Amy Lawson: Lazy Sack of Crap
September 30, 2007

Whenever I come home to visit my parents, there are two thing that inevitably happen:

1) I get hilariously constipated.
and
2) I turn lazier than a smoking pile of ape turd.

For the sake of my reputation, I won't focus on number one. Instead, I'll embarrass myself by letting the world know how immature and unmotivated I become the moment my foot lands on Connecticut soil.

Really, it's like I get off the airplane, spot one of my two parents waiting by the baggage claim, drop all of my belongings to the floor and say "carry me."

I've taken four days in a row off from running, I've seen sixteen-or-so kitchen remodels on HGTV, and today, when I tried to throw a piece of dental floss in the trash and missed, I didn't rectify my mistake--rather, I looked at the sad, misplaced piece of string and thought "Damn, damn, damn, I missed the trash can." Then I made my sister come and pick it up.

I don't even like to update my blog. My mom's actually making me do this. She was all, "You'd better come up with something for that blog of yours, or else you'll lose all your readers."

So here I sit, continuing to ignore my toddler.

My interactions with James really change when I'm at my parents' house. I let my sister, who has a nine-month-old baby, push James around the yard in the plastic mini-van as she coerces her own very wiggly child to take his bottle. While she does that, I like to pretend I'm taking a dump--which is an obvious lie on account of number one up there.

I let my father, who is quite hard of hearing (so sorry, Dad!), try to decipher James's long, drawn-out food requests while I nap behind the water heater in the basement.

And, of course, I let my mom do everything else. It's like this:

Mom: Amy! James pooped.
Me: Thanks for letting me know, Mom. The diapers are in the Jetta...I'll pop the trunk.

Mom: Amy! Can you shuck the corn for supper?
Amy: Just open a can mom, it's pre-shucked. Isn't it awesome what they can do these days?

Mom: Amy! James just ran out the front door and he's standing in the road.
Amy: Oh geesh, stop talking and start running!

Mom: Amy! James rubbed poop all over his socks.
Amy: Well THANK GOODNESS you're such a whiz with the laundry!

My mom is even typing this blog for me--I'm dictating to her as I sit in a luscious, neck deep bubble bath. Ok, not really. But if their tub had jets, you could bet your family heirlooms that's just what I'd be doing.

I love it here, I really do. I can hear my sister fixing James a snack, letting him know that it's almost time for bed. Don't worry, I'll help her out with bed-time. I'll just yell down the stairs and be like, "Listen to Auntie! And don't let her forget to brush your teeth!"

Long live Connecticut!
I'm Out of the Office
September 28, 2007

Dearest Readers,

I'm happy to say that I'm not in Texas right now. After a long day of traveling and a twenty-minute-long airplane tantrum by James, I'm hanging out in New England for the weekend.

I owe you all a post--Saturday or Sunday. I swear.

If you must contact me with any pressing business issues, please contact my secretary Chantelle. Ok, who am I kidding--I'll never have a secretary named Chantelle, that would require some sort of a legitimate job.

As always, have a fantastical weekend and many thanks for reading my blog!

~Amy
SURPRISE!
September 27, 2007

Click here to see the surprise. It's a Lawsons do Dallas! frequently asked questions page. I told you that it would be fun and amazing!!! Ok, sorry if you're disappointed.

Now go check it out!
The Silver Lining
September 26, 2007

Well, I have a busy morning followed by a busy afternoon at work. Get out the Kleenex boxes, because that means I won't be able to finish today's post until tonight. Yes, you'll have one less blog to read while you're getting paid to doodle around in your office.

But, the good news is, I have a very special surprise that I'm working on for you! And I think you guys will like it!

In the mean time, we can still have some fun. So while you're anxiously waiting for the special surprise, answer this:

If you could trade one body part with any celebrity, what would it be?

I'm so tempted to say that I would trade arms with Vin Diesel, but I'm worried that I might not be able to find long sleeved shirts that would fit very well. So in all actuality, I'd probably trade abs with Heidi Klum. I picked her because we have so much in common--you know, between motherhood and our weight to height ratios (fiiiiiine, I'm making that up).

Have a good day everyone!
Why I Do It
September 25, 2007

A few days ago, one of Jared's old buddies from Maine called to share the great news that his wife is expecting. From what Jared told me, it was your standard pregnancy conversation with comments like:

"Aw, that's great man!" and "We couldn't be any happier for you guys!" and "Seriously, congratulations dude. I'm so stoked."

But before they got off the phone, there was a quick change in the direction of the conversation. According to Jared, Mike's voice became more serious, as though he was preparing to drop some sort of bombshell on my husband.

"Dude, I've gotta let you know that your wife has a blog, and I read it. I don't know if you know about the blog or not, but she writes about all of your fights. I mean, she tells everyone all the details of your arguments."

When Jared relayed the conversation to me, I got the distinct impression that Mike doesn't exactly like what I do--it occurred to me that he might it find disrespectful. And of course, it stopped me in my tracks.

I started to do a bit of self-examination, and asked myself a very tough question--Why do I do what I do?

Do I put my husband, my child and myself on the line every single day to get a laugh? Yes, I absolutely do. Do I do it to humiliate or degrade my family? No, of course not.

You've got to understand that Jared Lawson is the undisputed love of my life. I have more respect for my husband than I do for any other person in this world. He is the most honest, sincere, and forgiving person that I have ever known. But the characteristic that I admire most about Jared, is his willingness to change and his propensity toward self-betterment. Never in my life have I met a man who is so willing to put himself in a position of vulnerability in order to tackle his weaknesses.

Jared thanks me every single day for the work I do to keep this family running. He trusts me with our finances, and compliments me every time a wear a bit of makeup. He's never missed any of my races, and has taught James how to yell "Go Mommy!" when I run by them on the course. Jared is 100% confident that I will qualify for the Boston Marathon, or accomplish any other goal that I put my heart into.

Despite all of his wonderful qualities, marriage is quite certainly the toughest project I've ever taken on. Jared is stubborn, and generally impossible when he's stressed. His text messaging might land us in the poor house, and I swear he likes to keep the air conditioner at its 'freezer setting.'

Yes, I know, these are minor inconveniences, and little quirks like those should never weaken a strong and happy marriage. But I'm sorry to say that they do. If you look at the national divorce rate, which hovers somewhere between 40 and 50%, I would have to guess that 'the little quirks' can easily overtake the 'wonderful qualities,' and I refuse to let that happen to me.

I make light of my husband's minor shortcomings for a very simple reason--they deserve to be made fun of. I take his major struggles seriously, I take his strengths and talents very seriously, and I don't take his minor flaws seriously at all.

I do what I do because my marriage is far from perfect, and I'm unwilling to put on a show. That would offer nothing to me, my husband, or the reader.

I do what I do because marriage is ridiculously difficult, and I want my readers to know that they're not alone in their frustrations.

I poke fun at my mothering for the very same reason. Parenting can really beat you down if you let it--I try not to let it.

I'm not perfect--that's the one thing I'll certainly never be able to change. But I'm going to have as much fun with my imperfections as I possibly can.

That's why I do what I do.
Marathon Training: Incident #3
September 23, 2007

Last week, my friend Sarah convinced me to sign up for a 20k (12.4 mile) race on Saturday. Based on the fact that I don't really like to run, I was a tough sell. But Sarah was relentless and persuasive--she also promised me that we could ride the city bus to the starting line, something I've never done in Dallas--so I finally gave in.

I was like, "City bus you say? Okay, fiiiiiiiiine. I'll pay forty dollars and run twelve-and-a-half miles for a ride on the city bus. You've got me, I'm in."

**Side note: The city bus was everything I thought it would be and more. It actually picked us up on time and brought us right where we needed to go. So convenient! Who knew? I was, however, highly disappointed when Sarah pressed the little stop-dinger without offering me the honors first. So Sarah, if you're reading: I will ring the dinger next time...got that biz-natch?!

When Friday morning rolled around, I realized that I had failed to take the most critical step in successful racing--registering for the event. I had a very busy day of babysitting ahead of me, but I had to get myself signed up before 5:30. In a moment of sheer stupidity I decided to pick Garfield (my babysitting charge--fake name) up from preschool and bring both kids to the running store.

I prepared to walk into Luke's Locker with two two-year-old boys by delivering a stern little speech:

"Boys, this is a public place. You are not to hide in the clothing racks, operate the treadmill without assistance, tickle the mannequins, or embarrass me in anyway shape or form. Got it?!"

--silence--

"I'm serious. If you love me, and if you love your toys, then you will behave. Do you understand?"

--silence--

"Ok, good. Let's go."

We walked into the store, up the stairs, and within three seconds the shiz was already hitting the fan. You see, there's a mini-track painted on the floor of the running store, and to a two-year-old, a mini-indoor track is an open invitation to run as fast as possible while pushing a five-hundred dollar jogging stroller in a haphazard fashion. I put the brakes on the jogging stroller, and sternly told the boys to pipe down.

Just as the word "behave" rolled out of my mouth, James turned away from me, ran in the opposite direction, held out his arm to purposefully knock the stack of race application off of the registration table, and high-tailed in straight into the store's stockroom.

C'mon, I'm no fool. I know that my kid is badly behaved, but I genuinely had no idea that he was capable of doing something like this. I stood, in shocked silence, jaw hanging wide, in a virtual cloud of race applications, as my crazy little two-year old defied the sign that very clearly stated EMPLOYEES ONLY.

Now James has been know to do some tricky things, but as far as I know, he's never been hired as an employee at Luke's Locker. Still, he crossed that line. My kid had disappeared into the stock room. I'm not sure what type of expression I wore on my face, but whatever it was, it must have been noticeable--because everyone was looking at me.

A legitimate employee blazed a trail through the race applications, approached me and asked, "Is there something wrong? Is there something I can help you with?"

"Um, yes" I replied. "He's two years old, three feet tall, he's got very curly hair, and he went in there."

"Oh" she said, making it kind of obvious that she wasn't much of a kid liker. "Well, let me see if I can find him."

About sixty seconds later, the kind employee came out of the stock room, noticeably winded, holding my kid under the armpits and out in front of her body. His hands were jammed into his little toddler pockets and his feet were thrashing all through the air, as if his toes were being tickled by a nine-tentacled octopus.

She handed him over, and I sat him on my hip. "Jaaaaaaaaaaaames. That was not nice. When we get home, I'm going to put your giant dinosaur in the closet. He's staying there until Tuesday."

I'm not sure why I picked Tuesday, but just as I said it, James pointed to the employee and said, "Moyee! Dat yadee es vaywee, vaywee fast!" (translation: Mommy, that lady is very, very fast).

And then we slipped out the back entrance.
Raise your hand if you love PBS.
September 21, 2007
Me too!

I love PBS for three reasons:

1. It's one of the few channels we get with our rabbit ears that isn't Spanish or religious (not that there's anything wrong with that).
2. PBS can keep my child occupied and sitting in his teddybear chair for a stretch of 7-9 hours.
3. And PBS contacted me to ask if I could plug one of their new shows on my blog.

Number three made me feel very important. "Really?" I thought. "PBS wants me?! Finally, I've found some purpose in this relentless world."

Maybe every blogger on the planet received the very same email, I don't know. But if you're all reading this, laughing at me because PBS emailed you too, just play along. Let me believe I've had a life-changing moment. Allow me to feel like I've hit the big time. And please, don't squelch my fantasies of being the next special guest on Elmo's World. Seriously guys, I'm fragile.

I suspect that the email was a form letter. Mostly because it started with the phrase "Hello from NOVA, and thank you for the great service you provide to runners at The Lawsons Do Dallas."

I kind of giggled at that line. The great service that I provide to runners? Well, if PBS considers stories of my shorts falling down to expose a bare bum, peeing behind monumental statues, and returning phone calls during races a great service, then call me Mother Theresa.

Here's the deal:

This fall PBS will premiere a new series called "Marathon Challenge." The show will provide an inside peek at what it takes to run the world renowned Boston Marathon. So basically, the lazy couch sitters of America will tune in to NOVA, watch thirteen novices train for Boston, and snicker at how damn hard those runners are working as they lick the Doritos dust off their chubby fingers.

Sounds good to me!

The show, which will air on October 30th at 8pm, follows thirteen brand new runners from varying backgrounds, as they work toward their common goal--finishing Boston. Viewers will watch as the runners' physical health is monitored by doctors and nutritionists from Tufts University, and learn about the transformations that come as a result of marathoning.

Will their cholesterol drop by 92 points? Will their boobers grow to a happy size D? Will they actually get younger, hipper and have better taste in music? They'll be coached by the hard-as-nails three-time Boston champion Uta Pippig, so really, anything could happen.

I guess we'll have to watch and see. Just to review:

Marathon Challenge will premiere on most PBS stations on October 30th at 8pm. To familiarize yourself with the athletes and get more details, click here. To watch a preview on YouTube, click here. And it you'd like to see a tap dancing elephant, click here.

Seriously, the show looks great, so I hope everyone tunes in. Being a Boston hopeful myself, I know I will.* In addition to gleaning helpful training tips from Coach Pippig, I'm hoping to learn which shops in ChinaTown sell the imitation finisher's medals. You know, just in case I don't qualify.
*Most runner's have to qualify to run the Boston Marathon. The qualifying time for my age group is 3:40, or an 8:25 minute mile pace.
The Headlamp
September 20, 2007

If Jared and I should ever find ourselves in divorce court, vengefully fighting for custody of the blender, it will be for one reason, and one reason only--Jared's headlamp.

In case you're not familiar with headlamps, they're a little flashlight that's attached to an elastic headband. That's one pictured above. The high quality headlamps are very bright, and suitable for activities like cave exploration, coal mining, nighttime hiking, troll hunting, and driving your wife up the freaking wall.

Let me back up for a moment.

Prior to moving to Texas, I was married to a very normal man who had a penchant for outdoor activities. He'd ride his mountain bike, he'd fly fish a couple times a week, and we'd hike on the weekends. We were living in central Maine at the time, in a little college town, and people like us were a dime a dozen. It seemed very common for students to go back country skiing or white water rafting on the weekends. But movies? Those were a little more exotic.

It was fun. My husband was normal.

Then we moved to Dallas, where there isn't a decent outdoor opportunity for at least three hours, and people are really into shopping, eating out, and getting body parts lifted. The change in Jared was immediate, and it was strange. He grew a very scraggly beard, he dressed as though we would be hiking Mount Kilimanjaro later that afternoon, and he began talking about outdoor activities incessantly. It seems to me that Jared felt an overwhelming need to prove his outdoor hard-coreness, and send the nonverbal message of "I will never be like you."

I feel bad for the compassionate souls at church who are unaware of this quirk, and cheerfully strike up a conversation with Jared. I usually watch from afar and mouth phrases to the unsuspecting conversationalist like "STEP AWAY! RUN AWAY!" as their eyes glaze over listening to Jared's detailed diatribe on the subtle differences between the brown trout and the rainbow trout.

This is where the headlamp comes in. I think this small peice of equiptment is one more way for my husband to maintain his image, one more way to remind the Metroplex that he's from Maine. On a typical day, Jared gets home from school and takes off his tie--but instead of slipping into jeans and slippers, he usually walks down the stairs wearing pajamas and a headlamp.

I'm like, "Jared? Why the headlamp? I'm mean....seriously?"

And he'll open the cupboard, flip on the switch, illuminate our food supply and say something like, "Because I can find the beans much faster when I have the proper lighting. You should wear yours, too."

Yes, he bought me a headlamp. We're really cute together.

Now I wouldn't mind this headlamp so much if it wasn't so damn bright. But it is. He turns it on in our dark room and it's like we are standing half an inch from the surface of the sun, with fourteen movie-set floodlights, and a pocket full of magical illumination beans. Really.

When he's doing an activity that doesn't requires constant light, like brushing his teeth or folding the laundry, Jared likes to set the headlamp to its flashing mode. Supposedly, that preserves the battery. Well, thank goodness.

Last night, Jared and I got into a heated discussion while we were lying in bed. It was 11 o'clock, I was exhausted, and our coversation was about medical malpractice lawsuits. We disagreed on the issue, and Jared was INTENSE. He kept looking right at me, trying to make his point, blinding me with his frigging headlamp. I was seeing stars, spots, blurs--you know, the works.

Finally, I had enough. "Jared" I said, "turn the headlamp off. You're blinding me."

"Oh, sorry" he said. "This will be easier on your eyes." And he turned it to flashing mode.

"Jared, tomorrow morning I'm going to chop that thing up. I'm serious, I'm going to find a chopper and chop it up. You've pushed me to my limit."

"Why Amy? It's really cool. I don't understand."

Well, Jared's gone for the day, I'm home, and I know where the headlamp is.

Let the chopping commence!

Let the good times roll....

Let freedom ring.
Three Items of Business
September 19, 2007

Just a few items of business today:

1. Check out these pictures that I took at the park the other day.

The first one is James being cute at the water fountain. The second one is James being cute with a stick.

And the third one? Well, that's a girl being much too large for the baby swing. I caught that one with my power zoom. Sweeeet!









Double click if you'd like a better view.






2. Click here to read the mention I got on Ali's blog. She hasn't taken a day off from running since June--that's about eighty days. While you're there go ahead and leave her a comment subtly suggesting a new hobby...like duck hunting or puppeteering.

3. And finally, I need your help. If you read this blog regularly, then you know that we're moving from Dallas, Texas to Portland, Maine in three short months. People have already started to ask me what I'll do with the name and URL adress of this blog after the move. Well, I have NO idea!

The current URL is: granolasdodallas.blogspot.com
Should it stay or should it go? I'm reluctant to change it for logistical reasons...

And the current name is: The Lawsons do Dallas!
I understand that this has to go, but what should it become?

I need your suggestions! If there are a bunch of good ones, then we'll do a poll, I'll ignore the results and pick my favorite option anyway. Doesn't that sound like a good time?

Put on your thinking caps and leave me a suggestion. Thanks!
Move Over Britney
September 18, 2007

That's right, move over Britney Spears, because I'm about to put your performance to shame! No, not your recent performance at the VMAs--anyone can top that. Seriously, I was peeking in on the very old people's Silver Sneaker's step aerobics class at the YMCA yesterday and they had far more pep in their step than you did last weekend.

I believe I've trumped you in what might be your biggest strength these days--crappy-ass parenting. I know, I know...hard to believe. But really honey, you've met your match.

Read on.

James usually takes a nap around noon, but yesterday, since his friend Trevor (pronounced by James as "Treasure") was over, I let him stay up until 1:30. He took a quick nap, and by the time 7:30 rolled around, he was exhausted. We're talkin' D-U-N done.

Buuuut, instead of putting James into his bed, we decided to put James in the stroller and go for a little family walk. We got home around 8:30--he usually goes to bed at 8.

By this point, James had moved beyond 'overtired' and entered the realm of 'hyper like a tricked-out zoo animal.' He was running all over the apartment, as fast as he possibly could, picking up any item in his path and throwing it over his shoulder. Fire trucks were flying, tupperware was being tossed, and the tampons from my purse were haphazardly flung all over the kitchen.

Instead of addressing the issue and putting the crazy little primate in his baby cage crib, I was like "Mmmm, I think I'd like some ice cream." So in the midst of the chaos, I removed my pint of cookies n' cream from the broccoli bag in which I like to hide it, and dished up a lovely, heaping bowl.

James ran into the kitchen, picked up one of Jared's dress shoes, and stopped on a dime just as he was about to launch it over his shoulder.

"Moyee" he said, "Dabes wan some esheem too." (translation: Mommy, James wants some ice cream, too)

The proper parental response would have been: No, it's past your bedtime. Up the stairs right now, young man!

My response was: One scoop or two?!

By now it was 9 o'clock and my 2 year old was sitting in his high chair, happily indulging in a hefty serving of Oreo laced ice cream. I'm a genius. He went to bed around 9:15, and proceeded to break his personal jumping record, do a dead-on monkey impersonation, and compose an original song all about me.

Jared and I headed upstairs around ten, and opened his door like we usually do, fully expecting him to asleep, just like he usually is. But instead, he sprung up, shoved his pacifier under the pillow, plopped his blanket on top and proclaimed, "Moyee, esch go! Esch pyay!" (translation: Mommy, let's go! Let's play!)

That's his morning routine. Fantastic.

He settled down a few minutes later and slept until 2am, when I woke up to hear him calling my name. I walked into his room and he did it again--he stuffed his binky under the pillow and let me know it was time to play.

"No" I said, "It's sleeping time, not playing time."

This conversation eventually moved to our bed, where James twisted my hair with one fat little finger and poked Jared's right eye with another. "Esch go! Esch go!" This lasted until roughly 3:45am when James shook us both awake to relay the following message:

"Moyee. Daddy. Dabes es so much fun. I a gud time."

Jared repeated back, "James is so much fun?! Did you just call yourself a good time?"

"Yeah" he replied, and immediately fell into a deep, knocked-out kind of sleep.

Moral of the story? NEVER give your child ANYTHING containing Oreos. Well, not unless you're totally ready for a really good time!

Got that Brit?
Cashing in the Karma Points
September 16, 2007

What have I done to earn such a fabulous weekend? I have no idea, but karma was all too kind. If you're looking for a typical post--you know, from an overqualified babysitter with a sometimes humiliating gas problem--then click away and look elsewhere my friends, click away. I just had one of the best weekends ever.

Here's a little play by play. You know, just to make you jealous:

On Friday night my all time favorite band was in town--the Indigo Girls. I've loved the Indigo Girls for a million years and I've been lucky enough to see them live seven or eight times. Strangely enough, Friday's show was only three miles from my apartment and I didn't have tickets. I couldn't find anyone to go with me except my husband, and if we went on a date, we'd break our long and strong streak of marital unexcitement. We just couldn't stand to do such a thing.

The opening act went on at 8pm, and at 8:04 I turned to Jared and said, "It feels so wrong that the Indigo Girls are three miles away and I'm not there." He was like, "Just go!"

So I did. I changed my clothes, raced downtown, parked, and ran to the theater. I bolted up to the box office, panting my brains out and said, "It's just me, give me the best single ticket you've got." And get this, the ticket girl said, "I have one single ticket in the front row. It's right in the center." I gave her an assertive nod, and trying my hardest to act as though pee wasn't trickling down my leg, I casually replied, "That will do."

It was hands down, the best concert I've ever been to--for several reasons: first, the music was fantastic; second, I was front row center; and third, I got asked out not one, but FOUR times! Nooo, I didn't get asked out by the same unstable man over and over and over like I usually do, I got asked out by four separate women!

It's should come as no surprise that my self esteem is off the charts.

In case you're not familiar with the Indigo Girls, they're lesbians. So naturally, they draw a lot of fans from the gay community. I now know that if I were a lesbian, I'd probably end up dating a girl who wore a lot of cargo shorts, because every single babe who asked me out for a drink was sporting a pair. My gosh it was fantastic.

Unfortunately I had to turn them all down because I don't drink, and you know, I'm mostly straight. I say mostly, because if the opportunity ever presents itself, I'm completely prepared to pay upwards of one-hundred-and-fifty dollars to touch J-Lo's rear end. But really, who wouldn't?

After the show, I did have a bit of a run-in with a rather--mmmm, how do I put this lightly--ginormous girl who was quite seriously wearing an "I heart Mormon Girls" t-shirt. I was standing two inches away from her bicep and easily overheard her bragging that she could "spot a Mormon girl from a mile away" and the touting the fact that they found her impossibly hard to resist. I was thinking, "Might wanna get that radar tweaked, big honey! You haven't spotted me! And, um, I wouldn't get with you for all the elephants in the zoo."

In other, more boring news, I won the big girl's clydesdale division of a 15k (9.3 mile) race on Saturday. I finished in 1:14.30, a 7:59 minute mile pace. I have a new medal, so of course, I'm feeling very satisfied.

In other, more exciting news, I was linked by the fabulous Crabby McSlacker on her world famous Cranky Fitness blog. Thanks Crabby, my hits are up by like, a million!

And lastly, Jared scored a free x-ray machine worth, get this, twenty THOUSAND dollars! We had a fabulous, lazy Sunday including my grey sweatsuit-outfit and an injury-free trip to the park. And I'm having a full blown love affair with Oreo Cakesters.

See? I must have done something positively earth shattering, because Karma was totally in my court.
What!?
September 14, 2007

Lately, people have been asking me if James is an only child. We've gotten the question four or five times in the last month, and I'm taken aback with every single asking. I think it's the wording of that question that surprises me the most. "Only child"...it's such a decisive term.

We're Mormon, and somewhere along the road, you've probably realized that Mormons tend to have large families. Actually, I'd like to set the record straight-- Mormons are nothing short of high volume baby production plants. I once met a family at church with twenty-one children. That's abnormal of course, but five or six is not even worth a second glance.

Yes, my religion is singlehandedly responsible for the world's overpopulation conundrum and the associated doomsday scenario. So naturally, people are starting to wonder why our family's not contributing.

James is two-and-a-half, and yes, he's the only child that I have. But no, he's not the last one I'll have. Well, at least I don't think he'll be an only child forever. Jared is one of five children--so he'd never stand for that.

Ok ok, the rumor is accurate. I have actually given away all of our baby things. But that's only because we're moving across the country!

Yes, it's true that I know about thirty women who are pregnant or postpartum and I don't even have the slightest twinge of jealousy. But that's not abnormal, is it?

And I will openly admit that James is starting to become a whole lot of fun. He can swim independently, he can go fishing with Jared, and we might even put him on a mini set of skis this winter.

Right now, as I type, James is pretending that his giant dinosaur toy is eating his double-decker bus toy. C'mon, that's cool! Like really cool. A baby can't do that stuff. Why would I want a kid who doesn't know how to do a rhino roar or simulate the sound of an explosion while playing trains?

Just look at that picture up there. James is really starting to be adventurous! I just don't want to screw up this fun with, you know...a baby.

But that doesn't mean that James is destined to be an only child, does it? Really, I don't want that, I just don't want a baby. If I could order up one big brother and one toddler twin for James, I'd do it in a second. But that's much easier said than done.

I think I'd like to have another baby when James is four or five. In the mean time I've got races to run, and trips to take, and jobs to land, and a business to start. A few more years would be perfect, really, really perfect.

But what am I supposed to do with my baby hungry husband? He "oohs" and "ahhs" at pictures of newborns, he test drives the double strollers at Target, and worst of all he says things like, "Let's have another baby!" and "I think James is ready for a sibling!"

And then there's James, who asks me everyday, "Mommy? Dabes have a baby brudda, too?"

Jared wants a baby, James wants a baby, and me? I want a boat.

I'm officially outnumbered.
Over-tired, with a touch of PMS.
September 13, 2007

What he says:
I can't stand the way this new shower curtain liner sticks to itself!

What I hear:
You're horrible at buying shower curtain liners and an all-around bad person.


What he says:
Oww! You're stepping on my toe!

What I hear:
I think you're very fat.


What he says:
This sauce is good, but your secret recipe will always be my favorite.

What I hear:
Get back in that kitchen and make me something worth eating, woman!


What he says:
You look pretty today.

What I hear:
You look kind of shabby today, but I'm gonna lie to you to try to keep some peace in this otherwise insane household.


What he says:
I love you.

What I hear:
I'm unfulfilled in this marriage.


What he says:
Amy, what's wrong? Of course I love you!

What I hear:
I'm really unfulfilled in this marriage.


What he says:
Oh Amy, stop. You know I love you. I'd marry you all over again...in a heartbeat!

What I hear:
I'm moving to Hawaii and starting a new life with my secret internet lover named Haliki-Mau-Na-Lun-Iki. She's unbelievably hot.


What he says:
Ok, I've had enough. I'm taking the dog for a walk.

What I hear:
I want to do this chore because I love you so much!
Ok, ok...sorry for the delay. Computer issues.

Flashback
September 12, 2007

This morning, like most mornings, Jared was talking about fly fishing. He turned to me at breakfast and casually said, "Hey, I heard about a place in Connecticut that I want to fish when we're at your parents' house over Christmas. It's called Colebrook. Have you heard of it?"

Wow. Let's talk about a horrible, horrible flashback:

It was the spring on '91 and I was in the fifth grade. It was a good season, as I had just acquired my very first pair of designer jeans. They were dark blue, with tiny white polka dots, zippers up the ankles, a button fly, and of course, the famous Guess insignia. They were oozing with 100% fabulousness. My mom broke down and bought me those beauties at the LaSalle Shop's going out of business sale. I thought they looked particularly nice with my imitation Keds and my cropped white sweater--you know, the one with the giant bow on the back.

I loved this outfit so much, that I snuck it along on my fifth grade overnight trip to where else? Colebrook.

It was a nature's classroom kind of thing, so we were supposed to pack things like raincoats, rainboots, comfortable jeans, warm sweatshirts and mittens. But not me. I packed my Guess jeans.

The trip stunk. It was at some strange abandoned summer camp featuring a "lake" that was more of a mud puddle, half-a-dozen deflated basketballs, and a hopscotch square. If I remember correctly, it's the famous place where I said my first swear--something to the effect of "Get me out of this hell hole!"

I vividly remember being so bored that my friend Kellee and I pretended to be in the army. Yes, we played military.

"SIT DOWN!" she'd command.

"YES SIR!" and I'd sit.

"AT EASE RECRUIT."

I was like, "Kellee, we hate it here."

She was like, "I know."

Later that afternoon, my entire class was standing in the mud puddle, listening to some lame-o lesson about bug babies...or some kind of crap like that. It was completely freezing, but I was too darn cool to wear my Thinsulate mittens (remember those?).

All of the sudden, in the middle of the lesson, I had to pee--very, very badly.

I bolted into the bunk house, unzipped my jacket, and threw it to the ground in a tizzy. I could barely hold my pee in--I was about to blow. I grabbed my button fly and made a futile attempt to undo it, but my fingers were frozen and had become totally, completely useless. I had no motor control, so a even a zipper fly would have been an utter impossibility.

I whimpered, I cried, I swore for the second time in my life, and then I peed in my Guess jeans. And then all over my coat.

I walked back to the mud puddle, rolled around, and told my teacher that I had taken a nasty fall.

I looked back at Jared, fighting my traumatized expression, and in a very dishonest moment I said, "Colebrook....hmm. Doesn't ring a bell. Nope, I've definitely never heard of it...really."
I'm Grateful for my Husband
September 11, 2007

When I step back and take a look at my life, I have so much to be grateful for. Today I'm feeling particularly grateful for my husband. Sure, we have our moments--empty threats, ultimatums, air born objects, the urge to clean moldy bathroom surfaces with one another's toothbrush and then actually following through with it--but really, doesn't every couple have their moments?

None of those feeling exist today. Nope, none. I have nothing but love and gratitude for my eternal companion.

What, you might wonder, has managed to induce these feeling of wedded bliss? It's actually quite simple.

Yesterday, Jared and I went to the YMCA to lift some weights. Before we got started with our highly impressive iron pumping routine, we decided to do a little warmup on the treadmill. For me, a warmup is five minutes of walking. For Jared, a warmup is anything that's twice as long and three times faster than what I'm doing.

I looked to my right and there was Jared, bounding along with the treadmill set to 10 miles per hour. That's six minute miles. I was kind of impressed. I've never even seen my husband chase after the ice cream truck so I really had no concept of his abilities.

I watched him for about ten seconds and noticed that he was working really hard to make his running look effortless. He looked over at me and gave me a quick little wave as if to say "oh my gosh, this is like, ridiculously easy." As he turned his head back toward to TV to catch Dr. Phil's next snippet of advice, Jared lost his footing.

And that's when my husband was catapulted off of the treadmill.

Everything about it was amazing--the sight of the flying man, the sound of the falling body, the awkward silence in a place that's usually buzzing with sound--even the background music fell quiet (ok, not really, but this is my story).

Jared jumped back on the treadmill and fast as he possibly could and stared at me with a set of wide, frightened eyes. The expression was remarkably similar to an orphaned kitten who just narrowly escaped being smooshed by a runaway dump truck.

I looked back at him, smiled a caring smile and mouthed the words, "OH MY GOSH. I'M SO INTO YOU! YOU ARE SO HOT."

And that is why I'm grateful for Jared.

Mr. Particular

September 9, 2007

I'm sorry that the toy fire truck repair is not up to your specifications. Yes James, I know. You're crying.

video

Magnets
September 9, 2007

Yes, I actually made the magnets, and yes, I actually went to the post office and mailed them out. I know, I also stand in shock over the fact that followed through on an errand.

If you'd like to take a looksie at the magnets, click here. That link will take you to one of my very favorite reader's blog, my dear cyber-friend Penny. She is a very talented scrapbooker, and my magnet looks like a zoo gorilla's handiwork compared to the layouts she's posted on her blog.

Me and the apes, you know, we like to do crafts together.
Training Advice
September 8, 2007

I've been feeling very important this week. In the last few days I've gotten three, THREE emails asking for my advice. They were all over the map ranging from religion to running to blogging, but each of those emails made me feel oh-so-very-special.

The three advice seekers were promptly written into my will. Upon my passing, one will receive my winged pig doorstop, one will receive my '89 Blazer, and one will receive my infamous cup collection (which is actually worth far more than the Blazer).

One of these emails came from Julie, a friendly reader in Washington DC. Julie's roommate is training for a marathon and seems to be very tired and sore. According to Julie, the only things her roommate has the time to do these days is work, run and sleep. Julie, being the very caring roommate that she is, emailed me looking for tips to ease her roommate's life.

"Hmmmmm" I thought. "Tips to make marathon training easier. I can do this." And this is what I came up with:

Dear Julie,

Before I was married, my roommate wore my underwear without asking and then put them back in my drawer without a washing. You are quite obviously the kindest and most compassionate roommate I have ever encountered. You friend is lucky to have you, and I'm deeply touched by your concern.

I do have a simple strategy to make your friend's life more comfortable. As her best friend, you should convince her to stop running. Running is hard, and to be quite honest with you, I'm not sure why people do it. I have personally been running for fourteen long years. Out of the 5,000 or so training runs I have completed, I've enjoyed two. One was when my friend pooped in her pants, and the other was when I hid behind a trash can at 7-11 and ate a twinkie in one single bite. Both were proud, proud moments.

Be honest with your friend, and let her know that running is for wildebeests, not for people.

In order to convince your friend to quit her ridiculous hobby, she will need a new activity to take its place. Anything will do, but I'd like to suggest drinking, clubbing, TV watching, needlepoint, drinking, backyard dog breeding, troll collecting, or puffy painting. Oh, drinking would do the trick, too.

I wish your friend the very best of luck and sincerely hope she takes your suggestion to heart.

Much Loving,

Amy Lawson
Prolific?
September 7, 2007

I'm not a stupid girl, not by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm certainly not much of an intellectual either.

Sometimes, in a fleeting moment of self betterment, I'll turn on NPR. The radio announcer will usually say something like, "The West Bank is currently experiencing the most severe conflict to date."

And I'll think, "Kanye West and Tyra Banks should totally date! I wonder if her jugs are real."

Being smart but not intellectual is a strange combination, because I'm intelligent enough to know how much of a dumb-brain I really am. For example, there are many words in the English language that I don't know the definition to, but I'm smart enough to know that I should.

One of these words is prolific. I've used it in papers, I've used in it conversations, and I even used in my thesis defense. I had no freaking idea what I was talking about. None.

Yesterday, one of my very favorite bloggers left me a comment. Maybe you noticed it. It said something like "I love how prolific your blog is." I was like, "Oh damn! What does that word mean? I hope it's a compliment."

So I went to Google and typed the following into the search box: define:prolific

Two definitions popped up. This was the first:

fecund: intellectually productive; "a prolific writer"; "a fecund imagination"

I was like, "Fecund?! What in the heck does fecund mean? Thank you Google, for the flaming hunk of shiz that you like to call a definition."

And the second definition wasn't much better. It said:

bearing in abundance especially offspring; "flying foxes are extremely prolific"; "a prolific pear tree"

Um. Whaaaaa? Apparently flying foxes like to hump. What does that have to do with my blog?

When Jared stepped in the door last night, I immediately asked him what it means to have a prolific blog. He was like, "It means that you post a lot. You update it constantly."

He paused. He smiled a nasty little smile and teasingly said, "It means you're a looooooooser."

"Well," I replied, "You're a prolific farter...and a prolific pain in my rear. So there."

Yeah, I'm afraid we're not getting intellectual in this house any time soon. But thanks for the new vocabulary word, Sarah. It's already come in quite handy.
I'm Sentimental
September 6, 2007














Those are my keys. I know, they're huge. My key ring is made up of thirteen keys, five key rings and eight rewards cards. I love every single item.

Jared wants me to scale back, but I'm completely unwilling. You see, I'm sentimental, I like to keep my keys, because every key is a memory.

For example, I have a copy of the key to my friend's XTerra. She traded it in several months ago. It was a nice car, and that's a memory that I'm not ready to part with.

One time, when I brought homemade soup to an elderly woman from church, I used her house key to let myself in. That was a really nice thing I did. So there ya have it, another memory that I'm not yet willing to part with.

Of course I have a copy of the key to my parent's back door in Connecticut and their beach house in Massachusetts. I'd hate to be left out in the cold if I ever pop in for an impromptu visit from Texas.

And the beer bottle opener? I can't for the life of me remember where that one's from, but I'm sure it was great, so I'm not ready to let it go.

Maybe my sentimentality seems strange to you, it certainly does to Jared--we're total and complete opposites on this matter. You should watch us clean out a closet together, it's awesome.

Jared's like, "Hey Amy...you don't want to keep your high school yearbook do you? Oh, c'mon, you don't need it...you never even talk to these people anymore!"

And I'm all, "Oh Jared, don't throw out my Precious Moments graduation figurine! That's very special to me. I know, I know, I hate Precious Moments figurines, but my old lady neighbor gave it to me, and that means everything."

Finally, after years of butting heads, we've come up with a system--we are each allowed to keep one Rubbermaid container filled with sentimental stuff, no questions asked, no eyes rolled.

Jared's container is almost completely empty. It contains his "Elder Lawson" tag from his mission, a Pedro Martinez baseball card, and one very redneckish crystal etching of our faces that he treated himself to on our honeymoon (?).

My container, on the other hand, is busting at the seems. The cover sits about twelve inches above the box since there are so many valuable treasures contained within. It's filled with everything from useless computer wires to ticket stubs, to James's unused newborn diapers. Big time stuff....big time stuff.

I do have one item, a collection of sorts, that Jared has yet to learn of. It's tucked away for safe keeping in my parent's attic, and it has been for years--it's my cup collection. No, they're not pewter cups, and they're not interesting mugs either. They're--get ready for this--Dixie Cups! The mini ones that go in bathrooms.

Isn't that awesome?!

As you might guess, I was sentimental as a child, too. I could never bear to part with my cup after a really good gargle, so instead of tossing it in the trash, I'd add it to the existing stack in my closet. As a result I have a seven-ish foot tall collection of Dixie Cups just waiting for their mama to come home.

Well, I'm coming little cuppies! I'm coming to getcha! And when I do, you can bet your cardboard keister than I'm gonna find a way to fit each and every one of you in my box. You're all that special!
One of those days
September 5, 2007

There are days when my husband demands to know why the dishes are lying in the sink instead of neatly stacked the dishwasher.

There are days when my two-year-old has elaborate, long-winded requests that I can't, for the life of me, begin to understand.

There are days when the ceiling leaks yellow goo onto my brand new shirt from the Gap.

There are days when my toddler discovers the power of pinching and biting--at the exact same time.

There are days when my dog poops in the "Yard of the Month" and I sadly discover that my poop bag has seven or eight holes.

There are days when I step on a freshly squished raccoon.

And there are days when I lock myself in the downstairs bathroom, cuddle up next to the dryer and eat two beautiful Hostess Cupcakes at nine o'clock in the morning.

So far, today has been one of those days.
Marathon Training: Incident #2
September 3, 2007

My running watch stopped working a few months ago. It probably just needs a new battery, but taking into account that it was leaving a strange fungus on my wrist, I decided it was good as dead.

I really haven't minded running watchless. In fact, it's been quite liberating. You see, when I wear my watch, I can't pretend I'm not average. But when I don't wear my watch I can fool myself into thinking that the homeless man pushing the grocery cart is my fierce Kenyan competitor and I'm edging him out to win the title. It feels awesome.

As happy as I was to run without a watch, I have a time goal for my marathon, so I figured I should jump into reality and purchase one. So that's what I did tonight, Jared and I went to Target and we bought the very best running watch that ten dollars could buy. It does nothing.

When we arrived at the watch section, I immediately skipped over the ladies' models and began looking at the big men's watches. I admired them, I compared them, I tried them on. I had lined up my three favorites when Jared walked over to see if I had found anything good. He took one look at the watches and asked,

"Amy, why do you want to get a men's watch. They're totally huge!"

"Because, Jared, I like big watches."

"Why?" he demanded, "they're so big!"

"Well" I sheepishly replied, "I like big watches because they make me feel skinny....just like overstuffed furniture and large print books."

-silence-

And now, I'm happy to say, I'm the proud new owner of the largest watch I could possibly find and I feel SO good about myself.
How Very Convenient!
September 3, 2007

If you read this blog regularly, then you know that we're Mormon. And if you're tuned in with the universe at large, then you know that Mormons don't drink. You'd be amazed how shocked and confused some people are by our alcohol abstinence. They're like:

So you don't drink?

No.

At all?

No, not at all.

Wow, that's amazing. Would you like a beer?

I really don't have a problem with not drinking--other than feeling like a perpetual child. At dinner parties, the host will often walk up to me with a wine glass and give me the choice of "Chardonnay or Merlot? They're both fantastic." To which I might reply, "Mmmm....actually, I'll have some chocolate milk. And if you could put it in a Dora sippy cup, that would be just lovely."

**Side note: We've had a difficult time making keeping friends here in Dallas**

Two days ago Jared came home with a new pair of flip flops. They were on sale at REI, and he simply couldn't resist the bargain. He walked into the living room and I was like, "Dude, what's on your feet?"

Jared was all, "My new flip flops!"

"No, Jared," I said, "What are those black things on the soles?"

He didn't know. Upon further investigation, we realized that they were screw-on caps. Jared had inadvertently purchased a pair of flip flops with flasks in the heels. Yes, liquor flasks. Really, you could walk around town with a shot of Tequila under each foot. Very convenient for parties, games, and super dull church meetings if I do say so myself.

I would wonder how he missed this sandal feature, but he's Jared, and he misses many of the life's little subtleties, like the cellulite on my thighs. And that, my friends, is why I love Jared so so much.
Thanks, but no thanks.
September 1, 2007

We're moving across the country in December, so of course, we've been cruising the internet looking for a new place to call home. I love Maine, and I can't wait to go back, but some of these real estate ads have completely icked me out. And if you read this blog regularly, then you know full well, that it takes a whoooole lot of nastiness to earn my attention.

Seriously guys, I'm a professional babysitter and the mother of a two-year-old boy. At least once a day I find my poop streaked up my arm, my toothbrush in the toilet, and mixed vegetables wedged between a baby's bum cheeks--doesn't phase me in the slightest.

But these real estate ads? They phase me. Mostly because the ad pictures feature animals. Today alone, I came across these photos on realtyofmaine.com:


Look at this dog. Sure he's kind of cute, but you know that if he could talk he'd be like, "What's up? You should buy this house because the walk-in closet in the master bedroom is amazing....FOR POOPING IN!"

And p.s., what's up with that quilt on the wall. YO!?







Ok, and then there's this one. First, there appears to be no refrigerator in the kitchen, but that's no what I'm concerned with. Look at that nasty-ass gargamel cat.

If the cat could talk you know it would say, "Ohhhh, so you don't like cats? That's good to know, because these people don't want cats in their new trailer, so they're planning on leaving me in the back shed. I'm part of the deal...sucker."



Ick.