Rain, More Rain, and Really Big Bathing Suits

June 30, 2009

Well friends, it's still raining in Maine. If I had to venture an honest guess, I'd say we've had two or three days of sun during the entire month of June. And according to the ten-day forecast, we shouldn't expect to see the sun until next Wednesday.

Long live the summer!

Swimming lessons started yesterday, and guess what? They were cancelled. Due to thunder.

You see, up here in Maine we don't do swanky swimming lessons in indoor pools--we pay $5 for a snotty little teenager to teach our kids to swim in the lake--the 54 degree lake. As of yet, swimming lesson are still a go for today--you know, with scattered showers and a high of 57.

In honor of the next three weeks, I taught James the word "hell." As in, "This lake is cold as a frozen chunk of hell," and "Why in the hell do you do this to me, Mom?" I'm hoping the extended vocabulary takes the edge off of his discomfort--I know it always works for me.

Oh, and geeze, I almost forgot to mention that James's 4-year-old group lesson is described in the flyer as a "parental involvement class."

Joy above joys.

Not only do I get the opportunity to shiver my cellulite off, but I also have the rare and unique chance to show my half-naked pregnant body to James's friends' parents, a handful of neighbors, and our adorable teenage babysitter (just one more reason not to have sex in high school, honey!).

I mean, don't get me wrong here, I'm all for walking out to the mailbox in my underpants--there's just something about the size large maternity tankini that makes me want to hide. Behind my 45 pound son.

So there ya go. Yay summer!!!

Pregnancy Sass

June 29, 2009

For the first time in my life I can honestly say that I've become a head turner--double takes, triple takes, eyes the size of dinner plates, I get them all.

And it's probably not because I'm hot.

I personally think it has a lot more to do with the fact that lately I've preferred to exercise in the broad daylight, in a bright yellow volunteer t-shirt, that somehow makes me look pregnant in my ass and in my tea kettle.

Couple that with my very shiny spandex pants, and folks, I've become the stuff that highly disturbing dreams are made of.

Just this past weekend, after my run, when I was still in my skin tight get up, James told our neighbor that, "My Mom might have twins. Dat means two babies. She got one in her tummy and maybe one in her bum."

Thank you, James. Thank you so, so much.

Prior to this pregnancy, I wondered, on an almost daily basis, why so many larger-sized people seem to love to wear spandex pants. Now my friends, I completely understand. It's not about the love--it's comfortable, it fits, now shut your mouth and get out of my way or I'll eat you faster than a peanut butter cup.

That's why.

I think it's funny when strangers stop my on the street to say things like, "Look at you exercising! You're so cute!" I just keep plodding along and I'm like, "Cute? I'm not so cute, I'm so hungry. And so full of pee. But thank you. Have a nice day."

Last night, I had a very different reaction from a very strange stranger. She was moping along in the rain, smelling like booze, letting her puppy poop all over the middle of the sidewalk (my pet peeve beyond all pet peeves). As I approached her, I stepped off the sidewalk to run on the shoulder of the road--partly to be polite, and mostly to avoid a run in with the dog doo.

When we were almost shoulder to shoulder, I offered a casual smile and she offered me the following comment: "You're gonna shake your baby and give it brain damage from runnin' like that."

I was confused and honestly thought I'd heard wrong, so I stopped, removed my earbuds and said, "I'm sorry, what?"

"You're givin' your baby brain damage from that."

"From what," I snottily demanded.

"From running," she said.

"Oh my word," I replied back, "I didn't realize that. Are you an obstetrician," I asked?


"A pediatrician," I offered?


"A child development expert?"

"No," she replied.

"So I guess that means you're just super opinionated," I confirmed?


"Geesh," I said, "You know? I'm not even pregnant. Show how much you know." (I threw it out there for dramatic effect)

She eyed me up and down, found that be very confusing, huffed, and kept on walking.

That line--the "I'm not even pregnant" line?--hasn't failed me yet, and honestly, I never expect that it will.

Today I'm feeling slightly to moderately guilt ridden for being such a sassy mouth to a total and complete stranger. Maybe she was having a bad day. Maybe she had just worked a double, dropped her paycheck in the mud, and had her hat stolen by an angry bird. I guess I'll never know.

I'm sorry random lady.

He May be Gone, But He'll Always Creep Me Out

June 26, 2009

I'm still sitting in the supply closet, using the computer that seems to have been salvaged from the Sputnik Space Shuttle in 1957. Now if I could just manage to find a poodle skirt and a pair of roller skates, I'd be all the rage.

So it's June 26, 2009 and Michael Jackson is no longer with us. And no, this will most certainly not become one of my heartfelt and contemplative posts.

I'm not planning to mince words here, folks--that man thoroughly creeped me out. From the Neverland Ranch, to the 493 nose jobs (which he claimed he never had), to the baby named Blanket, I simply never got Michael Jackson.

I got that the moonwalk was cool, and I got that Man in the Mirror was a tear jerker of a song, I even got the King of Pop title. But Michael? Above all else, you gave me the willies.

(Now his sister on the other hand, the one with the bangin' legs who let her hooter slip out at the Super Bowl? She remains on my cool list.)

I still remember the very first time he skeeved me out. I must have been three years old, and I was listening to the 'Thriller' record in our teeny, little living room. I picked up the album cover (click here to see the artifact first hand), locked eyes with Michael, and cried when I realized that a tiny, mini version of that guy was dancing around inside of my record album. (Remember? When you were three? And you thought a miniature band was actually playing instruments inside the vinyl?... No? You don't? Well you suck.)

I hid the album cover under the couch and cried for three days straight. Then I cried for three more days. And three days after that. But I guess the extended crying was due to the fact that I was a pain-in-the-ass of a child--not because of any Michael induced fears.

But really now, even with all of my personal childhood behavior issues aside, after he lost the afro and the babyface, Michael Jackson became one seriously creepy dude.

In spite of the fact that he induced heebie-jeebies like no other person on the planet, I'm still sorry for Michael Jackson and his family that his life was cut short at the age of 50. Any way you slice it, that's way too young to die. And any other way you slice it, he was a revolutionary musician in his day.

So rest in peace Michael Jackson, may you stay on my radio, but out of my dreams for the rest of eternity.

Laptop Down

June 26, 2009

Well guys, I'm down one laptop--at least until the end of this week. The situation has left me typing this message on a six-year-old desktop, which happens to be half the size of Mississippi. I would also like to note that I'm sitting in the supply closet.

According to my very scientific calculations, I'm half a step above a homeless pirate sending handwritten messages in an empty rum bottle.

At least this computer monitor outweighs me. Not many things do these days, so it's going a really long way in the self esteem department. I'm actually thinking about dumping this thing in a grocery cart, pushing it around town, and stopping random strangers to ask questions like, "Excuse me, ma'am? Does this monitor make me look skinny?" or "Do you think a laptop would make my bum look fat?"

That's my long way of saying that I might not be on much this week.

And please, if I never write again, be sure to watch Wipeout tonight. It will change your life for the better. I promise.

Marsha and the Grumpy Old Man

June 22, 2009

Welp, it's been raining for one week straight, and according to the almighty internet, this weather's not planning to go anywhere for the next eight days.

The rain's fine. Honestly, it doesn't bother me much--hopefully it'll help my grass seed sprout. But the people? Ay yi yi, welcome to the world of cranky old New Englanders. They're elderly, they're salty, and when they weather fails to meet their specifications, they'll give you the finger in the grocery store just because they feel like it.

Earlier this morning, I stopped at our little, local bank. I was standing in a line of three, waiting to return a key (no seriously, the banks here loan out keys to their back doors for after hours use of the conference rooms), when a 80-something man hobbled in with his walker.

He cut straight to the front of the line, leaving a pregnant girl (me), a super old woman (my neighbor), and a middle-aged lady with a very antsy child in the dust of his orthopedic shoes. Again, no big deal. For all I know, this guy could have fought off Nazi forces on the beaches of Normandy, and if that's the case--and I just decided to assume that it was--he can cut me in line all day long.

And really, I would have sent him ahead of me anyway. Not only does it make me look like an exemplary citizen and score me a handful of heaven points, but that man probably would have limped out of there and taken a leak in my gas tank if I had the nerve to do my banking ahead of him.

So he pushed his way to the front of the line and slowly began his transaction. A minute later, I could hear the teller wrapping it up:

"Anything else I can do for you today, Mr. Smith," she asked? (I didn't catch his name)


"Well I hope you enjoy your day," she replied with a smile.

"A day like today," he demanded? "Kiss my ass, Marsha."

Marsha didn't flinch. He must be a regular customer. And as for me? It's two hours later and I'm still snickering about the incident in my office.

It's official, my day has been made!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day to the best Dad on the planet. If you think that's up for argument, then take a look at this:
It's a recap of my second grade Christmas vacation, and it says:

This past vacation it was Christmas. My favorite present was a dollhouse I got from my Dad. He built it himself and he said to me it was a lot of work, and I said I love it and I gave him a big hug and he said that there's 3,000 shingles on it. And I really do love it.

Did your Dad ever make you a dollhouse with 3,000 shingles for Christmas? Right, yeah, I didn't think so.

As I was sifting through my old journals today, trying to find something to post, I was really blown away by entry after entry after entry that said something like, "This weekend we went out on the boat," or "This weekend we went camping," or this weekend we went to see a show in New York," or "This weekend we tried to catch a fish."

When I was a kid, we somehow managed to have more fun every weekend than most kids have in an entire summer and get our backsides to church. I'm still scratching my head over how he pulled it all off.

My dad can build anything, fix anything, and figure out any mechanical thing in three to five seconds flat--no instructions required. He's built additions, kitchen cabinets, bird houses, old motors, decks, swing sets, and just about anything else you can imagine--in his own house, my sister's house, and in mine. When it comes to 'the way things work,' he is, by far, the smartest, most intuitive person I've ever met.

My Dad taught me how to play the drum set in sixth grade.

My Dad threatened to pull my bottom lip over the top of my head if I ever missed my curfew by four minutes ever again.

My Dad took me to Disney World three times when I was growing up.

My Dad bought me bagels every Sunday.

My Dad is nice to everyone.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! I sure do love you!

Late Night Musings

June 19, 2009

Happy Friday, everyone. I don't know how the weather's holding up in your neck of the woods, but it's pouring buckets up here, and it's not slated to stop until Sunday.

Please understand that the previous statement wasn't meant to be taken as a complaint, but merely as a statement of fact. Regular old rain is nothing--you won't hear me complain until the sky opens up and starts dropping cat poo or flavored cream of wheat. I really hate cream of wheat.

Last night, it was raining so hard that I was startled awake in a super confused stupor--which is more common than I care to admit these days. Last week for example, I startled myself awake when I became frustrated with our sticky deadbolt lock. Apparently I was on my way to check in on our elderly neighbors. Huh.

So last night, I woke up to the sound of the rain, I turned to Jared and said, "I hate big cats. If I ever see a mountain lion walking through our yard, I swear I'll kill it."

"No you wouldn't."

"Yes I would," I spat back. "I don't care if it's lying around licking its paws, I'll shoot it."

"No you wouldn't."

"Jared," I said, "If it could kill James, and it's in my yard, then I'm shooting it."

"What about a bear," he asked? "What would you do if a bear walked through our yard?"

"A bear," I repeated? "I'd probably tie a giant bow around its neck and hug it for an hour."

It was the middle of the night, it made perfect sense.

Jared and the Hairy Eyeball

June 18, 2009
(photo courtesy of James)

If you've ever met my husband in person, you know full well that he has some of the largest eyes in the history of all mankind. If his head weighs approximately eight pounds (which according to Google, it does), then I'd have to estimate that his eyeballs alone account for forty-eight ounces of that mass.

What you might not know is that Jared possesses the unique and deplorable ability to throw some incredibly hairy eyeballs with those suckers.

Seriously, if there was some sort of a local hairy eyeball competition in our region, I'd sign Jared up in a heartbeat. You know, I might even spend the prize money before he won it--that's how confident I am in his ability to dominate such an event.

I don't know why, but this morning my husband was in a particularly sensitive mood. Jared's famous expressions were being thrown around like candy from a parade float, and finally, when he had tossed out one too many 'I wonder how far I could toss you' looks, I was like, "USE YOUR WORDS, MAN! USE YOUR WORDS!"

Far be it from me to leave you starving for any details of our personal, marital business--so, without further ado, here is a three act play to recaps a few of this morning's fine interactions:

Jared and the Hairy Eyeball
by Amy B. Lawson


Setting: 5:30am, in bed.

AMY: Good morning, Jared!
JARED: Marrying you was the worst mistake I have ever made in my life. You, Amy Lawson, are my Everest. [said silently with his eyes]


Setting: Jared is taking a shower while Amy is brushing her teeth.

AMY: I need to get some cash so I can pay the babysitter today.
JARED: Why are you getting a babysitter again?
AMY: So I can go to an afternoon meeting.
JARED: How much do you pay her, anyway?
AMY: I pay her $6.50 an hour...half of her age.
JARED: [craning his neck from behind the shower curtain like an angry turtle in heat] That peasant deserves no more than a package of Ramen Noodles and the change in my back pocket! [said silently with his eyes]
AMY: That's what I pay her, Jared. You have to deal with it.
JARED: I wonder where I can bury you in our yard. [said silently with his eyes]


Setting: Amy is handing Jared his lunch in the kitchen.

JARED: Did you pack leftover pasta for my lunch?
AMY: Yup.
JARED: You know I don't have a microwave in my office, Amy.
AMY: So eat it cold. I promise that you won't die from unhappiness.
JARED: My spirit died from unhappiness the moment I said 'I do.' [said silently with his eyes]

--The End--

I hope you enjoyed my play. If the three act version is an off-Broadway hit, I'm hoping for an offer to produce the eighteen-act version. Trust me, I have more than enough material. And it's all from this morning.


June 16, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, I tip my hat to all of you.

I wish, more than anything, that I had enough loose change under my couch cushions to buy forty-three whoopie pies and mail them all over the country to every single person who entered my most amazing contest.

But the truth is, I'm not that well off. Even if I had that kind of change, I wouldn't use it on whoopie pies for strangers--I'd use it on McChicken sandwiches for myself.

I know. Sometimes the truth hurts. I'm sorry.

So, now that all of your feelings are hurt, and without furter ado, I'd like to award two whoopie pies to my dear friend from Texas. The one who wrote this flowing little gem:

I wish the Barbie Doll was more of a piglet like me...with hairy legs, orange juice spilled on her shirt, and a skirt riding up between her legs because of that nasty static cling. Maybe then, I wouldn't feel the need to stick a light bulb up her ass and light her beach house on fire.

I chose Rachel's entry for three distinct reasons...

1. I can relate to those sentances. Barbie's such a ho--and I'm so super jealous of her.
2. Rachel guilted me into the victory with light to moderate stalking.
3. Rachel incorporated the word "ass" into her comment.

So there ya go, Rach! Congratulations!

Please send me your address so I can mail your prize and steal yard maintenance tools out of your garage.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

June 16, 2009

The lucky winner of the whoopie pie giveaway will be posted sometime this evening--after I get home from work, after I eat dinner, and after I mow the lawn (which could take a while, because seriously, that dern pull-cord was made to be my nemesis). Oh and after Jared gets home, too--he likes to have input when it comes to the big decisions in our marriage.

Stay tuned.

A Super Sweet Giveaway!

June 13, 2009

I don't do giveaways--mostly because I stink at going to the post office.

But guess what? I'm about to do a giveaway!

Based on the emails spilling out of my inbox this morning, there are many people in many parts of this country who love a good whoopie pie. As such, the winner of the giveaway will win not one, but two whoopie pies from the best whoopie pie bakery in the whole, wide world.

All you have to do is this: Leave a comment on this post that successfully incorporates four of the following words.

Orange Juice
Barbie Doll
Light Bulb
Beach House

There's a two sentence maximum, my favorite comment wins (totally fair), and the contest ends Monday night at 8pm Eastern Standard Time.

Now go!

A Gentle Reminder for Jared

June 12, 2009

Happy Friday, everyone! It's been a pretty good week up here in our neck of the woods, but I can't lie, I'm still glad it's over. I'm tired these days, and kind of achy, too.

Every time I refer to the dull soreness in my back or my pelvis or my tail bone, my husband politely tells me to make an appointment and come down to his office, he can fit me in at 3 o'clock. I'm like, "Seriously Jared? I need to drive all the way to your office?! Can't you just make this go away over the phone with a handful of pixie dust and three snaps up?"

He's like, "No."
And I'm all, "Do you know how much we paid for your schooling?"

And typically, that's his cue to go fishing--where the woods are free of women and the animals don't talk.

Even though I only work part-time, and I sit on my can while I'm doing it, there's something about holding down a job, living on a $200-a-month grocery budget, being pregnant, and constantly negotiating with a 4-year-old that takes it right out of me.

If you don't believe me, you should see my house.

For selfish reasons alone, I'm still cooking and baking like a champ. But for another set of selfish reasons, I've completely given up all chores that involve squatting, bending, or lifting in any capacity.

Really, you should see my house.

Jared, bless his heart, couldn't seem to care less. Three times a week he comes home from an eleven hour day and when I hear the door open, I yell to him from my couch. I'm like, "Hi Jared! I love you! Try not to step in the gum on the dining room floor! And I'm sorry about that banana!"

And do you know what he does? Seriously, do you know how this man reacts??? He ignores the mess, asks me how my day was, and tells me I look beautiful.

So blessed. So so blessed. On a typical night my heart swells, I shake my head in disbelief, and I'm like, "Jared? Why are you so good to me?"

And he's all, "Because you're the only woman on this entire planet who I'm allowed to do it with. I really have to stay on your good side."

If nothing else he's honest. And the man's got a point, a completely valid point.

Very recently, Jared started working out of a second location which happens to be right across the street from a knock-your-socks off whoopie pie bakery. These particular whoopie pies were featured on Oprah's famous "Favorite Things" episode, and let me tell you, that's right where they belong.

In case you're not from around here, and unfamiliar with whoopie pies, allow me to explain: They're kind of like an Oreo, but they're made out of cake, they're the size of my [really big] head, and the filling is made out of little bits of saturated heaven cloud. They pack somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 calories a piece, and I love them.

They come in red velvet, and peanut butter chocolate, and original, and raspberry--and seriously, I love them. Can you tell?

Jared, bless his heart again, has yet to bring one of those big ol' beauties home for me.

So today honey, if you're reading this, I'd like to issue a gentle reminder that you are right--I am in fact the only women on this entire planet that you're allowed to get it on with.

Happy weekend, everyone!

This and That

June 11, 2009

Today I have a random spattering of this and that. Here goes:

1. Jared had a really nice, long talk with our tattoo neighbor yesterday afternoon. Apparently he has no face tattoos, no facial piercings, and looks a helluva lot like Danny Gokey from American Idol. Turns out the guy charges $150 and hour, used the word "upscale" more than once during the conversation, and plans to use the space as an art gallery several nights a month.

I am happy to say that I'm once again breathing on my own, without the assistance of any medical machinery or CPR.

2. A big thank you for all of your input on the 4th of July float. Thanks to all of your fabulous and inspirational ideas, the final (and incredible) float idea came to me in a dream. Rather than trying to explain it, I've provided you with a truly exceptional sketch:
That's Uncle Sam in an xray machine. Got it? Can you see it? My master plan is to have Uncle Sam, Honest Abe, The Statue of Liberty, and some other very important American patriots all wearing their own xray apparatus. They'll walk along side a pickup truck where a few very happy volunteers will throw all sorts of memorable items to the captivated crowd.


3. If you're a good person who wants to make the world a better place, you should click here.

4. I ate half of a bag of Cheetos last night while I sat on the couch and watched WipeOut. That is the greatest show in the world, and it was the greatest night of my life.

5. I have officially made the move from running in races to volunteering for races. I have my first half-marathon volunteer meeting tonight and dude, I'm so psyched up! I'm definitely planning to wear my sweats and bring my ipod. And then, on race day, there's no question that I'll win my age group in cone setting upping and runner registration.

Happy Thursday, everyone.

Colorful New Neighbors

June 10, 2009

Anytime you go into business for yourself, there are risks. They range from small things like choosing the wrong paint color, to the big things like losing cash, assets, your house, your credit score, your shirt--you know, the stuff you can't take to heaven with you anyway.

On the other hand, when you go into business for yourself, there are some pretty serious benefits, too. For example, it's 100% guaranteed that you'll never be laid off, no one ever has to approve your vacation plans, and there's absolutely no question as to whether or not you'll be able to attend your son's school presentation at 2:15 on a Tuesday--and that memory, the one of my kid spelling the word barn with the letters F-A-R-T, that's sure to carry over into the afterlife.

Ups and downs, goods and bads-- it's just like everything else in life.

This week, Jared and I have been faced with a bump, a down, a trial, a poopastic hand of cards--call it what you will. But, bu-ut, I'm bound and determined to be a good sport, make the very best of this situation, and work it in our favor.

When we leased Jared's office space, he was sandwiched between two upscale hair salons and adjacent to the funkiest restaurant in town. Excellent. He was across the street from an eye doctor, who's next door to a wine & gift shop, who's next door to a pizza shop. Also excellent.

We knew we were taking a risk, moving into a downtown area that wasn't completely thriving, but definitely on the upswing. "Let's be part of the solution," we thought, "let's do it." So we signed the lease, hung our shingle, and commenced with the cracking of backs.

After we moved in and starting giving driving directions to Jared's patients over the phone, we learned something new--we weren't renting the old Greyhound Bus building like we'd previously thought, we were actually inhabiting the former space of an adult book store. According to his baby-boomer patient base, it was "the best damn dirty bookshop this city's ever seen."

The word on the street tells us that it's also been a shoe store and a computer training center. Anyway you slice it, thank goodness we ripped out the carpeting. Anywho, we love our former XXX book store location. The renovations are beyond beautiful and so far, it's serving us quite well.

But here comes the challenge...

About a month ago, the hair salon to the right of Jared's office up and left for new rental space. Fair enough, but I was bummed. After all, they were fantastic haircutters and really fun neighbors for Jared--but most of all, that FOR LEASE sign was freaking me out big time.

Deep in my heart I was hoping to see a candy shop or a high-powered personal injury attorney move in next door, but, as with most things in life (including my bowels and bladder), this situation was totally and completely out of my control.

Welp, yesterday afternoon, Jared had the pleasure (no seriously, he says that they were super, super nice) of meeting the two young men who will be opening their business right next door. Their names are Something and Something Else (Jared sucks with names), and they're tattoo artists.

When Jared called to tell me, I was like, "WHHHAAATTTT!!!!????" Then, after I had a chance to catch my breath and sop the urine off my kitchen floor, our conversation went something like this...

JARED: I swear Amy, they seem like great guys.
ME: Great guys who are naming their tattoo parlor 'Discount Scrotum Art' or great guys who are naming their tattoo parlor 'Main Street Ink?'
JARED: I don't know, I didn't ask.
ME: Well there's a big difference between those names Jared.
JARED: Right now the contractor is painting the walls bright red. But don't worry, it's not an evil red.
ME: Red? Oh geesh! What's their sign look like? Are we talking a spray-painted boob on a hunk of plywood, Jared?
JARED: I don't know, it's not up yet.
ME: Did they learn how to tattoo while incarcerated?
JARED: Okay, that's enough.

And the conversation went on for about sixty-two more minutes.

So, I've slept on it, and I'm feeling a whole lot better this morning. Tattoos schmattoos--as long as it's not a dive, this whole situation should be fine. And based on the not-cheap rent they're probably paying, and super-cheap rent they could have gotten one block away, I think it's safe to assume that these are upscale tattoos--no Bic pens involved.

With that said, I have made a list. It's my list of great things about working next to a tattoo shop.

1. I like tattoos.
2. I love Kat Von D.
3. Maybe they'll make this place into another tv show.
4. Perhaps tattoo artists have terrible backs and excellent insurance coverage.
5. I think that tattoo artists and clean-cut Mormon chiropractors are a virtual match made in heaven as far as friendship goes.
6. Maybe these guys have fantastic wives who will want to be my friends.
7. I bet they're fun.
8. Maybe I'll have them pierce my nose.
9. I need some spice in my life.
10. Increased traffic is never a bad thing, right?

Go ahead, give me an 11, 12, 13, and 14 in the comment section. Please. Please?
Thank you.

...and this officially concludes the hundreth post in my ongoing series of negitive-nelly musings. Tomorrow? Unabashed happieness-- I guarentee it.


June 8, 2009

Obviously, I need your help.

Today, since Jared is out of town fishing, I took the liberty of signing up his business (a chiropractic office) to enter a float into the frignormously huge 4th of July Parade that passes right by his office.

Even though it promises to provide buttloads of free advertising to a captive audience of thousands, I absolutely guarantee that he will detest this idea--after all, he hates all manner of holiday fun.

I signed him up on a whim, without any plan of attack, and this is where I need your help.

I need ideas for a float, a TASTEFUL float, that will leave the masses lining up for chiropractic care from the dashing Dr. Lawson.

Here's are my guidelines:

1. It must be catchy.

2. It can be funny, but definitely not inappropriate--that's what this blog is for. As much as it saddens me, I will not even entertain the idea of incorporating potty humor into our fantastic 4th of July parade float.

3. As much as I like the idea of oiling the roads or love-tapping innocent bystanders with our vehicle, we cannot injure people as a means of getting them into our office.

4. No, no, no--we won't drive the Blazer.

5. Nothing bigger than a tractor trailer truck (I'm laughing out loud over here).

6. Yes, we can throw things to the crowd.

Now please, please, please...HELP ME!!!

Screw You, Murphy

June 8, 2009

Just so you know, if your car ever happens to get towed in Portland, Maine, it's $95 to get it out of the impound lot. And they only take cash. In exact amounts.

The price stands firm whether or not there were signs indicating that it was, in fact, a tow-away zone. The guessing keeps it interesting, I suppose--kind of like playing Russian Roulette with your weekly grocery money.

While you wait for your husband to retrieve the vehicle at 9pm on a Saturday night, your overtired 4-year-old might just stand on top of a table at a Subway restaurant, play dead behind the sandwich artists' station, and hug a very boisterous homeless woman tightly around the waist (with his head resting comfortably at her crotch).

Meanwhile, at home, your dog--you know, the one with a severe case of canine IBS?--is likely to be losing the contents her intestines all over your kitchen, den, and the 100% genuine wool rug on your living room floor. Really now, who can blame her? You are, after all, running an hour or two late.

The next morning, your child will probably wake up with a nasty, nasty hacking cough that sounds remarkably similar to the homeless woman's (not that there's anything wrong with that). You'll scrub your rug for at least 90 minutes, deem it unsalvagable, and your husband will leave on an overnight fishing trip because hello cruel world!, he needs to get away from it all.

Chances are, you'll eat 9 brownies before dinner because honestly, IS THERE A FREAKING POINT TO TRYING TO STAY SKINNY THESE DAYS? Since you're an above-average mother, you'll decide to share one of those treats with your 4-year-old boy, only to realize that he just ate the mocha one, flavored with 100% genuine Colombian dark roast coffee.

He will stay up until 10:30pm rearranging the artwork on his walls, changing his bedding (twice), and reorganizing the contents of his dresser drawers--all the while, wearing nothing but rubber underpants and a Christmas tie.

Eventually he will fall asleep, you will fall asleep, and your dog will have an acute intestinal flare-up at 2:15 in the morning. At least it's a beautiful night for a walk.

How was your weekend?

Running While Pregnant: The Truth Revealed

June 5, 2009

Well friends, I've officially found myself in a place I never thought I'd be--running while legitimately pregnant. In the past I've run until I was 11 weeks along or 17 weeks along, but this time around I'm almost 23 weeks along and I see no end in sight. I'm beyond showing, my sweat smells like garbage, and despite this exercise, my thighs are still covered in an inch-thick layer of cellulite. I'm the real deal if I've ever seen it, and let me tell you, the real deal is just about as pretty as Al Roker in a bedazzled tube top.

In other words, not so much.

I'm not sure if it's the endorphin high that keeps me going or maybe deep down I enjoy being heckled by gangs of dirty little skateboard punks, but either way you slice it, I can't seem to help myself.

Just last night, I huffed and puffed past a group of high school aged skaters and offered up a friendly little wave. When I was ten paces past the group I heard three skateboard decks hit the pavement and all kinds of hideous, half-brained laughing. I looked back over my shoulder and sure enough three of the burnouts were imitating me--bellies sticking out, legs kicking in every direction, arms flailing like drunk monkeys.

I must say, to an outside observer, their impression was dead on. But I'm pregnant, and I was tired, and it goes without saying that I was in no mood for the highest form of flattery. So instead of ignoring my three young friends I stopped dead in my tracks, turned to face them, calmly removed my headphones and said, "Guys, I'm pregnant. Do you know what hormones are?"

They nodded.

"Well," I continued, "my hormones are totally out of control right now. Seriously, I'm crazy. Do I look crazy to you?"

They shook their heads.

"Well thank you, but I am," I kindly offered. "And if I ever catch you making fun me again I will kill you dead."

They nodded. I waddled off. From this point forward I expect them to remove their hats and genuflect when I pound past them.

The fact that I subject myself to all manner of ridicule is funny because really, I kind of hate running. Sure I've been doing it for fifteen years straight, but honestly, it sucks. It's really hard, I don't look anything like Carmen Electra, and at my current rate of progress, I'll never ever be able to bounce a quarter off my backside. Yet I continue on--pregnant or not, I just keep on running.

On that upbeat note, I'd like to reveal some truths and debunk some myths about running while pregnant. So here goes:

#1. If you run while your pregnant, there's a good chance that you might pee yourself. TRUE!

Last week, I was running down Main Street and saw a set of Mormon missionaries walking in my direction. Obviously, in an effort to impress the two handsome young men, I picked up the pace from a 12 minute mile to a 9 minute mile.

And then I peed myself.

#2. Running while pregnant will keep your weight gain at a reasonable level. FALSE!

I'm so fat.

#3. Exercising while pregnant might help prevent constipation. TRUE!

Maybe that's why I do it--beats the hell out of an enema.

#4. Running while pregnant will keep the aches and pains at bay. FALSE, FALSE, FALSE!!!!

If anything, running brings 'em out. Most nights, when I come home from my 3 miler I can walk about as well as my 87-year-old neighbor lady. My low back seizes up and it kind of feels like I've been stabbed in the pubic bone with a serving fork. Jared (my chiropractor husband) told me to flip-flop my run-walk ratio from 70/30 to 30/70. I told him to get in ma belly.

He told me, "Fine. If you won't take more walk breaks, then need to buy a maternity belt to support that thing." So, being the bargain hunter I am, I searched "Belly Bra" on Ebay.

And a pages full of theses things popped up:
"Really Jared? How could this possibly help my running?"
And call me crazy, but if coffee's against my religion, then there's a good chance that the belly bra is, too.

Turns out, he had something more like this in mind:
I was like, "Screw you, Jared! Why don't you just tell me we're going on a surprise trip and trick me into an assisted living facility while you're at it!?" I don't care who goes by "Doctor" in this marriage, I'm not wearing a frigging leotard.

We finally compromised on something more like this:
Sexy and functional. Well there.

#5. Running through pregnancy will make delivery a snap.

I'll be sure to let you know.

And that's all I've got. If you're 4 weeks along, a dedicated runner, and just Googled the term "Running While Pregnant," please accept my apologies. I hope this doesn't discourage you from pursuing your wildest dreams. Just be sure to wear your belly bra snug and low at the hips, and remember, peeing yourself isn't all that bad. It's pooping yourself that you want to avoid--and even I haven't done that....yet.

Bye Bye Happiness

June 4, 2009

If I happen to seem a little extra cranky this week, it's all because of Mister Market. Actually, it's all because of the lack of Mister Market. Yes, that's right, my local grocery store has closed its doors and the replacement won't be opening until the very end of July.

This is freaking torture.

Sure we have one drug store and a convenience store in town, but for the next two months the closest actual grocery store is just over ten miles away--and when you're knocked-up, overly demanding, and hungry like a hippo (as I am), that's just too darn far.

Back in the good old days, when I wanted to eat an entire rotisserie chicken all by myself, I'd hop in the car, drive two miles round trip, bring that sucker back to my office, and that was that. But now, now, it's a twenty mile ordeal--and not just for precooked chicken, that goes for Cool Whip and Mediterranean Olives and Croutons, too.

Dang. It.

Let's take yesterday for example, when I was asked to bake eight pans of my famous brownies from scratch. I happily drove the twenty miles, swung by the grocery store, and came home with enough cocoa powder and margarine to give an elephant the runs. I fastened my apron, dusted off my KitchenAid, and as I began to sort my ingredients I almost fainted from the horror of my unwelcome discovery--I was completely out of salt.

Not a mother lovin' speck of it in the entire house.

Usually, I'd calm down, take a pee, and drive to Mister Market, but there was NO MORE MISTER MARKET TO DRIVE TO!!! So I did the next best thing--I drove to my mother-in-law's house, tiptoed in through the side door, stole three sandwich bags (I put the extra two in my purse), and siphoned her salt for my own personal use.

Unfortunately, I was caught.

My mother-in-law was like, "Amy, what're you doing?"

And I was all, "Who? Me? Hi? I need some salt for a recipe."

"Oh," she replied, "just take the whole container."

"No," I insisted! "I couldn't take your provisions at a time like this!" Then I put my right hand on her left shoulder, looked her bang in the eye, and said, "Mister Market has closed, this is no time time be hoarding supplies. I'll only take what I need."

She agreed.

Now everyone here knows full well that I steal groceries from my in-law's pantry on a regular basis--everything from peppercorns to twelve-pound turkeys--but in the past I've only stolen those items for the adrenaline rush, never out of necessity. And let me tell you, necessity is a beyotch.

I mean seriously, which of these scenarios is more humiliating?

Scenario A...
MOTHER-IN-LAW: Amy, why is that pork loin in James's backpack?
ME: Because I want it in there.


Scenario B...
MOTHER-IN-LAW: Amy, I think a jar of Fluff just fell out of the leg of your pants.
ME: I'm so sorry! We need that Fluff or else we'll starve and die! Please forgive me!

Um yeah, definitely the second one.

Please--you know who you are--spare me the comments that say things like, "Try living FIFTY miles from the grocery store!" or "Do you know how many miles I have to ride my horse to buy a box of generic Tampons? It's even farther for the name brand kind!"

You did that to yourself, ladies. We bought a house that was one mile away from Mister Market on purpose--I know myself.

My grocery store was ripped out from under me, and my joy went right along with it.

I'm hungry.

For Grandma

June 3, 2009

Mom, you're about to become a very happy woman.


If you feel compelled to write a thank you note, you can send it to my mother-in-law.
Dreams do come true.

The Lawsons do Church

June 1, 2009

If you ever happen to be passing through Maine in search of a deep, spiritual experience, please, please, please do your best to satiate the urge by hugging a tree or something--not by sitting behind us in church. I don't know what it is, but my little family possesses the uncanny ability to send the Holy Spirit running from a room faster than the devil himself on propane powered roller blades.

Take this past Sunday for example, when James slyly inserted a yellow highlighter and a bic pen into each of his nostrils, stood on the pew, faced backwards, and displayed his accessories for approximately 70% of the congregation to take in.

Most of them seemed to enjoy the show. Some of them clearly did not.

This, I should mention, all happened after James piped up during the preliminary meditative part asking, "Mom? Can I pee on dat pwant over dere?"

"No," I whispered. "If you need to pee, I'll take you to use the potty."

"Well," he half-shouted, "is it okay if I poop on dat pwant instead?"

To which I replied, "James, do you know what a spanking is?"

To which he replied, "Don't spank me, Mommy. Spank my monkey instead," as he held up the miniature plush monkey from his Noah's Ark playset.

Really now, please don't sit behind us. For the benefit of everyone, we seem to need our space.