Fantasies Are Not Real
May 31, 2007

Somehow, while Jared and I were walking the dog tonight, we found ourselves on the topic of spiritual connectivity between a husband and a wife. You know how it is--some couples seem to be genuine soul mates and go through life continually easing one another toward a higher level of spiritual enlightenment. Usually they'll die within 2 weeks of each other--like Great Uncle John dies of complications associated with high cholesterol, and Dear Aunt Ethel passes away shortly thereafter due to an unmistakable case of heartbreak.

It's unbelievably sweet--a fantasy that all women begin to weave the very moment Mr. Right pops the question.

For a split second, as we pushed the stroller containing our 2 year old son who was dressed like a pirate, this very fantasy reentered my mind. This was most likely prompted by that fact that my husband was reflectively discussing the significance of the Old Testament passage instructing husbands to "cleave to their wives, and none other."

I lovingly, and excitedly turned to Jared and asked, "Wow, do you think that we'll eventually achieve that level of oneness and love?"
Without missing a beat he replied, "No. I'm not a very spiritual person."

And I was like, "Yeah, plus you drive me insane."
Then we stopped, looked into eachother's eyes, shared a quick kiss and happily kept on walking.

So we've accepted it--we are who we are. We're never going to be like John and Ethel, but that's ok. We're just going to focus on other things, like karate lessons.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!
May 30, 2007
Gosh, don't my Mom and Dad look fantastic after 33 years* of marriage?
Actually, this picture was taken on their tropical vacation last year, so they've aged a little and my Dad's tan has faded bit, too.
But seriously, aren't they in great shape?
* 33 years is a rough 'guesstimate.' My sister is almost 30, so I think it's a pretty good guess. We'll see.

And now for the happy ending...
May 30, 2007

Gus, the dog formerly known as Alex, has found his forever home. He's living in The Colony, Texas (yes, that's actually the name of the town--weird) with one volunteer fire fighter, his lovely wife and two 11ish year old boys. He has a big back yard and a basset hound brother. I couldn't be happier.

In a moment of sheer genius, I posted Gus on He was snapped up in an instant based on the fact that his breed of dog is supposedly able to singlehandedly take down a 1,000 wild boar. Sounds like a good time to me!

The fire fighter read the post at 3pm, talked to his wife, and Gus was picked up and gone by 7. Considering the fact the The Colonly is 45 minutes away, these people really, really wanted Gus. That's good. He's a good boy. He deserves to be wanted. We were able to meet the whole family. Their Texas accents and won me over instantly--so I'll say it again. I couldn't be happier.

I will admit that I cried like my middle section was being run over by a VW Mini Bus when he left, but now I'm feeling relieved. Gracie has opened her eyes for a total of 16 minutes today, and that's they way I like it. She's like a speed bump that breaths, poops, and requires veterinary care--perfecto.

Back to normal. Phew.
Farewell Social Life
May 30, 2007

It's no secret, I love my laptop. And I love my laptop because I love the internet. Afterall, it's the lifeblood of my social existance. You know how it goes--MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, Blogspot, a chat room filled with hot babes, and an on-line forum--that's where I spend my days, hanging with my cyber-girlz.

Shout out to my on-line pals: LMAO! Whatz Up, Ladeeze?!?! LOL!

Experts claims that on-line socialization is not a negitive thing, as long as it doesn't become a replacement for real life human interaction. I'm not really sure if I've reached that point or not. But considering the fact that I've never met any of my BFFs in person and they all go by names like "SamsMom99" "QTRunnerGurl" and "JazzyXL, "I can't help but think I fall within the danger zone.

I'm also fluent in cyber-speak, which doesn't do me any favors when I make my bumbled attempts at real life socialization. Just last week I was invited, via email, to a girls night out with a group of moms from church (exciting, I know). I wasn't able to attend, so I responded with the following email:

OMW! Tnks for inviting me to join you. LOL! Every SAHM wants a night out! Unfortunatley, my DH will be I've got DS all to myself. Not to mention the fact that FIL and BIL are coming to visit, so I've got to clean up. And of course AF is on her way so I kind of feel like ****. But really, thanks. Invite me along next time, ok? TTLY! C U Sunday.


And then I received the following email in return:


Of course, I felt like a flaming turd. I decided right then that I'd better just stick to the computer. Unfortunately, I've had to take a part-time job this summer--and it's cutting into my awesome social life like mad. I'm making money, which is cool...but I don't even know what to do with it. I guess I could use it to go out in public, right? Or I could attend the next girls night out. Or I could use it to sign up for a fun class.

Or--I have an idea--I could use it to buy a Blackberry and stay connected all day long! Gosh, I guess I really can have my cake and eat it too--make money and maintain my on-line popularity/cyber-credit.

Now that sounds like a plan.
Don't Trust Me With the Details
May 28, 2007

I'm not a responsible least not with the small things. When it comes to child rearing, financial planning, and deadlines I'm you're girl. But for everything else in the universe, I suggest you go elsewhere.

  • I'm the girl who always has at least one carton of expired milk in the fridge.
  • I just cleaned 547 old, read messages out of my email inbox.
  • I'm the one who borrows my parents' Jetta and returns it without a bumper--honestly not knowing how or where it came off.
  • And I'm the one who sends my husband to school with a lunch consisting of an unopened can of Campbell's soup and mini-package of peanuts from our most recent flight.

Let me just sum it up by letting you all know that the phrase "attention to detail" can not be found anywhere on my resume. You can, however, find the phrase "Own and operate a Recreational Vehicle" prominently listed under my goals and objectives section.

Sidenote: I haven't landed an interview in almost three years.

Anywho, I had quite the lapse in responsibility this evening, and my husband is insisting that I write about it in detail (really, he just wants the attention taken off of the previous post). So here goes....

My friend Beth is in El Paso for the long weekend. When I dropped her off at the airport last week, she tossed me a set of keys and said, "Here. This is the spare key to the X-Terra and my front door. I want you to take the milk from my fridge. It's organic, and I want it to get used."

I casually replied, "Oh, cool. Thanks."

But in my head I thought, "Oh my crap. Why are you doing this? Saving the milk is not worth it. You will never see these keys again...and from past experience, I know that these little automatic door unlockers are very expensive. I better cut back on groceries this week, because I will most definitely have to replace this thing."

Well, Beth comes back tomorrow and I'm proud to say that I still have the keys--barely. They're actually sitting safely on my kitchen counter as I type--barely. But seriously, who cares where those keys have been? The important things is that I'm able to return them to my friend.

I don't think Beth ever needs to know that her keys were sitting on the roof of my car as I drove all over East Dallas this evening. The important thing is that they stayed on the roof of my car when I slammed on the brakes to spare the life of a toad, parked and ate a leisurely dinner at the Dixie House, and passed a city bus on the right to save a couple of seconds.

So, in conclusion, I have no idea how or why Beth's keys ever ended up on the roof of my Toyota, I now have one extra gallon of expired (organic) milk in my refrigerator, and you should never, never, never trust me with the minor details of your life.

I mean it.
Deodorant: A One Act Play Based on a True Story
May 26, 2007

Characters: Amy, Jared, and Jared's brother Dan
Setting: Amy and Jared's neighborhood. Amy, Jared and Dan are walking the dogs through the neighborhood before they head off to a Red Sox game in Arlington.

Dan: It's kind of muggy out. Are you gonna wear shorts Jared?

Jared: I don't need to.

Amy: Why not?
Jared: [proudly] Because I apply deodorant down there.

Amy and Dan: [in unison, sounding seriously concerned] Down where?

Jared: [casually] Oh, like all over my butt.

Amy: Oh my gosh. Jared. Do you put it in your crack?

Jared: Oh yeah. It's easy if you use the stick kind.

Amy: Seriously Jared, be careful. I've heard it can hurt if you get it on know.

Dan: Uhhh no, I don't know...there's a lot of stuff down there.

Amy: [whispering] On your poop shoot.

Jared: [casually] Yeah, that kind of stings. You really just want to apply it to your entire butt region, and the back of your schnuts. Avoid the the twig all together. At all costs.

Dan: Oh man, Jared. Remind me to never use your deodorant. Seriously, if I ever ask, just say no.
Jared: Oh, no, it's cool. I used Dad's.

Amy and Dan: -silence-

Jared: Yeah, I just use Dad's. He buys the six pack of deoderant from Sam's Club, so he totally has enough to go around.
Who's tired of hearing about this stray dog? Me too, so here's to moving on!
Can you believe that nothing funny has happened to me today? Me neither. Consequently, this is loooong and thoughtful don't say I didn't warn you.

The Gym
May 25, 2007

If you know me well, then you know how I feel about my local YMCA. I wouldn't describe myself as your stereotypical 'gym rat'-- but I do love my Y membership like it's my third grandma. And if it were my grandma, I'd be making out like a bandit in the estate-planning department, since I visit her so often.

I joined the YMCA about a year ago. I decided to take the plunge and spend the money for three reasons. First, we qualified for a reduced rate through the financial assistance program. Second, I heard that James could hang out in the kid care room while I exercised. And third, I wanted to tone up a little bit and maybe even start running again.

Pretty much I was like every other mom in America--broke, flabby, and desperately needing an occasional break from her child. And based on the remarks of Oprah's guests, I felt like every other mom in America, too. I wasn't unhappy with my weight and body, but I certainly wasn't satisfied with it either. I felt confident as a mother, but wasn't convinced that I was any sort of great mom. And I had 1,000 blessings to be grateful for, but still managed to find 1,001 details to complain about. I wasn't sad, but I wasn't thrilled. I was alive, and that seemed pretty good.

Not surprisingly, my YMCA routine mirrored my overall attitude at that time. I'd think about what a pain it could be to cart a kid around as I pulled James out from his carseat. I'd feel an overwhelming sense of embarrassment as the front desk person scanned my membership card and learned that I qualified for financial aid. I felt an enormous sense of relief as I left James with the sitters at the kid care center. I was pissed off when the scale told me that I still weighed 153 with my shoes off. I resented any woman who had a better physique than me, and felt unbelievably superior to the ones who didn't. And of course, I was frustrated by how damn slow I was on that freaking treadmill.

And then, one day, it all came to a screeching halt. I had an attitude adjustment. Thank goodness.

I was plodding along on the treadmill at a ten minute mile pace, firmly concentrated on my lack of speed. So concentrated, in fact, that I didn't notice when a middle aged Hispanic man climbed onto the treadmill to my right. In fact, I actually felt his stride long before I ever caught sight of him. From the vibrations on the floor and the pounding that I heard under the hum of my mp3 player, I could tell that this runner to my right had a pretty serious limp.

I always used to size up my 'competition' on the treadmill. In other words, I looked at their speed, their gender and their age, and then used my ridiculous reasoning skills to decide who was better--me, or the competition. After a split second assessment of this 'competition,' there was no disputing the better man--it was him.

This middle-aged man had obviously suffered a stroke. The left side of his body, from his face to his leg, was almost completely limp. His treadmill was only set to 2.4 miles an hour--slow enough for him to step forward with his right foot and slowly drag his left leg to the front. His knuckles were pale as he grasped the handrails for every ounce of support that they could possibly provide. He walked that way for two miles--almost an entire hour.

And me? I prayed hard for 6 miles--almost an entire hour. I asked God for forgiveness that day, and I asked God to bless me with a grateful heart. I also prayed for that man--for his recovery, for his strength, and for his stamina. And I prayed for the desire to make a conscious change. I was tired of being the average American woman...I wanted to enjoy my life.

And now I do.

Today as we walked into the Y, James and I stopped and counted every single fish in the large, crusty tank. I felt an overwhelming sense of love as I watched James play trucks by himself and with his favorite kid care worker, Christina. I felt relieved when I decided that I'd rather walk on the treadmill than run, and didn't allow the woman to my left to be a factor in my decision. I laughed to myself as I watched an old man flip the tape in his cassette walkman, and gawked in wonder as a tiny woman bench pressed one hundred pounds. And of course, I was purely grateful when the man with the stroke stepped onto his treadmill and began to walk. His left leg doesn't seem to be dragging quite so much, his speech seems to be a bit better, and I could be mistaken, but I think his treadmill was set to 3 miles per hour.

Life is good.
The First (and last) Ever "Lawsons do Dallas" Dog Naming Contest
May 25, 2007

It looks like Alex the dog will be staying for a least through the weekend. Jared doesn't like the name Alex, but has yet to suggest anything better, so we're leaving it up to you, our loyal readers.

Here are the vital statistics...

Animal: dog
Breed: catahoula
Age: about six months
Color: black, grey and gold
Temperment: nice
Hobbies and Interests: running, jumping, baseball, following people home, sleeping, eating, playing, eating board books, eating bones, soap operas, tail wagging, Asian cuisine, herding, pooping, blinking, scratching, and staring.

Here are a few names that we are considering [please note: Jared or his brother Daniel thought up the dumb-ish ones]:

Texas related names: Tex, Dallas, Ranger, Cowboy
Baseball related names: Yaz, Ortiz, Fenway, Sinker, Slider, Slugger or Dice-K
Classic Dog-type names: Spot, Scooter, Pal, Scruffy
People names: Rusty, Gus, Peter, Henry, Charlie, Ed, JD, Max, Pablo, Juan or Itchy
Other random names: Speedy, Pre, Snicker, Buba, Strider, Tooter, Six Pack, Plunger, Paycheck, Pickmeup, Pick-up-truck, Stinky, Weenie or Whoopass

Cast your vote...or better yet, make up your own!

The winning name will be chosen whenever we feel like it (probably after the holiday weekend), and the lucky winner will recieve one catahoula dog shipped via UPS ground.

Now get to it!
My Friend Beth
May 24, 2007

I have a friend named Beth who is an absolute staple in my life. Her daughter, Sophia is only 4 days younger than James, and we see each other almost every single day. I drove Beth and Sophia to the airport this morning. It's the least I could do for a friend who is always going out of her way for me.

For example, a few weeks ago when I was out of town, I asked Beth to go into my apartment, sift through my personal financial documents, find my checkbook, forge my signature, and pay a bill for me. She was happy to help. [sidenote: She never even thought about stealing my identity. Trust me, any theif who assumes my identity for financial purposes is an idiot. They couldn't get approved for a loan on a used ten-speed huffy by using my name right now, and Beth knows it]

Beth helps me, I help her--it's what friends do.

So I showed up at her house around 8:45 this morning. The car was covered in bird poop, my hubcap fell off, and James was wearing nothing but a diaper and crocs. It was a great visual representation of my life at the moment--art on wheels if you will.

We started driving and both of our kids started to scream at the top of their little lungs just as Beth attempted to talk to an ebay seller on the cell phone. They stopped the exact second that she hung up.

Beth screamed as she tried to get a mosquito off of my giant baby's naked body. And she kept screaming as she smacked and flattened it against the passenger window. Repeatedly.

Our kids resumed screaming when Beth ran into CVS. They finally stopped when I found an entertaining radio station.

Unfortunately, all of the lead singers on the Indian Radio Network (the kids' station of choice) seemed to scream their song lyrics as they played their crazy-ass instruments. Whoa.

And of course, James screamed and screamed and screamed for his beloved "Phia" (short for Sophia) as we drove away from the airport. Thank goodness for the Indian Radio Network.

And that is the foundation of our friendship--screaming and chaos. Afterall, we are the mothers of toddlers.
I really think that every woman should have a friend like Beth in their life...and every kid should have a buddy like Sophia. Because let's face it, it's really, really funny to see two year olds wrestle each other over a lint covered raisin....every single day.
Get Out of My Life...
May 24, 2007

Our life has been singly focused since Alex the dog showed up on Monday morning. He's been all we can think about, and we think that we have very mixed feelings. He's a good dog--already house broken, knows how to sit, walks well on a leash, yada, yada, yada--but I still wish he had never showed up.

I miss the days of forgetting I had a dog, because Gracie is just so darn low maintenance. She can hold it for like 22 hours, is awake for about 15 minutes a day and barks twice annually. Alex, on the other hand, has spunk and charisma...he knows how to wag his tail. Gracie would hurl herself off the edge of the Grand Canyon to chase the path of a poisonous, airborn kibble. Alex is smart and unquestionably loyal...and seriously, who wants that in a dog? (that was sarcastic)

I'm sure you can sense my Alex-struggle as I write. If you were to snoop in on our personal converstaions, you would sense it even more. Here is a sampling from last night:

At Dinner
Amy: I want this dog gone. I wish he had never followed us home that day. Stupid dog.

Jared: I don't know, Amy...I think he'd make a good running partner for you.

Amy: Really? You think? He could probably carry my water and cell phone for me on long runs. The doggie backpack that I picked out has room for both.

After American Idol
Jared: Ok, there's too many bodies in the apartment...he's got to go.

Amy: Well good, because I found someone who wants to meet him. He's going to call after 5.

Jared: Oh? Oh. Well I'm not handing him over if this guy's a way. It's got to be a good home. Like a really good home.

Amy: I totally agree.

Jared: And besides, this dog hasn't been camping yet. I think he wants to go camping.

In Bed
Amy: Yeah, so a bunch of people think that Alex picked me. Like he came for a reason. Cassie even said that he's like an angel and I should embrace this blessing in my life.

Jared: Seriously?

Amy: I know....c'mon. A little over the top for my taste.


Jared: I think that God might have sent him for a reason. Maybe something is going to happen to you and Alex will be there to protect you from harm. Maybe the dog is going to pull James out of a raging river in a few years. I agree. He's been sent here to protect this family.

Amy: Good night.

Jared: Don't forget to thank God for watching out for us when you say your prayers tonight.

Amy: Good night.

Anyway, some guy named JR wants to meet Alex tonight. Apparently JR recently lost his catahoula, so they could be a great match for each other--a perfect match actually. The personality profile, background check, non-stress test, credit check, bloodwork, and written driving test that we do on JR should help us determine that.

I hope it all works out, and JR takes him. I want this dog out of my life and gone...just as soon as I finish massaging his paws with this soothing, scented aloe lotion.

Stupid dog.
Someone please take Alex the dog.
May 23, 2007

As of this afternoon he'll be dewormed, up to date on his shots, and he'll have had a fabulous flea bath. He also comes with an attractive collar, leash and choke chain. He already knows how to sit.

Contact info is in the third post down titled "Free Dog for Sale."

On Second Thought...
May 23, 2007

On second thought, maybe someone would like to adopt my greyhound pictured on the left. Her name is Gracie, and I'm not gonna lie...she's a bad dog.

Yesterday afternoon, I ran to the post office. The entire trip took about 20 minutes. When I got back, Alex (the stray dog on the right) was sprawled out, sleeping quietly on the balcony. Everything was just as I'd left it. Gracie, on the other hand, was lying on her back on her overstuffed, very expensive dog pillow. She was moaning and groaning like an old person who had some kind of horrible, chronic stomach issues.

As she reluctantly stood up to greet me, I became 100% certain that she indeed had a stomach ache. After all, that's what happens when you eat an entire cake and half of its attractive plastic housing in one sitting.

Stupid dog. She ate my angel food cake. I was supposed to be the one to eat that whole cake in one sitting, not Gracie.

And there went my day, right down the old proverbial pisser.

So if you're interested in a dog with a ridiculous farting problem (especially today), who can get food off the top of the fridge, will help you stay within your allotted weight watchers points, and will probably develop type 2 diabetes in the near future, then Gracie the greyhound is your girl.

Free Dog for Sale
May 22, 2007

This is a dog. His name is Spot if you're into dogs with dog names. His name is Alex if you're into dogs with people names. And his name is Yaz if you're into dogs with baseball names.
Alex approached us at the park on Sunday afternoon. He was wearing no collar. There are tons of stray dogs in this area of Dallas, so I didn't think much of him. Imagine my surprise when I found him sleeping soundly outside of my front door on Monday morning. He must have followed us home from a distance.
From what I can tell, he's a very, very persistant little guy. He stayed outside of our front door all day on Monday, eventually nudging our balcony door open and making himself at home. He even follows me as I walk to the mail box, sits and waits while I sort through the mail, and walks back to apartment when it's time.
He loves to walk. He has insisted on joining me on two 3.5 mile walks and one 2 mile walk. He also walked back and forth, up and down our apartment stairs as Jared made 7,000 trips to carry in the groceries last night.
Based on these observations, this dog does not struggle with a fear of commitment. He is also quite photogenic if I do say so myself.
My friend Beth, who was passionate about dogs as a pre-teen and consequently read the Dogclopedia 15 times from cover to cover guessed that his breed is "Catahoula." After a quick Google search, I'm going to have to agree with Beth--I think he's a catahoula.
I like dogs, but I'm not a pushover or a bleeding heart by any stretch of the imagination. Somehow, however, this dog has completely won me over. Maybe is has something to do with the fact that Alex is quietly curled up by my feet as I write this blurb on my balcony. Or maybe it's because he made my 2 year old laugh harded than I've ever heard him laugh in his short little life. Or maybe it's because he simply refuses to go away. But I like Alex.
I haven't found any room in any DFW no-kill shelters. I don't want to call the SPCA. I definitely can't call animal control. But I can't really keep him either. I can however try to find a great home for Alex.
If you've been thinking about getting a dog, or a running partner, or a fiercly loyal foot-rest, then Alex is probably your man. Based on my highly unprofessional observations, he appears to be between 6 and 10 months old--so you two could have a good, long future ahead.
Please forward this info to any friends who might be interested, and email me at if you have any questions.
Maybe I need a new hobby
May 21, 2007

I run. It's what I do for fun, it's my hobby--I put one foot in front the the other for as fast and as long as I possibly can. I subscribe to running magazines, chat about running on internet forums, and buy running things from running stores.

Most people tend to shy away from running. They'll only do it when they absolutely have to--like if they're being chased by a rabid bunny at the park, or a pre-menstrual wife with a flat iron, or the cops. Not me, I do it 100% voluntarily.

Maybe I need a new hobby. I would probably like to try speed-eating, or homemade handicrafting, or dating. There could never be any question as to why I participated in those hobbies. They are indisputably fun--for all people.

The straight-up weirdness of my hobby hit me yesterday morning, the day of the North Trail Half Marathon. Let me just sum it up in a few sentences:

I paid $50 to wake up at 5:30 am on a Sunday to run 13.1 miles
I paid $50 to poop in the stank-nastiest port-a-potty of all time--twice.
I paid $5o to get passed by a 75 year old man who had a limp in each leg.
I paid $50 to hope that a road biker would run over at least 3 of my toes at mile 8.
And I paid $50 to hope that a different road biker would run over my torso at mile 11.8.

But as I rounded the turn to the finish at mile 13 and spotted my little boy, all of the effort suddenly seemed worth it. After six months of dedicated practice, James has finally learned how to get a little bit of air when he jumps. And there he was--working so very hard to jump up and down as he cheered for his beloved running mommy. His little voice was straining, too. "Yay Mommy! Mommy wunnin' a wace! MOM MA!"

As I ran that last .1 mile I pondered the blessings of motherhood, and large tears welled up in my eyes. Upon crossing the finish line, I veered to the left, sat on the ground, rested my face on the raised sidewalk curb and began to gasp and heave--I even had some tears. A giant, sweaty, shirtless good samaritan came over and helped me off the ground. The moment we made eye contact, my pseudo-crying ceased.

Good Samaritan: Are you okay?

Me: Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks.

Good Samaritan: Are you sure? You were crying for a second.

Me: I know. I started crying because my two year old was cheering for me and it was pretty touching. Then I really started crying because I realized that I could have crouched down behind that bread truck for two hours, popped out, run the the last quarter mile and he would have been just as excited. And I think I'm a little dehydrated.

So that's the new plan. From now on, I'm going to start the race, find a comfortable hiding place, watch a few shows on my pocket TV, and then finish strong. In my opinion, that is a much, much wiser way to spend fifty bucks on a Sunday morning.
One Thousand
May 19, 2007

Today, I have reached a milestone in my short blogging career--I have broken the one-thousand barrier. In other words, more than 1,000 different people have visited my blog since I started keeping stats.
I won't lie...I feel fantastic. Afterall, this is the second biggest accomplishment of my life. My overall most significant accomplishment came when I managed to stay within the 25 to 35 pound weight gain limit during my pregnancy. Apparently I shared my success with every single doctor, nurse, receptionist, janitor, lab technician, parking attendant, and patient while I was under anesthesia for my c-section.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of you, my loyal readers in cyberland. Please know that you significantly boost my [sometimes fragile] self-esteem with every click of that mouse. Watching my count-o-meter rise has given my life a new sense of purpose, and for that I am grateful. So thank you. Thank you for choosing my blog as one of your many procrastination outlets at work, home, and school.

I fully intend on celebrating this achievement thoughout the day.
  • First, I will eat a 1,000 calorie super-value meal from Wendy's for dinner tonight.

  • Then, I will follow it up with a 1,000 calorie extra large frozen Blizzard treat from Dairy Queen.

  • I will put $1,000 worth of airline tickets on our credit card for my cousin's wedding in June.

  • I will watch Jared wash, dry, fold and put away 1,000 pieces of laundry that we dirtied while he was fishing with his buddies this week.

  • And finally, I will nag Jared 1,000 times to take the garbage to the dumpster while I watch 1,000 consecutive minutes of cut-rate reruns on TV.
Gosh, I just love celebrations!!!

And seriously, thank you again. I love doing this.

Working Hard.
May 18, 2007

This is a picture of my sister, Katy. More specifically, this is a picuture of her new headband from the Gap. She probably spotted the accessory as she pushed her stoller past the store window during her "Moving Mamas" class this morning. She bought it on sale, took a picture of herself wearing it, and then emailed it to me so I could supply her with my opinion.

Looks good, Kate! I like it a lot.

Can you guess what Katy does for work? She's a stay-at-home mom, just like me! We are very busy ladies. According to a recent article by the Associated Press, stay-at-home-moms should be getting paid almost $140,000 a year for the work that we do. I couldn't agree more. Our days are busy, stressful and important. We deserve lots and lots of money.

Hey Katy, I've been working out. Let me snap a quick picture of my butt and email it to you. I want to know if you think it's gotten any smaller.

See? This is hard work. I seriously need a raise and a vacation.
May 18, 2007

***If you have not yet read the previous post entitled "1-800-no-flowers" please read it now. It will help you avoid a significant amount of unnecassary confussion.***

Just as I pressed publish, there was a knock on the door. Sure enough it was a beautiful bouquet of flowers for Amy Loooson (yes, with 3 Os).

I'll post a picutre of them just as soon as I find my camera.
May 18, 2007

I have the nicest, most thoughtful Aunt in history. Trust me when I say that no one compares to my Aunt Cheryl. She sends checks that are too big, gifts that are too nice, and emails that are all too kind. She spares no expense for her nieces. I love that.

In keeping with her normal and generous ways, Aunt Cheryl *apparently* sent flowers for my graduation. But I don't know, I haven't seen them yet.

According to Aunt Cheryl, the high-on-drugs customer service specialist at 1-800-FLOWERS claimed that the delivery person came by on Monday and I wasn't home. They stopped by again on Tuesday and I still wasn't home. Not wanting to swing by again on Wednesday, the flower-delivery specialist decided to leave the flowers with a neighbor. I don't know which one. Neither does 1-800-FLOWERS.

Well, I have no flowers, but I do have some advice for flower delivery people everywhere:
Don't leave anything of value with neighbors in a highly sketchy apartment complex like mine. I have like 200 neighbors and 183 of them are on parole.

I'm mad. Seriously. Somebody stole my flowers, and I have something to say about it.

To Rick in apt #3: If you stole my flowers, then you probably gave them to your girlfriend. If so, I hope she dumps your a** because you forgot to remove the little plastic "Happy Graduation!" decoration.

To the lady who drinks a lot and never changes out of her pajamas in apt #2: If you stole my flowers, you may keep them. I would not like them back, no thank you.

To the family below us in apt #1: Esas flores no estaban para usted. Tráigalos de nuevo a pronto. Gracias.

To the grumpy old Russian man in apt #7: Те цветки не были для вас. Они были для меня. Я хочу их назад. Вы.

To Dave and Jen in apt #4: You have, on occasion, stolen our pizza and Chinese take-out. I can appreciate that--you were hungry and you didn't want to cook. But c'mon, give me the freaking flowers. Now.

To Tom, the unbelievably good looking man in apt #9: Congratulations on finishing nursing school. I've heard it's no walk-in-the-park. I hope you like the flowers that I sent to you.

The flowers are supposed to be re-delivered today. So far? Nothing. But I'll be sure to keep you posted on the situation.
Some lessons aren't learned in the classroom
May 17, 2007
There's a lovely little Montessori School right next to the park that we frequent. From what I can tell, the children seem to range in age from 3ish to 9ish. This school appears to be a rather idyllic place--the classes are small and perfectly diverse, the kids have a firm handle on the concept of social appropriateness, and all posses a seemingly grown-up work ethic.
At any given moment, on any given day, I'll walk by the school and everything appears to be perfectly under control--the students might be running an organized lap around the playground before they are set free for recess, sanding and refinishing a mini-picnic table in the school's backyard, or kindly singing songs to elderly folks at the park.

Really, it borders on creepy.

The single disruption in their day seems to occur whenever I walk by. At least once a week I make some type of scene in front of these children, and this week has been nothing short of historical. I like to think I provide the teachers with more-than-ample material for their "no one is perfect" lessons.

For example, on Monday I showed my middle finger to some lady in a Toyota Camry. She was driving way too fast and layed on her horn as she flew past my stroller. Quite simply, she scared the schnit out of me. Just as I flipped that woman off, three Montessori kids were stepping outside to tend their pansy plants and pea-pods. They witnessed the whole ordeal. Fantastic.
[Sidenote: that was the first time I've given a stranger the middle finger since high school]

On Tuesday, about twenty school children were sitting on the schools' front lawn, listening to some kind of African storyteller. My dog decided to take a giant dump ten feet behind her. Apparently, a 20-something white-girl who's picking up a poo with a target bag is far more captivating than traditional Nigerian folklore.

And Wednesday? Wednesday, quite simply, took the cake. On Wednesday, you see, I allowed James to forgo the stroller and walk to the park with his wiffleball bat in tow. I'm sure you remember the wifflebat--big, red, and hollow. Apparently our president likes to swing one around between conference calls with foreign diplomats.*
As we passed the school, James decided to walk in the road--and that's against the rules. I lovingly refreshed James' memory--he could either chose to walk on the sidewalk, or be carried. Just as he attempted to step off the curb a second time, I scooped him up, wifflebat and all.

I completely expected James to throw a fit, but instead he fell completely silent. At that moment I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment. "Finally, finally James has realized that tantrums are fruitless," I thought. I reveled in my glory for a short second, and then it happened...the third embarrassing moment of the week.

That, my friends, is the noise of James' wifflebat smacking me in the head--repeatedly.


That, on the other hand, is the sound of 100 children waiting for their bus as they watched and listened to an innocent mother getting smacked over the head with a wifflebat--repeatedly. All eyes were on us as we turned around, began walking home and eventually faded into the horizon.
Welp, I'm looking forward to seeing you tomorrow kids! I'll see what I can muster up.
*Please note: I do not use this blog to express my political opinions or afiliations (mostly because I have none). In all honestly, that was the most representative picture of the wifflebat that I could find.
The King of Recreation
May 16, 2007

My husband Jared is the self proclaimed 'King of Recreation.' Subsequently, I am the self proclaimed 'Queen of Walking the Dog and Taking Care of James All By Myself While My Husband Takes Fishing Trips.' Jared is actually taking a trip this week. To Oklahoma. For four days.

I don't mind these fishing trips so much--after all, I like a little bit of time to myself. I eat chocolate at every meal, spend money from the secret account that Jared will never know about, and watch way more TV than I would ever, ever admit. What I don't like this time is the length of the trip--four days. That's like 8 trips up and down the stairs with a dog and a stroller, by myself; 85 binky meltdowns, by myself; 20 zillion diaper changes, by myself; and 3 night of sleeping, by myself.

I tried to talk him down on the length of this trip last night before we went to bed, but the man simply wouldn't budge. I tried logic, I tried a guilt trip, I tried empty threats. He wouldn't have any of it, all he wanted to talk about was his camping menu--and just how anxious he was to consume the array of brand new condiments that was so lovinging displayed on our kitchen table. In a last ditch moment of desperation, I began to rattle of my list of hopes and wishes.

I was like, "Well, I see that you're not going to compromise on this one, Jared. In that case..."
  • I hope you get attacked by a wicked angry mob of mosquitoes.
  • I hope a raccoon pees in your cooler--two times.
  • I hope you forget to pack toilet paper and get a roaring case of the squirts.
  • I hope a bird poops on your bottom lip while you are deep in thought.
  • I hope you pee in your waders.
  • I hope you get so sweaty that you have to peel your schnuts off your thigh each night.
  • I hope you catch every genus and species of marine animal except a fish.
  • I hope all of your eyelashes fall out at the same time.
  • I hope one of your fishing buddies makes an unexpected pass at you.
  • And I hope the people at the campsite next to you have an unyielding passion for loud, gangsta rap music.
There were a bunch more, too. I rattled them off with ease, becoming more and more inflamed with each new addition to the list. Somehow, he didn't take any of my hopes to heart, and fell asleep right in the middle of my dramatic soliloquy. Whatever.

But you know? When I really stop to think about it, I mostly hope that he catches the biggest trout of his entire life, I hope he laughs with his buddies until he pees himself [sidenote: I still wouldn't mind if this happened in his waders], and I hope he misses me the entire time. Oh, but don't tell him I said that, ok?
Book Club
May 15, 2007

I joined a book club. I'm not going to lie, it kind of sucks. I guess I thought it would be fun. I guess I was wrong. I thought we would read some exciting page turners. Wrong again. Book club sucks.

My mom was in town during the first meeting, so I missed it. Talk about a fatal mistake. That was the meeting where we selected our reading list for the entire year. Yes, the entire year. The day after the meeting, the organizer of the club emailed me the reading list. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that we have to read two crappy books a month instead of just one! Ladies, it takes me three weeks to read a People Magazine, how in the hell am I supposed to read like 1,000 pages a month? This is ridiculous.

So get a load of this reading list:
Jane Eyre --Jayne Eyre? You can't be serious. I purposely avoided every class in which this book was required reading, and I've certainly never considered reading it for pleasure. I don't want to read about some ancient British lady. I bet it's totally written in an English British accent...gross.

Mountains Beyond Mountains--I only know one thing about this book. It's 500 pages. I will be reading until 2019.

The Screwtape Letters--This one is by C.S. Lewis. The only thing I know about him is that he was required reading in high school. Geesh, c'mon!!!!

Cyrano De Bergerac--Seriously, who suggested this sha-diz-nit?!?! I'm going to kick her literature-loving ass. Can we read something that is less than a million years old?

Here are the books that I suggested. I don't know why none of them made the freaking cut.
  • Are you there God? It's me, Margaret.
  • The Babysitter's Club, #1-#25
  • Go Dog, Go!
  • Rachel Ray's Lower Carb Cookbook
  • Guide to Getting it On! 5th addition
  • Anything by Paris or Nicole
  • The Adventures of Captain Underpants Series

Does anyone want to be in my book club? I think it will be way more fun.

Bye Bye Minget.
May 15, 2007

Due to some recent events, the dreaded day has arrived--it's time to get rid of the minget. At this point, you're probably wondering what a minget is. Jared and I generally refer to it as a paci, a pacifier, or a binky. James, on the other hand, refers to the ingenious little contraption as his minky or his banky, but mostly his minget.

I'm afraid that I've come to love and rely on the minget just as much as James does. It instantaneously stops screaming, crying, and puts my son to sleep faster than an elephant tranquilizer. I even tried to thank the minget (along with Elmo and Barney) on the acknowledgements page of my thesis. Unfortunately my advisor wouldn't allow me such freedom--and he later learned that I was 100% serious when I told him that he was much less helpful than the minget, so if I couldn't thank it, then I couldn't thank him either. Consequently, there is no acknowledgements page in my thesis.

I know what you're wondering. Why on earth would I force James to abandon such an integral and meaningful piece of his little life? Two reasons:

First, I was at the park a few weeks ago when a 8 year old know-it-all-little-neighbor-girl gave me too much information about the dental problems that can occur as a result of pacifier use. It wasn't the idea of hefty dental bills that caused me to reconsider James' binky use. Quite simply, that little girl is unbelievably annoying and I'd like to avoid as much neighborly interaction with her as possible. The lack of a paci leaves her with a lack of ammunition. Ha.

That same day, a different little girl came up to me to ask a few concerned questions about the plug in my kid's mouth. She, on the other hand, was heart-meltingly cute. She kindly asked me, "what's in his mouth?" as her little 5 year old finger pointed at the pacifier. I replied, "That's his binky. He never likes to take it out." Suddenly her face dropped and a look of terror consumed that little angel. Next thing I knew, she was grasping onto my leg and pleading with me in a desperate, screaming sort of way. She was all:

"YOU HAVE TO TAKE THAT OUT OF HIS MOUTH!!!!!!!!!! How will he ever EAT? And how will he ever TALK? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE TAKE IT OUT!!!!!"

The little girl's mother ran over, peeled her from my leg, and apologized for the drama. As we walked hom that day, I decided it was time to cut back on the binky, at least in public. So we have.

Starting last Sunday, James is only allowed to use his minget at nap time and bed time. He's doing surprisingly well with the transition. He's more confused than he is grumpy or upset. For example, every time he wants to eat or talk, he reaches up to his mouth and seems to remove some sort of ghost binky and lovingly places it on the nearest table. He always puts "it" back into his mouth when he's finished with whatever he was doing.

And when he requests his minget, I use one of the following techniques:

  • I give him a big hug.
  • We sing a happy song.
  • We do a happy dance.
  • I sit him in front of the TV and put his Bob the Builder DVD on repeat.
  • I give him some potato chips.
  • I give him some ice cream.
  • I let him flop around the on the floor like a bass out of its lake.
  • I tell him that our greyhound has the minget, and watch him yell at her in angry frustration.
These techniques seem to be working quite well for now.
Seriously, trust me. If you encourage your child to throw his mingets in the garbage, you're really only encouraging him to tip the trash can over. And if you tell your child that he will be donating his mingets to the newborns, you're actually teaching him to hate babies everywhere. So stick with the TV and junkfood, it's a much softer approach.
Oh, and you can thank me for this advice in person when we're dropping our kids off at weight-loss camp.
Don't Blog That!!!
May 13, 2007

My mother and father, being the very devoted parents that they are, came all the way to Texas for my graduation this weekend. They hopped on a plane after work on Friday, drove to Wichita Falls and back for graduation on Saturday, and left for the airport this morning by 9am. Yes, they are half super-hero.

One of the first things my mother mentioned to me when she pulled into my apartment complex in a rental mini-van was the fact that she's been reading my blog. Apparently, she thinks it's quite funny. However, her primary feeling surrounding my blog is fear. Fear that she is going to do something silly enough that I will write about it for the world to see.

Welp....Hi Mom!!! This blog's for you!

This weekend was great--freaking hilarious. Every time my mom would make a Freudian slip, or trip on a sidewalk crack she'd look at me with wide, begging eyes and say, "Don't blog that Amy...seriously don't blog that." Well, it is mother's day, and the 4th (?) commandment instructs me to honor my mother and father, so I'm going to let my mom off the hook.

Don't worry mom, I will spare you embarrassment by not blogging about the time you ran over the parking curb with the rented Dodge Caravan.

I won't blog about the fact that you wanted to park the rent-a-van in an isolated end spot for fear of door dings. And I certainly won't mention the fact that you wanted to protect the van by parking it in my friend's driveway across the neighborhood rather that in our busy apartment parking lot.

Oh, and I wouldn't dream of discussing the time you drove off the road because you were looking at a big train. I definitely understand how eye-catching and distracting they can be. Or the second time you drove off the road (and then back on, and then back off, and then back on) because you were watching a baby cow stretch the same way your dog does. I agree with you that the steering on that van was more than a little wonky.

Remember the time that you slammed on the breaks while driving 75 miles per hour down route 287? That incident will stay between us. Bit I will say that I thought it was funny when dad woke up from his nap because he was thrown forward, over the middle bench seat. I liked it when he exclaimed (in his groggy sleeping voice) "Help me Mary and Joseph!" It's nice to see his strong Catholic faith, and reliance on the holy saints in action. Seriously mom, don't worry about that. Dad said that the coffee from the Hot Skillet Restaurant was well worth the rude awakening.

As you can see, some things were just never mean to be blogged. So I won't.

Mom, thanks for the trip down memory land in the rent-a-van. It brought me right back to the '87 brown and tan Ford Aerostar. How very grateful I am that James was able to experience such a vivid reenactment of my childhood adventures. I agree that the steering and breaks were both a little off, and I certainly agree with your declaration that you're "very, very proud of your good driving record." You should be.

Thanks for traveling a million miles to see me graduate, and most of all...Happy Mother's Day! I love you a million!
Kids...gotta love 'em.
May 11, 2007

Yesterday was a beautiful day, so we went to the park. I was pushing James on the swing while Jared walked around with our dog, Gracie. Gracie is a unique looking dog to say the least. We've had children mistake her for a tiger, a kangaroo, an ant eater, an anorexic, and even a dinosaur. The dinosaur incident was the best. As we walked by the park, a child on the playscape yelled, "I like your dog, Mister!" Another child, the stereotypical bossy-know-it-all-type, retorted with "That's not a dog, that's a dinosaur." Forty-nine children ducked and covered with haste. Before I could stop myself, I cupped my hands around my mouth and yelled "No need to worry guys, she's a plant eater!" Forty nine children emerged from the playscape with thoroughly amazed expressions, and twentyish parents gave me that unmistakeable 'get away from my kid you weirdo' look.

Children generally aren't used to seeing these types of exotic animals at the neighborhood park, so Gracie tends to get a lot of attention. Yesterday, the bulk of the attention was given by a very cute little girl who looked to be barely three. She had a beautiful dark complexion, circle-shaped black eyes, and her hair was done in two dark-black pigtails. She was wearing a pink outfit that prominently featured Dora, and had matching light-up sandals. From what I could tell, she loved to skip. She approached Jared, and he fully expected her to ask permission to pet Gracie, or ask what type of zoo species she was. Instead, this happened:

Cute Little Girl: Does your dog poop?

Jared: Yup, she does.

CLG: Does she poop at home?

Jared: No, she poops while we walk her.

CLG: What do you do with the poop?
Jared: We scoop it up and throw it away so nobody steps in it.
CLG: She's different than my dog. My dog poops at home.
Jared: Oh.
CLG: Yeah, my dog makes some big ass poops.

Jared: [silence. mouth hanging open]

Call me crazy, but that kid got about ten times cuter after I heard that whopper fly out of her innocent, little mouth! That's my kind of girl!

Here is a picture of M-Law wearing a bathrobe that she forgot to return to the store.

And here is an equally unflattering picture of my father-in-law in his bathrobe. I like to catch them for some candid shots first thing in the morning. I don't think they mind at all.

May 10, 2007

I have a special person in my life, whom I lovingly refer to as M-Law. She has picked up this fun, yet functional nick-name for two reasons. First she is my Mother-in-Law, and second, her name is Meredith Lawson.

There are three things that make my M-Law unique: she loves to shop, she loves to return the items that she acquires while shopping, and she's very, very forgetful. Now any of these attributes in stand-alone form are not very interesting...but trust me, when they're presented as a combination they make for one whopper of a person.

Let me illustrate. M-Law took me shopping at TJ Maxx last week. After we selected our items, we pushed our cart over to a long, slow line. As we approached the register, M-Law spotted a light green top that struck her fancy. She walked over the sweater and held it up against her body to try and determine if it would fit. She decided that the sleeves were the appropriate length, but was concerned that the torso portion of the top was too short--so she asked the entire line for their opinions. There was an overwhelming, unanimous consensus among the shoppers that the fit of the shirt was perfect [sidenote: in all actuality, they just wanted the damn line to move along]. So M-Law purchased the shirt....with a store credit from a previously returned item of course.

And then we were off to Linens n' Things to return a literal trunk full of European style pillows that were purchased off of the clearance table. In a moment of excitement over an awesome bargain, M-Law had forgotten that she hates the shape of European pillows. At least that's what she told the poor man working at the customer service desk.

Later that night, after a long day of shopping and returning, we all sat down to watch American Idol. During one of the commercial sets, M-Law mutes the TV, turns to me, and says in her usual serious and exasperated tone:

Ugh. Amy. I should have tried on that shirt before I bought it today.

Me: Oh yeah, why?

M-Law: Because I bought that exact shirt last week, and it didn't fit then either.

Me: Hold on...what?! (now I'm interested...)

M-Law: I bought that shirt without trying it on last week. It didn't fit, so I returned it on Saturday. And then I bought it again. Ugh.

In conclusion and for clarity's sake, my mother-in-law rebought the same shirt that didn't fit her the week before. More specifically:

She bought the shirt on Friday.
She returned the shirt on Saturday.
She rebought the exact same shirt on Tuesday with the very store credit that was issued when she returned the shirt on Saturday.

Ay yi yi...what a woman!
Coming Soon: Dr. Jared Lawson
May 7th, 2007

It's been a while since I've posted. The delay can be blamed on two factors. First, I'm totally finished with graduate school and I no longer have the motivation to procrastinate. And second, Jared and I are in Maine. We came to Maine on a 'business trip.' In other words, Jared had a few interviews.

For those of you who don't know us very well, Jared is in chiropractic school. He graduates in December. We've recently take to calling Jared an "oh-doctor" instead of a chiropractor. Let me explain...

Person 1: Your husband is going to be a doctor? Wow! What kind?

Me: He's going to be a chiropractor.

Person1: Oh? Ohhhh. Oh. How nice (as their voice trails off and they turn to walk away)...

Me: (shouting as Person 1 walks away) Well...we're in just as much student loan debt as a regular medical doctor!!!! I hope you never throw your back out!!!!

And there you have it, an oh-doctor. After a promising interview, and not-so-promising interview, and a few in-betweeners, we've sort of settled on a post-graduation plan. Jared is hoping to work part-time for another oh-doctor in Farmington, and we're planning on opening our own small-scale, low-overhead practice somewhere near Augusta.

We've never owned our own business before--I mean heck, only one guy has ever even trusted us to watch his dog and cat. Despite this lack of experince, we're convinced we can make a go of it. I'm so confident in our abilities, that I'm willing to share some of our highly effective business strategies with my loyal readers. Let's talk about scoping out some good locations. So far, we've narrowed it down to a very, very promising town. This is how we've done it:

We like the location because:
  • Close proximity to the State capital.

  • High percentage of residents with health insurance.

  • One competitor who's only open part-time.

  • The local bakery has the most kick-ass brownies we've ever tried.

  • High concentration of hippies.

  • The hippies tend to drive nice cars.

  • Our waiter was really, really friendly.

And of course, we've had to knock some towns off of our "potential places" list. We've knocked them off for the following reasons:

  • A low percentage of residents with health insurance
  • Below average per capita income

  • The car that was displayed on the rotating platform at the local dealership was a '96 Grand Am with a crazy door ding. It was $2,995.

  • The only retail space available was a garage next to the tractor tire shop.

  • The local chamber of commerce was located in the corner of the gas station/tatoo parlor/tanning salon/video store.
I swear, if this thing takes off, I'm totally going to write a book about opening a business. I just feel like we have a knack for this.