amanda P

I would love to know more about your baby-food making. It looks like you were once planning on a section for that, did it happen? I've become a bit stuck making oatmeal, peas, sweet potato and apple sauce. Need to mix it up a little but not entirely sure what to do! My 9 month old won't let a spoon near her, either, so I have to try to give her things she can eat herself.

I love your stories of everyday life, so refreshing and funny and honest and just generally reassuring. You rock.

tw

Can you please please please talk about sleeping, or lack thereof with a toddler? we have a 20 month old who literally one night decided NO SLEEPING EVER unless mom or dad are in the room, preferable, in the bed. how do we break this??? tried letting him cry it out - 6 1/2 hours later i broke, and i don't think i can do it again. also, seems mean - 6 1/2 hours???

Elizabeth

After your Valentine's Day post, in which you linked to some older posts, I'd love it if you sometimes did some "from the archives" posts (Throw Back Thursday, maybe?). It'd be really fun, and probably give you a break too, to have the chance to read some of your old favorite posts.

Courtney in FL

I am requesting your step by step experience in obtaining an IEP for Noah. Or at least a link to the previously written post. I go back to the archives, but get consumed catching up on all the post from that year.

g.

Ceiba! (please-a!)

Karen

JEANS! Pets, general wardrobe issues and malfunctions.

And the burning question on my mind right now? How many fucking birthday parties is too many?

Kathy

I have some Deodorant Wars fodder for you. I recently found this wonderful deodorant on Etsy:

https://www.etsy.com/transaction/115173911

One of my first thoughts when I decided I liked it, was that it might make a good addition to your Deodorant Wars. Maybe she is the beautiful hippie chick that Tom is in love with, (oh, she smells soooo good) but he knows she is way too good for him...

[I discovered this stuff when, after 40 odd years of happily using antiperspirant, my body decided to reject the idea and stop tolerating it. (My doctor said that it is due to A.G.E. Yeah, like that; he actually spelled it out.) After confirming that non-antiperspirant deodorants basically suck, I finally came across this stuff. It is kind of amazing.]

Lesley

As long as you keep teaching me words like WHORECAKES, I'm cool.

Honestly, though, I really learn so much from you. It was through your posts over the years regarding sensory issues that I was able to help a friend (who asked for my advice, holla!) start to ask questions and understand better what was going on with her daughter. Honestly, I think it changed their lives, Amy.

The things you choose to write about always seem to be the right thing, really. I am often fascinated with how you do that so well. Plus the advice column, which I don't ever want to see the world without.

I guess what I'm saying is I have no helpful topic suggestions but wanted to take this as an opportunity to thank you for how real and vulnerable you've managed to be over the years. It has encouraged me to be so, too.

And maybe if you get really bored you can talk about fashion and how one might manage to dress with some kind of style and keep up with said styles without spending too much money that they don't have. Yay.

Thank you!

#whorecakes

Arnebya

I wish I had something to suggest but HOLY SHIT I'MA PRINT THIS BITCH OUT AND USE UP ALL THE SUGGESTIONS BECAUSE WOW Y'ALL ARE GREAT. Fuck writer's block. Have Amalah ask her readers what they want to hear about from her, then steal them and apply them to your own life because you are just as interesting (and writing less often and need inspiration.) You have three kids CHECK. You have deodorant. CHECK. You have...shit. Never mind.

Heide

My son's hair smells funny -- sort of mildewy. He wears it long and it's fairly thick and I've tried helping him wash to make sure it's really clean and I've tried pouring vinegar over his head (he hates it) and recently I switched from a natural shampoo to a different one that claims to be 99.6 percent natural and has a strong smell that might just be masking the other smell. Any ideas about what's causing it and how to fix it without toxic chemicals? Thanks!

Also, I have a kid with various neurological delays and it's been wonderful over the years to hear about your work with Noah, both in terms of practical advice about negotiating the system(s) and in terms of the emotional issues involved as a parent. I'd love to hear more about those.

Kathy

Oh hey, that link might not work. If not, try this one:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/54863050/lavender-vanilla-natural-deodorant-25

Hopefully that will take you to my sweet smelling girl. (And lots of lovely sisters and a few brothers too.)

Btw, I have no affiliation with that Etsy shop, other than being a happy customer.

Rebecca

Baby names. Girl ones and other unused ones. HALP! =)

Jen L.

I'm nuts for a good deodorant story. You and I are about the same age (I've got a few months on you)...I'd love to hear your thoughts on being a woman in her mid-30s. Is it what you thought it would be? Because I don't feeeeeeeeel 36. I thought I'd be wiser or something, I guess. But really?? I just like to say the F word and read blogs about deodorant and stuff.

beck

MOAR CEIBA PLZ

AND MAX

Jennifer Fox

Hi Amy!! I'd love to read anything about how you balance fashion/hair/makeup/getting ready-ish stuff with all that you have going on. I have two little ones and a consulting job from home and just don't have the time/energy/know-how to shop or put together outfits that aren't my running gear. (because if I'm not parenting or working, I'm usually running) I know this is a totally trivial subject, but I can't bring myself to follow fashion magazines/blogs (GAHH NO TIME!!!) but I still want to look put-together on occasion and when I look in my closet I have NOTHING but crap clothes that my kids have ruined. :) Do I just take a wad of cash and go beg the sales people somewhere to help me purchase and put together outfits? HALP! So that's my totally girly-trival suggestion for a future post. :)

Liz

-Cloth diaper potty training!

-why do mom bloggers stop writing once their kids reach a certain age? Child privacy? Burnout? Boredom? Total comfort in parenting and no need to talk about it? How come no one is writing about the trials of puberty and teens?

Ligouri

Hi Amy! I love reading - pretty much ANYTHING you write, except, let's be honest, I get lost a little bit in the fancy dishes. BUT I was wondering how Noah was doing with the transition of his teacher/best friend/sponsor for life? Have you found a new teacher for him? How's that going? How is Noah? (I could spend a whole other comment asking how you control the Lego situation, but let's get real - the Legos control us, not the other way around).

Also, with the Zah and Ike going to school (kind of sort of) how is the interaction with their teachers? Better/worse than with Noah? How are they doing? How do you get through every day without meltdowns over shoes/jackets/clean undies?

We are looking at the real possibility of having my step-daughter with us for 2nd grade (YAY!) but I'm so nervous about what school to choose (there are three public schools within 1/4 mile) do I choose a charter or a private? Do I arrange for her to spend after-school with the same daycare my son is in (he's 2 in May) which would be awesome, but I don't know if she'd be bored with all the littles, etc.

Anyway, just looking to hear more about their school and teachers and how your boys are dealing.

Thanks!

Sarah

Deodorant downton abbey.

And ceiba and max.

annemarie

I've posted a comment probably twice ever but I just about had a heart attack that you were going to leave me. So I'm glad your post was not that.

Theresa

I asked for a Montessori and why you chose it post a couple posts back. My twin boys are ten months old and the Montessori school takes "toddlers" so I am starting to think about it. What about Ezra and Ike made you think this was the way to go? How has it affected your family? (ie, TV time? types of toys?) Do you ever think about continuing Ezra on to a Montessori primary school? Basically I want you to tell me what to do and what to think. Thank you.

Brittany

I'd like to hear about how you and your husband balance your individual relationships with each child, with each other and as a family. Do you have to plan it and think about it or does it just work? I'm a week away from having my first child (a boy!) and the list of things I lay awake worrying about just keeps growing!

Also anything about gardening, composting, hiding veggies in food or recipes.

Theresa

Ohh and co-sleeping! I'm co-sleeping with my boys and while it's all nice and snuggly now, I'm a little twitchy about getting them into their own beds sometime in the future. How did you accomplish that?

Amy

Oh 2 things

Please write about how to talk to little boys about fighting. Don't hit. Protect yourself. Run and tell a grown up. I've sputtered all of these recently. All have there place but getting across the when where what has me struggling. My guy is about to turn 5 and is generally not aggressive. But today I looked up at the school playground to see a Christmas Story fight with him on top minus the cussing. Another kid confirmed that my son didn't start it. But I don't think I handled the talk after very well. Sigh.

Also. How do you do it. The juggling of mommy and freelance work. I've been struggling with the how it's done. I'm a mommy. I'm a feelance designer. But finding balance seems impossible.

kimm

Ok,my suggestions are-how did u know u were in labor? Because since its my 2nd now, u would think I might have learned something but no. And how do u deal with cooking supper when u have 3 kids? I think when this one is born we will just live off pizza &sandwiches.

Kathy

I made the mistake of reading "The Company Cookbook" post at work. Laughed 'til I cried, I did. Something similar, maybe? Without offending the author, of course.

Kate F.

Not that you need more at this point, but along the lines of What's-up-w-Montessori, I'm curious, as the mom of a 2.5 year old, how you start teaching kids to be independent w stuff like getting dressed. My son resists doing things like that himself and I feel like we let him get away with being a bit of a baby!

Barbara

You just keep on writing, girl. Anything. And anyone who can weave a sweet brown quote so seamlessly doesn't need any advice from the peanut gallery. I just wish you'd to e down the fbombs.

April

I might be just a nosy, boring housewife, but I enjoy the little stories about the boys. I have daughters, and your sons are so foreign to me. Also - cooking?

Iva

Sibling rivalry and how to defuse it as much as possible. And how to deal with constant squabbling over random toys. I've got a 3 year old and a 1 year old and the refereeing has lately really kicked into gear.

Working at home and forging a sane work/life balance, which is someting that always eludes me. I always end up working at night (read: until 3-4 am), and then my whole days are out of whack.

Patty

I'd love it if you can kind of reflect on having typical kids after a special needs kiddo, and what kind of anxiety you had and such, or if you were worried about having another with challenges... and then if you ever feel like you aren't giving your typical kids the kind of attention Noah gets, or vice versa? Heavy stuff, I know... I'm kind of at a decision point regarding more kids, and I'm always looking to know how other people deal.

Vane

Anything on whether to let a baby cry it out or not when all she/he wants is to be held ALL day. Mine will not sit in her playpen/ jumparoo/ swng/ pillow and blanket on the floor fort for 10 minutes. I get no breaks. If i put her down to say run to the bathroom/ make myself a sandwich, pump, do my work fom home job, answer the door she will scream like abanshee. ( when i have tried to let her cry it out she cries for 2 hours. Non stop.

Also interested in how to navigate the mommy goups and how to make mommy friends. Does it have to be so awkward?

CJ

How about Ezra Cooking Show installments? Maybe some of his favorite recipes?

Mara

I will happily read more on cloth diapers! I just spent a good 2+ hours yesterday laying out all the assorted cloth diapers that I now own, courtesy of hand-me-downs and a used diaper swap sale and holy hell was I overwhelmed. (I typed up an inventory. I am a special kind of crazy.)
Also, thank you for helping me stay sane-ish during this pregnancy. 33 weeks down, 7(?) to go!

perl

ehn. I don't have any requests but rather something vaguely stalker-ish to tell you. Yesterday I was with my 8 year old at the "pile all the nasty shit on the frozen yogurt" place and trying to entertain myself by watching the slideshow of happy yogurt eaters that is constantly playing on a giant screen. We're in kind of a smallish town so I usually am looking for someone I know, when all of a sudden I almost yelled, "HEY THAT'S EZRA!"

So, yeah - you might want to see if the mighty Ez has been on a frozen yogurt tour of the pacific northwest unbeknownst to you.

Frenchie

How about how you decided it was "time" for a second child ... and then a third. My daughter is Ike's age, and I am starting to think it's time to think about baby-making again.

Lauren

I am dying to know what more than one kid is like. I mean on a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute basis, what the hell do you do with a toddler when you have a newborn? Or vise versa? I have a wonderful and rambunctious one year old girl, and my husband and I are thinking about trying for baby #2 but I keep getting stuck picturing it like it was with our first: that is, a lot of quiet time with just me and my baby, uninterrupted starring at her little face, no one running around needing lunch or entertainment or juggling diaper changes of two different small humans. I know that we'll just figure it out when it happens, but if you could sort of describe how you get through the day, especially with three, meeting everyone's needs for naps and cuddles and special time with you and alone time and baths and lunch and snacks and all those little things I think I would have a better sense about if we're ready or not.

Shelly

One word, CEIBA!

kai

Diaper lifecycles (which ones lasted the longest, which ones you hated, timeline of use [like more covers are only good to get through 1 kind, but inserts are good for forever]), Max! (and his beloved zombie puppy), LEGO! (bonus interviews from the boys about their favourites), adjusting to office work (and the crazy co-workers), renovation stuffs (or organization stuffs, like keeping the toys (and LEGOMG) contained; see also getting kids to donate old stuff).

Cie

You like many of us have the February blahs. Spring always brings new energy. Enjoy your little ones - it won't last long.

Karen

Whorecakes = new favorite word.

Sorry, no suggestions here. My writer's block is worse than yours. At least you have tiny humans to keep you entertained.

Karen

Whorecakes = new favorite word.

Maybe more on whorecakes? Are they related to slut pies?

Rebecca

I agree about the religious stuff...I am a childhood baptist/adult atheist, and I would love to hear about how others handle their own enormous shifts.

Martha

--Adventures in nighttime potty training (cloth vs. disposables/pullups, heavy wetters, encouraging older kids to get up to pee in the night, how not to lose it when you have to change someone's wet sheets at 4am AGAIN, etc)

--Early elementary schooling choices (early kindergarten entry? delay kindergarten? private? public? charter?)

--The joys of trying to have quality bonding time with your kid(s) AND your mate during weekday evenings when you're shit tired and have no time or patience

--Finding/making time for yourself - or for friendships - (especially when "free time" is no longer a viable concept but mama guilt is a plenty)

--More quirky kid stories/photos (strange habits, emerging personalities, funny preferences, etc.)

Heather

Recipes. I'd like recipes. Toddler/kid acceptable food as well as some really good adult food if possible. Tried and true ones. I'm sick of pinning recipes that turn out like shiz....

Carin

I would like the, making crappy hair less crappy, post! I have that hair and I want to know how to use that comb you posted a pic of on IG. Please?

Stephanie

7 months pregnant with kiddo #2 and my pregnant brain can't figure out some of the basic logistics. Kid #1 will be two (birthday/due date are the same week) and is still in diapers and in her crib.

We have a bassinet to ease the need for the crib for awhile (in no hurry to move kid #1) but do we get a whole second changing table/diaper set-up? Or try to run between rooms? Sounds so stupid but am just not stuck on these basic things. Guessing you've figured it all out with 3 boys!

Stephanie T

I agree with a couple of the others in saying that I would love to hear more about your religious beliefs or non-beliefs. It seemed to be a huge part of your childhood and I wondered if your parents turned around as well or was it just something that you decided not to do anymore. And of course more about your kid's personalities. I love those posts. I have cried and laughed at all your stories about your kids. It's so weird how I feel like I know you guys so well and you have no clue I exist! haha :)

lacey

i wanna hear real women write about weight. i know it's verging on terrible, because our whole societal upbringing has told us to care about our weight (i reread some Betty and Veronica lately--whew) and that suuuuuucks and FEMINISM REVOLUTION WE ARE WHOLE PEOPLE WITH LIVES AND TALENTS AND SUCK IT

(i have your same capslock problem)

but i would love to hear some people who aren't overtly fat-activist bloggers become fat-activist bloggers (that is, activists about fatness, not activists who are fat, although that's great too) and/or say "Hey it is a struggle to love my body, and to not focus on it, even though I know that is the right thing. Let me tell you more about my struggles."

i don't know why i'm going to you for this. sorry if that's inappropriate. maybe just cause you asked for topics. and i am projecting, and looking for affirmation or reflection.

Dorie

I'd love a post about what exactly you feed your kids. Recipes, links, DETAILS. Especially breakfast, lunch, and snack ideas and things that can made ahead in large batches and froze. Feeding my three kids an all-natural diet is basically my hobby. I'm always looking for new ideas to stave off food boredom.

Pogita

Your kids get ready to bed independently. How do you do that?

Amy

I read your blog because I like hearing about your family but also because I enjoy your writing style, your humour and your take on the world. I'd be interested to read your 'voice' talking about things other than your family - things like TV shows, movies, books you're reading, events in the news. I suppose the kinds of things that friends talk about after they've dished all there is about their kids. xxx

Kate

I just had my second baby and would love to hear any advice about dealing with older sibling behavior issues. Fits, screaming, general defiance.

Heather

I love the idea of Jason writing a guest post. He could write about what you're like to live with (as suggested above), being a dad to 3 boys, or about what a day at home looks like from his perspective.
But. That doesn't help you (write). My burning questions are:
1. Are you done having children?
2. How is Ceiba?
3. Do you like the new nanny? Any challenges, regrets? Have you learned any awesome tricks to use on 3 crazy toddlers (mine, not yours)?
4. Is this new consulting gig permanent? Are you planning on working one FT job?
5. Are you coloring your hair? (have not seen a pic since the holidays, I think?)

Steve

Well...I got through the first half dozen or so commens and then got sidetracked so I scrolled to the bottom. Totally understand the burnout! Maybe you should let some more small woodland creatures into your house...those always turn into interesting posts! LD Otherwise I'd love to hear how you and Jason balanced household and baby chores when first starting out. Some new parent relationship tips maybe? Love your blog. Pics of the boys are always great also. Guess that's what instagram is for though!

Txo

More videos!

Also something about naps/sleep for the 2.5-3 year old set? Wake time/ nap time/ sleep time/dropping nap/ can't stop napping due to caregiver (really not an option) but then won't sleep til 10.. Uh. Maybe this is a Advice Q

Elizabeth

Breastfeeding Pumping and augmentation with formula?

lydia

Parenting with computers/phones/pads/pods and all that wunnerful stuff we didn't have when we were kids.
I feel very conflicted about the time my children consume media (they do, OH THEY DO).

You seem to not have the same angst, or....perhaps it's something you could write about?
I think you're younger than me (I'm 41) and maybe that makes a difference. I got through college still composing papers longhand before typing them.

Most of my circle seems to agree that less screen time is better, yet none of us can do it. I'm also a librarian and a big part of my job description is convincing kids that books still have good stuff.

So I'm interested in hearing your perspective, as someone who makes her living on the Internet.

Carole

As someone who also has three boys (including 13mo twins), and who left the hospital very much definitely done with baby-making, I'm also curious about whether you struggled with that decision, because even though the door is closed, I still do.
Also, it would be nice to hear if anyone else sometimes thinks their child is the most annoying child on the planet, because I'm dealing with some guilt about that over here.

Maggie

I started reading a couple years ago and I still periodically go back through your archives because you are so entertaining. I can read and re-read your blog. I love it! Updates on the kids are my favorites but also anything about your pets, home improvement, gardening, cooking, cloth diapers, your relationship with Jason, balancing time across 3 kids, Noah's development, photo essays... Basically I just love your writing. No matter the topic. (Host another dinner party or take another trip to the zoo! Those are some funny entries.)

Maggie

I also always love skin care, hair, and make-up updates but I'm not sure if that's blog material or smackdown material.

Lisa

I just like the stories of your children. No matter how small. Because you are a brilliant writer and super funny besides.

Easy, right?

Plus all the supportive stuff you told us not to say.

Amber

I was here a week ago and wrote out this whole thing on why you should update us on the Island of Sodor, but then figured you'd tossed your train track and it was random and not related to your post at all so I didn't say anything. Glad you asked!

What's going on at Sodor?

Ashley

Weight loss, diet, body image stuff now that you're in your mid-thirties, short on time, etc.

Heather (Laptops to Lullabies)

I'll happily read anything you write, because I'm Crazy Amalah FanGirl 4Eva or something.

But I especially love your posts about SPD, kid-friendly healthy eating (cutting out dyes to minimize hyperactivity, especially), Ezra's adorable love of cooking, tips on parenting issues, funny stories about the kids, pictures of your house/reno projects, and (most importantly) working from home, because that's what I do, too.

You're the best! Hooray! Keep on keepin' on!

Heather

Thank you for all your bloggy goodness. Topics? Infant sleep cycles, please. Or how to make a six-month-old follow the 2-3-4 pattern. Or how to switch from napping in the swing to napping on his mattress (Montessori-style bed). I should probably write to the Smackdown or Moxie, but, blerg, sleep, must have. Help?

kim

my god...MORE DEODORANT posts. those killed. seriously. amy...you are wonderful. keep it up to the best of your ability. we love you out here.

plz_thx

Firefly? Worth a shot, right?

Brigette

I really would like to know more about your vintage glass / Pyrex? collection.

And what about something along the lines of just how much boy stuff is really hard-wired. Or what you DIDN'T expect in raising boys. That might be a good one to get Jason's opinions in on too.

Beck

Dude, I've been a lurker for YEARS and even went crazy and read all the way back through your archives. What job? I'm single and don't have kids, but I LOVE hearing just your take on daily life. I also know you guys love good food, so anything you've been cooking or links to recipes are interesting too!

Leela

1) I'm currently pregnant with my second, first is six months (yes... we're out of our minds), and I'm feeling rather "eh" about the whole pregnancy. At this time with baby #1 I was reading the pregnancy horror stories about first trimester miscarriages and sobbing as my after work hobby. Is that sort of the way it is with subsequent children? A real "been there, done that, you ain't scarin' me this time" sort of attitude?

2) How the hell did you manage naps with Ezra & Ike when you had other bouncing around, very awake children?

3) How do you afford three children? Are you guys able to save decently for anything from car/home repairs to your own retirement? Are you saving for the boys' college?

4) What are the expectations of Noah as an adult? I don't mean to sound like an asshole here. He has come so far thanks to all of the help and time you and Jason have put in and it seems like he will grow up to be just like anyone who didn't have such a rough start. Is that about right?

Cole

Is there anything you miss about not having children? Is there anything you miss about being single? How has your marriage changed over the years (including pre- and post-kids)? What relationship advice would you give your younger self?

Also: moar cat and dog pics with captions.

Jess

Get pregnant again!!! :) I loved your pregnancy posts. And Ceiba! More Ceiba! And max! And the boys! And basically anything. I think it's pretty obvious we all just lo e your blog in its entirety. No matter the topic.

Angella

I read all the posts, Miss Amy.

(Do you know that the majority of my daily hits come from your links page? Truth.)

Maybe a post about blogs YOU read (ala Kickyboots back in the day) would be a fun one.

xo

Kelly

Like many others, I like everything you write. But since you asked....

Old-school makeup and skin glop and hair potion Advice Smackdown! Product comparison smack downs. Pretty pretty.

Ceiba!

Food, cooking, eating, growing thereof.

You and Jason, how you keep yor marriage running tickety-boo, stories about his awesomeness, his stories about your awesomeness.

Kara

I would love to hear more about your SPED journey. We were one year behind you in the process all the way and sometimes your blog was the only thing keeping me from, "Oh ma gerd....he'll never amount to anything! The therapies, the early intervention, the horror!" Thanks bunches and keep on making me feel like I'm doing ok:)

Cassandra in TX

Oooh, would you do another post abut container gardening? Or about how you cram veggies into "kid" foods...I remember a long time ago (a year ago? more?) you posted something about homemade fish sticks, and I'd been meaning to ask you for a recipe.

On another note, I breathed a sigh of relief when I got to the "this is not some bloggy setup for announcing my retirement" part. I understand how busy you must be with kids/consulting/etc, but I SO enjoy your writing! And after Redneck Mommy announced she was "done" the other day, I don't think I can handle another one of my favorite bloggers quitting. Keep on keepin' on!

Cassandra in TX

Sorry, that last post should have ended "Keep on keepin' on, Queen of Everything!"

Carrie

I am in eating hell with my 2 boys so I would (selfishly) love for you to talk about eating and kids. But I know you have done that before so you may be bored of it.

Also, more pics and stories of your animals. Because I love them.

Thanks for asking.
Carrie

Carrie

And how you handle power struggles with your kids.

Thanks,
Carrie

Niki

Off the top of my head: adding a vote for Montessori talk (am trying to figure out what would be best for my sensitive, strong-willed, socially stressed almost-3yo in terms of preparation for a school life where you have to actually do what's asked of you, preferably without a 3-hour sulk); cooking with toddlers/preschoolers; other food, food prep, dinnertime stuff; stories about your interactions with other parents at school, classes, etc. (this comes from a mom who has no idea how to talk to other parents at daycare or classes); play dates and/or relationship with neigboehood children (we are trying to negotiate a play date with the close-in-age child next door; we started talks mid-January and are currently hopeful that the last weekend of March doesn't fall through); followup on your garden (I am thinking if starting a square-foot garden with maybe some containers).

musingsfromme/jill

Have you ever had a brand who asked you to do a sponsored post tell you to tone down your language? Or does the brand not mess with your at-times colorful ahem language?

musingsfromme/jill

Love your posts where your kids are doing cute kid things that you catch on film. Like the post where Ezra is cooking and Ike is wearing Ezra's second apron.

Birgitta

I want you to come into Faccia Luna in Clarendon on a Tuesday night and have half price wine and then write about how awesome the bartender is!!!

Niki

I just realized I should say: I am so glad you gave that disclaimer; you had me terrified that you were leading up to a leavetaking. I have been considering taking a break from my RSS feed, but there are 3 or 4 people I must read. You are one of them.

I have been reading you since fertility treatment days, and you share the top spot in my "favorite blog by awesome woman who talks a lot about her family" with Julia (Here Be Hippogriffs). Talk about anything at all, and I will feel happy.

Carrie

I recently discovered your blog and catching up on your posts is right up there in excitement for me with reading the "Game of Thrones" series or realizing that there were four more seasons of "the Wire" after finishing the first one.
There is something really awesome about you and your blog and your writing. I'm glad that you are not planning to retire, and I will enjoy reading about whatever you choose to write about.
Since you asked for requests though, and because I put the nose in nosey, I'd LOVE to hear about post-baby relationship stuff. With a particular focus on how the heck you know when one is bad enough to leave, and if it's better for the kid(s) if you stick it out or try to find peace and happiness elsewhere. And I LOVE juicy details and examples, so if you and Jason (or a couple whose names have been changed to protect their identities) really did hit a rough patch, please share!

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