It's been a while since I've posted a good old fashioned Lawson Family Update. So this one goes out to our friends and family who are far away, and also to the relentless stalkers who are desperately seeking more clues regarding our whereabouts.
We'll start with me--the pretty one.
Here is a picture of me eating lobster with my two favorite guys. Despite this fabulous meal, I have still managed to lose ten pounds in the last couple of weeks. No seriously, I have. Seriously.
One cruel symptom of late-term miscarriage is weight gain--typically five to ten pounds. So let's do the math here people...
10 pounds of baby weight + 10 pound of miscarriage weight = 20 extra pounds right before my stinkin' high school reunion
This can only mean one thing: Mother Nature needs to get laid. And soon. Seriously, what a flaming b*tch.
Anywho, I have dodged her shallow game and I'm happy to say that I'm pretty much back to my prepregnancy weight. My fat jeans are too big, my regular jeans are just right, and my skinny jeans? Well they can rot in hell for all I care, because I'll never stop eating cake every day. Ever.
Next, we'll move on to James--the cute one (at least my mother still thinks so).
I'd like to start this update with a suggestion: If your child happens to have a 3-year-old classmate with curly hair named James Lawson, go ahead and pull your child out of school--because seriously, James has been a really bad boy.
Yesterday alone he earned two timeouts from sweet, sweet, sweet Miss Nancy. The first was for hoarding thirty matchbox cars and refusing to share a single one with Willy. And the second? The second was for violently crashing the play shopping cart into the toy shelf, the book basket, the plastic kitchen, and others. By "others," I mean his friends.
He also came home with his head, ears, and the back of his shirt covered in red marker--obviously a two man operation. Apparently he coaxed little Lucy into the marker escapade and cheerfully encouraged her as she scribbled all over Miss Nancy's carpet.
What can I say? We're very proud of the little guy!
And then, of course, there's Jared--the smokin' hot one.
He might be posing next to a poster of the muscular system, but trust me, there's nothing in this man's head except trout. Rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout...trout, trout, trout.
Oh, wait. What's that you say? You don't think trout sound very interesting? Well, neither do any of our friends or potential friends. Our social life has all but dried up on account of my Jared's obsession with aquatic animals. Thanks hun!
In other news, Jared has taken to leaving random crap strewn all over our yard: chairs, tools, tarps, extension cords--you get the idea. When our meticulous neighbor George keels over from a sudden heart attack, it will absolutely be Jared's fault. But let's focus on the bright side here--if the memorial service is well-attended, Jared will have tons of new people to discuss trout with. I'd call that a win-win-win situation.
So there you have it, life in the Lawson house. Wanna come over?
There's no doubt about it--this Christmas, James will be getting his very own digital camera.
I know, I know--it's kind of a strange gift for a three-year-old boy, but trust me, this child'll love it. He's always lugging my camera around--you know, snapping some candids and licking the lens.
Last week I spent an entire workday driving around town, taking photos of the lovely fall foliage with the intention of posting them on my organization's new website. Early this morning, I popped my memory card into my laptop and ran off to my Board of Director's meeting, hoping to gain approval to post the pictures.
But when I pulled up the photos, the red and yellow trees were nowhere to be found. Somehow James wiped the entire memory card clean and refilled it with 100-or-so pictures like these...
Yesterday was the one month mark--one month since Jared and I lost our baby boy. And my goodness, this has been the longest thirty days of my life. I honestly feel like I've aged about twenty-five years since September 22nd.
I don't want you to be jealous or anything, but this is a picture of my house:
And that's my car, and that's my maple tree. It's pretty, isn't it? Very "Autumn in New England" if I do say so myself.
As you might expect, we get a lot of compliments on our tree.
At first I'd answer kindly with a response like: Oh thank you. It brings a great deal of joy to our family.
Or: I agree. The colors are truly splendid!
And when I was really feeling the spirit of the season: Oh yes! A magnificent mark of God's creation!
But that was last week. This week I'm more likely to say: Oh yeah? Do you know how many leaves this bastard-of-a-tree drops in my yard?
Or: Go to the hardware store and buy me a damn-freaking leaf blower, ya dumb butt.
Now don't get me wrong here--I love my yard, and I love my tree, and I love the fall. But I'd love them even more if I could hire a full-time lawn boy (a foreign lawn boy who prefers to work in nothing but his boxer shorts and some cowboy boots).
Maybe next year.
We live around the corner from a bachelor. He's a helluva nice guy, he's spends at least forty hours a week on yard work, and--bless his heart--the man drinks way too much.
Now you've got to understand, I didn't say "bless his heart" to be rude or condescending. After a swig (or twenty) of Whisky, Jim will freely admit that he drinks far more than he should--and it all started when his two sons were serving in Iraq at the very same time.
Then he'll tell you about all of his "lady friends."
But seriously guys, could you imagine having all of your children fighting in a war simultaneously? I don't know about you, but I'd probably have a cupcake in one hand, a box of Kleenex in the other, and a bottle of red wine in my purse.
In other words, I really wouldn't cope well. God bless any parent who has to deal with that kind of worry.
Fortunately, Jim's sons are safe at home. Unfortunately, Jim hasn't been able to abandon his old coping mechanism--as evidenced by the time he drove his riding lawn mower into a drainage ditch, the time I found him lying on top of his wood pile because "It's a lot more comfy than it looks, you guys," and the time he fell down my basement stairs, smacked his head against the closet door casing, dusted himself off and muttered, "Damn shoelaces..."
Yeah, he was wearing slip-ons. Buy you know, whatev.
On Saturday afternoon, as I walked by his house, Jim cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, "I'm decorating for Halloween, Amy. It's that time of year!"
"Great! I can't wait to see how it comes out, Jim! I love Halloween decorations!"
And when I circled the block to make my way home, Jim's decorating efforts were complete:
I know what you're thinking: What in the living hell is that?
Welp, I'm not totally sure. But from what I can gather, it's a plywood cutout of a man wearing cargo pants, a sweatshirt, a hat pulled over his face, and a reflective vest--you know, in case he gets the urge to jog after dinner.
Or perhaps the vest isn't for safety at all--it might just add a splash of Halloweeny color to my flat, wooden neighborly friend.Good work, Jim. Can't wait to see what you muster up for Christmas!
(And seriously, I love that man. He's a great guy. A great guy who hopefully doesn't read this blog!)
Jared just sent me a proof for an ad that we'll be running in a local newspaper. I looked it over, confirmed its fabulousness and replied with an email that said:
Looks good. I love your sexy ass.
Perfectly normal response--except for that fact that I sent it to Jared and the ad guy.
It's no secret. As far as Mormons go, I'm a relentless potty-mouth--constantly spouting off nasty little words like damn and shiz and wicked-pisser.
Recently, I regret to announce, that this problem has only gotten worse. When I'm frustrated or sad, or even a little constipated, I automatically and thoughtlessly revert to my scummy-nasty language. And what can I say? Lately I've been really, really sad.
I honestly didn't realize that my language had become a significant issue until yesterday afternoon, when two separate events transpired.
Jared and I were pulling out of the grocery store parking lot when James piped up to say, "Hey Daddy. Remember when you crapped your pants?"
Now instead of thinking Oh my word, my three-year-old just said crap (like I should have), I let out a casual laugh, turned to my husband and said, "How does he know that story? You told him about that?"
And Jared was like, "Amy, your son just said crap."
And James yelled, "CRAP!"
So Jared was all, "I think we have a bigger problem here."
Then James yelled, "CRAP!" again.
Last night in my sewing class we were making fabulous little dresses for a wonderful Christian charity called Little Dresses for Africa. As I stitched along the sleeve, my teacher was all, "As you sew your project, I want you to think about the lovely little girl who will benefit from your hard work. Sew with love, ladies. Sew with..."
And just then, my sewing machine lost its grip on the elastic. Without thinking I blurted out, "Oh you stupid b^*&#! I swear I'm gonna toss your sorry plastic ass right out that window."
The hippies giggled, the quiet lady sat quietly, and my teacher calmly said, "Amy. Is everything okay over there?"
I assured my teacher that I was talking to the sewing machine, not her.
And actually, now that I'm on a roll, I'll publicly admit one more thing. An ongoing problem if you will.
James has added a new, original word to his vocabulary. Soukin. It's pronounced like SUE-KIN, and he uses it in the following contexts:
"Mom, I can't find my soukin shoes."
"I'm really soukin hungry."
And "Read me a soukin book, Daddy."
I honestly, honestly think that soukin is a variation on Jared's excessive use of the word stinkin', but in my current state, I really can't be sure.
So there ya have it, another soukin page to add to my always-growing CPS file.
Crafts. Yes, the topic of the day is crafts. Sorry boys.
You'll have to excuse me for stroking my own fragile ego, but I'm a very crafty girl. Creative, too. You want proof you say? Just click here to check out James's 2007 Halloween costume. I won't lie, it's still the biggest accomplishment of my life to date. If I can ever figure out how to lose ten pounds on a steady diet of fries and Hi-C, it will be topped. But until that fine day, the Richard Simmons costume will be my crowning glory.
In an effort to increase my craftasticness, I recently signed up for a sewing class through Adult Education. There are five fine ladies in my class--me, some old broad who never talks, and three organic farmers who sit around making recycled, reusable menstrual pads every Tuesday night.
Again, sorry boys.
I love my sewing class--and I love my teacher so much that I want to hug her, kiss her, and hold her hand while we skip around the classroom hollering "HOT DAMN! LOOK AT ME! I CAN SEW!" Unfortunately I'm too embarrassed to ask her to do that with me. Maybe someday I'll work up the guts.
But until that point, I'll just make fun little projects like these:
The men probably think they're homemade tank-tops, but you can rest assured that they're not. Actually, they're Halloween treat bags that are supposed to look like owls. Scrappy-ass owls to be exact.
The black one is made to match James's bat costume, and the brown one is being shipped off to James's friend Sophia in Dallas. Poor thing has worn the same dragon fly costume for the past three years--and we had to give the girl at least a taste of holiday excitement, ya know?
In an effort to appease any gentlemen who are still reading this totally girly post, we'll call them Hooter Bags. That helps the excitement factor a bit--doesn't it?
I will freely admit that I didn't come up with the idea for the Hooter Bags with my own imagination--the creative genius can only be attributed to Ellen from The Long Thread. I'd like to point out that like me, Ellen also holds a Masters in Public Administration.
And to her I say: Ellen, dude. Public Administration? What in the hell were we thinking?!?!
In closing, if you would like your own Hooter Bag, all you have to do is send me $1,400 through PayPal and I'll whip one right up.
Have a happy rest of the day everyone!
Never tell me that I'm a girl without a set of balls. Proverbial balls, that is.
Lately, you see, business has been slow. In the wake of recent economic events, I'd bet you that every other small business owner is bobbing his or her head in whole-hearted agreement. Whether you make a living selling bologna from a push cart or cracking people's backs, this is not a time of plenty.
In response to our sluggish cash intake, Jared and I have decided to beef up our marketing efforts. You know--run some more eye-catching print ads, offer up a special or two, and personally contact each and every politician who has anything to do with our fair city.
Wait. Hold the phone.
"Politicians," you ask? "But what do they have to do with your practice."
You know, I'm not really sure, but I do know that they're connected. And they also promised to care about me in their campaign speech, and what can I say? I'm kind of naive, and I took those promises to heart.
Aside from that, Jared and I opened our practice in what Jared likes to call an "Up-and-Coming" section of the city. Some would call it "Trashy," others would say that it's "Historically Significant." Me? I like to think of it as "The Street by Which We Will Someday Purchase a Nintendo Wii." And maybe send our kids to college. I don't know, we'll have to see.
But any way you slice it, our neck of the woods gets a fair amount of attention from local and regional leaders.
In the last five days, I've taken the liberty of contacting the Mayor, the City Manager, the entire City Council, our State Reps, our State Senator, and every single political candidate. Did you know that their home phone numbers are right on their websites? These fools make it way too easy for the desperate suckers like me.
Anywho, I've left them each with a message that goes something like this....
Hi! My name is Amy Lawson and my husband Jared and I are the proud, new owners of The Fine Spine on Main Street (names have been changed to protect the innocent)--you probably know it as the old Greyhound Bus Station, but let me tell you, you wouldn't even recognize that place these days.
We're young business owners, and we're very proud of we've accomplished. But you know what? We're even prouder of our contribution to Main Street. I know you're concerned about Main Street, too. I read that on your website.
I'd like to personally invite you to stop by our office, take a short tour, and say hello. We're really looking forward to meeting you in person.
And guess what? It's working. It's really, really working. They come in, they say hi, and they tell us that the city needs more young, motivated people--just like us.
Then we get 'em for what they're worth.
Well, thank you. If you'd like to help us stay in business, and act as a positive force on Main Street, please let all of your friends, family and colleagues know that we're here.
Then I tap 'em on the ass as they walk out the door.
Noooooooo, I don't really touch them on their can. I usually just compliment their shoes. Or their bald spot.
So far, so good. And dude, it beats the heck out of walking around in a lobster suit--making stupid old jokes about cracking. It was really hard to breath in there.
Okay, okay. Here I am.
Up until two weeks ago--with the exception of my wallet, keys, and five dollar bills--I had never experienced much loss in my life.
I lost my Grandma when I was 7ish and my Memere when I was 5ish, but in retrospect, I was much too young to understand the magnitude of their deaths.
I went on to lose my dear turtle Skippy sometime during middle school, and by that point in my life I'm pretty sure that I was able to process the heartbreak. I cried my eyes out as I hung my handmade "MISSING TURTLE: REWARD" posters up and down my entire block. I wanted to vomit as I organized my neighborhood friends into a systematic search party. And I begged...BEGGED...my father to keep searching under the deck loooooong after dark.
But I'll admit it--after a day or two I was relieved that I didn't have to spend $10 on a reward for that gimpy old turtle. After all, I was twelve and I had candy to buy.
My next significant loss came during my senior year in high school, when my
(See? I told you I've have an easy life...)
But I made peace with the boyfriend four years later when we shared a whirlwind weekend in Philly--on his dime. He professed his love to me, I professed my love to him. We kissed, we hugged, we wedding planned....and then I met Jared three days later. HA!
I won't lie--I sent him a wedding announcement.
As you can see, the losses in my life were minimal. Until two weeks ago.
When the ultrasound tech turned to me with a solemn, straight face, I already knew what she was going to say: I'm very sorry, but there's definitely no heartbeat.
And that was only the beginning of it. It wasn't until I'd visited my midwife, a running store, my midwife again, the emergency room, the labor & delivery wing (complete cruelty), and a funeral home that I really began to feel it.
I wasn't pregnant anymore. My winter baby had sprouted wings, and there wasn't a #$%^ing thing I could do about it.
It's two weeks later now, and I can't lie--this still completely sucks. Right now I feel one-half lost, two-parts depressed, fifteen pounds fat, and absolutely broke from a high-deductible insurance plan.
I'm also feeling very unmotivated in the workplace, but that's not out of the ordinary--I've always been a lazy sack of crap at when it comes to work. (I don't feel bad about it, nor should I--after all goofball, you're the one reading my blog from your desk!)
Other than taking my days one minute at a time, I'm really not sure what to do next. Should I run another marathon? Get another dog? Sew another purse? Have another baby?
Maybe eat another cupcake?...Cry another tear?
I have no freaking clue.
All I know is that I honestly--albeit naively--assumed that things would get a little bit easier every single day. And even though I'm in a general upward trend, I sincerely failed to anticipate the peaks and valleys that come with this kind of a loss.
Damn. Damn. Double damn.
Today I ran into the President of the Maine Counseling Association at a lunch joint--helluva nice guy. I kept the conversation light, asking questions like, "How do you plan to renovate your new building?" and "What type of marketing worked for you in your early days of private practice?"
But all I wanted to do...ALL I WANTED TO DO...was crawl into that gentleman's lap, wrap his well-dressed arms around my sad little shoulders, and say, "Sir? Would you mind stroking my hair for a while?"
But I didn't. I didn't do it...and I consider that a minor victory on my part.
And that's that. My depresso post for the day.
I hope you're all having a better couple of weeks than I am. And for those who aren't, and unfortunately I know they exist--you are cordially invited to come and sit in my lap, because seriously, I'd be more than happy to stroke your hair for a long, loooong time.