Public Service Announcement
October 31, 2007

The Lawsons are huge proponents of therapy. That's what happens when you have other people's children running around all day, WIC vouchers lining your purse, and nasty old blog trolls. If you live in the Dallas area and are in need of mental health services at an affordable price (e.g. you're a babysitter with a masters degree), the medical school offers counseling at a deeply discounted rate. For as little as ten dollars per session, you'll be able to meet with psychology students working on their PhDs and psychiatric residents. For more information, call 214-648-7012. Forget the ballet, guess what we're doing on our next date!

And if you don't live in Dallas, consider calling your local university to learn about similar programs.

Many thanks to the reader who informed me about that fantastic resource.
Happy Halloween
October 31, 2007

Here are the pictures of James dressed up as Richard Simmons for the church halloween party on Saturday night. We won the 'Most Original Costume' award, and you all know how much awards mean to me. I just wish I had won a trophy instead of a king-sized candy bar--it would have lasted longer.

My favorite comment of the party was, "Um, I don't mean to be rude or to hurt your feelings in any way, but is your child supposed to be dressed up as Richard Simmons?"

I was like, "YES! Can I hug you for an awkwardly long amount of time?"

I'm a little bit too proud of this costume, but I suppose that's what happens when you stay up late into the night cutting out felt stars, shortening shorts, and puffy painting your damn heart out. Unfortunately, we couldn't convince James to wear the headband or wristbands, but we still managed to dress him up as a flamboyant baby boomer with a crunchy AquaNet fro--and that my friends, is more than enough to satisfy any well-balanced mother.

Oh yes, those are my legs. I dressed up as a woman who wears nice fitting jeans with a matching belt. What a blast from the past, huh?!

Hint: click on the pictures to make the large so you can check out my handiwork.

The Crisis Unraveled
October 30, 2007

Holy-mother-of-a-bum-licking-cow. I'm overwhelmed by the volume of cyber-lovin' I've received in the last couple of hours. I had no idea!

I've had several Mormon readers offer to break knee-caps and call on their mob connections on my behalf. And to me, that means so much.

One of my long-time readers, Vanilla, has threatened to go on a hunger strike until my next post. Avoiding food goes against everything I believe in, and I certainly don't want him to miss his dinner plans, so here it is, a new post with an explanation of my recent dramatics...

Yesterday I received some correspondence that hit me the wrong way. It hurt my good-old-fashioned feelings, and if you know me personally, then you know that's not so hard to do. For some reason I have an exceptionally difficult time accepting criticism, which, I should note, is the only reason that I'm not a high ranking military official. I never could have made it through those drill saergents in boot camp. I would have been mailing myself home in an army-issued envelope after sixteen minutes of their crazy yelling.

In all seriousness, I took advantage of the free counseling offered through Jared's school before I defended my graduate thesis in May. I had no idea how I could stand in front of a panel of professors, and listen to their critiques without breaking into a shower of tears, running out of the classroom, stuffing myself into the trunk of of a stranger's sedan and proclaiming "DRIVE ME INTO A RAVINE." Fortunately, the counselor gifted me with some wonderful coping skills, and my snappy black business suit remained completely free of snot that day.

Huge accomplishment.

As warped as this is, in my mind, the phrase 'constructive criticism' makes no sense. In AmyMcSeatpantLand, I've re-termed the phrase--I like to call it 'horrible people trying to make me feel like a mound of useless buffalo droppings.' Perhaps that's why I'm not employed--just a thought. That said, even to normal people, this comment was not 'constructive' by any stretch of the imagination, it came across as being really mean spirited.

I used my coping skills to remain calm, and replied to the writer personally. A few minutes later, I wrote the post asking people to cool it with the hate mail. I've been getting a few pieces of critical mail here and there, and I've kind of had enough. Pick on my parenting, my religion, my potty mouth, whatever, but puh-lease, for the love of all things chocolate, don't attack me personally for my baseball preference. Make fun of Red Sox fans if you must--we're obnoxious and we know it--but leave my innocent husband and my strength of character out of it.

Barely twenty minutes after I published that post, I had already received one abrasive comment and several critical emails. Yes I am way too sensitive, but these communications put me over the edge. It's true, I dislike Yankees fans and I really, kind of don't like Rockies fans either (as a group, NOT as individuals--duh), and for some reason, a number of people felt permission to let me know that they dislike me as a writer, not just an overzealous fan. Ouch.

And that's when I said "Enough. I'm not having fun anymore." I put myself on the line every single day to make people laugh, and I felt completely attacked.

But I'm gonna have to take Patty's (one my my very favorite reader's) advice here, and just get over it. The more popular this blog gets, the more criticism I'll receive. Such is life, and with thousands of dollars worth of individual and group therapy, I have no doubt that I'll be able to handle it moderately well. Also, I've sped the healing process along by eating three mini-bags of Doritos and fourteen chocolate chip cookies.

Thank you so much to everyone who left me a nice comment or sent a happy email my way--especially all of the lurkers out there. Each and every one of you will get to see some fabulous Richard Simmons pictures in the morning....and trust me on this, you won't be disappointed.
Wow, I'm sure glad that hiatus is over. I could barely stand it.
Ok, I just got a few communications responding to my post.

Perhaps I put myself out there way too much with this blog. I started this blog as a place to write down my funny stories, and maybe it got too big.

I'm not a very thick skinned person--embarrassingly wimpy if you want me to be honest about it--so I think I'm going to take some time off. Strangers are making me cry like a woman with an issue, and I don't really need that right now. I must stay strong, I have chicken nuggets to cook.

Sorry guys. I'll be back soon.
Do me a favor...
October 29, 2007

and cool it with the hate mail. If you don't like my blog, then don't waste your precious time reading it. And if you don't like my blog enough to write to me about it, then I really urge you to stop reading it.

Here are my new rules:

If you're not entertained by a frazzled mother of a tricky little two-year-old, then exit the premises.

If you don't like bathroom talk, then stop taking the joy out of my life and just step away.

If you don't like the idea of a Mormon who uses words like "crap" and "sha-diz-nit" and "butt-head" the go elsewhere.

If you think that Red Sox fans are over-the-top and partly insane, then go find a blog that belongs to a Devil Rays devotee.

And for heaven's sake, if you want to make fun of my completely innocent husband, then find your closest middle school, make some pals, and talk to your friends about it--NOT TO ME.

Please, just stop reading this blog.

But for all of you who enjoy The Lawsons do Dallas! and send me kind and happy emails, I sure do appreciate it! They really make my day.
Sweet Relief
October 29, 2007
Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox, who rolled over the Colorado Rockies in the 2007 World Series.

And congratulations to me, who accurately predicted that it would only take four games to stuff the National League's best ball-club into the proverbial recycling bin and send 'em to the processing plant.

Let me take a moment to recap some highlights of the series for all you non-baseball watchers who read this blog.

Highlights of Game 1, 2, 3 and 4:
The Rockies stunk, like ridiculously bad. Just a bunch of pansies wearing a strange shade of purple and some faux-sleeveless jerseys that were way cool in 1994--or whenever in the hell that team was established. -end of report-

There. I kept it short, as not to bore any non-sporting types.

Most of the time, when a team loses a big game, I feel a great deal of compassion for the fans. I can't help it, I'm a Red Sox fan and all Red Sox fans know the absolute heartbreak that comes along with losing. But last night was diferent. I felt no love for the Rockie's fans, not a single-little-friggin' ounce.

Why not? Because of HDTV, that's why not.

We watched game four at our friends' house. They don't have a rabbit ear antennae zip-tied to a coat hanger dangling from their living room window like we do--they have a plasma screen, and holy heck, that thing is awesome. Needless to say, we appreciated the invitation.

You could see individual blades of grass, the pitcher's facial stubble, and the one-day-old hats that that all the Rockies fans seemed to be sporting. The picture on their TV was so exceptional that it was easy to tell that 99% of the fans' t-shirts had never been through a spin cycle. We even saw two jackets with the tags still attached. I guess it's easier to return your newly purchased team gear after a loss if the bar code is still in tact.

Give me a freaking break. These people are not fans, they're nothing but a bunch of bandwagoning butt-heads. They're so new to the game that the Jumbotron said TOUCHDOWN after they hit a home run and no one even blinked. How's that for baseball fanatics?

So welcome aboard Rockie's fans. Welcome to the list of "fans" (and I use that term in the most casual sense of the word) that I really almost hate. It's you and the Yankees, and I'll caution you now-- Any old Yankees fan could knock your block off with one easy swing of her personalized brass knuckles. And really? I kind of wish they would.


(sorry to be so harsh, I just can't help the way I feel)
Amy McSweatpants
October 27, 2007

It's official. I'm legally changing my name. To Amy McSweatpants. I've been considering this shift for almost two-and-a-half years, but yesterday I decided to file the paperwork.

Here's why:

Friday morning I showed up at my babysitting job around eight o'clock. As soon as I stepped inside the front door, Garfield's* mom held up a very attractive sweatsuit. It was bright red, sized 2T, and bore the logo of the Canadian store Roots.

She was like, "Do you want this sweatsuit? Garfield got it for his birthday, but it's way too big."

OF COURSE I wanted the sweatsuit. Actually, I wanted to rip it out of her grubby little hands, stuff it into the deepest corner of my backpack, and peel out of her know, just in case she changed her mind.

But I resisted my primal urge and politely replied, "Wow, it's great! Don't you want to hang on to it? Garfield will grow into it."

"No, no. That's ok. We want James to have it."

I followed that up with another "oh no, I couldn't possibly" kind of comment (just to maintain my calm n' cool image), and I watched her face fall into a look of disappointment. She let out a quick, deep breath and carefully replied, "Well, the thing is, Garfield doesn't really wear sweatsuits. But you guys? You are a sweatsuit family."

Ok friendly readers, I want you to reread that last line.

Now read it again.

We've not been labeled as a vacationing family, or an adventurous family, or a fun-loving family. We weren't called a game-playing family or a photogenic family. Hell, we weren't even recognized as a churchy family....

The Lawsons are a sweatsuit family. How flattering.

As I accepted the generous donation gift from my boss, my thoughts spiraled off..."Why would she think that? How did we become a sweatsuit family?"

But my frantic thought pattern was quickly interrupted by James tugging at my pant leg. I immediately shifted my attention to my kid, because I really didn't want him to accidentally pull my britches down. That's not hard to do, considering the fact that my sweatpants have a worn-out elastic waistband.

Yes, I was wearing sweatpants. A five-year-old gray pair from my college bookstore.

And James? He was vying for my attention because he had spilled orange juice on his lap. And he wanted me to sop up the mess before it ruined a perfectly good pair of--yes, you guessed it--sweatpants. He was sporting a pair, too.
And that, my dear friends, is why I'm changing my name to Amy B. McSweatpants.
*Remember, names have been changed to protect the innocent.
He Puts Me to Shame
October 25, 2007

Does your spouse ever leave you looking like some common breed of fungus growing on the inside of a sewer grate?

Mine does.

Actually, he did it to me this morning. Sure I subject him to a brief moment of public humiliation every now and again, but what Jared did today was just, I don't know, over the top?

This morning, I left my husband alone for one hour...sixty-five minutes to be exact. Here's how it all went down:

For some reason Jared didn't need to be at school until lunchtime today. So around eight o'clock I tiptoed into our bedroom, tapped him on the sleeping shoulder and said, "Hey. I'm going to Target. I've got to buy some tights for James."

His eyes creaked open and he was like, "Whaaa?"

"Yeah. The people who read my blog said I should put James in some tights for Halloween. He doesn't have any, so I'm going to the store to buy some."

"Oh my gosh. Ok Amy."

"I'll be back in an hour. Can you get James out of bed when he starts to sing We are the Champions? That's how you'll know he's up for the day."

"By Queen?"


"Where'd he learn that song?"

"In the nursery at church."

And then he rolled over and covered his head with a pillow.

When I returned from Target one hour later, I walked into the house fully expecting to find a sleeping husband, and my toddler, doing naked jumping jacks in his crib, with a few splashes of urine on the wall--you know, just for an added touch.

But instead, I found: one toddler with a full belly wearing a very clean diaper, no trace of breakfast dishes, an empty dishwasher, piles of neatly folded laundry, and religious hymns playing softly on the radio.

Jared gave me a smile and in an I'M LOOKING FOR APPROVAL kind of tone he asked, "Sooooooo, what do ya think????"

"Ummmm," I replied. "I think you're making me look bad." Because honestly? I would have spent that hour picking my nose and watching The Today Show.

I should go out more often.
Random Thoughts for the Day
October 24, 2007

Well, I'm off to work in a few minutes, and I can't blog from my corporate office, so let me leave you with a few random thoughts for the day:

1. My running partner kicked my trash in our workout this morning. She was plain old awesome. Go Sarah!

2. James has been running around all morning, repeating the same phrase over and over: NO MOMMY! I NOT EAT DA POOP! As if I would ever feed my child doo-doo...geesh. He also keeps telling me that the color of my car is 'blue and dirty.' Whatev.

3. Tonight is game one of the World Series. To be quite honest, I'm not even a tiny bit afraid of the Colorado Rockies. The American League was far superior to the National League this entire season, and it's really gonna show. Also, the Rockies are on a ridiculous winning streak. Statistically speaking, they've got to lose soon--so it may as well be to us. GO SOX!

4. James just unraveled an entire, brand new roll of dental floss and tangled it around Gracie's tail. The dog didn't seem to care, and it kept James quiet for almost fourteen minutes. I love dental floss.

And finally, I'll end with a question:

5. Until two days ago, the temperature in North Texas was hovering around ninety degrees. All of the sudden, it's dropped into the fifties and sixties. How in the world is my two-year-old supposed to dress like Richard Simmons for Halloween if it's fifty degrees outside? The guy wears next to nothing, so I was counting on some warmer temperatures. Help me here--what is a good cool weather costume that incorporates an afro? It MUST incorporate the afro, I've been growing it out just for this.
Have a great day, friends!
October 23, 2007

Did you know that you can buy a wedding dress at Target?

Me neither.

Styles start at eighty-nine dollars.

Maybe I'm snot-nosed and old-fashioned, but have they gone too far?
We Laughed Our Glutes Off
October 23, 2007

Fun fact about Amy: She runs like a weirdo.

If you know me personally, you've probably come to realize this. It's strikingly obvious any time I chase the ice cream truck or run into the road to gather my unruly toddler. And if you don't know me personally, I'm not sure that I can adequately describe my stride, but for the purposes of this post, I will try.

Let's see...If I'm trotting along and you decide to run next to me on the right side, my right heel will kick you in the shin. If you run next to me on the left side, my left heel will kick you in the teeth. And if you cheer me on from the sidelines, you'll probably get chills and feel motivated to become a better person because I genuinely look like a girl with a slight physical impairment who has courageously overcome the odds. It's really very touching.

This stride problem was bad in high school, but over the years, it's only gotten worse. My ankle hurts, my hip hurts, my shoes wear out too quickly, and it's all because I run like an injured petting-zoo animal.

I knew the issue needed to be addressed, but I had no idea who to call.

Finally, after much thought, and a run-in with his wife at the park, I decided to call Marcus, the friendly neighborhood fitness trainer. Not only is Marcus a personal fitness trainer, he's also a physical therapist--in other words, Marcus is the man for me.

So I called him, we made an appointment, and last night around 7 o'clock, Marcus showed up on my step. Jared and I were putting some groceries away when I opened the door, and holy crap-a-moly, we were both rendered speechless. Marcus--how should I put this delicately?-- is unbe-freaking-lievably hot.

This man looked like he was either computer generated or airbrushed--I can't decide which one. We're talking rippling abs, beautifully toned biceps, and a set of shoulders which he could easily throw me over as we scamper off into the sunset.

I wanted to say, "Welcome to my bachelorette pad. This is the maintenance man, and he's just leaving," as I casually pushed Jared out the door.

But instead I said, "Hi Marcus, this is my husband and we're in an open relationship."

Ok, not really. I said, "Hi Marcus, thanks for coming. Your little boy is adorable and I love chatting with your wife at the park!"

How boring.

As he turned around to hang his coat on a hook Jared glared over at me, put on a surprised expression and clearly mouthed the words: HE LOOKS JUST LIKE ME! I mouthed back: TOTALLY!

As we began our session, I quickly came to realize that Marcus was a normal human being, just like the rest of us. He was nothing but professional as he evaluated my bone structure and bounced medical terms back and forth with Jared. After a long and thoughtful pause, Marcus proclaimed that my troubles were originating in my hips and glutes (aka: butt). "Roll over onto your stomach" he said, "I want to show this to Jared."

I rolled over and he starting rambling off some information about my bum muscles. As he talked and pointed he paused to say, "Don't worry, Amy. I won't actually touch your glutes."

And that's when my husband piped in. He was like, "Oh, that's fine Marcus. You can palpate Amy's glutes. She knows that it's all professional."

So he did. Marcus poked my glutes. And when I turned my head to make eye contact with my husband, he gave me an affirmative little nod and mouthed the words: YOU'RE WELCOME.

As soon as Marcus left, we totally laughed our glutes off. Oh, and I should mention, while the element of teamwork was very much appreciated, I will never return that favor for my thoughtful, selfless husband.
Good News All Around
October 22, 2007

First, Jared passed round three boards--the hardest round by a long shot. He also passed his physiotherapy boards with a 690--375 is passing. Trust me, you want this man to be your chiropractor.

We're getting there. We're finally, finally getting there.


Things are looking up!

*Kiss Kiss*
October 21, 2007

We live in a total *kiss kiss* kind of neighborhood.

Allow me to elaborate.

Dallas and its commuter towns are largely comprised of subdivisions, with zillions of houses that all look remarkably similar. Sure someone might put an extra arch above their garage to outdo their friendly neighbor, or maybe they'll paint their shutters a richer shade of taupe, but that's truly the extent of originality. Row after row, house after house, brick after brick, they all look the same.

I can't lie, it completely creeps me out.

However, amidst the extensive cookie cutter-ness that we call the DFW Metroplex, there are a handful of secret little neighborhoods that defy these odds and simply ooze with charm. And somehow, by a very random stroke of luck, we happen to live in one. Our neighborhood boasts tree lined streets, mini tudor style cottages with original stained glass windows, its very own Montessori school, and super strict regulations to keep it all in tact.

The people who call this neighborhood home, are equally interesting. They tend to be young professionals, in the early stages of eventual high-powered careers, who wouldn't have a clue what to do without their cleaning ladies. They have book clubs, supper clubs, and wine & cheese play groups. Their houses are eclectically, but impeccably decorated--usually featuring a number of accessories from Pottery Barn, an item or two from their honeymoon in Buenos Ares, and a few assorted artifacts from a semester study-abroad program in Italy.

The quirk that makes these people especially unique is the way they like to greet one another. It's always with the *kiss kiss*. You know--kiss the right cheek, kiss the left, and end the ritual with an especially goofy kind of smile. Much like Cameron and Justin pictured above.

In this neck of the woods, the *kiss kiss* seems to be appropriate for all types of encounters:

At the soccer game:
*Kiss Kiss* Jimmy's cleats are ADORABLE. I can't believe you found them for only fifty-four dollars! What a bargain hunter you are, Stephi!

At the health-food grocery store:
*Kiss Kiss* You're kidding me! Organic mangoes are on sale this week?! They look WONDERFUL! So glad I ran into you, Todd.

And at the birthday party:
*Kiss Kiss* Thanks so much for inviting us! Here's a developmentally appropriate wooden toy for little Matthew, and a bottle of chardonnay for the hostess extraordinaire!

I love these people with all my heart, but damn, I just can't get used to their European inspired greeting style. I'm used to kissing my family members around the holidays, but come now, am I really supposed to plant one on another unshowered mother at the park? Gosh y'all, in my apartment complex (which happens to be the eyesore of the neighborhood) we're more likely to greet each other with the good old-fashioned armpit fart.

We're like, What's up? *fart/flap fart/flap*

Works for us.

On Saturday, James and I attended one of these birthday parties. It was cute, very neighborhood appropriate--fresh fruit for the children, fancy dips for the parents, and lots of *kiss kiss* greeting among the adults.

Oh, and before I forget, there was a birthday cake from Whole Foods. It was supposed to feature Curious George, but the graphic turned out more like a giant ape, with tats, swinging from a vine. Seriously guys, George had a rockin' set of taa-taas. I was like, "Ummmm, could someone go ahead and draw a little organic frosting t-shirt on our monkey friend?" Unfortunately, no one was willing.

Anywho, I digress.

On our way out, I thanked the host of the party, who happens to be the father of the little boy I babysit--in other words, my boss. And apparently, unbeknownst to me, the *kiss kiss* is also used for departures. I was like, "Bye Carlos, thanks for the snacks." And before I knew it, he was reeling me in.

Of course, being the righteous, married woman that I am, I was thrown off. "Why," I thought, "is this strappingly handsome hispanic boss of mine putting his face uncomfortably close to my own?" I had prepared myself for the *kiss kiss* greeting, but I wasn't expecting it again so soon. So, in a strange moment of self defense, I turned my head to the left.

And that's when my boss kissed me. Right in the ear.

Talk about thrown off. The ear kiss is a little risque, don't ya think? I really didn't know how to react, so I said, "Wow Carlos, that was really exotic. Thanks."

And then we ran home...back to our apartment complex...right where we belong.
Knocked Up
October 19, 2007

No, no, it's not me. I'm definitely not the one who's knocked up. If you read this blog regularly, then you know full well that the only thing I find scarier than a second child is the idea of being chased by a blood-thirsty hippo down a major freeway while a government official hovers above me in a helicopter yelling "THE WORLD HAS RUN OUT OF SNICKERS BARS! THERE ARE NO MORE SNICKERS BARS!" over his battery-powered megaphone.

It's true, that scenario is nothing short of terrifying--scares the schnit right out of my rear.

So who's knocked up? Well, let's rephrase that question...who's not knocked up.

Right now, I quite seriously know sixteen girls from church, four women from my neighborhood, and three family members who are all expecting children. I'm very excited for each and every one of them, and to commemorate these historic events, they will each be receiving one high five from yours truly, because seriously, I can't afford twenty-three baby gifts--or twenty-three now n' laters for that matter.

I'm most excited about my nephew who's due to arrive tomorrow, my niece who should make an appearance in two-ish weeks, and my sister's kid who's due in May. Yes, that's right. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and friends, you all read that line correctly, my sister Katy is pregnant....AGAIN!

That's a picture of her cutie son Tyler, wearing the over-sized 'World's Best Big Brother' shirt. Actually, the t-shirt's not that big, Tyler's just a bit too small. You see, unless you live in Utah, Idaho, or the heart of the ghetto, it's next to impossible to find an appropriately sized 'big brother' shirt for a nine-month-old baby. My sister's children will be a mere sixteen months apart, and based on upon that reproductive choice, I'm officially naming Katy an Honorary Mormon Mom.

So congratulations Sister Shamitz! Welcome to the fold!

I'm sure you can tell that I'm pretty damn excited about my three new nieces and nephews. If you're finding yourself unexpecdedly excited about my family's news, then hop on over to my sister's blog and wish her congratulations. Then pop by my sister-in-law's blog and wish her loads of good luck with her fast approaching due date. And then, when you've finished with that, close your eyes and send some painless labor vibes to my other sister-in-law--because dang it!, she's still blogless.

These babies will bring James's cousin count to a grand total of six. At that rate he won't need a little sibling for a long, long time. So keep 'em coming ladies, keep 'em coming!
Bus Exhaust and Homeless People
October 18, 2007

This morning, in preparation for my daily walk with Beth, I was routing around for something to wear. Our walks are certainly no red carpet affair--we generally walk with some alarming cases of bedhead, shirts featuring slogans like "Ovary Action," and three-year-old maternity shorts from K-Mart. Needless to say, I wasn't worried about style, but more about cleanliness.

In this household, clean laundry tends to be in short supply, because let's face it, that's the way God made me. But lately, clean laundry has evolved from a "recurring issue" to a "crisis of historically astronomical proportions."

In other words, everything is dirty.

So off I went, straight to the hamper, and began the process of selecting the most socially acceptable dirty shirt. We all know how this goes: fish out shirt, press nose into armpit, sniff, and decide--it's so remarkably simple.

After five or six t-shirts, I finally found a winner, and lucky for me, it was the yellow, polyester-blend Loop-for-Lupus-Charity-Walk shirt from 1991. I'm not sure why, but I always feel so pretty in that old thing--paint splotches and all. So, in my rare moment of hotness, I sort of strutted up to my husband, wrapped my arms around his waist, and gave him a long, slow kiss.

Well, it was supposed to be a long, slow kiss. But about half a second into it, Jared put one hand on each of my cheeks, and forcefully pushed my head away from his own. I opened my eyes to find his face all squished into itself and his tongue hanging out in an OH MY GOSH. WHY WOULD YOU MAKE ME EAT EAR WAX?! kind of way.

"AMY!" he demanded.

"What?" I asked, using both hands to point to my super sexy shirt. "I was just trying to come on to you!"

"Holy crap, Ames! Your smells so bad!"


"Oh, damn....your smells like, I don't know, garbage? And bus exhaust! And homeless people! Dude, why does your nose smell like that? You know, like pollution."

"Sorry Jared, I've been sniffing dirty shirts again."

I didn't want my husband to become permanently repulsed, so I immediately ran into the bathroom, scrubbed my nose with watermelon scented soap, and attempted the kiss again.

This time he was like, "Uhhhh! You smell like a bathroom...after someone took a dump...and then sprayed a mess load of air freshener! Oh....gosh Amy!"

I think I'll do some laundry today.
Yay! Pictures are up for yesterday's post! Look at sweet little baby James down there. It was so wonderful when he didn't know how to talk or form an opinion. I really, really miss those days.

The Love of the Game
October 17, 2007

My husband loves the Red Sox. And when I say he loves the Red Sox, I really, really mean it. For all of you brand new baseball fans out there (I'm talking to you, Colorado), there are 162 games in a regular baseball season. In this house, we listen to, watch, or attend 162 games a season.

It's a little much.

Take a look at those pictures up there. The first one is the three of us at a Red Sox game. Obviously, James was a baby. But I'm not quite sure you can tell how much of a baby he really was. James was thirteen days old. The second picture--James without the afro--is a close up of the outfit he was sporting in the sling. Red Sox onsie, socks, short, vest-type item, and pacifier.

Jared was so mad that the mini hat kept slipping off of James's head at the game. I, on the other hand, was mad that my uterus was held together by nothing but stitches and I was passing beer after beer to the drunk guys next to us.

They were like, "Uh, sorry lady. I spilled some Bud on your baby's head I think."

And just as I was about to lose my noodle, Jared was like, "No biggy! He's got to get used to these games! Beer spills happen!"

And I sat, silently thinking to myself, "Can't he get used to baseball games after the circumcision heals?"

NOPE! Not it this house--baseball comes first, and then we'll wipe the amniotic fluid off the baby and think about giving him a name.

Last night, during the game, I decided to try something new. It went like this:

Me: Jared, I'm glad we're married.

Jared: Uh huh.

Me: But it's getting a little old.

Jared: Oh?

Me: Yeah, I'm afraid I've found somebody new.

Jared: Uh huh.

Me: And I'm moving out tomorrow.

Jared: Sounds good.

He gets pretty wrapped up in the action.

Unfortunately, the Red Sox are stinking in the playoffs right now. Night after night, we've watched them get whooped by the Indians, and if we hear the song "Cleveland Rocks" one more time, my husband might just hurl himself from the balcony. Thank goodness we only live on the second floor...I think he'll pull through and be okay.

But seriously, C'MON RED SOX! Pull your shiz together! You're acting a big bunch of oversized, whiny babies who have no idea how to play baseball. C' good-for-nothing-stinkin' losers.

Wow, I guess I care, too.

Any other Sox fans out there?
This One's for You, Dan!
October 16, 2007

This morning, my brother-in-law Dan (the young stud pictured to the right who is wearing what appear to be Reebok Pumps) was kind enough to send me a facebook message. I love getting facebook messages, especially from Dan. You see, Dan is abnormally multifaceted for a senior in college--contemplative like Thoreau, musically talented like Clapton, and blessed with the fashion sense of Dwight Schrute from The Office. I love this kid, and I can never really predict what I'll come across when I open one of his messages. Today's went something like this:

I had a very vivid dream last night that Jared was gay, and you didn't mind at all. Oh, and you haven't put up a new blog entry in two days. So get on it.

Well, many thanks for the tip on Jared, I'll be sure to look into that. And please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in blog entries, Dan. Truth is, I've been a bit under the weather these past few days. In case you're interested, here are two of my symptoms:
Frequent episodes of explosive diarrhea in the very lonely hours of the night.
And constant, intense, insatiable fear, because I fully understand that I might poop in my britches at any random moment.

But really Dan, thanks for the reminder. I hope to be up and posting again tomorrow. I love you, too.
Chronicles of a Trophy Ho
October 13, 2007

This morning, my alarm went off at 5, I was out the door by 5:30, and on my way to Madill, Oklahoma to run a half marathon. Yes, it's true--there was a perfectly good race one mile away from my apartment, but I didn't want to do that race. You see, the race in Oklahoma had trophies--big, tall, shining, plastic trophies. The race in Dallas on the other hand, had medals--and everybody knows that medals are for wieners. So off we went, Amy and Sarah, the two biggest trophy hos in the DFW Metroplex.

As we crossed the state line, we were greeted by a towering Choctaw casino, which naturally sparked a conversation about gambling. I was like, "You know, I think I could gamble and be fine. I wouldn't get addicted. I don't have an addictive personality."

Sarah kind of snickered and replied, "Dude, you got me out of bed at 5am so we could drive three hours to get a trophy. You might have an issue."

Ok fine. I like trophies more than the average joe. Trophies provide me with meaning, purpose, and endless portions of self-esteem. When I win a trophy, I feel loved--and that, my friends, is totally normal.

Unfortunately, I completely bonked the race. But luckily, everyone was running that race in Dallas, so I mananged to pull off an age-group victory and win fourth place overall.

Here's a recap:

Just in case you've never been to Oklahoma, I'd like to set the scene for you. This piece of history was hanging in the Madill Community Center, where all of the race related festivities were held. I'm not sure if Jack Handy over there is the mayor or the sheriff, but lots of Okie men look like that handsome devil to the left. Now close your eyes, and imagine what his wife would look like. Those are the Oklahoma ladies.

That's my friend Sarah looking all double-chinned, and me looking all open-mouthed. We were just hanging around, waiting to find out if we won some trophies, trying to look sexy.

This cutie lady won the 65-69 age group for the 5k. Yes, the race was unbelievably freaking intense. I won't even attempt to recap, as words can't do it justice. At first glance I was all, "Oh my word! She's just won a 5k wearing some business casual--what a funny lady. I love her!" Then I was like, "Hey, I'm the freakazoid wearing a running skirt--that lady and me?..we're a gosh darn match made in heaven." I wanted to invite her to eat some fried pie with me after the awards, but I kind of chickened out.

This is Chris. If it weren't for Chris I'd be wedged under a trailer in Madill right now. I had an absolutely miserable race, and Chris stayed with me the entire time. He talked me out of quitting, walking, and having a violent temper tantrum by the fire station. He missed his goal time by six minutes for my sake, and then insisted that I cross the line ahead of him. Apparently, he's very well known among the Oklahoma running community for doing these sorts of favors. Hats off to Chris!

**side note: from this point forward, every person I encounter will either be placed on the "Chris List" (good), or the "Shiz List" (bad)**

Ok, this girl is SO NOT ON THE CHRIS LIST.
Get friend Sarah was running along, and all of the sudden she had to take a wicked whiz--a true emergency if you will. If there had been a port-a-potty handy, I'm quite sure that Sarah would have been thrilled to make it useful. However, unfortunately, there was not--so out of pure necessity, Sarah took a little tinkle behind some lady's award winning topiary. This girl looked at Sarah and was all, "Ewww, you just peed in someone's front lawn!" So Sarah was all, "Well, at least I didn't pee on you."
And now you can see why she's my pal.

Here is a tasteful pose. I displayed appropriate self control after I claimed my trophy.

And then there was Sarah. The picture is all messed up because she was FREAKING OUT when they called her name. She couldn't stay still for the photo, even though she was like "TAKE MY PICTURE!!!! NOW AMY! NOW!!!!" Check out the lady in pink, she's came up to me after the awards and whispered, "Wow. It's so sweet of you to take your special friend to these events." I was like, "Yes, she loves day trips--and playing Nintendo with her housemates."

I would have been SO RIPPED if anything happened to my buffalo while I was running that race. Luckily he had no accidents, sustained no injuries, and his science fair exhibit was in good shape when I returned.

Well, my race was a complete crapper, but Madill was cute, the people were fantastic, and that trophy? TOTALLY worth the drive.
Pushed to the Edge
October 12, 2007

I wouldn't call James a difficult child--not by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, he's naughty every now and again, but I think that's normal--after all, the kid is two. He's generally very calm and surprisingly polite. And not to rub it in your face or anything, but James even knows how to accept and return a compliment:

Me: James, you have cute feet.

James: Sank you, Mommy. (translation: Thank you, Mommy)


James: Uhhhhh, Moyee? I yike yo hayo. (Uhhhh, Mommy? I like your hair)

We had that very conversation at the park earlier this week, and I've got to admit, it brought a little tear to my eye.

**side note: It also brought uncontrollable tears to the the mom sitting next to me--her kid was the evil little six-year-old who was chasing a girl with a stick**

Unfortunately, James wasn't his normal self yesterday. He transformed from 'the cute little boy with the curly hair' to 'that nasty little monster with the big, greasy afro.' He was whining and pushing. He was stealing toys and running away. Basically, he was being bossy and aggressive with a little hint of violence. Cute, huh?

James was being terrible, but somehow, I was hanging on. My rationale was still in tact, I was maintaining my calm, and I hadn't given in to my very strong urge to post him on the "swap" section of Craigslist--because honestly, a rottwiler or a Buick was seeming SO MUCH EASIER by that point. I was a downright pillar of patience. Until...

James and I were sitting at the kitchen table eating grapes. He picked a teey-tiny little grape off the stem--it was only about this big: O. He looked at me, smiled and said, "Dat's a baby gwape!"

Ok, kind of cute.

Then he took another, slightly larger grape. This time, it was about this big: O. He smiled at me again and exclaimed, "Dat es a daddy gwape!"

Alright, that was sweet.

But can you guess what happened next? I'll give you a clue...the cuteness came to a sudden, screeching halt.

My child took the biggest grape he could possibly find--the damn thing was like this: O. Then he lowered his voice to the same grumbly tone you would use to imitate a giant saying "Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum!" And he said, "Dis is da MOMMY gwape!"

I was like, "EXCUSE ME?!"

And he repeated himself, only louder. "DIS is da MOMMY GWAPE!"

"Is Mommy big like that?" I asked.


"No James. Is Mommy really THAT much bigger than Daddy?"

"Yes. Mommy es SOOOO big!"

I had that child changed into his pajamas and tucked in bed withing sixty seconds.

He won.

He broke me.

Do you know why? Because it's true--I currently outweigh my husband by fifteen pounds, and I certainly don't want to hear about it from my two-year-old monster.
Ode to Grandma
October 11, 2007

Happy birthday to my very favorite person in the entire Milky Way Galaxy--my mother. I genuinely wish that you could all spend some time with her in person, because I guarantee that you'd never forget it.

Everyone loves my mother.

If you quickly glance above, you'll see a picture of my mom dressed up as a giant birthday present--tissue paper and all. Does your mother ever dress like a life-sized gift?

Probably not.

My mom drives a sleek, black Jetta by day and a convertible, antique sports car by night. Does your mother do that?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

My mom often gets accused of being sloppy drunk at weddings when she's ingested nothing but two Diet Cokes and a cocktail wiener. Does that happen to your mother? Does your sober mom get cut off by the waiter?

Mmmm, I don't think she does.

When I was fourteen years old, my mom mistakenly sent me to my cousin's bachelorette party. She thought it would be like a bridal shower. Nope, not so much. I lost my innocence that day, as the party featured edible underoos, four chocolate peenies (in varying sizes), and a stripper who bore a striking resemblance to Richard Simmons. Did your mom ever make that mistake?

No, no, I'm quite sure she didn't.

Does your mom email you ten to twelve times daily, to relay messages like these?

The YOU'RE ALWAYS ON MY MIND email: "I had a dream James was on a quick space shuttle trip w/ the president and we were waiting on this runway for him to land! xo"

The I'LL ALWAYS BE YOUR MOTHER email: "hey Amy-Sam's Club recall on beef patties.xo"

The I'M EXASPERATED BY YOUR FATHER email: "I'm having fun as dad is making me look up winged ants he is in the should I read and study all 258,000 articles...xo"

Nope, I bet she doesn't.

I'm telling you these details about my mom for one reason only: to make you sad that she's not your mother, too. If you're feeling empty right now because you wish that Kit was your mom, or even just your pal, hop over to her blog and tell her about it in a comment. I know she'll appreciate the sentiments.

Oh, and I almost forgot...



Vote for Amy!
October 10, 2007

Good morning gang! Today, I'm asking for a little favor. My new best friend Lynette emailed me to let me know that she nominated the Lawsons do Dallas! for a funniest blog award. Can't you see why I like her so much?

So here's where you come in: Just click on the following link, and once you get to the page click the "Funniest Blog" link to the left. That will bring you to the nominations page. Once you get there, look for the nomination from Lynette/tnmommy26, it's about the tenth from the bottom, and you'll see this site's url address. Click on the little plus sign, and I'm one step closer to winning a trophy...and you all know how much I love trophies!

I have no idea who she is, but some Boobs, Injuries, and Dr. Pepper woman is kicking my trash in this contest, so I need some serious help. In the mean time, I'll be purchasing gifts for Lynette.
Thanks for the lovin'!
Marathon Training: Incident #4 (with fabulous illustrations!)
October 9, 2007

First, I'd like to apologize to all of the non-runner-readers out there who have had to deal with the recent surge in running-related posts. I know it must be snoring-boring for you to read about this junk, so I've tried to spice up today's post with some original illustrations.

I hope you enjoy!

Last weekend I went for a twelve-mile run with one of my very favorite running partners. Due to the graphic nature of this story, I feel a pressing need to protect her identity--so for the purposes of this post, we will call her, oh, I don't know, Victoria Beckham (only because I find the real Victoria Beckham strangely alluring, and I like to use her name as much as I possibly can).

Victoria Beckham had a few kids fairly close together, and as a result, she suffers with some serious weakness in the nether-regions. In other words, she has a hard time holding it. Having been her running partner for a few months I'm very familiar with this special need of hers, and consequently I go out of my way to plan routes with a multitude of convenient pit-stops.

Based upon my casual observation, Victoria prefers to make her pit-stops at 7-11 stores. I will never understand why. 7-11s generally smell like sha-dang-dong, the clerks tend to be completely creeptastic, and they sell hamburgers in the shape of hot dogs. The hamburger thing really gets me the wrong way, and for that reason alone you will NEVER catch me taking a wizz at 7-11.

Anywho, there is one 7-11 that we tend to stop at most often--you know, the one where I almost hit the overly aggressive pan-handler with my car a few months ago. As we were approaching the store, Victoria looked me bang in the eye and said, "I've got to go!" She took off running so fast that I didn't even have the time to confirm if it was number one or number two--must've been a true emergency.

Victoria bounded through the front door, and this is what happened:

As you can tell by my illustration, I don't think the pooper was really busted. I think the cashier with the mullet was just tired of helping my friend, so she sent her to the gas station one block down the street.

Victoria hobbled the entire block, and almost broke into tears when she realized that the gas station was closed. No bathroom for her. In a moment of desperation, she looked me in the eye and said, "I'm going behind the dumpster." And off she went.

For some reason, I had a bad feeling about this plan, so I followed my friend to the dumpster and stood about twenty feet away. She scooted behind, and just as she was about to drop her shorts I spotted a pair of black boots, attached to a man, lying on an old mattress.

"Oh damn" I thought. "She's about to take a dump right next to that sketchy dude."

I was like, "Victoria. Victoria! VICTORIA! Pants up! Let's go! I'll explain later!"

This was the scene I saved her from:

Crazy, huh?

As we ran away, I was all, "NEVER pull your pants down behind a dumpster in East Dallas! That's just not safe!"

She was like, "Oh, ok. You're right. But can I go pull them down behind that post office over there?"
The State Fair of Texas
October 8, 2007

On Saturday afternoon, we took our annual family outing to The State Fair of Texas. I really like fairs, but I really love The State Fair of Texas--and when I say "really love," I mean I love the fair as much as I love my legs, my lungs, and my ability to speak.

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure. Thoughtful, descriptive comments are conveniently located below each image.

The reason behind my love of the fair is very, very simple--it's the fried food. If you'll kindly glance above, that's a [blurry] picture of me eating a foot-long-corn-dog. I had that twelve-inch-beauty in my hand within twenty seconds of entering the main gate. How was I so fast you might wonder? It wasn't easy. I prepared by using the fair's online food finder and dutifully plotting my course on a map. I had a corn-dog, tornado taters, funnel cake, fried oreos, fried cookie dough, nachos, a turkey leg, and corn-on-the-cob all within a four hour span. I felt fabulous.

The moral of the story? Good things come to those who prepare.

This is a picture of me (with some fabulous hair), James eating french fries, and my best friend Jerome holding his prize-winning chicken named Mrs. Dinger-Doodles.

This is a picture of a young man driving a small donkey in some sort of competition. I think they won, and it's no wonder they did--that's one fine piece of ass he's got there.

Here is an older gentleman, dressed in some very smart-looking business casual for the donkey driving competition. After the race, I'm guessing he was going to drive his asstastic pet straight to the office for a very important conference call.

This is a large pig.
A large, boy pig.
A large, boy pig with gigantic schnuts.
You might not believe this due to the lack of a reference object, but this pig's cojones were the size of cantaloupes--and I'm not talking about the wimpy little melons that go on sale for ninety-nine cents a piece. These were like farmer's market melons.
That pig needs pants, and now I will say no more.

Here is a picture of me on a race car ride with James. Yes, it's a kiddie ride, and yes, I'm screaming my head off. Please note that I wasn't screaming out of fear. I was screaming because 1) my arm flab was ALL OVER the place, and 2) I was still think about swine balls.

And this is just a cute picture--Jared and James on the airplane ride.

Now can't you see why I love the fair so much?
October 8, 2007

Something very, very strange happened this Saturday. I opened my eyes around seven, tapped Jared on his sleeping shoulder, and waited for some kind of signal that he was awake. As soon as he gave me a groggy "uhhh," I scooted right next to him and whispered into his ear.

"Jared," I said softly, "can you take James somewhere this morning? Just the two of you?"

"Yeah, sure. Why?" he grumbled, as he pulled the comforter over his head.

"Because," I explained, "I really want to clean our apartment. I want to do a really good job, so it will be easier if you guys are gone."

There was a moment of silence before the comforter flew threw the air and Jared was sitting up straight, staring at me with a look of total confusion. You see, I've never actually wanted to clean before--never. I'm a disgusting slob.

Within fourteen minutes, Jared was dressed, James was dressed, and they were out the door for some type of man trip. As Jared was helping James with his sneakers, he looked up at me and said, "Amy, this is so weird, are you pregnant or something?"

Ohhhhh, now that was a good one. Am I pregnant? Well, let me put if this way: If The Lord is currently working on volume 2 of The Holy Bible and He's selected a sometimes righteous 26 year old girl from Dallas to play the modern day Mary, then yes...there's a possibility that I'm pregnant.

In all actuality, I was probably cleaning because a) Between Jared's graduation and a cross country move, we're going through some majorly stressful life transitions, and I'm yearning for stability. Or b) I'm becoming more mature.

I think it's option a.

So Jared and James hit the road, and I decided to tackle the upstairs master bathroom first. More specifically, the shower. I crawled under the sink, looking for some kind of shower cleaning product, and much to my surprise, there it was! You probably already know this, but you can actually buy a specialized product, just for cleaning showers at your local department store. My mom must have bought it for me a few years back, because I sure-as-heckers never did.

I was a little embarrassed when I discovered that the bottle was full. You see, we've lived here for more than two years and I had never used this particular product. I just always assumed that showers were self cleaning entities--you know, between all the soap and water that gets sloshed around in there, and an occasional little wipe down. Unfortunately, I was mistaken. It takes a lot of scrubbing to return a tub to its original state.

Here is another housekeeping gem that I learned on Saturday morning: My Hoover vacuum can easily be brought upstairs by simply using the convenient carrying handle! I'd like to meet the inovative genius who came up with that design!

I cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned until my apartment looked like, I don't know, all of my friends houses? It wasn't quite up to par with my Mom's house or my sister's place, but it was pretty darn average....and I felt amazing. In honor of my accomplishment, I sat in the empty bathtub, fully clothed, and read a book until the boys came home.

When they did get home, I heard James calling for me, "Moyee!? Moyee?! I wan fine you!!!!" (translation: Mommy?! Mommy?! I want to find you!!!!) I called to James, informed him of my location, and up he came--I could hear him climbing the stairs much slower than usual.

When he appeared in the bathroom door, he was holding an enormous bouquet of flowers from Jared. I've never gotten flowers on my birthday, never on my anniversary, or at either of my graduations (at least not from Jared). But cleaning the house? In my world, that is an occasion worthy of flowers.

All in all, I had a wonderful time cleaning my apartment, I'm still enjoying the cleanliness, and I'm very much looking forward to doing it again. In 2009.
October 5, 2007

I like mantras. You know, little themes and catch-phrases to help me move along in life.

When I was writing my thesis titled Completely Fabricated, Yet Very Believable Piece of Bull-Schnit Revitalizing Rosebud: Examining the Suitability of the Rural Community Capacity Index as a Model for Community Development Assessment in Rosebud, Texas, my mantra was very simple: I CAN DO HARD THINGS. You know, like remembering the title.

My old running mantra used to be just as straight-forward. It was: SO WHAT.

When my legs would burn, I'd tell myself: SO WHAT.

When I'd doubt my ability to accomplish a goal, I'd think: SO WHAT.

When it hurt my lungs to go a bit faster, I'd say: SO WHAT.

When I'd begin to fantasize about stuffing myself into a trash barrel and rolling it down a steep hill and into a polluted lake, I'd repeat: SO WHAT.

And of course, every time I decided to end a workout by diving in front of a large man riding a small motor-scooter, I'd convince myself it was okay by saying: SO WHAT.

But this morning, something changed. In a moment of pure inspiration, I came up with a new running mantra. It came so naturally, almost like a gift from heaven. It's got a little more pizzazz, and it's pretty darn rhythmic if I do say so myself. It goes like this: STINKY-CRAPPY-CRAPPER-STINK.
It's got a ring to it, doesn't it? Maybe I'll have it printed it on the back of a shirt--you know, to inspire the other runners.

Good Luck to Ali and Jess, my dear cyber friends, who will both be running the Chicago Marathon this weekend!

Happy travels!
Go get 'em girls!
A Few Random Things
October 3, 2007

First, traveling with a toddler takes it right out of me. We didn't get home until one in the morning last night, so James has been a one man party today--all day. I'm about to take him to kid care at the YMCA--you know, so I can share the wealth.

Second, glance down to the bottom of my blog. I've gotten over twenty-thousand unique views! Almost ten-thousand of those occurred in the last month, so THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for posting my link and telling your friends about The Lawsons do Dallas!

Third, I'm waaaaayyy behind on my regular blog reading, so I apologize for my recent lack of comments. I try to read everyone's blog who reads mine, but lately it's gotten a little bit out of hand. Hopefully I'll get back on track this weekend.

And third, I'd like to answer your questions from the Frequently Asked Questions page. Here are your answers in the order in which the questions were received (as if that really matters).

Jess asked...You know, I'm beginning to think you're a sprite of some kind: in each picture you've posted of yourself, you look different. Like a different person. Each time.So, my question to add to the list:Are you a shape-shifter?

Great question Jess! I am indeed a shape-shifter/sprite. My true identity is as a miniature woodland leprechaun named Punchinita McGee. I spend most of my days riding through the forest on the back of my shimmery purple unicorn named Kevin. When Kevin naps, I like to blog from my home--a hollowed-out weeping willow tree. My laptop picks up a great wireless signal from Cinderella's nearby castle. Shapes I enjoy shifting into include, but are not limited to, Denise Austin, Amy Lawson, Eddie Murphy, and Condollezza Rice.

Fine, that's a lie. No I'm not a shape-shifter or a sprite (whatever that is). Actually, fantasy type creatures freak me out more than a flaming poo in my toaster oven. So never accuse me of such a thing again, got it? Truth be told--sometimes I wear makeup, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I brush my hair, and sometimes I don't. That's all there is to it.

Vanilla asked...I have a question. What will the new name of your new blog be?

Oh, I don't know. Maybe Amy Lawson Gets a Tummy Tuck! or The Lawsons Get a Paycheck! or The Lawson do Marriage Counseling!What do you think?

And then he asked...Ooooh. Another question: Was I supposed to post questions here or back over at the main blog?

Dude, I don't know! I'm not that organized. You're like my oldest reader....c'mon, you know that!

Anonymous asked...Do people really ask you these questions frequently or did you just make them up?

Well geeze Anonymous, I can't decided if you're being funny or snippy. Just remember, I give you free laughs every single day, so be nice.

But since you asked, each of these questions has been asked at least one time. So if you want to get technical about it, I guess I shouldn't have used the word "frequently." Details schmetails.

Rachel- a mom needing some time to decompress asked...

Well she asked many questions, so we'll go at this one by one:

Do Mormons really have horns?

Noooo!!!! But it is very true that Mormon women have ghetto-booties, Mormon men have more white shirts that they know what to do with, and Mormon children have impeccable manners. Oh, and then there's the secret tattoo, I almost forgot--we all have beautifully detailed tattoos of ligers (lion+tiger=liger) on our left shoulder blades.

If Maine is filled with so many different, interesting types of people...what category to you fall into?

I would say that I fall into the intensely bright super-model category...with a little, spicy touch of redneck.

Since I live in Dallas and I know you personally do I get to claim to be one of the funniest people you know and that you will cry on your pillow every night for me when you move to Maine?

Rachel, I already cry for you on my pillow every night when I think about moving to Maine. That's why I have that cardboard cut-out of you in my bedroom--in hopes that it will make the transition easier. That's also the reason that I dress in black and sneak pictures of your family around the dinner table each night...I don't want to forget the small things, ya know?

Ok, have a great night troops!
Locked Out
October 2, 2007

I am an emotional eater--humiliating, but true. If I feel stressed about an overdue bill, I'll eat a double cheeseburger. If I'm fighting with my husband, I'll probably eat a mint-chocolate-chip sundae. And I just recently learned that if my toddler locks himself inside of my parents house, then I tend to gorge myself on peanut-butter cookies.

As soon as I finish this post, I'm absolutely going to have to clean my keyboard. You see, when I opened my laptop, I still had four cookies wedged into my mouth. And every time I'd chew, breath, or blink, a spray of sugary crumbs would fill the air in front of my face and land gracefully on my computer keys.

Hot damn, I am really worked up right now. I'm going to take a deep breath, back that thang up, and tell you exactly what just happened....ok, I just took a deep breath. Here's the story:

My parents live in one of the nicer neighborhoods in an idyllic suburb in Connecticut. I love this neighborhood because it's completely picturesque without being over the top--you know, houses perfectly sized for a family of four with a golden retriever, well-kept colonial style homes that were sturdily built in the 1940's, manicured lawns, happy flowerbeds containing smiling daisies, and most of driveways house basketball hoops and two sensible cars, usually Hondas or Toyotas (like I said, nothing pretentious). You get the picture.

James and I went for a nice little outing to the post office in the center of town this morning. Sounds pretty cute, doesn't it? It was. James carried the package all the way across the street all by himself, two people stopped to compliment his hair, and one old lady was even stopped us to say, "Ohhhh...he's so lovely, you should dress him as an angel for Halloween!" Seriously guys, she really did say that.

As we drove home from the center, I was naturally feeling very good about my life. We pulled into the driveway, I helped James get out of his carseat, and as we walked to the front door we talked about what we'd have for lunch. Just as we were deciding between peanut butter or turkey, I unlocked the front door and we stepped inside.

Within seconds, my parents' dog Rocky was begging to sit in the front yard. Believe it or not, we've had Rocky since the summer before I went into sixth grade. He's probably two-hundred-and-seven in dog years, he's as deaf as an encyclopedia, and despite the fact that he'll hang off of your pant leg with his teeth for twenty-three hours a day, he's the apple of my mom and dad's eye. Really, they'll probably make me take this post down in fear that he might learn to read blogs and become offended.

Anywho, Rocky wanted to sit in the front yard and if I'd like to remain in my folks' will, then it is imperative that I respond to the dog's requests with haste--so his wish was my command and we walked outside. Just as I was snapping the long tie-out cord onto his collar, I heard the front door slam.

Before I had a minute to sensor myself, I said "Sh**."

You see, my parents keep this house locked down like Fort Knox. There is no chance of ever finding and unlocked door, window, second story window, or mouse hole. James had just locked himself inside of Grandma and Pepere's fortress.

Just as I was about to swear again, the little door to the mail slot opened up, and I could see James's fat little hand hanging out of it, making the international sign for "come here." So I walked up to the door and squatted down to see James's face pressed against the inside of the mail slot. He looked at me and asked, "Es Moyee otay?" (translation: Is Mommy okay?)

"No James, Mommy's not okay. You're stuck inside Grandma and Pep's house all by yourself."

"Oh," he said.

"Can you turn the doorknob?" I pleaded.

"Uh, no."

"Can you give Mommy her phone?"

"Uh, no."

"Can you give Mommy the keys?"

"Uh, no. I go wash Bob da biddah and eat a shack." (translation: Uh, no. I'm going to watch Bob the Builder and eat a snack."

I spent the next ten minutes running like a barefoot psycho through this cutesy little neighborhood, while pictures of on-fire electrical appliance danced through my head. I was hurdling stone walls, impressively avoiding dog poo piles, bounding across lawns with "Please do not walk on our grass. Have a nice day!" signs, army crawling through flower beds (ok, not really), and ringing doorbells with the anticipatory zeal of a Mormon missionary. And just like those hard-working Elders, I felt very let down every time the door remained closed.

Finally, I remembered the stay-at-home dad across the street. I used his cell-phone to call my mom at work as we watched James make blowfish faces on the back french doors, taking breaks only to wave like a zoo monkey and say things like, "Hi Moyee! I by maseff!!!" (translation: Hi Mommy! I'm by myself)

Luckily there was a spare key on the back porch, and James and the house were totally fine. All total, he was home alone for fifteen or twenty minutes.

Let's just say that I won't be taking that nice lady's friendly advice...James will not be dressing like an angel for Halloween this year.