God Hates Gymboree

365 Days

There are days when I look at his face and wrinkle my brow. My God, how he's changed. What happened to my baby?  When he was born, he had brown hair and an impossibly round face. I never remember how dark his hair once was, or how delicate his body once seemed. Sometimes I feel so sad at how quickly it all went by, and I pledge to remember more, to videotape more, and then I clench my fists and close my eyes and try to forcibly burn this moment into my brain: how he looks and sounds and smells in this very moment, even though I know the memory will morph into a thousand tomorrows, and I will one day look at photos of his downy blond head and chubby thighs in surprise, because they are long gone.

There are days when I look at his face and see glimpses of the little boy...the big boy...the teenager...the man he'll become. And the enormity of my task as his mother takes my breath away. My task is more than providing love and sustenance and dry diapers -- I am raising a man, a human being, who may one day change the world, who may one day love and complete the life of someone else. One day my arms won't be enough to comfort him, one day my applause will no longer be enough to satisfy his ambition. And that's as it should be. His potential is limitless -- far greater than my own. I am raising a man who can make the world a better place simply by his continued presence in it.

There are days when I look at his face and see his father. And I smile, because his father is a good man -- a wonderfully loving, kind man -- who loves his child more than anything on earth; who knits his brow in confusion and hurt while relating a story of a friend's ex-husband who no longer cares to see his children much anymore (does.not.compute); who sits in a darkened room long after his child has fallen asleep in his arms, just to spend a few more minutes together. I see the little family I've made and I fall in love with him all over again.

There are days when I look at his face and see myself.  And I worry. What faults will he inherit? What fears and neuroses will I unwittingly pass along? Will he be relentlessly hard on himself? Will he be anxious and timid and crumble under the slightest criticism? No. No, he will not. Because I will no longer be those things. I will be better, for him. I have taken to motherhood like a duck to water -- even on the worst of days (and oh, those days can be frustrating and alienating) I always know that my life is so much better because he is a part of it. I can be the mother he needs me to be. We are all meant to go together, like a jigsaw puzzle, each complimenting each other to make a beautiful picture.

There are days when I look at his face and see the unborn baby we saw on the 3D ultrasound, back before he had a name, before the reality of how our lives would change. He was wanted and planned and prayed for, yet his birth still felt like a car crash -- so sudden and violent, with no way to truly prepare for it. We were two. And then we were three. And we will always be three. And thank God (thank God!) for that.

365 days down. So many, many more to go. Happy birthday, my sweet son.

Noah's Birthday on Vimeo
Music: So Damn Lucky by Dave Matthews
Professional portraits by Kaileen Galhouse Photography



I usually don't even comment because well, there already 25893 people ahead of me, but that video - my ovaries are weeping right now. Happy Birthday Noah!


that was amazing. tears all over my computer now. totally worth it.

wish I could have one of my own someday...


Happy Birthday beautiful boy.


bah! my baby (21 month old) watched together- he laughed... I cried.... you make me want to document, write, and buy a REAL camcorder (not just the 20 second photo clips). beautiful job.


Absolutely beautifully written. I have chills because your words hit home (I have two small sons). I love visiting your site and reading...you make me laugh out loud everyday.

Happy Birthday!


Gahhh....so very very lovely. What a beautiful family you 3 have become over this past year. I have enjoyed your allowing us to be part of it. As I have a baby (toddler! Gack!) about Noah's age, it is so nice to have things put into perspective when I read about how you guys are coping. Thank you and bless you


That was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing with all of us.


Congratulations on making through year 1 Noah! Yay!

(Moon, my daughter, loved the movie. She kept trying to wave "Hi!" to Noah.)


I cant find the words. I have tears running down my face because that was so amazing! Happy birthday, Noah!


That was SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL...I was crying throughout the whole video! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful family with us. I can't wait until March when my family of two also becomes a family of three.

Happy First Bithday Noah!!!


Long time listener, first time caller here. Just delurking to say thanks for sharing Noah's first year with us!


So many tears! Lovely, lovely. Have a wonderful birthday.


Ok, so I am delurking. I have been reading since Noah was just a few months old and I have never commented. Despite the absolutely ridiculously cute baby photo's, despite the hilaroious stories you have told, despite the drama of having your blog stolen, I have been too intimidated to comment because... well because like OMG I am commented 191. But this is too special. The video is priceless. You chose the perfect song, you are right, so damn lucky.

Happy Birthday Noah


How so very sweet. We, as mothers, are truly the luckiest. Happy birthday your precious gift.


oh, Amalah!!! I loved the video. It's very beautiful! And I love how much I can tell how much you love your boy...

all of you guys are so cute!


I wasn't going to bother commenting (for once) because hey, how many times can you hear how adorable your kid is?

Then I remembered how much I love hearing it, whether it's someone telling me how cute my 3 year old is (and boy, howdy, is he ever) or some girl telling me how hot my 19 year old son is (which, ok, fine, but I'm his mother. I'm not on the need to know how hot my kid is list).

So, your kid is adorable.

Anyway, what a great video. Congratulations, grown-ups, and Happy Birthday Noah!


Awwww, I am completely in tears now. You and Jason and Noah make such a beautiful family. The portraits at the end of the video are really stunning.


Chills and tears. That was so, so pretty.

Busy Mom

Happy Birthday, Noah!


Perfect! You put into words and pictures exactly how it feels to be the mama of a son.



The ovaries. The scream!


Oh, I'm crying. That was amazing.
Happy Birthday, little guy.

Granola Spice

Happy Noah's birthday, everyone!

Nicole P.

The video? A-Mazing.


Beautiful, beautiful job. On the video AND the baby boy. Happy birthday to Noah!!


Very cool. Thanks for sharing Noah's first year with those of us out here on the Internet. I guess it's a little crazy to be so curious about the milestones of the baby of a perfect stranger, but boy is it fun to watch him grow and hear about your experiences.


Oh my god, my OVARIES are all a-twitter. Stop doing that to me!!!

He is a beautiful boy.

Happy first year, mama! Happy birthday, Noah! Those family pics at the end were so adorable. I want to frame them and put them over MY fireplace...


I only "know" you from reading this blog, but that was so beautiful! It made me cry.

Happy Birthday, Noah!


You made me cry!

Happy, happy birthday, sweet boy!

And well done, Mommy...you are wonderful. Congratulations on one year of motherhood, beautifully done.


I've been reading since long before you got pregnant and I check your site every day, hoping for new pictures / videos / wonderful stories.

I've watched Noah become the amazing little boy he is and I feel like I know all of you.

Thank you for sharing your life with us. That video was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen and now I'm going to watch it again so I can cry some more :) Happy Birthday, Noah!


I have a son 2 months older than Noah. Thank you for saying everything I feel. Happy birthday Noah, and congrats Mom and Dad. It really does just get better and better.


Awwwww!!! So Sweet! Watching the video/picture clips I can totally see how you get an occasional glimpse at who he is going to become. Such a handsome boy!

Happy Birthday Noah!


Now I am in tears!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY Noah!! It has been a great year. Tell mommy we never get bored of pictures!!! I love the family shots at the end, just beautiful.




He's a walking boy now.

Little Noah, will you ever know how many people waited for you to arrive? How my husband had to hear about your poor mother's mucus plug for too many days? And at last, he brought my laptop in one morning (too early! not time to get up yet!) and let me know your mom had gone to the hospital. Even he was wrapped up in the arrival of this baby we did not know. What a little prince you are. May God bless you all the days of your life.

(And hey, go back to the post where Amy left for the hospital and Sue posted, "Good luck you guys! Stay cool!" How funny is that? Like a yearbook entry! Why didn't I notice that before?)


I held it together... almost. Then burst into tears at the last shot. Such a beautiful video.
Happy birthday, Noah!


this was just beautiful.
happy birthday, noah!


What a sweet and powerful entry. Happy birthday Noah!

Salsa Queen

Happy Birthday Noah. You've got a great set of parents there little guy.


I've been reading your blog since before Noah was born, so it sort of feels like I've watched him grow up... which might explain why this made me weep like a wee girl. Congratulations on your beautiful family, Amalah. And Happy Birthday, Noah.


Those first step gave me weepcakes. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful boy.

shy me

excuse me, I must now go wipe the snot from my nose from the crying.

that was lovely. Happy Birth Day to you all.

Teacher JAne

To think that I've followed along since your first trimester...
If it's gone so quickly for me, I can't imagine how it's flown for you.
What a beautiful family, what a beautiful tribute.
Happy Birthday, Noah.


Thanks so much for showing me what I have to look forward to. Thanks for letting me know that all the anxiety is worth it. Thanks for giving me hope.

Happy first birthday Noah. Here's to so many more.


Oh, the hundreds of people you have made cry with that video. I am 27 weeks preggo with boy #2 (#1 is seven). Hormonal as hell. BAWLING my head off. And the UPS man just knocked on my door and totally busted me...LMAO!!


Happy Birthday Noah! You are a very lucky boy!


That song has always been on of my favourite Dave Matthews' songs, but omg, Amalah! The tears!

It was beautiful. Noah is beautiful.


I'm just loading the video now...its loaded to the ultrasounds, and its just so amazing! Arrgh. I don't have kids yet so I live vicariously through the internet - I love watching them all grow up. Happy Birthday little Noah!!!


wow. i am 15 and that made me hope that one day i will be fortunate enough to will find a caring husband and that we can have a child as beautiful as yours.


Way to make me bawl on a Saturday morning.

What a year Amalah, and the most wonderful birthday wishes to Noah. You guys are fabulous, I'm so glad to have (stalked) you. xD



I never post, but I had to tonight. You went and made me cry, dangit. Good tears. My daughter has a little over two months to go until her first birthday. And I have a little over two months to go to steel myself for it, eh? Congrats on one hell of a year, and happyhappy to the sweetest little guy in cyberspace!


Oh my good grief. I've never met Noah, and I've never had a baby of my own, but I'm crying like a baby! If everyone could feel as loved as Noah should, the world would be a perfect place.

Happy birthday Noah, and happy [family]birthday Amy and Jason! xoxo and many happy ones to come.


Happy Birthday! Not only can I not believe Noah is a year old already, I can't believe that means I've been reading your blog for over a year. I think I came in around 32 weeks or so...

Congratulations on a great and wonderful year, and thanks for sharing it with me.


Delurking to say thank you. As I begin the first year of my daughters life, I got a small glimpse at the magic that is yet to come. Thanks for making me say thank you for the small moments that have happened that seem so large and the large moments that will seem momentous.


Happy first birthday Noah!


Simply amazing. What a gorgeous video.

Happy Birthday, Noah! You got the world on a string, kiddo!


I'm bawling.
That was beautiful.

Happy Birthday, Noah!
And, happy birthing day to you, Amalah.


That was just beautiful!!!!
And someday, when Noah becomes a father, that video will make him cry and appreciate you even more!!
I've thinking about getting pregnant and after seeing that, that much love and happiness, i'm totally going for it!!
Congratulations for such a wonderful son!
Happy birthday Noah!


Happy Birthday Noah!
And congratulations to you too Amy, for making it through all of the first year!


That was the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time. Happy Birthday little guy!


Beautiful! I love thelast bit.....just beautiful.


This is what it is, what llife is all about. Thank you for including us in your celebration. It's a wonderful reminder of what's important.

Thank you, Amalah, I hardly know you, but you have given so much.


Oh. My. Gawd. Way to make us BAWL. That was so sweet. What a beautiful post. Happy Birthday sweet baby boy!


Happy Birthday Noah!

That was just beautiful...thanks for sharing with us!


Oh. My.

serena (Of serenaville)

This eloquent, deeply moving entry and the accompanying poignant video made me blissfully forget how much listening to obnoxious coyote calls and dying rabbit lures on my husband's hunting DVD made me so eye-twitchingly homicidal I was about to go carnival freak crazy all over his Elmer Fudd ass as though HE were the prey. I mean, look at the run-on sentences I've been reduced to! You are my savior. As well as my slayer... for I am now a puddle of melted goo, saline, and snot. Which, is precisely as attractive as it sounds. So, yeah, warmest birthday wishes to Noah - the precious lamb. Ye GODS, it was a Herculean effort to wrest the topic away from ME long enough to slide that bit in. I'm so self-absorbed, I'm my own tampon. Ahem. On that impressive note, back to lurking with me! *HUGS* :D


Happy birthday, Noah!
And Amy, thank you so much for sharing so much of his first year with us. Just beautiful.


Waahhhh...he's so grown-up already! Seems like just the other day he was wearing that little peapod outfit!

I totally feel like a substandard mom now for not doing that for my DD! (Which in no way diminishes the fact that you guys rock as parents!)

So, what are your feelings on arranged marriages? ;)


Delurking to give my congrats. You've done a magnificant job-thank you for sharing this first year with us! Happy Bday, Little Man!




So beautiful. I loved the moments between you and Noah, and Jason and Noah... I really was (am still) crying! It's so touching. It makes me so concious of what i really want out of life-- to actually live with my husband for at least ONE DAY in a house together, and to have even just one child... or to at least be able to try.


Happy birthday Noah and Amy and Jason (cuz it's your day too). I hope you print out all the birthday wishes for his baby book!

I can't believe what a gorgeous little boy he's become. You should both be proud.

(And love the family pix -- the one of you and Noah is awesome. You look bee-you-teee-fullll.)


Thank you so much for sharing your life. You and your family are beautiful. Happy B day Noah.


Just want to let you know. Before I had my daughter, I was a low-self esteem person that didn't EVER speak up for myself. I raised my daughter to NEVER be like that - it's easy to sit at home & say "do this! tell them that!" But it worked. She is AWESOME, at 26, & has always been. And you know what? Through teaching her to be like this, through listening to myself say it over.and over.and over...and through HER teaching ME "stick up for yourself! Like you taught me!"......I, too, have changed. For the better. Good luck to you all....you're doing just fine.


Wow, beautiful video and photos of your beautiful little guy. I got all teary. But in the best possible way!

Happy birthday, Noah!!!


Delurking to say this is beautiful. I've read since you were pregnant and this brought tears to my eyes (down my cheeks too)! Happy Birthday Noah!


happy birthday to all of you!

enjoy the wonderful time.



Happy Birthday Noah!
Happy first Mommyversary Amy.
That was a beautiful beautiful letter and video. Thank you for sharing it with us.


birthday wishes to Noah from san francisco! love your writing, Amy, it guarantees a laugh or some tears on a daily basis. you're doing an amazing job!


aawww.. Happy Birthday, Noah! Congrats Jason & Amy on the first anniversary of parenthood - may there be many more wonderful days and weeks and years!

the bee

My eyes are misty from reading Noah's birthday post. Happy birthday sweet boy. Your parents are very lucky indeed.


My sister walked in while I was watching that, and asked "Who's that?"
"Noah", I said.
"But who is he?"
"I don't know, really"

How do you explain to a nine year old that it's someone you've known since before he was born, but you've never met?




Noah has the power to make so many of us de-lurk!

What an amazing tribute to a sweet boy.

Congrats on your family :)


YES!!!! 257th!!!

Putting the joys and terrors of motherhood into words seems such a laughably impossible task, but you come damn close, Amy. The happiest of birthdays to the whole family - so many milestones behind, so many ahead... and I can't wait to read about all of 'em!


Wow! Just wow. Happy Birthday to the Big Boy and also to his awesome parents.



Happy Birthday Noah!

Wow. Just Wow.

What a beautiful and amazing entry and video.

Thank you for sharing your love with us all.

Katie Kat

Others have said it far more eloquently... but, oh my. What a beautiful boy. Thank you for sharing Amy!


Just beautiful Amy. Happy birthday Noah.


your words were so beautiful in and of themselves, but when i watched the video on top of that (!), i was blown away! you understand how precious it all is and are taking steps to both record it and enjoy it. my boys are 23, 20, and 14; the girls are 25 and 16, it continues to amaze me how unique each of them are. blessings!


long time reader, but rare commenter here. That was an absolutely beautiful video commemmerating Noah's first year. You should be so proud of yourself for putting something together that both you and he will treasure for ever. Happy Birthday little man!!


My heart just exploded.


Bitch, you made me cry when i already had my going out makeup on. That was... incredible. What a blessed little boy Noah is, and how blessed you are to have him, as well.


Amazingly lovely.

Celebrate and enjoy your day.

Much love and congrats to all of you.


He is beautiful
I am crying, such cuteness needs to come with a warning:)


Oh, that was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. Just gorgeous.


Sobbing, dammit, just sobbing. My sweet boy turns 15 this January...sigh.



That's lovely, Amy. You should make these videos professionally. Congratulations on the 1st year.


Coming from someone who never ever cries...you made me cry. What a beautiful tribute to your little boy.

Happy Birthday Noah!


Beautiful! He will treasure that when he is an adult!


Happy Birthday Noah! That was such a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing your lives with us.


Happy Birthday Noah...Amy, I've read you since you were pregnant...and I have to thank you for making the decision to let us in as much as you have on your beautiful son. The video was amazing. Your family is beautiful.

"Beautiful baby from the outside, in ... "

The comments to this entry are closed.