Where I’ve Been

I think this might be the longest absence in the history of this blog. Maybe? Not sure.

People might think I’ve been off celebrating the success of my book. And yes, there has been some amazing stuff to celebrate:


Hitting #39 in the Amazon Bestseller list and #1 in assorted categories across many retailers was pretty amazing.

I went out of town and stayed in a fancy hotel and was on TV again! And it was nothing like what happened the first time.  (You can see clips here: San Diego Living  and here: San Diego Fox Morning News.)

I had an article in Ladies’ Home Journal:


My book is in 800 Target stores! I did a radio tour and talked on over 20 stations across the country! You guys sent me photos of you with your books and that absolutely made my day! Other exciting things that I’m not remembering would go here!

But I haven’t been celebrating and drinking champagne and otherwise living a life that is far too glamorous for keeping up with this blog. In reality, I’ve been playing catch up with my family. When my book released (and especially the weeks leading up to it) I was working so much. So, so much. Every day my MIL or my mom would come over to watch the kids so I could work. Every night when Crappy Papa came home I’d immediately go upstairs… to work. He’d cook dinner and bring a plate upstairs for me to eat while I worked.  Weekends? Work. After the kids went to bed? Work.

It was brutal and exhausting and exciting.

Then this started to happen each time I’d head upstairs to work:


And I started to realize how little time (especially quality time) I’d spent with them lately.

I released a parenting book and then sucked at my job as a parent. Ironic, right?

I also sucked as a friend. My dear friend Marisa once said, “The thing with writing a book is that by the time you have an event to celebrate, you have no more friends to invite.” So true. (But seriously, have I ever mentioned Marisa here? And her fabric line? I love her to pieces. Chicken fabric. You’re welcome.)

So this was a long way of saying I took a week off from this blog. I took a week off from everything, actually. Everything except tracing our shadows on the patio, baking cookies, walking the dog, pretending I was Princess Leia and concocting pseudo-scientific experiments in mason jars in the kitchen.

But I’m feeling refreshed and have stories to tell. (That is the bonus, I spend time with my kids which results in stories to write about! Vacations are essential for content!)

A real post coming soon. Probably even tomorrow.

Southern California People keep reading. (Everyone else, skip to the footnotes at the bottom.)

I’ll be at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC on Saturday! Admission is free.


11:00AM – noon At the Kobo Booth (#994, located near the main LA Times Stage in the Black Zone) I’ll be signing books. Plus, Kobo is hosting a contest! Fill in empty talking bubbles on my drawing and you could win a Kobo reader. I can’t wait to see what people come up with.

1:00PM – 2:00PM At the Harlequin Booth (#136, located along Trousdale Parkway in the Gold Zone) I’ll be signing books.

If you come see me I’ll not only sign your book and talk to you and be nice and stuff but I’ll ALSO take drawing requests. Simple ones. Like “Draw me a cat.” or “Draw me a clown.” Though I probably won’t have time to draw something like, “Draw me a Tuscan Villa scene with a woman wearing stripes and holding a basket of fruit next to a river with sailboats on it.” Course there is a huge chance you’ll be the only one asking me to sign/draw in which case I’ll totally rock your Tuscan Villa.

Seriously. Come see me. Go to LA Times Festival of Books for directions and such.



My heart goes out to Boston and all the families. Obviously, the tragedy there also influenced my laying low this week. When senseless stuff like that happens I find it difficult to write and be funny. And all I want to do is spend time with my kids. To soak up their innocence. To be thankful that they are safe. To savor this one and only time they will be the exact ages that they are. And so on. I’m sure you undertand. 

Be back soon!

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98 Responses to Where I’ve Been

  1. Carmen says:

    I missed your funny but I’m glad to hear you were spending time with your Littles! Welcome back 🙂

  2. Ambelleina says:

    Aww, poor crappy baby! Congrats on all the success! <3!

  3. Sarah says:

    Seriously, congrats on your book and the sales. Well done!

    Thoughts from UK for all those affected by the Boston explosions. xo

  4. Leah says:

    I love your blog, your book, and am glad you’re back.

    On a completely unrelated note, I am curious – does it upset you to see your book on sale on Amazon? Or is it all, “Wow I have a book on a best seller list! Other things unimportant.”

  5. diana says:

    Good for you! Take a week off to be with your family more often!

  6. Alissa says:

    Wow, I never thought there were such things as book festivals. That sounds so freaking fun!!! Not that I’m going to drive to LA this weekend or anything. But still – how fun!!

  7. Shannon says:

    Or maybe just a clever way to create withdrawal and make me buy your book! You got me, book bought! I truly hope you enjoyed your time with those babies. Best time spent in the world!

  8. Karen B. says:

    Hey lady! Here I thought I would outsmart ordering a book online by going to Target to buy it straight from the shelf! I hate buying things online. I wouldn’t have to wait for it to arrive! I could read it THAT NIGHT! Well, as it turns out, the Target in Washington, Missouri does not have it yet (a little behind here in the Midwest). Ugh. But next time I post on here I plan to have the book in my hands. Actually, I banned myself from reading the blog until I had the book (no free laughs. It would remind me I need to get it, already!) but I saw this on facebook and couldn’t resist clicking. That was way too much info I’m sure. :s

  9. Marisa says:

    Your best friend has the best name EVER. You are a great mommy! Congratulations for being normal!

  10. tara says:

    You were only gone a week! 🙂 Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about you. And didn’t think you had forgotten us.

    Hopefully you are getting to spend some more quality time with the family!

  11. Good for you. After months of writing and editing on a boring dissertation that no one will, or should, ever read, I’m doing the same this weekend. I’m even having a multi-sibling slumber party tomorrow to celebrate MY birthday! They get to decorate. I get cake and pizza delivery, guilt-free.

    • Alex says:

      Way to go on the dissertation! I’m just starting mine and it is a brutal process. I know it will be a couple of years before I’m done but I’ve been fantasizing about ways I will reward myself when I graduate. Spending time with the kids, guilt free, is definitely on the list.

    • Linda Mechel says:

      Tomorrows my birthday too. Happy Birthday to both of us

      • amber says:

        Happy Birthday Linda & Chris!

        It is my mom’s birthday tomorrow & Crappy Papa’s birthday on Saturday. Lots of fun going on this weekend. 🙂

        • Sanj says:

          My daughter’s birthday is tomorrow the 20th, too! She had her first baby boy 5 weeks ago, and has been reading your book and laughing, and sharing it with her friends. Thank you so much for writing it. Already we can relate. Earlier today the baby wiggled and got his poop all over everything, including his socks, then peed on my daughter as she dried him after his bath. Tonight she was eating dinner while nursing him, and bits of food kept falling on him, just like in your illustration. For her, it’s kind of like your book predicts what will happen next, and it comes true. For me, it’s more of a trip down Memory Lane, back to1978, when I was a new mom. Thanks again. If I ever make it to your book signing, I would ask you to draw our black cat sleeping in the crib with the stored blankets, our calico sleeping in the bassinet, while the baby sleeps in his wrap on his dad, and mom looks on with a smile. Family!

    • Sarah says:

      Months? I’m starting my 7th year in the PhD program this fall, 5th year dedicated to my dissertation. I keep meaning to graduate, then I get pregnant again. Sigh. This one is due in July so I better get cracking if I am ever going to actually graduate.

      I must say, I’ve hired a nanny to watch mine for 4 hours in the afternoon while I work (nap time takes up 2 of those hours, so it isn’t so bad) but I miss him terribly each and every day and can’t wait to be a dedicated stay-at-home mom again!

  12. Rachel Blackett says:

    Good on you for taking some time out! First and foremost YOU and YOUR family comes first! We can all wait ^_^

  13. Liz says:

    So many congrats on your success, you made the bestseller list, will you get a tattoo now? 😉

    You know where your priorities are and that is highly admirable. I also think it comes out in your writing that you aren’t doing this for fame, that is what is so real and relatable about your stories.

  14. Lana says:

    completely and totally fair enough. hope you’re refreshed. Welcome back.

  15. Sara says:

    I’ve missed your posts and shamefully was one who thought your success meant you’d ditched us for greener pastures. Now that I know you’ve been spending time with family being a “normal” mom I feel like an big meanie. Sorry! Glad you’re back!

  16. Tara says:

    First, congrats! And second, good for you! It speaks highly of who you are as a parent that you know when to say enough and take some time to be with them.

  17. Angela says:

    Congrats! Can’t wait for your next post!

  18. Sara says:

    Glad to see you back! I have been checking your site longingly to see you! 🙂

  19. Krystel Watts says:

    Well done you!!! ALWAYS put your family and YOU before your work. GOOD ON YOU! maybe you need to do it more often!!!!
    I enjoy your blog a whole lot. =)
    From Krystel in New Zealand

  20. Shell says:

    Seriously hope I get to see you at the LA Festival of Books. I’m coming from a baby shower, but was so thrilled to see your name on the list!!! Your book makes the best gift ever too!!

  21. Leah Seidl says:

    You are so freakin’ hilarious! And you speak TRUTH!
    I have a 5 year old daughter, and nearly 2 year old son, and I’ve got through so many of the same things. It’s been wonderful to see that I’m not alone- and the serious CAN be funny.
    I just purchased your book. I’ve also encouraged my circle of mommy bloggers friends and indie business owners to do so too!
    I hope you do better than earning $131 this year, and I have to salute you for NOT selling out your space for cheesy ads. I think 2013 will be an amazing year for you.
    Wishing you continued success and many more funny moments in parenting.

  22. Krista says:

    My daughter drew on the outside and first page or so of my copy and my instinct was to be mad, but then I was like “how fitting, crappy pictures on crappy pictures”.

  23. Emily says:

    I got your book at the library just in time… but seriously I always get so busy myself that I forget the blogs, then backtrack…

    On a related note, my 5 year old makes me read your book to her and she’s trying to read it herself. I keep abbreviating certain parts…

    She suspects…

  24. Dave says:

    Poor little guy! Things will return to normal eventually, and you’ll be thankful everything is crappy again.

  25. nebuchudnessar says:

    Congratulations on your success!
    I hope that you get to have more time with your kids, you must be run off your feet

    Alas, I am one of “those” readers that hasn’t yet bought your book 🙁 But I am saving up so I can get it 🙂

  26. Melissa says:

    I burned through my copy so quickly, I couldn’t help myself. I’d been telling my mom about your blog for like, ever, and she never checked it out. But guess who is almost done reading your book now! (my mom, if that wasn’t obvious)

  27. Elizabeth Beckman says:

    This is all so excellent…just got your book as gifts for two new moms, love it. So fun to see your drawings looking so stinking “official” on the printed page!
    In other news, we just went through a severe bout of sep. anxiety around here with 26-month old. Argh, it was awful, but nothing extra snuggles and lots of responding to “Mama, seeet down! Seeet down by me!” didn’t seem to cure….

  28. Vasiliki says:

    Congrats on the book’s success, Amber!

    I’ve been following this blog almost from the beginning and I’ve never left a comment before, but after watching the videos I had to say that you look a bit like this actress http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/assets_c/2012/08/miss-you-much-catherine-reitman-vh1-thumb-315xauto-43684.jpg playing Maureen Ponderosa at It’s always sunny in Philadelphia. 🙂

  29. Ali says:

    Congrats! Sounds like fun! Glad you were able to take some time off to rest and reconnect. I’m ordering my copy tomorrow!

  30. Rikki says:

    I bought your book finally. I am counting on you to get me through some postpartum ickiness and a 2-week visit with my MIL 🙂

  31. Katja says:

    Yes yes yes Amber, spend time with your family so we can read about it and have a giggle while taking a break from spending time with our family. 🙂

  32. Woolies says:

    But but but all that work is paying off BIG time. It was worth it. I hope. #39?? wooeee!!
    I just worked 10 hours today – hyperventilating the entire time because of the deadline – on a project for another company (not mine) that was absolutely nothing but drudgery, and the only good thing I can say about it is they pay me well (freelance gig). I need to work on getting famous for my own company.

  33. Lisa says:

    Are you intentionally wearing purple in your public appearances to match your blog? 🙂

  34. Laurie says:

    Good for you! If you ever feel like we readers won’t let you take time off to be a good mom, it will probably be time to quit the blog! I hope that time is NEVER! 🙂

  35. Megan says:

    how is the guy on “San diego living” actually on tv?! he was dreadful! thank goodness you were there to tell him what a book cover was, or you might have missed a week off with your babies while he figured it out!

    • amber says:

      I love that guy! He reminds me of Ron Burgundy from Anchorman. Course maybe that is just because we were in San Diego. I really wanted somebody to say, “Stay Classy, San Diego.”

  36. Laurie (always thanks for the "farkles" mention!) says:

    As a resident of MA, grateful for your support of Boston. Hope you and your family will be able to come to the area as part of a book tour/or for fun. Such a great city for kids! If you come, will be sure to be there!!

  37. K says:

    Hello from Boston, Amber.
    Thanks for the note you wrote to our city. The truth is, we need to laugh. So, keep your wonderful blog coming. It helps!

  38. Amy S. says:

    “Soak up their innocence”…perfectly said! Glad you enjoyed your time away. Looking forward to what’s next!

  39. Fenny says:

    Dessinez-moi un mouton!

  40. Briony says:

    I know what you mean exactly. I’m preparing for a big solo show of my sculptures, which I seem to have been working towards for 2 years – my husband says its 3, but that is just cause it feels that long… I have 2 1/2 weeks left, I’m exhausted and still working all hours. Just spent this evening trying to get a new website ready to launch.

    However, this morning my mum couldn’t look after my 2 boys for a couple fo hours, so they came with me to the studio – boy were they excited, they ran up and down, in and out, telling my assistants all sorts of stories, but my poor little crappy baby (2 next week) cried as I put him back in his car seat to leave – ‘staaay hir’ – ah bless.

    I am looking forward to my family time end of May 🙂

  41. NoelleGwyn says:

    So excited to know you’re making an appearance close by! I was going to loan (=never see again) my new-but-already-read-three-times-over copy of your wonderful book but kept it in the hopes of having it signed on Saturday. (For what it’s worth, I think you can feel good that your precious boys see their very own mother loving them both like no one else can AND continuing to live out her own talents and dreams. In the same decade! Wow!)

    • amber says:

      I hope you come on Saturday!

      • NoelleGwyn says:

        I made it! So glad to meet you in person. (I was the frazzled one.) Loved seeing the support of your hubby and boys – they clearly are so proud of you! (Oh, and when we were leaving, my older son said, “So that was the Penis Pizza lady?”) Keep writing! We all need you! : )

  42. Michele says:

    Glad you took time for your family! Guess what? My mother is going to visit next week (really, she’s visiting my 2 year old, I’m just here to drink wine with her after he goes to bed) and I’m going to put your book in her hands. She is going to love your work as much as we all do.

  43. GreekWife says:

    Oh man! I love Creative Thursday. How exciting! Did you know each other in real life before internet endeavors?

    • amber says:

      No, we “met” online but now we’re friends in real life. Or, in person. Or whatever you call it.

  44. Amber, I loved this! Good for you for taking a little time off. You have earned it – especially after that first TV appearance story. Ha.

  45. Susie says:

    Kudos to you! We missed you! Please bring some humor into what has been a dark sad week!

  46. Jeeva says:

    finished the book. Loved it. Baby breastfeeding while playing pictures are so funny..laughed for minutes..congrats on the best seller list Amber..

  47. Jennifer R says:

    I saw your book today at the Target by me in Wisconsin! I had already purchased it online. I loved it! Good for you for taking the time off, you certainly deserved it.

  48. Erica M. says:

    Oh no! I still need to buy the book! I keep up with this blog every week, and yet I forget to go to the store and buy the book. Oh gees.

  49. SO happy for you. And good for you. On all counts!

  50. Ceri says:

    You had me at target. I had to wait to buy it at a store because I like to support brick & mortar stores. You rock number 39! I have been meaning to say my 5 year old loves the book too. He kept asking me what they were saying, until Penis Pizza. He goes, hey that’s the pizza guy! What are they saying? Um, they are singing a song, ya that’s right a song. He knew that a guy standing at the door brings pizza. (we don’t -ever- order pizza right?) Ha! (I don’t need him asking if it’s Penis Pizza next time they come to our door) And the Worst Vacation ever??? I don’t want to spoil, but that was better than your spanx one. I almost needed what you gave your hubby!!! I laughed SO SO HARD. Great Job Amber, keep spending time with your family so we can get some more awesome stories! 🙂

  51. Nuttara says:

    \(^o^)/ Yay! You are back. I just start wondering if I missed your posts for the whole week!?! BTW, I’m glad you’ve spent quality time with your family and friend. 🙂

  52. katie says:

    I love you. You are so real. It’s so refreshing! I actually prayed for you when you didn’t post. Seemed so unlike you. I hope you had an amazing week! 🙂

  53. Judy says:

    Thank you for thinking of Boston. Lots of people have been sharing the suspect photos on facebook and one of my friends wrote “now let’s find these turds”. I thought of your post!

  54. noelleb says:

    Amber you look great, San Diego interview reallly good funny and relaxed, that was so stressy having the other pics flying past you at the 1st interview..Love the purple dress

  55. Emily Jane says:

    Good for you for taking the time off! I finally got your book delivered yesterday and I’m trying to pace myself so that I don’t read it all in one day. I plan on buying two more copies for a new mom and mom-to-be for mother’s day! It’s the PERFECT gift!

  56. Alison says:

    Parenting is like field research for you. All writers need periods of focusing on their research subjects. 🙂

  57. Kim R says:

    You’re a good crappy mom 🙂

  58. Julieta says:

    I am sooo bummed that I won’t be able to meet you at the Festival of Books! I would have been so happy to meet you and ask you to draw my two crappy dogs. 🙂
    Have loads of fun there, I heard it’s going to be so much fun this year! 🙂
    I’ll be at home working on a group assignment that’s due on Sunday – that should be fun too, right? :/

  59. Carol says:

    I’ve missed you, though I totally understand taking time off. You have to be there for your kids. I have not bought your book, though I will eventually. I intend to get it from the library, though, and rate it on Amazon. 🙂

    I wish I lived in LA! I would definitely come to your book signing. 🙂

  60. Kristi says:

    CRAPPY CRAP!! We are going to FOB on SUNDAY!! Ill miss you!

    • Sanj says:

      And I’m missing it this year because I’m on the east coast with daughter’s new baby – flying back to LA on Monday. Amber, are you appearing anywhere else next week?

  61. morissa says:

    Good thing I had your book to tide me over.
    Loved it!

  62. Chris Carter says:

    Amber, for all you have been doing- I am seriously amazed that you can even be sitting upright at this point! You are simply amazing. I am so SO glad you stepped back and spent quality time doing what you do BEST. And that is a what it’s really all about anyway…

  63. Chana says:

    I think I’ve only posted a comment when I “Liked” you on FB even though I could probably post every time I read your blog. I just don’t. 😉 But I have to say I was REALLY impressed when I saw a picture of Adam Levine holding a copy of your book! Lol! That’s pretty awesome! I hope the success of your first book is just the beginning of an amazing career for you! Mazel tov!

  64. heather vigorito says:

    Glad you’re back. And I’m a Bostonian, so thank you for that last bit.

  65. I knew there was something I wanted to look for at the bookstore earlier! Damn.

  66. Mrs. P says:

    Read your book cover to cover the minute it arrived (it coincided with nap time/mama bathroom time), as with your blog I laughed out loud several times. I also saw a promo in a canadian parenting magazine and felt ahead of the curve knowing I’d already read it! Thanks for blogging! and for booking! LOL

  67. Carrie says:

    I read your piece in ladies home journal, I think you might really be me. A vitamix, honestly, did you read my mind, lol! I adore this blog and that piece was awesome!

  68. Bronwyn says:

    Reminds me of the time I took on organising an event for the Parents and Citizens Association to raise money for my children’s school. It was very time consuming and at the end my husband told me the kids didn’t appreciate my absence. I WAS DOING IT FOR THEM!!!

  69. Rachael says:

    Yay, good for you. Very important thing to do. Hope you all enjoy your catch-up time together.

    I just bought your book a couple of weeks ago and then you stopped blogging. I wondered if there was a connection. Amazon tells you the IP addresses of who bought the book and those people stop seeing blog updates anymore. Relieved that’s not the case.

  70. Simon says:

    I really love this blog, and I was excited to meet you (briefly) today and get a signed copy of your book! I was going to try to chat a bit and let you know how much this blog makes me laugh thinking of my nieces and nephews (I don’t have any of my own kids. Yet.), but I thought there were people forming a line behind me, and I was scared I might go all “fan-boy” and talk your ear off, thus drawing the ire of those waiting behind, so I just didn’t say much of anything except “Thank you.” Kind of wish I had started talking anyway.

  71. Melanie says:

    Please provide a link on your site to Book Depository for shoppers in the UK and other countries (we don’t have to pay shipping with Book Depository). I could buy without the link of course, but would rather you get the ‘click’ money!

  72. Koree says:

    I loved the LHJ article. I have done that so, so many times. You can tell how much I dislike mopping by the number of mops I own. Each time I think, “Oh, cool, this will make mopping easier!” But no, nothing can make such a sucky chore better.

  73. Jennifer Doerr says:

    Love, love, love your book!!!! It was hilarious….so much so that when I was “reading” while my kids were still awake.. translation sneaking a few minutes while “loading the dishwasher”…I kept bursting out laughing….which made my kids ask “what is so funny mama???”….Nothing darlings…nothing at all…
    Thanks for the great laughs!

  74. Katie B says:

    This is about your book. Bear with me.

    I live in New Zealand. My best friend lives in Canada. We’ve been besties since grade 10 but we haven’t lived in the same country in 10, nope, 13 years. (Funny how your sense of time expands and contracts after kids.) Over Christmas husband and I took Crappy Girl (4 1/2) and Crappy Boy (2 1/2) “home” to visit and see snow. We stayed a couple of days with my dear friend, who has a Crappy Baby of her own. We were laughing over something only moms find hilarious, I forget what, which reminded me of your blog. So I shared it with her. Then she bought your book when it came out, and devoured it (her words) and went out and bought me a copy and mailed it and it arrived today. Early mother’s day present. And I laughed so hard I peed (no longer an exaggeration, after kids) and excused myself to the bathroom, with book in tow. And I chose the one bathroom in the house which has a door which actually shuts properly, and locks, in your honour.

    So here in NZ it’s already Friday night (yeah, I know, right?) so I am raising a glass. Here’s to parenting, and crappy pictures, and girlfriends who are forever. Cheers to the freakin’ weekend.

  75. Lilah A says:

    Hello! This is Katie B’s bestie here, chiming in! What we had been laughing over was my rationalization for a glass of wine, given that I was breastfeeding. I was telling Katie how I thought it helped my Crappy Baby sleep, and besides, I had drank it with dinner. She giggled with me, and asked her Crappy Husband to pass over the Crappy IPad. Then she showed me your blog post about wine and coffee, and how our kids NEED us to drink them. I loved it! Then she showed me the post about (not) sleeping with a nursing baby, Crappy Boy, and cats, and I nearly started crying because it was so very accurate with my life, right down to the exact phrasing of “I’m SOOOOOO tired,” by Crappy Husband. I was hooked. I’ve since been following your blog, and NEEDED the book. I then determined that my kiwi bestie NEEDED the book too, to help feel better about ourselves when we are being watched on the toilet.

    Thanks for writing, and drawing such crappy pictures. Cheers to the freakin weekend indeed, or any other time that Crappy Papa is at home.