Seriously people, don't try this
sha-diz-nit at home!
March 12, 2007

Welp, I came home to a very, very bored husband. He was lying on the couch flipping back and forth between Desperate Housewives and a televangelist. This sort of behavior is generally indicative of a serious situation. Jared looked up at me, let out a really desperate sigh and said, "Amy...I'm just so bored." I could tell he was, and I wanted to help.

I decided that we'd put James to bed and during teeth brushing, book reading, face washing, and pajama on-putting I could brainstorm. So all through the nigh-night routine I was trying to come up with a comprehensive list of boredom busters for married couples. I was thinking "Board games? No....Closet cleaning? Heck no....Sex? Ha!...Dog brushing? Too messy....High kick contest? Oh yeah! OH YEAH!"

So after James was in his crib, we walked into our room and I shared my gem-of-an-idea with Jared. I tried to stay cool and curb my enthusiasm, as we'd never held this particular type of contest in our household before. I casually said, "Hey, what about a high kick contest?" Jared's like, "Cool." and he offered up the first high kick. I snarfed a little bit at his measely effort and said "that's all you've got?" And the next thing you know, I'd outdone him.

The kicks went back and forth a couple of times and we were getting more and more serious with each swing of the leg. After about three rounds we started in with the big challenges. Jared held his hand at about belly button level and was like "Yo, you totally can't kick my hand." [side note: we suck at kicking]. So I was like, "Oh, just watch me!" And I kicked his stinking hand with no problem-o. He did the belly button level kick, too so we moved right on to the chest level kick. Surprisingly, with lots of determination and grunting, we both beat this level on our first tries.

Suddenly, we had reached the pinnacle of the competition...the chin level kick. I tried first. I backed up against our closet door, took two running leaps, and went for it. The fact that I didn't kick my husband's hand on the first try only fired me up more. Before both feet were even back on the ground I was already pleading my case for a second chance. Jared agreed, so I go went for it again, only with a slightly different strategy. This time I stretched out the old hamstrings, opened up the closet door to lengthen my runway, took three running bounds, and strived for excellence with a seriously intense "heeeeeee-ya!"

This is when it happened folks. Right in the middle of my "ya," I knew I had entered the danger zone. My kicking leg went so high that it pulled my standing leg right out from under me. Suddenly my life was in slow motion and I was air born! It was just like I was doing the back float in a pool, except there was no water under me, I was falling really fast, and it wasn't nearly as relaxing. My eyes were wide, my expression was a terrified one, and my husband's jaw was just hanging. As I plummeted toward the floor my life was not only in slow motion, I'm pretty sure that every thing looked like cartoons too. And then it happened......THWAP! 146 pounds of Amy met up with one hard-assed floor.

There couldn't have been more than 1/8th of a second of shocked silence. I broke it by letting out a little whimper. As soon as I expressed this sign of life, Jared let out the most roaring, entertained laughter that I've ever heard. While I cried/laughed/struggled for breath, Jared told me that he was laughing so hard it hurt. I was like "Don't talk to me about pain, butt head!" Well, I only thought that....the wind was knocked out of me a little, so I couldn't quite say it out loud. But when I was finally able to muster up some speech I said, "I think I'm in shock...."

So I've recovered. I'm okay. But please people, do not try the high kick contest at home. It's just too risky.

A Letter to my Beloved...
March 7, 2007

Dear Jared,

I regret to inform you that it's time for me to pack you into a crate (with foam peanuts of course), address it to an obscure foreign country, neglect to include the return address, and drop you off at the local UPS Store. I understand that you're probably confused by what's about to happen. For your own clarity and peace of mind I will kindly explain why I must be shipping you off.

Earlier this afternoon you called to tell me that you'd be coming home early. "Fantastical!" I thought. I kindly asked you to pick up a few items at Sam's Club and you lovingly agreed. "Very Fantastical!!" I thought, and I began to list the items that we need in our household at this time....

me: ummm...go ahead and pick up some wipes, some granola bars, and those peanut butter crackers that you like in your lunch. Sarah gave me a whole pack of size four diapers, so we don't need any. I'm sure that the size fours will fit.

you: oooohhh...I don't think they'll fit. He's a size five.

Jared, this was mistake number one. You are a full time student and I am a full time stay-at-home-mom. You learn about neurological paths and spinal radiology during the day--I learn about playground etiquette [FYI: always beg apology when your kid wipes his nose on another mom's jeans], disguising broccoli as candy, and toddler wrestling/diapering. You are an expert in your field and I am an expert in mine. I felt that it was both inappropriate and unwise to question my professional judgement.

me: Ok, well go ahead and pick up a box of size's not like we won't use them!
you: I don't really think we'll be able to use all of those diapers before James is potty trained?

This, Jared, was mistake number two--a very, very, very serious mistake. As you know, James is not yet two. Most boys tend to be potty trained around three, and a large package of diapers from Sam's club lasts approximately 6 weeks. Based on my calculations, we will most definitely use up the diapers; unless of course you're seriously expecting our son to be potty trained on or around his second birthday. Now Jared, who would provide such a miraculous service--Jo the Super Nanny? Mary Poppins? Mrs. Doubfire? The Potty Fairy? Yo Mama?

I have proven myself time and time again as a loving, caring and capable mother. Please consider the following evidence: my favorite time of day is 11:45am because the Elmo's World segment fills me up with good feelings; I subscribe to Parent Magazine, Parenting Magazine, and Child Magazine; I wear coordinating sweatsuit outfits; I know that an iguanadon is roughly the length of a city bus; and I once tried to poach a nanny at the park. These factors alone demonstrate that I am a seasoned professional.

In short, your input was much less than appreciated. I hope you have a safe journey and enjoy your time with the natives.

Amy B. Lawson, F.T.-S.A.H.M.
Hot Mom!
January 18, 2007

Earlier today I was in my bedroom folding clean clothes while James played happily in a ginormous pile of dirty laundry. For those of you who know me well, I have an amazingly high threshold for nastiness. Whether it's using a greasy dish towel to dry my hands, picking up goopy dog poop with a holey plastic bag, or eating a Dorito that has fallen onto a pawn shop parking lot...none of these things bother me in the slightest. But today, for some strange reason, my kid playing in my own mountain of dirty laundry grossed me out, so I decided to lure him away. To do so, I used the always successful diversion technique that I like to call "Mommy needs some help." Despite having me for a mother, my 21 month old has somehow developed impeccable manners. He never forgets to say please, thank you, you're welcome, or sorry, and he most definitely never ignores someone's polite please for assistance. Here's how it went:

Me: Hey James-buddy, Mommy needs some help over here. Can you help me match the socks? ***Not an easy task considering that there are 20 something socks in the pile and only about 4 of them have clean and available mates***

James: [as he struggles to get off the top of the pile] Oh? Ohhhhh. Mommy!

James, being the Mr. Manners that he is, shimmies off of his laundry pile, runs over as fast as his chunky, little legs will toddle, and gives me a big hug (or "ug" as he likes to call it). He plops down on his little bottom and starts tossing the socks all over the place. He is, however, doing his best.

As I fold and he throws, I decide that this is an opportune time for a mini vocabulary lesson. So I start with the obvious, and clearly say "shirt." He clearly repeats "uut." Pretty good! So I cleary say "pants," and he clearly repeats "bents." Really good! So I give him a tough one and say "hanger." He comes back with "ang-o." "Wow", I think, "this is one smart kid."

Just as I'm about to toss out another garment-related term, I realize that he's capable of much child is, in my estimation, capable of paying me compliments. So I take a bit of a different approach.

Me: James when we're out in public, or any time at all, you can just look at me, point your finger and say "hot mom!"...ok?

James: ot-mom?

Me: There ya go, buddy! Now take your finger like this, point it right at me and say "hot mom!" with a little more enthusiasm than the last time.

James: [holding his entire arm and hand in my direction] ot-mom!

Me: Yeahhhh!!!! You've got it, I'm hot mom! You can always call me that, ok? I mean, c'mon, it's a little more fun than just calling me plain-old mom, don't you think???

James: guck!

Me: Buddy, we're not talking about ducks, we're talking about me, hot mom! Ok, listen, I want you to try another can say this one at the grocery store, too. Point right to mommy's pants and say "nice jeans!"

He hasn't quite mastered "nice jeans" yet, but I'm really looking forward to when he does. That will be great! Now I'm not crazy, am I? It's okay for me to teach my child to give polite and appropriate compliments, right? Seriously...isn't it?
First Annual Holiday Letter
January 5, 2007

Dear Friends and Loved Ones…

Now that the holidays have come and gone, the decorations are down, and we're all trying to lose those pesky extra pounds, the Lawson family has decided to send some Christmas greetings. After returning from a trip to New England and finding a mailbox full of Christmas cards and letters, we have adopted the "better late than never" mentality and coupled it with the "email is better than no mail at all" philosophy. The result is this very late holiday email with some pictures attached.

We're happy to report that we had a wonderful 2006. Jared continues to be busy with chiropractic school, and Amy is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to be called a doctor's wife. Ok, ok…she'll be a chiropractor's wife, but he will be Dr. Jared Lawson, so it's not too far of a stretch. Jared passed his first round of boards and clinic entrance exams with no drama or complications—two major hurdles out of the way. He has managed to stay thin and trim on his anti-exercise plan and trail-mix, coke, and donut diet. Thanks to his diet and exercise devotion he continues to weigh less than Amy, and she doesn't mind a bit.

Jared spends most of his spare time day-dreaming about recreation, particularly fly-fishing and skiing. He regularly checks the snow reports at the Alta ski resort in Utah. Amy continues to try to explain that due to the current financial situation (one wife, one husband, one kid, two tuition bills, and no paychecks) a ski vacation is not in the budget. Jared is beginning to understand the budgetary constraints, but continues to proposition Amy with plans for a ski condo, a remote cabin, an ocean house, and an RV. Amy is still balancing the books, seeing if she can scrape up the money. In more recent news, Jared decided not to sign up for free bill-pay at the bank today, despite the alluring offer of a mini, see-through piggy bank.

Amy is still busy, balancing mothering and school. Believe it or not, she is in the fourth year of a two year masters program. She has taken several rests and detours along her educational path in public administration, because let's face it--the subject matter is unbelievably boring. Fortunately, the end is in sight with graduation slated for May 12, 2007. She is currently working on her thesis—a downtown revitalization plan for the City of Rosebud, Texas. Please don't be fooled, the "City" of Rosebud is home to only 1,493 resident, several thousand livestock, an overweight police officer and one heck of a football team. During a recent visit to Rosebud, the police officer tried to persuade Amy to bring an untagged, lost dog back to Dallas. Amy declined the offer. A recent survey of residents revealed their overwhelming desire to build a Six Flags or Sea World in Rosebud; no one ever said conducting thesis research would be easy work.

In addition to school and motherhood, Amy is working hard to improve her housekeeping skills, subsequently the upstairs bedrooms did get vacuumed once or twice during 2006. The apartment is now maintained at a level where it's not embarrassing for Amy to have unexpected visitors pop in—it merely requires a well-crafted excuse. Amy's favorite fabricated excuses are "I'm sorry the apartment is so messy, I've been away on business" (this works well for the UPS man and the maintenance staff, but confuses close friends and acquaintances) and "I'm sorry for the mess, but our water tends to be turned off unexpectedly" (this excuse is true, but has nothing to do with the condition of the apartment).

In her spare time, Amy likes to run and compete in 5k road races. She has adopted the strategy of registering for the smallest, most obscure races she can possibly find. When she is the only 20-29 year old in the field, her chances of winning an age group award increase dramatically. It was this new racing strategy that helped Amy win the 20-29 division of the JL Long PTA 5k last October, since the majority of participants were either middle school students or their parents.

James is growing like a weed. He is now a whopping 35 inches tall and weighs in at 32 pounds. He is a happy kid who loves to eat just about anything. While his favorite foods are undisputedly french fries and Hershey Kisses, it's never a struggle to get him to eat grapefruit, kidney beans, almonds or bananas. He also loves to drink his milk. His vocabulary is simply exploding, and Jared and Amy are both fluent in James. It can get confusing from time to time, as a cow is an "orse," a cat is a "gow," and a "guck" refers to both a duck and a truck. He also adores his dinos, or "nanoos." James enjoys playing in YMCA kid care while Amy works out, and loves to eat play-dough in the nursery at church. He is currently learning to put his shoes on and take them off and he is in the fourth month of his on-going effort to get a little bit of air when he jumps. James is also able hum the tune of "Are You Sleeping?," and does so regularly.

We are eagerly looking forward to 2007, as we will finally be returning to our beloved New England. While we will have accomplished a number of important life goals and made life-long friends in Texas, it simply has not compared to home. Amy is uncomfortable with all of the boob-lifts, we can't seem to get a taste for Mexican music featuring the accordion, we like Marden's more than Neiman Marcus, and Jared thinks the drinking water tastes like mud. That said, Amy has purchased a cowboy hat, we like to say "y'all" and we've learned how to make biscuits and gravy—so Texas does have its good points.

We wish you all a very merry un-Christmas and a happy belated New Year. Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2007!


Amy, Jared and James
Cocker Spaniels, Sausages and Nephews
December 13, 2006

My sister has been pregnant for the past....mmm....nine-ish months. On Sunday night, our phone rang around midnight. I figured that it was a call from my mom, telling us that the baby was born. So we picked it up. It was, in fact, my mother. For those of you who don't know my mother, she is a kindergarten teacher...and perhaps she's been on the job for too long. In the last 20ish years she has become very silly, slightly impulsive and a little hyperactive. Her attention span has also decreased, she's gotten to be itty-bitty, and she likes to talk more than she likes to sit still and listen. Essentially, she's becoming a kindergartener again. So I pick up the phone and, before I get to the hello part I hear this:

Mom--Tyler Jack....Ty. Ler. JAAAAACK!!!!

Me--[I try to confirm the sex of the baby, but get no sensicle response, so I assume that it's a boy]

Mom--Eleven twelve! It was eleven twelve...ELEVEN TWELVE! [that last eleven twelve was very loud and incredibly fast]

Me--Oh my gosh! Katy had an 11 pound baby?!

Mom--11-12, 11-12, 11-12!!!!

Me--Wow, I can't believe that! He must be gigantic! An 11 pound 12 ounce baby!?

Mom--I know! Yes Amy, eleven twelve, can you believe that?! Oh, and he weighs eight five.

Me--I thought you said...

Mom--...and he has a big, wide mouth and he looks just like a cocker spaniel.


Mom--yeah, his mouth is like soooo wide, Amy and he looks just like a sausage!!!! But I have to go and call more people on my list. Want me to call you later and give you some more updates about how he looks?!

Me--you can just send me some pictures tomorrow, mom.

Mom--oh! ok...gosh, his mouth is just so straight and wide!!! I love you, Amy!

[dial tone]

Well, I'm an aunt! Turns out he was born at 11:12pm and weighed 8'5". I've finally seen the pictures and I personally think he looks more like my brother-in-law than a dog or a breakfast link, but I haven't seen him up close, so I guess my mom could be right.
The Cabbage Patch Kid vs. The Bloody Woolly Mammoth
November 11, 2006

Trucks, airplanes, backhoe loaders, building and destroying....I get it, he's a boy. But just because he's a boy doesn't mean he wouldn't love a cabbage patch kid, right?
Today I made the choice that James would be the proud adoptive dad to a cabbage patch boy this Christmas. While we were out shopping this afternoon I decided to take a spin through the toy section to see what they had as far as cabbage patch selection goes. Well, my stars alligned and there he was, sitting right on the front of the shelf. I didn't even have to dig. Walter (the doll) looked just like James with his silky blond hair, came complete with blue hightops, and had a pet shitzu.

As I was admiring Walter through his celophane packaging, I heard a very enthusiastic "wow!" come from James. I got very excited that James was as enthusiastic as I was...I might have even teared up a bit. I turned to James to let him see Walter close up, and said..."I know James, isn't he just perf...."

That's when I learned that my hopes of becoming a young, hip adoptive cabbage patch grandma were dashed. James wasn't wowwing Walter, James was wowwing something a little more prehistoric. It was a big, plastic t-rex fighting with a bloody woolly mammoth who was pulling some kind of caveman cart. Here's how it went:

Me: James, look at Walter! Isn't he so cute?!

James: Whoa! (staring at the dinosaur)

Me: No, James...look at Walter. He's way more fun!

James: Rarrrr!!!!! Rarrrrr!!!! (making his best dinosaur noise)

Me: C'mon James...Walter has a shitzu. Don't you like pocket dogs?

James: (Looks away from the dinosaur, and glares at Walter and his dog pal) No, no, no...

Me: Fine....

Ok, I get it. He's a boy. He would probably like Walter more if he was tying firecrackers to his shitzu's tail, or if the two of them both got flattened by a runaway bulldozer.
No cabbage patch kids this Christmas, but no prehistoric action figures either. I compromised on a Mr. Potato Head...the pirate one.
New Shoes (a one act play based on a true story)
September 7, 2006

Amy: Hi, I'm looking for some new shoes. I used to wear the Adidas Response, but I don't like this year's model. Do you have any suggestions?

Shoe Salesman: We have a shoe, just in, that I'd really like you to try. If you liked the Response, you'll love these.

A: Fantastic...I take a size ten.

[Shoe salesman walks into the back room. Meanwhile, Amy checks out the price of the shoes]

SS: Here we go...

A: Did you just bring me the most expensive shoe in the store?!

SS: I don't work off of comission, ma'am.

A: Answer the question.

SS: Yes, ma'am...I did.

A: Well you think about how my husband will react while I lace them up and then run around this tiny indoor track. I run sort of funny, so I'd appreciate it if you'd watch my baby instead of me.

SS: Uh, ok. [looks at baby in a very confused way as Amy runs off]

A: I like them. I'll take them. Please don't tell Jared.

SS: Who is Jared?

A: Good. [thoughtful pause] Since I bought the most expensive shoe in the whole store, will you carry this stroller down the stairs for me?

SS: Uh. Ok...sure. but I don't work off of comission, ma'am.

A: I know, but he weighs like 30 pounds.

-The End-
Thanks Judge Mathis!
July 31, 2006

Sometimes, when I'm feeling a little down about life around 1 o'clock in the afternoon, I turn on Judge Mathis. His plantiffs and defendents always remind me that I'm on the right track in life. The current case is about a woman who was eight months pregnant and drunk starting a fight at a barbeque and causing damage to her ex-sister-in-law's trailer. It also involves a paternity test (in some capacity), some issue over marinating the bbq meat, and a restraining order against a blind man. It was just the self-esteem boost that I I'll turn in off.
14 Jul 2006
phone... Current mood: confused
I lost my cell phone. It is so gone. Can't find it anywhere. When I signed up for this plan I got my phone for $14.98. If I buy the same phone now it's $250! I hate minute they're trying to talk you into buying the razor phone for 3 cents, and 6 weeks later, when you lose it they're like..."mmm, cell phones are very expensive. We can give you a deal on this refurbished Zack Morris phone. It will be $200." Where's the justice??!!!
I have GOT to stop losing things!!!!
31 May 2006

Well friends, I'm happy to say that I had a personal break-through Oprah "ah hah moment" of sorts. I finally have freedom from poo! Dog poo...
If I don't talk to you on the phone regulary, then you might not know that there are three things that really get my blood pressure pumping: drivers who beep at ladies pushing baby carriages, rap music, and people who don't pick up after their dogs. Unfortunately, our apartment complex houses an abundance of each.
The poo problem was getting exceedingly bad, however. First someone let their dog poop on our steps and didn't pick it up (I thought I was a target, but then figured that if I was a target, it would have been in a flaming bag), then someone left a humungazoid load o' crap right in the middle of the sidewalk! Let me tell you, I ran right through that pile with the front tire of my baby jogger...I was ready to hunt and kill. Hunt and kill. The final straw came a few days ago, when I walked around the side of my car to get James and there was a big, steaming turd sitting right there on the curb! I felt my usual rush of anger and lost all of my judgement. There I was, all alone in the parking lot...hands held high above my head (in that why God, why? position), yelling things like, "c' nice! can not be serious!...scoop the poop you a-head!" I wanted to spice up my monologue a little bit more, but my 13 months old was watching, and listening very closely.
When Jared got home that night I was making dinner. I was still so angry about the curb poop incident that I was cooking in a very aggressive manner...clanging the pots and pans all around, slamming the oven door...the whole nine yards. Jared finally aksed me what was going on and I told him the whole story. After I finished, we just sat there in silence for a minute or two, taking it all in. I eventually aked, "how do you do it, Jared? How do you have such inner peace when you're surrounded by so many poops?" His answer was so simple, yet so profound. He said, "Amy, I see the load and I think to myself...oh, there's some poo, don't want to step in it!" I was like, "what? That's it?! You just try not to step in it?!" Jared nodded...he's really a simple man.
Fast forward to the moment today...I was walking to get the mail and I crossed over a little, grassy patch right in front of the boxes. I scanned the lawn and I found myself doing it again...."Jared..look....there's one, two, three, and a teeny one....three and a half dog doos!" When I turned to make exasperated eye contact with Jared, he was just standing there looking so content. That's when I had my moment....I thought to myself...oh wow, there's a lot of poop, don't wanna step in it.
And that was that...I've let my anger go.