I should not be allowed out of the house without adult supervision.
For Some Reason, I Blame the Internet

Gymboree Took My Stapler

I tried to take Noah to the "open gym time" at Gymboree* on Thursday. Don't ask me why. IT IS JUST WHAT I DO.

But we had to turn around and come home instead, because Gymboree was ON FIRE.

No! Seriously! I am only sort of being overly dramatic here.


Not pictured: the two other firetrucks parked behind this one, because I wasn't sure if it was okay to be taking pictures of firetrucks, so I just snapped this one all discreetly-like from my car, lest the Invisible Photo-Taking Enforcement Police swarm me and demand my film, and no, I don't know why I live my entire life in constant fear of getting yelled at by imaginary authority figures.**

Okay, so I'm being overly dramatic. (Surprise!) I don't think Gymboree was actually on fire, but something else at the shopping center appeared to be. Or maybe it was just a power outage. I don't know. Either way, no Gymboree for us. Just an up-close encounter with a lot of firemen running around the different levels of the shopping center. While carrying AXES! That was pretty cool.

I don't know how many more signs from God it will take before I get it through my thick skull that I need to give up on this Gymboree nonsense and just...like, go to the damn park or something.


** Like I did this weekend when we had another open house for our condo and had to take the pets out of the house all afternoon and I completely freaked out in a parking garage because we had to leave them in the car while we went and got some lunch and I was convinced that someone was going to all the cops on us so I made Jason park in some really remote corner and then I ordered my lunch "to go" and sat there clutching the bag and glaring at Jason, who ordered his lunch "for here" and proceeded to eat it all calmly while I imagined an angry mob swarming around our car and refusing to be placated by the bagel I bought specifically for Ceiba because it was in the LOW 50s outside! DID I NOT CARE THAT MY PETS COULD HAVE FROZEN TO DEATH IN 12 MORE HOURS OR SO?***

*** A walking advertisement for a return to electroshock therapy, is what I am sometimes.****

**** And of course I really mean all the time.


Dear Amy, At his doctor's appointment on Friday, Noah weighed 23.7 pounds (50th percentile or so) and was 32.5 inches tall (100th percentile). Perhaps one day you would like to copy this information into his baby book someday? Think about it. Love, Amy 



Trader Joe's and Ham and Gymboree at one handy location?



Those fire trucks can really ruin a good day... Reminds me how we went out to a movie, and just as we paid for the ticket, the alarm sound and we were nonceremoniously kicked out...

PS: You've got one really tall kid!


Plus liquor!! Can I come with you?


A shop for just ham? Man, I'm missing out on so much living outside the US.

One of the Amy's

Fire trucks are always a good indicator to get-the-fuck-OUT. I've been meaning to take my daughter to gymboree, but seriously, aren't there initiations? Hazing?? I'm scared, so I just let her watch her new favorite show on Noggin. The Upside Down Show. Has Noah seen it? He will LOVE IT!


Be totally thankful that you have the *online post-it note system*. My daughter was just looking at baby book the other day and all of the blank (oops, I meant to fill those in) entries from check ups. She was like "mom, why didn't you do these? Didn't you take me to the doctor??". Hmmm, note to self, remember to do the cool Amalah style *online Post-it's*. On a side note, I would consider it a good day to go to gymboree and see the fireman in action! :)


I can't believe I'm one of the first ones - I better hurry the f-up and hit send. I use to teach at a knock off Gymboree - its actually benefits your child to particpate in that sort of thing but yes you can achieve the exact same results with an afternoon at the park in a play group. Have a great day!


Sounds like Noah's tall and slim, just like his dad seems to be. But! Gymboree on fire! Now that's some drama. I hope it wasn't actually the Gymboree, because, dude, that would suck.

Wacky Mommy

Just when I think your life cannot possibly get more exciting, it up and does. Firemen are soooo much more interesting than Gymboree, no?

It is raining here. Also there was a slight earthquake (2.6) last night which reminded me that I live on top of faultlines and in a volcanic range which made me think of you and your tendency to worry. But don't! We're fine.


My toddler nearly burnt my eyebrows off with his morning stink breath the other day -- no one warned me either.


Ham will make future trips to Gymboree worth the drama and aggrevation. Ham will make everything better.


I could live in that plaza. I'm packing up my stuff and moving out of Florida! To the *squint* Shops of Wisconsin Avenue! ONWARD, HO!

(What did you call me?)


One time I had to leave my dog in the car to go into the pharmacy for like, 4 minutes. But I, too, was so afraid of imaginary authority figures (or just any old stranger, really) swarming my car to declare me an unfit dog mother, that I actually removed my keyless entry fob from my keyring, and left the car running and locked with the air conditioning on for the dog. Mind you, it *might have* been 70 degrees.
So I feel you on 'lunch to go,' and I probably would have left Jason to eat his lunch calmly while I ran like a lunatic back to the car.


oh! and the best part of my story is that there ACTUALLY WAS a woman standing at my car when I got back from the pharmacy, and she ACTUALLY tried to scold me for leaving the dog in the car with all the windows up! But I pointed out that the ar was running and the dog was enjoying comfortable 68F degree temperatures inside (and he was, the little bastards ears were flapping from the AC blower.)


I always freak out about leaving my dog in the car, too. I don't think that's strange...after all, the animals were your first babies :)


Oh, fuck, for open houses you have to take the pets out of the house? Why did this not occur to me before? Shit. SHIT. I have Evil Cat and Jumpy Dog and a house to sell.

(Also, I love Honey Baked Hams for holidays. Love 'em.)


I honestly think that your doctor and my doctor use TOTALLY DIFFERENT size charts.


I can tell you from experience that firefighters don't hate having their pictures taken. In fact, if you got a good picture of them doing their ax-carrying, they LOVE to have pictures of themselves on the job. Deliver a copy of the pic with a plate of cookies (or ice cream!) to the station and I gaurantee you Noah will get to look at a real fire engine up close. Firefighters usually love having kids come for tours of the station. Anyway, just some info for the next time Gymboree is on fire. :-)


I'll go on the record as saying if you HAVE to leave your dog in the car outside, really, the 50s is good weather for that. No freezing, no burning up, I doubt the doggie police would have been called. When DH and I moved back across the country, we had our two Shelties with us and would sometimes have to leave them in the car while we ate. I was always a little nervous, but it was March. Great driving-across-the-country-in-an-SUV-when-you're-eight-weeks-pregnant-with-two-dogs weather.

*and I mean, I was eight weeks pregnant and we had two dogs with us. Not that I was going to give birth to two dogs.

Sarah Marie

Did you catch the Gymboree reference on Family Guy last night? I thought of you and Noah.


This is his baby book. :-) I have an overwhelming fear of getting into trouble too.


"We're putting new cover sheets on all of our TPS reports - didn't you get the memo?" I love Office Space.


My overwhelming irrational fear is of calling people I don't know on the phone. I somehow convince myself that they are going to hate me/yell at me/spit on me. When my cell service provider charged me the wrong montly fee, I made my sister call them. And it was their mistake! Luckily, I have a sister who understands the crazy.


I firmly believe that there are nonspecific authority figures just waiting around for me to mess up so they can scold me. Like, when I see people trying on shoes in stores without using one of those store-issued footies I think, "You are SO going to get busted for that..."


Firemen, Ham, Gymboree - a shopping centre that has it all!


Fat Hot Ham!!! Gimbo is on fire!!

Y from The Internet



there is definitely no law that states you may not take pictures of firetrucks (or police cars). in fact, as long as you aren't invading somebody's expected privacy, the rules are basically WHERE you take pictures -- on public or private property. on public ground its ok, on private ground they can say no.


I am so paranoid about the "imaginary" mods of people coming to yell about my dog being in the car that I won't even take my dog in the car if I have to get out. It is a sickness.

lynn c

I love it when you post. Call me crazy, insane, possibly a little obsessed. But it just feels so damn good, and makes my day just a little brighter, to hear that someone else out there is as stupid and forgetfull and scared of imaginary authority figures as I am. Thank you for posting Amy. Actually, thank you for existing. I think you keep me sane.


OMG! I am also scared of imaginary authorities. I am SURE they will swarm my house/car/me whenever something I am doing is embarassing/wrong/whatever.


What is this 'baby book' you speak of. I vaguely recall having some books lying arond here that I was supposed to put stuff in? Stuff relating to my children?

Hmm, I'll have to look into that.

Of course the babies are 19,16 and 4, so I may have trouble recalling all the information, but hey, that's what an active imagination is for, right?


Yummmm Hammmm, damn you now I have to go find some Ham to eat. And I feel you with the dogs in the car thing, once I left my sleeping dog in the car to run inside to grab a coat, and some one wrote me a nasty note, what were they stalking me I was gone for like 2 mins. The dog in car police scare the crap out of me.

Ms. Huis Herself

Fear of Imaginary Authority Figures... I wonder what the official phobia name of that would be... fakeprincipalophobia?

I confess I am a sufferer, too. I just KNOW I'm going to get caught and be in trouble if I do any rule-breaking. (Which I, like, practically NEVER do, due of course to this fear, that I am SO GLAD to hear other people share.)


I know there are Gymborees in my city but I'be never been to one so I'm not sure if they have it. When Noah gets older though you should definitely do Mom (nanny, in my case) and tot gymastics. It is by far one of the most adorable and fun things I've even done with one of the kids I watch.


Do people ask you how old Noah is and then say, "well, he's soooo tallllll!" like he's a freak of nature or something? Because that's what they do with Alison, who is otherwise known as Miss 99.9 Percentile Height Girl.

And do you have the buttcrack pants problem with him? Alison is tall enough for 18 mo old sizes at 16mo, but the elastic waists never stay up on her, so she runs around looking like some hoodlum with the butt of her pants down around her thighs.

Good Grief, could you imagine if Ali and Noah got married? Their children would be the Jolly Green Giants.


Oh my god, you guys have Curves AND Kumon!

Is Curves a female fitness gym like it is here in Sydney?

Oh the culture shock.


This entry is making me paranoid! Now I want to know if you can take pictures of fire trucks. And really? What happens if you can't? I mean, they have axes! I don't want to even think about what the invisible police have.


What!? No picture of Ceiba all gloomy-eyed and peering out at you through the tiny airhole you made from cracking the window?

Also: trees. On the sidewalk. Such things do not exist in Dallas.


Amy, have you found the nail salon across the court yard from Gymboree? They're cheap, pretty good and love little ones! Slip one of the nannies a $20 to watch Noah during class and go get a manicure.


THANK YOU, Amalah! First for the laugh, but second for reminding me that I need to order my Honey Baked Ham for Thanksgiving since my kitchen is going through the remodel from hell and the store-bought ham with a tasty kicked-up mustard is my contribution to this year's festivities. Clearly I'm more inclined to read about your Gymboree mishaps (last week: SO funny I nearly peed my pants) than to read the actual post-it note I have sitting here that says, "Call Honey Baked Ham, fool."

P.S. Not that I have much of a sense of your taste in movies...GO SEE BORAT! It's so offensive yet so hilarious at the same time. For some reason, I think that you and Jason would get a kick out of it!


You have a really tall little one there ;)

Who, I'm sure, is still as cute as ever. (No, I'm not bitter about no cute baby pictures, nooooo. Grin. I do understand, but *whine*.)


I once had the kids and the cat--just picked up from the vet after getting her stitches removed--in the car and I had to stop at the store. I took the kids in with me and left the cat, and I was so sure the Kitty Police were going to cite me for leaving a slightly traumatized (the vet! The stitch removal! The EAR cleaning! The dogs in the waiting room, oh my hell!) kitten in the car.

And Toddler Stink Breath---it doesn't stop when they're bigger kids, either. My six year old could fell a dragon with his Stink Breath. Pew.


Oooh, firefighters and ham!

Also, I always wondered where people take their pets during open houses.


My youngest has Toddler Morning Stink Breath, too. Man, it's bad!!

Flo-Queen of the Bad Mommies

Okay, can I say, once again, how much I LOVE you! Now was that a Swingline?


I always love driving past that shopping center because on the part of the sign you can't see in Amy's picture, it says Jenny Craig... So you could go right from your Jenny Craig meeting to the Honeybaked Ham store! (Curves must be new, I don't remember it being there before.)
Oh, and the good news about there being a fire at Gymboree (or anywhere in that center) is that the Rescue Squad is just up the street, so surely they'd get there quickly (although Wisconsin Ave traffic is brutal!)... gosh I miss Bethesda!


I gave up on Gymboree after the air conditioning broke down at the monkey's birthday party (which I held there). It was OFF THE SCALE hot in there. Everyone was sweating. I just can't bring myself to go back. Trauma! I'll go back when I have the next kid, probably -- because they did give me a full refund...and GIFTS! And, they were very nice and apologetic (a rare thing among these baby businesses)....


Ahh, fire trucks. Had some show up the first night DH and I were on our honeymoon.

How's that for something worth some serious jokes?

But that aside, I realized I love your blog because I completely identify with your neuroses. Invisible imaginary authority figures run my day as well. *mwaaaaaa* to my soul-sister in a non-stalker sort of way.


One thing - give up on the baby book. It's emptiness is just a painful guilt trip.


It's so relieving to know other people recognize and fear the imaginary authorities, too.

Nothing But Bonfires

That Trader Joe's sign is taunting me. I can taste the organic, vegan, fair trade gummy bears from HERE.

Katie Kat

Oh my God... I love you SOOOOOOOOOOOO much Amy. I know you don't know me, and I don't really know you, and I'm sounding all stalkery and shit, but man, you just crack my shit up.

I heart you to the max girlfriend. Thanks for making me laugh on days I only feel like crawling in a hole! :)

Maria P.

Where are pictures of the hot firemen?


Amalah, as always, your stories make me laugh. My fear of imaginary authority figures usually follows a few days of sheer and utter frustration when I am totally sure I am part of some government experiment to see JUST HOW MUCH one person can take. Thus far, I have resisted the urge to stand in the middle of the street (with the change I dropped out of my pocket when I bent over to pick up my cellphone I dropped on concrete because some bitch ran into my heel with her shopping cart scattered around my feet) screaming, "O.K. You win! I'm am officially done with today!" If and when I ever succumb to this, I will be sure to post about it right after they let me out of protective custody.

p.s. Not only are YOU funny, but so are your commenters.
p.p.s. Damn Holly for mentioning organic gummy bears! She is clearly in on the conspiracy.


I found Amalah a few weeks ago while trying to bring up the Gymboree clothing store site. I could not help but to click on a link that said "God hates Gymboree"...well, I have been sitting at my computer ever since laughing my head off whenever you post. The post today prompted a reply though, I have the imaginary authority figure phobia, I could tell you many a story...but for now, I am so happy to have found your blog while trying to score some Gymboree clearance for my youngest!


My mom called me hysterical last week because she thought I had taken my baby book and lost it. (Not that I blame her. I do indeed promptly lose most everything I take from her house.) When I told her I hadn't taken it, she almost started crying, thinking SHE lost it. She called me later that afternoon to tell me she had (torn apart the basement and) found it, behind a dresser. A lot of power in the baby book, it would seem. :)

Also: I miss Trader Joe's.


Dude! Curves! That's like my gym! Fwee!

(end randomness)


Wow. Drama! But did you snag another free balloon at Trader Joe's?

Why did you have to go and mention the baby book? Ugh. I have to buy a new one since I royally screwed up Jojo's 2nd one. And first one. Blasted.


OH NO! I live in that neighborhood! I hope the Trader Joe's wasn't on fire! :)


Sweet. Things that involve firetrucks generally make for good stories. Hopefully it was not actually Gymboree on fire, or any other building, really, and it was all one big firealarm taken a little too far. Umm. Yeah.

I feel ya about the dog thing though. I'm always terrified to leave my two in the car, mostly because it would be just my luck that they might actually have heat stroke and die even if it is 5 minutes in 70 degree weather with the windows cracked.


Re: Stinky toddler breath. My oldest son, I swear to you, had the sweetest breath until he was in like, third grade. Really! It was unbelievable and one of the adorable things about him that kept him alive on those bad days! (kidding people!) My younger son has always had the stinkiest breath ever and now, as a 9 year old , loves to let us have it! Fortunately, he's adorable in other ways! ('cause, again, some days...)


babybook SCHMABY book.

That's why you have a blog, duh.

(Okay, that's why I have a blog. Isn't that why everyone has a blog? So they can keep all of their information in one place? It's so convenient. And SEARCH-ABLE.)


Okay, so maybe this is a lame question, but I really have to know....Is YOUR Gymboree in any way affiliated with the Gymboree color-coordinated handy interchangeable clothing store?

And, a comment....my VERY tiny almost-three year old (who still, remarkably, has the BEST breath in the universe and sometimes I perch my nose just beyond his lips to bask in his sweetness, much to his obvious annoyance) is practically the same size as Noah! (No, we're not Lilliputians! He's just REALLY REALLY small for his age, which is nicely ironic since his older brother is completely off the charts for tallness) So yay, Noah!

And please tell me you're a regular at Trader Joe's. And is there a BACON store next to Ham? Because I'm totally moving if there is.


Were any of the firemen hott? Because it's totally okay to take pics of hott firemen.


Oh my god, Britney Spears just filed for divorce.

It needs to be told, Amalah.


That TJ's is so small. I agree you should can the Gymboree idea. It seems strange to pay for playing. Or am I missing something? Your town has great parks. Cabin John is a good one.


The Gymboree outlets by us always reeked. I couldn't take the embedded shit smell in the rubber mats so we ended up doing Wiggleworms in a church basement.

Maybe someone lit a diaper under the smoke alarm so they could get the hell out of there?

Adwina Who's Concerned about Her Son

Hi there, Amy!
Awww.. Noah weighed 23.7 pounds (50th percentile) and 32.5 inches tall (100th percentile) at 13 months? That's great!

Can you believe that my son only weighs about 16 pounds (below 5th percentile) at 18 months? Sometimes I'm concerned about his weight, but I feel relieved that he's okay. He's active and eats snacks often (cause sometimes he doesn't really like his main meals). Or maybe it's because of me, cause I'm small.

What do you think I should do? Should I be concerned?

I hope at least my boy could reach around 20 pounds at that age... *sigh*.. uhh.. sorry about this, Amy.. Hope you don't mind...


I thought this WAS Noah's baby book?


Too bad Noah wasn't bigger-he would have loved the fire trucks. And firemen-YUM! I love men with bighoses...but I digress. I,too, am afraid of the IAF's(invisible authoratative figures). Maybe it comes with the vagina, because I don't know any men who act that way. BTW, we left our german shephard in the car at the mall one December. A dog who would sleep in the snow and if you bought him a doggie sweater, he'd eat it. And someone called the cops on us. I was mortified. As for taking pics of firemen, ok, but I wouldn't take a cop's picture, they're right touchy about that, laws or no laws.

ps I am NOT ALLOWED to go to the cheap, Gymboree knock off at the Y. No, I must go to the REAL Gymboree. Why? Cause Amalah takes Noah there, so says my husband. Amy, you have created a monster.


Honey Baked Haaaaaaaaaaaam.


Dude, my 6 month old weighs that much. I think maybe I should stop feeding him the 100% sugar tit juice. Or something.

I don't think we have Gymboree out here. Thank goodness. It sounds evil.

Jen W.

Fantastic post title!


I love that the bakery sign is right above the Curves sign.

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