Happy 33rd Anniversary!

May 30, 2009

Or is it the 34th?

Any way you slice it, Happy 3Xnd Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

I must say, I'm glad you got married, and that I am the crowning jewel of your sacred union--you know, as opposed to my sister.

Dad: Take her out for supper tonight, even if she resists till the cows come home and insists over and over again that she DOESN'T WANT TO GO OUT TO EAT!

Mom: Let Dad take you out to eat, you know you'll have fun once you're there.

We love you guys!!!

Weekend Plans

May 29, 2009

First, if you really, truly care about choosing an internet alias for Baby Girl Lawson, then you should strongly consider voting on the issue. At last glance Velveeta and Lawlet were within two votes of one another. Very suspenseful. I'm also quite sure that there's no limit to the number of times you're able to vote in a day--so go ahead, tip the scales, it'll be fun.

Second, I've been at my office since six o'friggin clock this morning, and I'm leaving the second this clock strikes ten. I mean it.

And finally, ay yi yi, what a week it's been. I'm so glad it's Friday.

So. Glad. It's Friday.

Since my week officially sucked butt (are Mormons even allowed to say 'sucked butt'?), I'm bound and determined to make this weekend the very best weekend in the history of my life. I've yet to develop a single strategy or activity to accomplish that goal, but really guys, I'm gonna do it.

Well, actually, I take that back. I'm quite sure that my weekend will involve onion rings in some capacity, but aside from those little beauties, and a birthday party on the coast, I'm working with a completely blank slate.

And now that I think about it, Jared has been asked to give a talk to the congregation at church on Sunday, too. But honestly, that's cool.

In all sincerity, I look forward to the rare opportunity to heckle my husband from the pews of our little chapel. For example, when he makes a scriptures reference, I like to purse my lips, sorrily shake my head and mouth the words THAT WAS TOTALLY WRONG.

Or sometimes, when I'm in the right mood, I like to grab his attention with my eyes and hold up four fingers, then three, then four. You should see his face--he's got this totally desperate expression and I know he's thinking, "Why can't I crack this code right now???? It really seems important!!!!"

And obviously, it goes without saying, that when Jared makes a joke I keep the straightest face that I possibly can. I wish you could be there, because that man's confidence drains faster than a jug of kool-aid through through the crotch of my underpants. It's remarkable.

Heck guys, Sunday's looking pretty darn good as an addition to my quest for the perfect weekend...which leads me to wonder, does anyone out there have really, unbelievably, over-the-top fantastic plans for this weekend? If so, I'd definitely like to hear about them (so I can curse you under my breath).

I'd like to hear about sucky upcoming weekends, too.

Either way, I hope you all have an enjoyable one.

The Infamous Egg Incident of 2009

May 27, 2009

Let me tell you how my day started off. Actually, scratch that. Let me tell you how my day at work started off--you know, after James took thirteen minutes to put his crocs on this morning and then decided that he'd rather wear his rain boots.

So I walked into my office building eating a hard boiled egg, because hello, I'm totally classy like that. As I greeted the cleaning woman (who was shining the baseboards because she's incredible), I noticed a tag sticking out of the front of my skirt. Upon further inspection I confirmed my suspicion that yes, I was in fact wearing my clothing backwards.

With the egg in one hand and my bag in the other, I grabbed my waistband and gave it a sharp tug in an effort to rotate the skirt 180 degrees in one not-so-graceful swoop.

Yes, I successfully turned my skirt. Bu-ut, my quick flick of the wrist launched the hard boiled yolk out of my egg, off the wall and onto the floor where I promptly proceeded to step on it with my big ol' heavy body and mash it into the carpet fibers.

All of this in front of the superhuman cleaning lady. Who had just finished freshening the carpets.
And then, THEN, when I hastily bent down in an attempt to clean my mess (or at least show how much I cared), a king-sized package of peanut butter cups, one small can of prune juice, and my beloved tube of hemorrhoidal ointment rolled out of my bag and onto the floor.

All in all, I'd have to say that the egg fiasco has been the best part of my day so far. Really, things are that good over here.

Call me crazy, but it's a nice day for hiding.

Brotherly Love and Voting

May 22, 2009

Well guys, it's official. James is completely bummed that he's having a sister--and I just can't lie, his outlook is weighing me down. Now I know full well that this will all get better with time, but for this moment, I reserve the right to feel poopy about it.

Before yesterday James talked and talked and talked some more about becoming a big brother. This kid had some really major plans that revolved around treehouses and halloween costumes. But now that he knows he's getting a dumb old sister, he's been completely tight lipped about the pending situation.

Actually, he did mention the baby one time yesterday, when he suggested that we name her "How Are You Today?" I loved his suggestion until I worked out the acronym and realized that it sounds remarkably similar to the word "hate" when said out loud.

Then, as I was putting James to bed, he threw down quite the tantrum--something I rarely see him do. Among other animated moves, he stripped down his bed, emptied his book shelves, slammed his door repeatedly (learned that one from his mother), and dumped a glass of water down the front of my shirt.

If he goes for a repeat performance tonight, I'm shipping the child to the East coast of Africa in a large, wooden crate--without hesitation. And I'm putting the "THIS END UP" stamp the wrong way. Uh huh, let's see how that little sister-hating-tantrum-thrower likes standing on his head for 4-6 weeks.

I'm not even kidding.

But let's all hope for a bedtime completely void of drama. I think I'd miss the kid.

To wrap this up, here are the family stats regarding our new discovery:

AMY--happy
JARED--shocked and overwhelmed, but happy
JAMES--pooping in his pants on purpose
MY PARENTS--very happy
JARED'S FATHER--very happy
JARED'S MOTHER--unable to contain her excitement, proclaiming the good news to the neighborhood, tripping-over-her-own two-feet happy (I'm still giggling over her reaction--absolutely priceless)

But here's the bright spot to my day, the silver lining to this dark and dismal sister cloud...we get to vote on an internet alias for this little girl!

Thank you for all of your name suggestions--they were fantastic! My expert panel of judges (thanks ladies!!!) used the magic of modern technology to narrow the choices down to about ten. Then, the super secret judge extraordinaire narrowed those down a little bit further.

If you'd like to vote, you can do so in the upper right corner of the site until next Friday at midnight.

And remember, this is a fake name for blog reference purposes only. The real name is competely up to my Mother-in-Law.

(That was just a joke, Meredith--even though I'm sure you'd do a bang up job!)

The Verdict Is In

May 21, 2009

It's a....

You know, actually, I'll just let James tell you.

This was the second take, when I was like, "C'mon buddy! Just pretend to be excited."
video

And this was the first take:

video

Oh yeah, the kid is totally thrilled.

The Sanctity of Marriage, Lawson Style

May 20, 2009

Up here in Maine, there's been a whole lot of talk surrounding gay marriage in recent weeks. And we all know that when there's talk of gay marriage we're also met with a great deal of information that deals with 'preserving the sanctity of marriage.'

Ahh the sanctity of marriage.

"What does that really mean," you might wonder? Or you could be thinking, "I would like more strong examples of the sanctity of marriage in action."

Well, without further ado, I give you:

The Sanctity of Marriage, Lawson Style

Last night, when Jared finally came home from work, that man was way beyond cranky. He was irritable and demanding, and if I didn't have a set of working eyes I would have bet money on the fact that I was talking to a constipated 90 year-old with a raging case of gout--not a level-headed 29 year-old who's been blessed with a very delicious backside.

Jared blasted through the side door sometime around 7pm, and before he even thought about putting his bag on its hook he was barking all kinds of commands at me. He was like, "Make me a dang sandwich you useless woman!" and "Get your sorry self to the grocery store this instant you big old thing!"

Or maybe it was like, "Oh bummer, I'm trying to make myself a sandwich but we're all out of turkey. I thought you were planning to grocery shop today, hun. I'm pretty hungry."

I really can't remember, but either way it was completely over the top.

He was grouchy, I was grouchy, and within fourteen minutes my husband was headed back out the door, on his way to my in-law's house--with the obvious intention of spreading nasty, horrible, and untrue rumors all about his wife.

Or maybe it was something about a Red Sox game, their big screen TV and the availability of sandwich fixins.' Again, raging case of pregnancy brain, I really can't recall.

Either way, upon his leaving, I was quite upset that Jared Lawson had failed to notice the bow in my hair, my adorable new handmade apron, the steaming hot apple pie, and my lacy thong underwear.

(Or was it a freezer burnt brownie and my Tasmanian Devil pajama pants?)

One thing is surely obvious: in this case, the details of this story are completely unimportant. I was angry, and rightfully so.

That's why I made a very difficult decision--to insert one of Jared's muddy hiking boots under the sheets, at the foot of his side of the bed. He passionately hates a set of sandy sheets, and I super hated his attitude, so the moment he slipped into bed, we could be mean and hateful together--you know, as a couple thing.

When he finally nuzzled into bed sometime around 11:30, that man was even angrier. He was all, "Amy! You put a BOOT in the stinkin' BED?! Do you even have any concept of how disgusting that is?!" Then he continued with a passionate "GEEZE!" as he hurled that very substantial piece of footwear far away from his sleeping area.

As if his overreaction alone wasn't too inappropriate to handle, that big, heavy, filthy boot landed right on the side of my face.

THE NERVE!

Of course I cried. A lot. And Jared was like, "Oh, I'm so sorry Amy. I never wanted that boot to hit you in the face."

And I was all, "Then why did you make it do that?"

And he was all, "I had a bad day, and it's way too dark to see anything. I shouldn't have taken it out on you. I'm really sorry. Really, I'm sorry. Did I mention how dark it is in here?"

And then I fell asleep smiling--because dude, I totally won.

-THE END-
You know, after writing that story I've come to realize that maybe there is some measure of truth to the whole 'sanctity' argument.
You see, there is absolutely no way that two men could ever possibly achieve that level of sanctity in a marriage relationship. They're way too calm and forgiving--and it's all due to the lack of estrogen.
(And no, I will not share my actual opinion regarding gay marriage on this blog. But c'mon--you already knew that! I don't do controversy.)

Coupons and Boobs--Almost the Same Thing

May 19, 2009

I'm all out of excuses--as much as I hate to do it, a trip to the grocery store must occur today.

As far as food goes, we've been in a bad way for almost two weeks now, but I've got to admit, it didn't really hit home until this morning when I sent Jared to work with a brown paper bag containing nothing but an almost black banana, a ten dollar bill, and his overdue parking ticket.

Jared, if you're reading this: Bon appetit, honey! Now pay yer damn parking ticket.

I'm not 100% sure why I harbor such strong, negative feelings toward grocery shopping,but if I had to guess, it has everything to do with my sister. Now I love my sister Katy to the zoo and back, but man oh man, she's intense about her groceries.

She's the type who pulls up to the checkout belt with a mountain of food, four binders filled with coupons, and a pocket full of special cards and secret reward receipts. The cashier rings her up, scratches her head, and says, "Huh, that's funny. It says here that I owe you seventeen dollars." And Katy's like, "Well, according to my calculations, you actually owe me eighteen dollars. But don't worry about it, I wouldn't want to hold up the line."

Like I said, she's intense.

And really, really friendly.

When it comes to shopping, I simply cannot, and will never compare to Katy. When I go to the supermarket I'm usually like, "Get in my cart you stupid bag of four-dollar chips. You'll make me fat AND my sister could get you for free." And then I'm all, "Ugh! I hate you SO MUCH you overpriced pint of Ben & Jerry's! Actually, I hate you so much that you're not even worth taking home. I'm gonna eat you right here in the parking lot of this Hannaford store!"

And then I just keep stomping around, cursing at the cottage cheese, and the people with ugly haircuts and big butts and whatnot.

But I do love it when there are plenty of snacks in the house.

Now seriously Jared, GO PAY YOUR PARKING TICKET!!!!

Did you guys know that some parking tickets double in price when ignored for a month or longer? These things are unbelievably expensive (well for me at least), and of course it's a woman who works in the parking office, so I can't even show her my boobs for a discount.

Boobs are so much cooler than coupons.

The Honor of All Honors

May 14, 2009

For some reason, probably fear of stalkers and candy swipers, it's all the rage to give every member of your family an alias on your blog.

Take the world famous CJane for example, she calls her husband Chup and her baby The Chief. Or Mrs. Furious--she likes to refer to her girls as Kid and Baby. And then, of course, there's me, Barbara Bettencourt Levinski. I pulled that whole Amy Lawson thing clear out of the sky, and I've got to say, for some strange reason, it just works.

More importantly, my husband LeBron and my son Amir-Rasheed feel far more secure when their legal names are kept under wraps. That's why I've been leaning on the 'Jared and James' thing for all these years--good old fashioned identity protection, that's what it really comes down to.

Welp, now that we have a little bun in the oven, the 'Lawsons' have one more thing to think about: What in the world will we name this child in real life? And more importantly, what will we call this child in blogland?

That my friends, is where you come in. Yes, you.

For the next seven days (so until Wednesday, May 20th at midnight), you will have the opportunity...no, the privilege...no, the HONOR of suggesting a blog name for this little muffin.

Here's how it will work:

1) Leave a comment on this post suggesting a boy name, a girl name, or both. Just be sure to designate which one it is.

2) On Thursday morning, after we find out if the baby's actually a boy or a girl, a fine panel of distinguished judges will select their favorite name alias suggestions.

3) We'll bring it to a 48-hour reader vote.

Now get your thinking caps on! Won't this be fun?

Suggestions go in the comment section...

The Pregnancy Diet for HOTTIES!

May 12, 2009

Last week I made the executive decision that I've been gaining weight a bit too quickly. Now you've got to understand that this wasn't a decision based purely on emotion, I actually ran the numbers. And the results? Not so pretty.

Basically, if I maintain my current rate of weight gain for the next 21 weeks of pregnancy I will ultimately come to outweigh my husband by 73 pounds, outgrow all of my maternity clothes, and have no option but to wear a 55 gallon drum and suspenders to church every Sunday.

And seriously now, what in the hell kind of shoes are you supposed to wear with a 55 gallon drum? Clogs? I don't think so.

I cannot, I repeat, CANNOT let this happen to myself.

Therefore, I have taken the initiative to change my life for the better and I've officially instituted the The Pregnancy Diet for HOTTIES! And yes, when you say it out loud, the word "HOTTIES!" should be enunciated with all sorts of pizazz. You're also encouraged to show the world your boobies...no matter what word you're saying.

This revolutionary new diet was developed in my in-house laboratory.

Yes, exactly. I made it up myself.

Over the last 4 years I've made up a number of diets, and honestly, it's been almost too much fun to handle.

First there was The Bowl Diet. Basically, I was allowed to eat anything I wanted as long as it could fit into a cereal bowl, with a 5 bowl limit per day. Let me tell you, with a little bit of drive and innovation, you'd be absolutely astonished by how many garlic & butter chicken wings fit into a bowl. I gained 6 pounds.

Then we had The Letter C Diet. In short, I could eat as much of anything I wanted as long as it started with the letter C. Take a moment and reflect on that. I gained another 6 pounds.

And then, of course there was The Low Sodium Generic V8 Dietary Supplementation Program. My most devoted readers might remember it. All you other beauties are cordially invited to click on that link up there (where you'll also learn about The Prune Diet, The Ice Water Diet, and The Jalapeno Diet).

But today, I'm not here to reflect upon past fun and failures, I'm here to forge ahead. So, without further ado, I give you The Pregnancy Diet for HOTTIES!

Step 1: Take a prenatal vitamin every day.

Step 2: Take 2 Flintstones gummy vitamins every day.

Step 3: Construct The Official Diet Chart for HOTTIES! as pictured below:


(I never said this wouldn't be technical)

Step 4: Eat whatever you want, as long as you can squeeze the description into the corresponding box. Yes, it's okay to write small. Yes, it's okay use abbreviations. No, it's absolutely never okay to write outside of the lines.*

*This is a diet you douchehead. Think hard--do you want to wear maternity jeans or the big, blue barrel we talked about? If you're not serious about this, then go get yourself a Super Value Big n' Tasty Burger with cheese, extra pickles and extra ketchup (far too long to fit inside of a box), shut yer pie hole, and be super fat. It' fine with me.

So far, by strict adherence to the plan, I've limited my weight gain to 1 pound in 2 weeks. I also managed to eat 3 whoopie pies for yesterday's afternoon snack, ingest up to 3,400 calories in a 24 hour period, and improve my overall happiness without bending a single rule.

What can I say? This plan works.

She's Skinny, She's Crafty, and No Matter How Hard I Try, I Just Can't Hate Her

May 11, 2009

How's that for a long and detailed title?

I'll be around today, so check back later. I'm too hungry to post right now.

In the mean time, never forget how much I love you--yes, I mean you Vanessa.

Vanessa Christenson is a woman who, according to that picture up there, has absolutely no trace of love handles. She is also my spicy Latina crafting muse. If you currently have (or ever did have) a uterus, you should click on over to her site. Men, don't bother--she rarely posts any bikini pics.

What can I say? That biz-natch can sew. And craft. And successfully make average women--including me--look and feel like big, fat, steaming piles of horse poo.

One thing I'll never understand about Vanessa is her love of thrift store sheets. I think I emailed her once and was like, "If you want to dress your kids in fabric that hairy old men might have had sex on top of, then that's your personal business. But dude, you're disgusting."

She emailed back saying something to the effect of, "Don't sell me short, I make clothes for myself out of those sheets, too."

I'd have to say, that was the magical moment where our e-friendship officially began.

Happy Friday

May 8, 2009 (Happy Birthday, Dad!)

Happy Friday everyone! I don't know about you, but for me, this has been one of the longest weeks ever. From our annual meeting at work, to a super emotional hearing at the Statehouse, to my greyhound letting her bladder loose in the entryway of my office building, I'm straight up done.

Yesterday afternoon, when James and I took Gracie for a walk, he ran twenty paces ahead of me proclaiming, "My Mom es in a bad move! My Mom es in a bad move!" to the entire neighborhood. I was like, "It's MOOD James! With a D at the end!" as I casually waved to our golden-aged neighbor folk.

Thankfully, thankfully, Jared and I have a date tonight. My friend Jennifer--bless her glowing and generous soul-- is watching James, while Jared and I drive to the big city to redeem our free grilled chicken meal coupons from KFC.

FUN FACT: Did you know that the biscuits from KFC radiate glimmering beams of hope? And the cole slaw improves overall mental health? Really, it's true.

If we're up for it, we'll probably cap off the meal with some primo people watching at the local WalMart. I'm not lying, I honestly can't wait--my husband Jared Lawson is so much fun to bum around with!

A perfect date, with my perfect friend, for the perfect price--$FREE.

And now I'm just curious--what do you usually like to do with your Friday night?

Happy weekend, everyone!!!

The Stats

May 7, 2008

Well that was some tricky post I wrote yesterday, huh?

It's true, I'm pregnant again. Eighteen weeks and thirteen pounds pregnant to be exact. And I'm happy to say that so far everything is so good--the baby has a nice strong heartbeat, my weight gain is pretty reasonable (at least that's what my midwife told me while I was sobbing into her shoulder last week), and the pregnancy brain is in full effect. All positive signs.

Speaking of pregnancy brain, this morning I arrived at work twelve minutes late, settled into my office chair, and immediately began attending to important, pressing business (facebook updates, personal email check, a quick visit to dairyqueen.com, etc). Approximately three minutes later I was struck with the strong and sudden urge to urinate.

I leapt up from my chair and began to awkwardly jog down the hallway when I thought to myself, "Huh. My shoes don't usually make a slapping sound like that. Weird." So I looked down at my feet, and was struck with the firm realization that I wore my slippers to work today.

I guess it's not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things--after all, they're understated. You know--pink with purple flowers, lined with fuzz, huge. Slippers schmippers, it's nothing. Really.

Just so you know, I tried and tried and tried to hold off on announcing my condition until the twenty week ultrasound. I thought it would be fun to say, "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" and leave everyone scratching their heads. I even considered waiting until the kid was born, posting a picture, and saying, "Look! It's a baby!" But, as with most things in my life, whoopie pies included, I broke down and gave in to temptation. I'm so weak like that.

I'm officialy vowing to be less secretive about my pregnancy this time around--why not have fun with it, right? So, without further ado, I give you the vital statistics:

DUE DATE: October 8, 2009
SEX: Too tired.
SEX: We don't know yet, we'll find out two weeks from today.
HOPING FOR: Either a boy or a girl--not a mix.
JAMES WANTS: A brother. Or a sister. Or a German Shorthaired Pointer.
STARTING WEIGHT: 114 (lie)
CURRENT WEIGHT: 127 (lie, lie, lie)
EXERCISE: Surprisingly good! Still running (well run/walking), getting my jumping jacks on with Jillian's Shred, and lots and lots of yard work. (not a lie)
BABY'S HEARTBEAT: 145 bpm
STATE OF MIND: 75% thrilled, 25% terrified
ASS: Huge.

So there ya go. It's official! Prayers, positive thoughts, and sun salutations on our behalf are always appreciated.

And by the way, is that a boy heartbeat or a girl heartbeat? I have no idea.

Three Things I'm Good At: Secrets, Hiding, and Misrepresentation

May 6, 2009

There are a lot of different things I like about blogging--making fun of my husband in a public forum, getting loads of compliments about my child's looks from total and complete strangers, and the occasional piece of random, adoring fan mail come to mind. But my favorite thing about blogging, my absolute favorite thing, is the fact that I can paint this little life of mine however I so chose.

I tell you what I want to tell you.

I don't tell you what I don't want to tell you.

I guess it gives me a false sense of control. Keeping secrets from readers makes me feel like I have some grasp over my hectic and very unpredictable life. Hey, it's either that or Prozac--I'll take the blog. Less sexual side effects.

My sister, who has known me (in person) for 28 years, finds this whole blog thing to be absolutely frikking hilarious. Not the stories--she's been hearing garbage like that since I learned to talk. No no, she finds pure joy in the comments that say things like:

I'm having a party next weekend and I so want you could come, but I live in Ohio. You'd liven it up for sure.
Or:

You always makes me laugh. I'd love to go shopping together. That would be the best time ever!

Or her favorite:

I wish we were real life friends.

That last one gives her cramps from laughing so hard. Really, it does. Mostly because I'm a total and complete introvert--I hate parties, I have a hard time making new friends, and generally speaking, human beings of all makes and models cause my armpits to sweat like a high powered sprinkler system.

I guess you could describe me as a girl who's got a handful of close friends, an armful of acquaintances (who make me want to poo myself from the nerves), and hides from the remainder of the world's population.

Trust me, the last thing you need is to have me at your party. I fart when I'm nervous.

This is on my mind today for one distinct reason. This afternoon, in just two short hours, I'm having lunch with someone I've never met--someone who reads my blog. Oh. The. Horror. I'm sure she's great--I have no concerns about that end of the equation. It's the 'me sucking' part that makes this whole concept a little hard to swallow.

We're meeting up to attend a hearing at the Statehouse, not just for the hell of it--so that takes the edge off. At least we'll have something to talk about. I've already thought of a few conversation starters for the plentiful moments where I'll be stumped over what to say next. For example:

So, this building we're going to, do you think it will have a brick or stucco exterior?

And:

Do you know if the chairs will be padded?

And:

That sure is a big hill over there! Don't you think!?

Oh yeah, I'm totally full of ideas. I swear, if I wasn't operating a station wagon, 18 weeks pregnant, and a Mormon, I'd have a shot or three of whiskey to take the edge off. New people scare me. And this girl? You should see her facebook profile--blond hair, sunglasses, arms, legs, a little smirk on her face--extra, extra scary.

Linsday, thanks to you, I'm going to pee all over my driver's seat today. Can't wait to meet you.

So anyway, that's that. I enjoy blogging because I can paint myself in a false light and keep all kinds of secrets from all kinds of people.

And yes, you read that correctly. I'm not just getting fat.

Bed Check

May 5, 2009

Most nights, before I go to bed, I pop my head into James's room. You know, just to make sure that he's still breathing, that he's still super cute, and that he hasn't shimmied down the drain pipe and stolen my car.

Here was the scene I walked into last night:

James cuddling with my kitchen tongs.
And let me just say that I totally get it--sometimes, when it's rainy outside, I like to set my Kitchen Aide mixer up right next to my pillow. It helps me feel loved.

Spway Dat Dog

May 4, 2009

Happy Monday, everyone. I don't know about you, but I had a really excellent weekend. Which is funny, because my husband was away all day Saturday and all day Sunday at a conference.

Huh.

On Saturday afternoon I decided to take James on a nice little hike we have right here in town. You know, since the sun was shining and I had allowed him to watch 4 simultaneous hours of semi-violent Saturday morning cartoons, I thought my kid could use a little get up and go. Also, every now and again it feels good to be a true hero in the fight against childhood obesity--or at least remain neutral.

This is how I like to look at it: 4 year old boy + 4 hours of TV + cheetos and brownies for breakfast + 2 mile hike = neutral

Right?

Right.

This is also how I like to look at it: If I can get the kid to graduate from high school, always drive a stick shift, and never need to apply for The Biggest Loser, then in my mind, I'm a raging success of a Mother.

As you can see, we have strong values and very high expectations in the Lawson family--and I try to display subtle reminders of who we are all throughout the house. Like the picture of Jesus in our entryway, or the church magazine on our coffee table, or my cross-stitched wall hanging that says "A guy who drives a car with a standard transmission, has major sex appeal. A guy who drives an automatic might as well gift wrap his privates and mail them to Siberia. That's how badly he'll be needing them."

(Uh, yeah. That craft was a ton of work.)

Anywho, James loves this particular hike. We usually do it a two or three times a month. Since I get to maintain a somewhat outdoorsy image, James gets to pee off of the six-story fire tower at the top of the trail, and Gracie is allowed to poop 12-14 times in an hour, we're all happy. It's a win, win, win if I've ever seen one.
This time, on our way down the trail, we ran into a couple with a really funny looking dog--obviously a mutt. It was either a cross between a cocker spaniel and a donkey, or black lab and a My Little Pony--very hard to tell.

As James approached the weird looking animal, an overly cautious look came across his face. He looked up at the female owner and suspiciously asked, "What dog is dis?"

I believe he was asking for the breed, but since the dog obviously had none the owner happily replied, "This is Rufus."

James pursed his lips and nodded. "Uh huh."

"What's your dog," she asked?

"She es a heyground," he replied. "Her name es Gracie and she es a heyground."

The woman giggled because, you know, greyhound...heyground, it's beyond cute if you ask me (and if you disagree, it's probably because your private parts are East of Russia and you're all worked up and cranky about it).

Then, in all seriousness, James looked up at me, pointed toward Rufus--who was panting, wagging, and I swear he was smiling--and said, "Spway dat dog, Mommy. You gotta spway dat dog."

That's right. James wanted me to give old Rufus a blast with my pepper spray--just for being ugly.

As we continued down the trail, I explained to James that pepper spray is only to be used on very angry animals or real life bad guys--not an innocent dog who could benefit from a box of hair dye and a set of braces.

He still hasn't wrapped his mind around the concept.