Magnet Update
August 31, 2007

So I said I'd mail them on Tuesday. But Friday's not so bad, huh? The magnets are in the mail my friends, the magnets are in the mail.

They came out unexpectedly huge, so I suggest that you spend some time this weekend clearing up some space on your fridge. If you live in Manhattan and use one of those mini-fridges, then clear off the whole darn thing...they're that big.

It was actually the size that caused the unexpected delay in shipping, I had to buy some bigger envelopes to house these beauties.

Can't wait to hear how you like them! They're totally scrap-ta-trash-alistic!
The List
August 31, 2007

I personally believe that in order to maintain sanity in marriage, it's very important to preserve a sense of individuality. It seems to me that almost everything is shared or merged once you say 'I do'--from toe nail clippers to pets to bank accounts--whether you like it or not, it's fifty-fifty.

With the exception of my laptop and Jared's fishing equipment, we have rarely tried to fight this natural trend. We have, however, tried to maintain our personal interests. For example, Jared likes fishing, camping, skiing and hiking. I like eating, sleeping, babysitting and crying.

In addition to these hobbies, we have, since the first day of our marriage, made a joint effort to preserve one more piece of our personal lives...we call it 'The List.' If you're a close friend or family member, then you probably know about 'The List.' But if you're a casual acquaintance from cyber-space, let me fill you in. 'The List', which is short for 'The List of People I Would Make Out With Even Though I'm Married', is pretty self-explanatory, don't you think?

Now 'The List' is not some type of free-for-all-craziness. That would be gross. There are very specific rules pertaining to it's development. In case you're interested in developing your own, here are the guidelines:

1. The list may contain up to three people.
2. The people on the list must be, at the very least, D class celebrities (so no, we can't be like "The plumber is on my list, ok?")
3. The people on the list must be carefully discussed and agreed upon by both parties.
4. The people on the list cannot be freaky.

Jared's list currently contains two ladies: Sheryl Crow and Jennifer Aniston.

Well done Jared! Great choices if I do say so myself.

Please don't misunderstand, I'm straight as an arrow, but I also find Sheryl Crow to be absolutely smokin' hot. When she picks up that old guitar and starts belting out Leaving Las Vegas, I just can't hold myself back. Even if I'm driving alone down the freeway I use my hands to swing big circles above my head and I'm like "I LOVE YOU SHERYL!!!!!"

And Jennifer Aniston? If Jared didn't claim that Ms. Anistion was totally fine, then I think I'd have to leave him for someone who wasn't battling with a compulsive lying problem. She's a fox, so stop pretending like you disagree.

Jared decided to remove Katie Couric from his list a few months ago, on the grounds that her lips are shrinking. That was a happy conversation. I was so relieved that he had finally come to his senses. He was equally relieved when I made the choice to remove Matt Lauer. Yeah, I guess it was a bit of a dark time for both of us.

So who, you might be wondering, is on my list? Well, it's changed a few times throughout our five year marriage and has included various hotties such as Ty Pennington and Will Smith. Currently, however, my list is composed of two VERY fine gentlemen: Curtis, The Take Home Chef from TLC (pictured above) and Michael Buble.

Mm. Mm. Mm. No additional details required.

So, who's on your list?
The X-Ray Machine
August 30, 2007

Today, I'm happy to announce that I have a temporary, yet wonderful reprieve from my normal babysitting routine. Instead of watching my friends' boys from eleven until nine, they're not getting dropped off until four.

** and cue the heavenly singing**

James is down for his afternoon nap, so here I am, lying on the couch, eating cookies and watching Martha Stewart. I'm no expert, but I think this remarkably similar to how the afterlife will be.

I love Martha Stewart. She's a total biznatch, and I just can't get enough. I especially enjoy the way she enunciates her Ts, Ds, Ns, and various other letters of the alphabet--I think she picked up that habbit when she was in the pen. Incarcerated women are widely know for their beautiful alliteration.

So Martha was all like, "Mmm...these very preTTy coD fillets tasTe oh so gooD with..." when the phone rang.

It was Jared, and he was calling to update me about a few potential properties for his chiropractic office. One real estate ad pictured an x-ray machine, and from the way the ad was worded, it was very difficult to know if the machine was included in the deal. So Jared called to clear it up with the agent, and then called me to fill me in on what was up.

Jared: No, it's just a led-lined room, the x-ray machine isn't part of the deal.

Me: Oh, ok.

Jared: Yeah, apparently the guy who used to own it donated it to some third world county.

Me: Oh, that's SO nice.

Jared: No it's not! He could have donated it to me. I'm JUST as poor as the people in those countries!

Me: Ummm...ya wanna rethink that comment?

Jared: You're right, they don't have colleges in third world countries.

Me: See? We're way better off!

Jared: No! No colleges means no student loan debt. Amy--we're POORER than these people!

Yeah, compassion isn't necessarily my husband's strongest quality. But somehow, I just can't help but love this man.
I Guess I Should Tell You...
August 30, 2007


I called my sister last night and gave her the normal telephone greeting, "Hi Kate, it's Amy." But instead of getting any kind of normal response from the girl, she replied, "NO BLOG!?" I guess the lack of Lawsons threw her individual planet off of its axis for a day--must have been traumatic.

"You always write a blog on weekdays," she explained, "you ALWAYS do." And instead of telling her the real reason for the bloglessness, I changed the subject and began talking about scrambled eggs.

I didn't have blogger's block yesterday, in fact, it's not usual that I do. Instead, I had a stroke of inspiration. I sat down on my lucky loveseat, like I do everyday, and began to write. But instead of opening up Blogger, I opened up a Word document...a blank one.

Before I go any further, let me back up a bit. This blog started in March or April--I don't really remember--on my myspace page. In a blatant effort to avoid working on my thesis, I wrote a little story about trying to buy James a cabbage patch kid. Much to my surprise, it was kind of witty--at least my mom said it was. Then came a little story about teaching James to call me "Hot Mom" instead of plain old "Mom", and then I think I wrote about a high kick contest gone bad. I was ridiculously behind on my thesis, and loving every sweet moment.

A few weeks before my thesis was due, I wrote a running skirt review, and posted a link to it in the daily Mom's discussion thread in the Runner's World forums. It got tossed around the discussion boards a little bit, and all of the sudden *BAM* I had gotten seven comments on one post. And that was that, I started blogging all the time.

But more importantly, I made a very secret promise to myself. I decided that I'd write as much as I could through the summer, see how it went, and then in the fall, I'd try to do something with all of it. In other words--wow, I hate to admit this--I'd try to become a writer.

Well guess what? Here in Dallas, the summer is over. Not in terms of the heat (everyone still has kickin' B.O.), but the school year has started, I have one-hundred-and-thirtyish blog posts, and it's time to make good on my promise.

There are certain types of personal commitments that I'm no good at following through with--they tend to be small ones. How many times have I said to myself, "I will do laundry twice a week!" or "I'm going to lose ten pounds!" or "I'm gonna read this month's book club book!" I can't even tell you how many times I've made those claims, and I've never EVER helped them come to fruition.

But the big things, like "I'm running a marathon." or "I'm going to finish this masters degree." or "I'm going to find a way to be a stay-at-home-mom on twenty-two-thousand dollars a year.", those things have always worked out. I'm going to file "I'm going to have a career as a writer" with the big things, and if I follow my typical patterns, it might just happen. Despite my most genuine efforts, I'm sure that my child will continue to be bathed only when my mother comes to visit, but this writing thing?--I can make it happen.

So yesterday, like I was saying, I sat down on my couch, opened up Microsoft Word and typed the phrase:

Chapter One.

A surge of tingling excitement welled up inside my chest...and then I had the overwhelming urge to boof. Yes, I'm writing a book. How unbe-freaking-lievably ridiculous is that? Totally, I know.

I've spent the summer doing a great deal of research about freelancing (I even have a subscription to Writer's Market), but I can't dispel the nagging feeling that it's just not for me. I realize that it's far more practical, and I know that I'm completely capable, but I'm not sure I'm passionate about it. I'm going to write a book, and chapter one is moving right along...

So let the nervous farting begin!

I'm not going to tell you what the book is about. There are only two people who know--Jared and James. Jared happens to be the greatest secret keeper I've ever met, and James doesn't have a very firm grasp on the English language, or the world for that matter. He politely requested elephant sandwiches for supper last night, so I think my topic's safe with him.

James would probably tell you that my book was about evil robots wearing tutus, or something crazy like that. I can't even begin to tell you how off the mark that is! My book is actually about two magical unicorns seeking a music career in Nashville.

Wow, I should stop, I fear I've said too much already.
A Matter of Perspective
August 28, 2007

My husband joined the YMCA. Can you believe that? He's started exercising and I've started stocking up on canned goods, because seriously folks, the end is nigh. Hell has frozen over, and I think the earth will soon follow.

Next thing you know, I'm gonna run out and do something ridiculous, too--like vacuum. Oh man! That would really be something, huh?

Last night, after dinner, we all loaded into the Toyota and headed to the Y as a family. James played in the bounce house, I sat motionless on the recumbent bike reading People, and Jared ran on the treadmill.

After about thirty minutes, when I felt like I had adequately judged Brittany's latest antics, I headed to the scale to see if my page turning had prompted any miracles.

Mmmmm....not so much. According to that evil piece of equipment, I had actually gained eight pounds. "Oh, C'MON!" I huffed, and walked off to find Jared.

When I found my husband I was wearing an elephant-sized frown and he was sporting one of his classic 'I neglected to flush the toilet on purpose' grins.

We took one look at each other, and in unison, asked "What's going on?"

And then, in unison, we answered, "I gained eight pounds." The only difference was, I ended my sentence with the word 'damn it' and Jared ended his with a body builder pose.

And then, in unison, the truth of the situation dawned on us both...the scale was off by eight pounds. Hallelujah.

As Jared turned to walk away, all slumpy and deflated, I stopped him, looked deep into his eyes, gave him a firm pat on the butt and said, "Go get 'em tiny."
GOSH that felt good.
Marathon Training: Incident #1
August 27, 2007

I was a bit of a track star in high school, and pictured to the left are the lucky shorts that won me a whole mess of titles. I wore these very shorts when I won the state championship in the two mile run during my junior year (still my only claim to fame, so deal with my showing off, ok?). I was pictured wearing these beauties in my local newspapers at least ten times during the late nineties.


No, I obviously never returned my uniform like I was supposed to. And yes, I actually was number sixty-nine.

I had no idea what that number implied ten years ago, but thinking back, every member of the football team seemed to understand. I was met with rounds of rousing applause from the players every time I circled the track. I thought they liked my ponytail--guess not.

Finding myself in the midst of a laundry crisis last week, I wore these shorts to the YMCA. Barring the obvious embarrassment of wearing that number on my upper left thigh, the shorts functioned just perfectly.

Once I got home I washed the shorts, put them back in my drawer and forgot about them until last night--when I faced another laundry crisis. I was meeting my friend for a run and had nothing to wear, so on went the old track shorts.

If I had to give it my best guess, these shorts are from the 80's, so they're at least twenty years old. Based on my own unscientific analysis, elastic has a shelf life that is much shorter than twenty years, so go ahead and do the math. Last week's washing must have done the old elastic in, because one mile into the run, I had some very droopy drawers.

At first I thought it was funny. The shorts would start to droop, I'd run in front of my friend, lift up my t-shirt and show her the crack of my a$$. We were having a good time--it was kind of funny.

We kept on running, and the shorts kept drooping. Actually, they were drooping to the point where I had to hold them up. Can you see where this is going? I'm sure you can.

Somewhere around mile four, I began to tell my friend a story, and before I knew it, I was talking with my hands. Just as I was all, "So the building was THIS BIG!" (holding my hands high above my head), my nether-regions began to feel rather breezy.

I slowed down the pace, turned to my friend and calmly said, "Dude. I just lost my pants." Sarah ran over to me, and for some reason she opted to lift up my t-shirt, earning herself a nice bright view of my bum cheeks.

So there we were, standing in the middle of the road, shorts around my knees and my friend laughing her oh-so-sympathetic lungs out.

Thank GOODNESS it was dark.
A few items of business
August 26, 2007

First, click here to see a clip from the recent Miss Teen USA Pageant. If you'd like to donate to the South Africa and Iraq Map Fund, please contact me directly. It's a fantastic cause as Miss South Carolina so eloquently explains in her speech.

Second, speak now or forever hold your peanuts. If you posted a link to The Lawsons do Dallas! on your blog, or sent out a group email with the intention of getting a magnet, make sure you send me your mailing address.

Magnets are not emailable.

James is working away at the kitchen table, making sure the magnets are just right, and he'd hate to have you miss out. These individually crafted works of art will be finished up tomorrow and mailed out on Monday or Tuesday--after that you'll be schnit-out-of-luck. For those of you who sent me your addresses, expect nothing less than fabulousness.

Happy Sunday!
Marriage Tip
August 24, 2007

Marriage sure has its ups and downs, doesn't it?

On Tuesday it might seem as though you and your spouse are sailing on seas as smooth as glass, with mermaids jumping over the bow of your boat, tossing little sparkles into the sunny skies as you and your lover lie side-by-side feeding each other grapes and giggling as you decide if that cloud looks more like a castle or a pony.

That's sweet, isn't it?

And then, by Wednesday the winds have changed. All of the sudden it's more like you and your spouse are king-crab fisherman fighting thirty foot seas in the dead-of-winter in Alaska. You're wearing those damn rubber pants again, the hot-pockets are in short supply, and you know full well that if you push your crabbing partner off the side of the boat there will be twice as much whiskey for you.

Not so sweet. But that's marriage, and I suppose that's what those pesky vows were referring to when we all agreed to love our spouses for better or for worse.

Today, my friends, I come to you with a suggestion on how to make those challenging times a little bit less severe. Really, I tried this last night, and it worked like a charm. So Dr. Phil and marriage therapists everywhere, step aside because I have found the secret to marital happiness.

You see, last night Jared and I were fighting about--I'm embarrassed to admit this--a flashlight.
Let me back up this up a bit. Jared likes to scare the shiz out of me when I walk into our room late at night--he hides behind doors, perches on the window sill like a creepy cartoon vulture, or lies in the bathtub and then pops out. I hate it, so I've started to carry a flashlight with me, and based on the fact that I lose everything I touch, I've misplaced every flashlight in the house. So last night I took the industrial flash light out of his drill box and used that.

I walked up the stairs, shined the flashlight, and there was Jared wedged between the railing and the ceiling, naked, waiting to jump out. But instead of jumping he was like, "Hey....that's MY flashlight!" And I was like, "Hey...get your naked a$$ off MY railing." And the fight went on, and on, and on. Basically we inventoried half of the items in our house, deciding which one of us they belonged to.

Finally, I had had enough. This bickering had to stop. So I jumped out of bed, mooned my husband and used my a$$ like a puppet. Yes, I made my butt cheeks flap the line, "THE LAPTOP IS NOT HALF YOURS. IT IS ALL MINE!"

Then I pulled my pants back up and turned around to find my husband's traumatized face starting right through mine. He said, in a very serious tone, "Wow, Amy. I don't even remember what we were fighting about. I guess you win." And he covered his head with a pillow, rolled over, and pretended to sleep. In his head, I'm sure he began with his typical, "Why God?! Why?" prayer. How many times have I heard him muttering that one in the middle of the night? I can't even begin to tell you.

So there ya have it. That was my marriage tip...when fighting with your spouse, instead of using your mouth, use your backside like a puppet. You'll win every time.

Wow, this is really working!
August 23, 2007

Wow y'all. I just can't believe how well this magnet bribe is working! I'm getting emails from all over the nation and my hits have more than doubled. I'm going to be busy as a beaver producing homemade-handicrafts all weekend long. Thanks for all of your help.

I just love my readers--especially the sexalicious George Clooney. I had no idea that he was a fan of The Lawsons do Dallas! until he emailed me to let me know that he posted this picture on his official fan website.

In exchange for this all-too-kind gesture, George will receive one life sized magnet of my naked ass covered in hot pink feathers and shimmering silver poster glitter--hand delivered of course.

You guys, a restaurant-sized industrial fridge won't be able to handle this magnet--it's going to be that huge.

Ok, ok...I didn't actually get this picture from George Clooney. I got it from my cyber-friend Vanilla, who is the mastermind behind my very favorite blog, half-fast. But Vanilla told me that he got this photo straight from Clooney's website, and I totally believe him. Because really, I have no reason not to.
August 23, 2007

So I have this friend, and she's fantastic. She's a totally fridazzled type of person who rushes everywhere but somehow finds eight spare minutes to leave the world's longest voicemail messages.

I LOVE her voicemails, and much like getting rich off of real estate, they seem to follow a set formula:

Step 1) The long hi and introduction.
Example: Hiiiiiiiiiiiiii [pause] This is Sarah.......

Step 2) The child discipline.
Example: Tess, take the fudgicle out of your sister's hair.

Step 3) The apology.
Example: I'm sorry, Tess is really into fudgicles these days.

Step 4) The story.
Example: You should have seen what she did the other day with her fudgicle, it was insane. But I'll save that story for another day.

Step 5) The reconsideration/dialogue-with-self.
Example: [Sigh] Actually, I'll just tell it to you now, or else I'll forget. So we were driving down the road when Adell unbuckled herself from her car seat, and totally stuck her head out of the sunroof. I was like "put your head back in the car, sit in your seat, or else....."

Step 6) The conclusion.
Example: So anyway, we ended up getting milkshakes from Sonic instead. So that's my life these days. But I was actually just calling to ask you a favor. I really hate to ask, and I know this is a big deal, but I'm wondering if you'd be willing to--BEEEP.

And that's when the voicemail reaches its time limit and has no choice but to cut her off. And of course, the second voice mail she leaves follows the very same formula as the first.

Oh man, I just LOVE seeing this girl's name pop up on my caller ID. SO fun.
August 23, 2007

Parenting Rule Number One--never bribe your children, it will only come back to bite you.

Blogging Rule Number One--never hesitate to bribe your readers, it will make you rich and famous and do wonders for your self esteem.

Ok, I made that last one up. But seriously, I'm about to bribe you, so listen up...

Did anyone read that lady's eBay post? The one I linked to yesterday? It was circulated all over the internet through email, blogs and online forums. Well, she got 77,000 hits on her blog yesterday--77,000! Makes my 400 daily hits look totally, completely silly.

All of the publicity she's getting has started to make me realize just how much people enjoy that type of humor. Now I know I might not be as funny as she is (my mom says I'm funnier--I love you mom), but I think I have a similar sense of humor. So maybe, just maybe, people would like my blog too. And maybe they'd like it enough to click on a Google ad. And maybe I'd make upwards of twenty-five bucks a year.
My armpits are just soaked with anticipation over this! You should know that this is quite seriously the biggest career move I've ever made. So here's where you come in:

I would like to bribe you, my loyal and original readers, to tell your friends and family all about my blog. And if you do it, I'll send you a unique and valuable prize.

**side note: the term 'valuable' is subject to personal interpretation**

To win this prize, which happens to be a 'Lawsons do Dallas! I make things up' magnet, you can do one of three things:

1) email the link to my blog to at least ten people who don't already read it, and tell them to pass it on
2) post a link to my blog in an online forum, and tell your cyber-buds to pass it on
3) write a post on your blog with a link to my blog, and tell you readers to pass it on

And here are the rules, or 'fine print' if you will:

1) if you go the blog or forum route, you've got to send me an email with the link to the post
2) if you go the email route, you've got to include me as one of the email recipients (my email address is to the right)
3) any way you slice it, you have to say something great about me to lure these new, unsuspecting readers in, like "read this girl's blog, she's funny like the eBay lady" or "read this girl's blog, she's funny and she looks amazing (she's really been working out)" or "read this girl's blog and scoff at her, she can't even put pants on her child" or "read this girl's blog, she's unemployable, but she sure is funny"
4) and make sure to mention the title of your all-time favorite post (yeah, I don't have one either)

Get the idea?

And last, but not least, if you want to win the fabulous magnet I described above, you're going to have to send me your mailing address in the email. If you're uncomfortable with that because you think I might stalk you, or drive by your house, or send you love notes, then I'm sorry--no magnet for you.

But if you read this blog regularly, then you know full well that I'm not organized enough to stalk my own two-year-old in my 800 square foot apartment, so I sure as hell am not coming after you. Also, my greyhound has better map interpretation skills than I do, so I won't drive by your house either. And the love note thing? I still have to send out thank you notes for the wedding gifts I received five years ago. As soon as I finish those (any day now, Mom!), I'll scribble you a love note and pop it in the mail.

Ok, ya got it? You like my blog, you tell you friends, I send you a prize. How easy is that?

Oh, and for those of you who've already posted or emailed my link (Audrey H, the Wormecks, Vanilla, Katy, etc.), you can have a magnet if you want one. You know the drill, just email me your address and I'll run to your house pushing Jared in the jogging stroller and hand deliver your prize. And then I'll keep doing it...everyday...until you get the police involved.

And last but not least, I'll probably take this post down in a day or two because I can only afford fourteen or so magnets.
Wait a minute...I'm the cool one.
August 22, 2007

I can't let you all just laugh at someone elses blog today! I can't handle here's a story for you:

Now that the school year has started, my babysitting schedule has changed quite a bit. The biggest change is the fact that I'm now watching three children instead of one. Two days a week my friend brings her 20 month old son and her 5 month old son over to my place and I watch them for about six hours.

What can I say, other than HOLY. CRAP-A-MOLY. That is not an easy gig. Yesterday I was literally shooting myself in the side of the head with James's rubber band gun, repeating the phrase "I had a 4.0 in grad school," as the baby squawked, the 20 month old played in the dog's water dish and James removed his own poopy diaper.

Two days a week I pick Garfield (remember, not his real name) up from Montessori school, bring him back to his house and we hang out until dinner time. Much more chillaxed than the other job.

And one day a week James and I stay home by ourselves, eat mint chocolate chip ice cream, watch out favorite shows and pretend to do the laundry. I like that day the best.

Today was my Garfield pick-up day, the first one actually. His preschool is about a mile and a half away from my apartment, and for some reason I had the warped idea to run to his school to pick him up. You know, a kill-two-birds-with-one-stone kind of thing. So I loaded James into one side of the double jogging stroller, and off we went.

Let me just start this story by offering up this piece of advice: if you ever see a woman pushing a double stroller containing only one child, do whatever you need to do to refrain yourself from saying something idiotic like, "Lost one!" I courtesy giggled the first three times I heard this joke during the first mile.

But the fourth time, oh the fourth time...that's when I decided that it was my turn to be witty! This maintenance man looked at my stroller, looked at me and lightheartedly said, "Looks like you lost one, ma'am...heh, heh, heh." So I stopped, put a confused look on my faced, peered into the stroller, looked at the man with the widest eyes I could make, dramatically gasped for air and said, "OH MY GOODNESS. I can't believe I did that." Then I ran away as fast as I possibly could, as if to collect my missing child before he took my station wagon for a joy ride.

For that moment I had regained the feeling of control in my life, and wow, it felt good.

I arrived at the preschool a few minutes later, and let's just say I was the only mom who literally ran to pick up a child. A few well-dressed Dallas-type moms chatted on the front lawn as I ran up, farting my brains out and sweating like a fat man wearing a wool sweater in death valley. The double stroller has a duct-taped handle bar, a poop stain (from and kid or a dog, I'm not sure), and contained my dirty little two year old who wasn't wearing any pants.

**Side note: in case you haven't put two and two together yet, James only wears pants on Sundays, it's his fashion signature.**

For a split second I felt inferior. You know, the nasty little babysitter with the jerry-rigged stroller. Then I had a realization of sorts. I thought to myself, "Amy. You RAN here and you're about to RUN back home. YOU are the cool one." And it's true, anyone can use their Volvo Wagon to pick a kid up from preschool, but not everyone relies on their Nikes.

So I put on my confidence suit, chatted with the moms, put Garfield into the stroller next to James, and off we ran--farting, of course, the whole way home.
Another Funny Mom
August 22, 2007

I've got to walk the dog, go for a run and head to work, so obviously time is of the essence this morning. Oh yeah, James is still fast asleep, has no intention of waking up anytime soon, and will most likely expect a leisurely breakfast when he does.

Sorry kid, it's called a pre-packaged granola bar and it goes in your mouth.

Even though I'm unable to provide it, if you're looking for a chuckle, read this haggard mom's ebay post for a single package of Pokemon cards. That poor woman is very, very funny.

But wow, holy hell, I'm never having six children...ever.
James Pics
August 21, 2007
Grandma, Pepere, Grammy, Grampy, Aunts, Unlces, cousins and friends--here are a few pictures that I snapped of James this morning. Actually, he wouldn't let me take his picture, so I was sneaky and convinced him to let me take some pictures of his favorite cars and trucks. So here are James's very best toy friends, posing for the camera. Enjoy!

Posted by Picasa
Family Update
August 21, 2007

Since there is nothing exciting and/or noteworthy going on in the Lawson household, I thought I'd write an update for all of my family and friends today. So hold on to your hats...

James is doing fantastically. His vocabulary is simply exploding, and his ability to string words together is something else. James has been using these new skills to continuously shock his mother by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. On Sunday, for example, he piped up during the quiet part of church--twice. First he piped up to proclaim, "Amy...I a monkey!" Then he preceded to make his best monkey noise over and over....and over. Can you say 'attention grabber'?

Then, during the second hymn, James climbed on to the pew (FYI: we were sitting in the second row), did some sort of dance that resembled the 'cabbage patch' and yelled, "Oh yeah! Oh yeah!" Apparently, James is soulful enough to rock out to the world's most boring version of 'How Great Thou Art.' He was really feeling it. It was the second time he's successfully performed that stunt in church.

He's becoming a real crowd pleaser, and yes, he calls me by my first name (as long as he doesn't start calling me 'Woman', I'm fine with it). Also, he won't let me cut his toe nails, he likes to stick his hand down his diaper immediately after pooping, and according the James, Elmo is dating Spiderman. Who knew?

Jared is fine. As I type, he's in the middle of his last round of final exams--ever. He has a few clinic requirements to finish up, and in less than four months he'll be Dr. Lawson. More importantly, he'll be employed, and at this point I don't care if Dr. Lawson is working the drive-thru window at a donut shop. Dr. Lawson needs a paycheck.

In other news, Jared gave himself a haircut last night. He's been doing these self-haircuts for a few months now, and so far so good acceptable. After the budget crash of '07, we all had to make some spending sacrifices. Jared determined that he either had to give up his forty dollar haircuts from his stylist named Precious (that is not a joke), or his man-dates with Blake and Lehi. With a heavy heart, he opted to dump Precious.

Last night, like every home haircut, Jared asked for my assistance, and then harshly criticized my efforts. "Amy" he hissed, "you are not holding my hair the right way with your fingers when you cut the stragglerssssss." I threw down the scissors in a moment of exasperation and quit. I am no longer the haircut helper, Jared was too demanding. Now he looks like a pot scrubber--whatev.

Well, I'm happy to say that everything is going well in my world, too. Yesterday my blog received its ten-thousandth hit from unique visitors, so I'm feeling pretty important. I was just waiting for the paparazzi to pop out from behind the cereal display at WalMart and start snapping my pic. It never happened, thank goodness. I would never want to world to know that I buy the store brand cheerios.

I bought some size eight jeans from the Gap on Friday instead of my regular size tens. I wore them on a date to the art museum and I could breath normally. Hallelujah.

And last but not least, my career as a professional babysitter has really taken off and I now have a second job. What's even more noteworthy is the fact that a family tried to lure me in at the park with an elaborate nanny-poaching scheme. In all seriousness it involved a grandmother following me to the park and giving me a drawn-out sob story about the family's childcare situation. It ended with a neighborly dispute and a desperate phone call from the family I currently work with (I guess they haven't realized that my child never wears pants and can recite the movie 'Cars' from start to finish). But really, how important did I feel?! LOVED IT!

Well, that's all the news for now, folks. I'll add a few pics when James wakes up. And as always, lots of love to our family and friends!
If I Were a Rap Star
August 20, 2007
Jared and I seem to have the most insightful conversations late at night. Here is a recap of last night's exchange, right before we fell asleep...

J: Amy, if you were a rapper what would your stage name be?

A: Mmmmm...probably cellu-LITE. Emphasis on the LITE.

J: Oooohhh, I like that. Very imaginative. Would you have back-up singers?

A: No, I would have back-up rappers.

J: Oh, right. What would you call them?

A: Mmmmm....the Loose Caboose. In honor of my arse.

J: So you'd be 'Cellu-LITE and the Loose Caboose'?
A: Yeah.
J: Gosh Amy, that's got a ring to it. I like it.

A: Thanks Babe, that means a lot. It really does. G'night.

J: G'night.
Geeze Jared
August 18, 2007

Jared went to Blockbuster to rent a movie tonight. "How convenient" I thought--Blockbuster, you see, is right next to Whole Foods, and Whole Foods happens to have the greatest brownies on the face of planet earth. Trust me, they're not what you think. These aren't some organic seaweed and homegrown whole grain hemp fake-o brownies, they're the real deal. Crispy on the top, gooey in the middle, and little bitty chocolate-heaven-chips all over the place.

I love brownies.

I loooove Whole Foods Brownies.

I would leave my husband and marry a Whole Foods Brownie if it was legal. And someday, I sincerely hope it is (Vote Democratic! Whew!).

A few minutes ago, Jared called me from his cell phone to exclaim, "Do you know how much these brownies cost?!"

I was like, ""

"Amy" he spitted, "It's SEVEN dollars and NINETEEN CENTS!!! For ONE brownie!"

I was all, "Oh man, that's ridiculous! Are you sure you're looking at the right thing? Brown and gooey, cut into a square...just a regular old brownie, babe."

"Yup, that's it. Seven-nineteen for one brownie. So dumb."

And that's when I heard the faint sound of his car stereo in the background.

"Um, Jared? Where are you?"

"I'm almost home, Babe...I just crossed Abrams Road."

"Jared? You bought that brownie, didn't you?"


And now we're in a fight.
True Love
August 16, 2007

If you read this blog regularly, then you know that I'm not a health-food freak by any stretch of the imagination. My favorite foods tend to be both horrible for the body and embarrassing for the ego.

We do, however, try to keep things relatively healthy on a day-to-day basis. You know--wheat instead of white, water instead of soda, organic when it's on sale (I can't afford the mortgage on most organic muffins), blah, blah, blah. The one thing that we're pretty stick-up-the-bum about is high fructose corn syrup. We don't let it into our house.

Let me revise that: We USUALLY don't let it into our house.

Somehow, when we were grocery shopping on Monday, Jared didn't realize that high fructose corn syrup was the very first ingredient in the store brand pink-lemonade-from-concentrate that retails for seventy-nine cents.

Yeah, I'm not sure how he missed that one either.

Anyway, we were having a barbecue type dinner tonight, and I thought the pink lemonade would be fun, so I mixed it up. James watched in utter amazement from his high chair as I mixed the neon goop with four cans of water and stirred it all together. And when he realized that this crazy pink stuff was actually meant for drinking, well, let's just say he shouted for joy.

There was no doubt in my mind that when translated into adult-speak, his happy little shrieks actually meant: WOMAN, YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR HEAD IF YOU THINK I'M NOT GETTING ANY OF THAT. THE PINK STUFF GOES IN THE SIPPY CUP. NOW.

So I avoided the inevitable conflict and filled his cup with some watered-down lemonade. He took one sip, removed the cup from his lips, held it to his chest with both hands, pointed his eyes toward the ceiling and let out a deep breath as if to say: FINALLY, MY LIFE ON THIS EARTH HAS MEANING. THANK YOU,THANK YOU OH GREAT ONE.

He went on, slowly drinking his lemonade through dinner, smacking his fat little lips after each sip. Somehow, I think James knew that this drink of the gods was an administrative oversight, and tonight would be the last time he would experience such rapture until the age of eighteen, because he didn't slurp it down all at once. He enjoyed it.

After dinner he still hadn't finished his lemonade, but insisted on carrying his cup around as he played. His green monkey puppet had a pretend sip of juice, his teddy-bear-rocking-chair had a pretend sip of juice, and his caveman action figure got a pretend sip of juice.

I left the room for a minute and came back to find James sitting in front of the fireplace, having some sort of an emotional moment with his sippy cup. Jared and I kind of laughed and Jared asked, "James buddy, whatcha doing?"

And James replied, "Daddy, I uggen da duce."

"Ohhhhhh," we said in unison.

James was 'hugging his juice.'
Aw junk!
August 16, 2007

Well I've gone and done it, and it's too late to turn back. I promised my friend Sarah that I would run the Dallas White Rock Marathon with her in December.

Dang it.

A $90 entrance fee and 26.2 miles of running...non-stop. There will be no cowboys kicking me with spurs, there will be no criminals chasing me with stun-guns, and there will be no wild boars trying to take a bite out of my arse. This run will occur as a result of my free will and ridonculous is that?

We've decided to run this race as our last big hurrah before I move back to New England. Sure, we could have taken a cruise to Mexico, but who wants to look back and say, "Remember that time at karaoke...?" when you can fondly look back and ask questions like, "Remember that time in the medical tent...?" or "Remember that time when we were licking the sidewalk...?"

So what does that mean for you, the reader? Well, it does not mean that The Lawsons do Dallas! will turn into an exclusive running blog. I personally find running far too dull...and repetitive...and painful (actually, that's made up...the truth is, half-fast has cornered the market on funny running blogs, and I can't even begin to compete). Believe you me, if this blog were to cover one topic exclusively, it would be NASCAR, no question. I love race cars and I love RVs, so to me, NASCAR is one step above eating cherry-cheesecake with Saint Peter on my own personal cloud in heaven.

Anywho, it means that for the next four months you'll enjoy stories of me pooping behind porta-potties, pooping on the side of the highway, pooping in random stranger's toilets, and when my stars haven't quite aligned, pooping in my pants. At least that's how it went last time I ran a marathon in 2004, and that was fine, because pooping in your pants is cool--really cool.

You will also get to hear my thoughts on gaining weight.

Ok, I know what you're thinking...'Gaining weight? While training for a marathon!? That's not how it's supposed to work!" Well guys, get those thoughts out of your head right now, because I'm not your average marathon runner. You see, as soon as I turn in a marathon entrance form I immediately feel entitled to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. And when I say 'whatever I want' I mean 16 slices of pepperoni pizza dipped in ranch dressing with a side of fried chicken...for a snack. Seriously, I committed to this race yesterday, I haven't even completed my first official training run, and today I have already eaten a bowl of cereal, a couple pieces of chocolate, and a large plate of enchiladas.

Current time: 10:57 a.m.

This, my friends, is going to be fantastic.
Redneck Robbery
August 15, 2007

Never say that rednecks aren't innovative. Smart? Maybe not. Innovative? You bet your step-sister's ass they are.

They use tin foil for roof repairs. They use their ride-on lawn mowers for transportation after the weekend's DUI. They use their cousin as their spouse. And most recently, they use duct tape as a disguise.

That guy up there, Casey Kazee, made the decision to rob a liquor store yesterday. In a moment of quarter-brained inspiration he decided to wrap his head in duct tape to disguise himself from security cameras. Why use a fast and easy-to-remove knee-high stocking or ski mask when you can wrap your head in the stickiest tape known to man? When your face is beet red, your eyes brows have completely vanished, and your head is covered in lint and dog hair, what in the hell are you supposed say to the cops? "Nope, not me! I didn't cover my head in duct tape sir, it's always this sticky."

Just to add some dimension to the story, Kazee pulled his shirt up over his head, imitating the world infamous 'Cornholio' character from the Beavis and Butthead cartoon. Today, the people of the United States have taken great joy in hearing local newscasters use the word 'Cornholio' over, and over again.

Kazee passionately denies that he is the duct tape bandit--who made off with two rolls of nickles. If you'd like to see this hillbilly-ghetto-super-star in action, click here.

Trust me, you want to click there.
Happy Birthday Katy!
August 14, 2007

I'd like to send a happy, happy birthday to my big sister Katy who is now thirty years old. She claims to be excited about her new age (not that there's anything wrong with that). I keep hearing that thirty is the new twenty, and considering recent medical advancements, I can't say that I completely disagree.

Katy, today is your day, so hit the town and do something for yourself. Do something that thirty-year-olds enjoy. In case you're short on ideas, I've come up with a few of my own. You could:

...go to Macy's and try on a few holiday themed cardigan sweaters.

...take a fiber laxative (but only after your purchase it using a manufacturer's coupon). yourself a new, age appropriate swimsuit.

...test drive your dream mini-van.

...order a nice, new pair of mom-jeans from JC Penney or Sears (your choice).

...or treat yourself to a short, easy-to-manage haircut.

You're right Katy, thirty is cool. Rock on in your button down halloween sweater, matching turtleneck shirt, and coordinating pin! Rock on in your sensible shoes! Rock on to your favorite song by Kenny G (and other lite favorites)!

Rock on, girl...because life truly begins at thirty!
I've Been Tagged
August 13, 2007

My friend Samye tagged me. That means I get to answer all of these questions, tag five of you, and then you can answer the questions on your blog. Can you say 'F-U-N'?

Jobs I’ve Held:
1. jelly donut filler
2. sandwich maker
3. children's entertainer/pirate impersonator (This is still the highest paying job I've ever had--it involved dropping my pants to expose my burlap underwear to a ship full of tourists. Yes, I wore burlap underpants--damn straight I made good money)
4. personal assistant to Donna (Donna was an incredibly sweet woman with special needs. Despite the fact that she would take the food right out of my hand, slurp my hot chocolate while I tried to hold on to it for dear life, and regularly got out of my moving vehicle, I liked that job)
5. grant writer at UMaine (Oh my gosh, this was excruciatingly boring. I generally spent 7 hours a day napping at my desk and shopping the sales at

Movies I Can Watch Over and Over:
1. Cars
2. Fast and the Furious
3. Too Fast, Too Furious
4. Fast and the Furious, Tokyo Drift
5. Aladdin

My Guilty Pleasures:
1. buying Cars toys (update: I found Sarge)
2. being a lazy sack of crap
3. eating chocolate
4. singing in the shower
5. putting James in kid-care at the YMCA and hiding in the locker room reading People magazine instead of working out

TV Shows I Like:
1. Sesame Street (damn I love those puppets)
2. Last Comic Standing
3. The Office
4. The Today Show
5. Ellen

First Things I Thought When I Met My Husband:
1. Wow. That's a belt buckle.
2. This boy bears a striking resemblance to Doug Funny (the NickToon pictured above)
3. I think I outweigh him by 3 to 5 pounds
4. I should have brushed my hair
5. Well, here's the guy I'm gonna marry

Places I've Been on Vacation:
1. Disney World
2. Galveston, TX
3. Broken Bow, OK
4. San Antonio, TX
5. Washington DC

Favorite Foods:
1. Snickers
2. Cheetos
3. Corn Dogs
4. nachos grande
5. root beer floats
(obviously, I'm a disgusting person and I enjoy attending fairs and sporting events)

Websites I Visit Every Day:
1. Ten zillion blogs (all listed to the right)
2. Yahoo! mail
3. google
4. runners world (because I have a strange habit that I can't seem to shake)
5. my running moms group (because the best friends are virtual friends)

Body Parts I've Injured:
1. None. I'm built like a super-combination of Stretch Armstrong and the man of steel with a pain tolerance the size of Minneapolis.

And now I get to tag five people:
I would tag Vanilla, but I think he's quite particular about what goes on his blog...not that there's anything wrong with that.
So I will tag Carrie B, Katy, Mom, Sarah Y, and Rebecca.
Gosh, I feel so bossy....

Text me.
August 12, 2007

Jared has officially gone off the deep end with text messaging. The man might just be the slowest, most inefficient texter that I've ever known, but that doesn't mean he's not devoted. I learned of his new found interest in texting last month when I opened the cell phone bill--it was twenty dollars higher than normal.

After my exasperation wore off and I scotch taped the torn up bill back together, I combed through it to see who he was texting, because it definitely wasn't me. So who was it? It was three people: Courtney, Blake, Lehi.

Courtney is the girl who sits next to Jared in class. Yes, you read that right. They text each other all day long, and they sit next to each other in class...all day long. Apparently passing notes is no longer functional. In order to piss away hard earned tuition money, one must pay fifteen cents per message.

Blake and Lehi are Jared's BFFs. They both seem to be within twelve feet of my husband every time I call. When I scrolled though Jared's in and out box, their texting conversation went something like this:

Yo. Who farted?

I farted.


I know.

Oh. Ur hair looks good today.

And there went seventy five cents, right down the pooper shoot.

This morning I had get to church early, so Jared and I took separate cars. As I walked out the door, Jared stopped me and said, "Hey, do you have your phone with you?"

"Um yeah. Why?"

"Oh, because I want you to send me a text to let me know where you're sitting."

I was like, "Excuse me? You want me to take out my phone, in church, and text you to let you know where I'm sitting?! No Jared, I won't do that."

And he dejectedly asked, "Well why not?"

"Because our church is the size of a tool shed, Jared. There are only eight rows in the entire chapel. I think you can manage to find me."

San Antonio
August 11, 2007

This weekend we took a somewhat impromptu trip to San Antonio. Basically Murphy's Law was in full force, and everything went wrong. Despite seven hours of traffic on the way down, an over tired toddler, a bowl of soup and a burger totalling forty dollars, an echoing tantrum in the hotel room, an echoing tantrum in a cave, and a ridiculously disgruntled husband, I managed to have a whale of a time.

There was only one time that I really wanted to throw in the towel and cry, and that was on the way home. We stopped off to have dinner at Luby's Cafeteria. I'm overly enthusiastic about all types of cafeteria food (hospital, school, prison, etc.)--so I was excited to say the least. We walked to the front door of the restaurant and Jared said "Oh, I have to go put my sunglasses in the car." As he walked back to the old Toyota, a church bus pulled up to the entrance, let out its little puff of air, and off walked 40-or-so happy, hungry church members. Jared came back, and being the curmudgeon he is, refused to wait. As we walked away from Luby's, with a tear welling up in my eye, I stopped, gave my husband a laser-beam glare and grumbled, "I hate your sunglasses. I hate them so much." And then we ate fast food.

Anywho, the rest of the trip was fantastic (for me at least). San Antonio is a beautiful city--further proof that Dallas is still the lamest dot on a map of Texas.

That first picture is of me and my family posed in front of the Alamo. It was surprisingly small in person. Being the history buff that I am, I have no idea why the Alamo is famous. Even after the [snoring boring] educational tour, I still have no idea why the Alamo is famous. All I know is that my all time favorite movie, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, had a scene at the Alamo. I looked and looked, and much to my dismay, Pee-Wee's bike was not on display.

Here is a picture of James performing The Dance of the Over Tired Toddler for a group of tourists on the river walk.

Here I am showing James a duck. He told me that he wanted to eat the duck. I was like, "James, that's disgusting."

Here I am trying to reason with James, letting him know that he's not allowed to go 'fwimming', in the river because he might float away. I am also gently talking myself out of letting James go 'fwimming' because the trip could take a sharp turn for the better if he did float away.

James and his beloved water bottle.

Here we are at some cave. I saw the billboard on the ride home and made Jared take the fifteen mile detour, because DAMNIT! he was gonna have some fun. Little did I know that taking an overtired toddler into an echoing cave, 135 feet below the earth, with only one way out, was a very, very bad idea. Thirty-five dollars and two hours later, we were barely speaking.

Here is an aquifer (as if I even know what that means). Yes, of course James wanted to go 'fwimming' and had a tantrum on a two foot wide ledge when I said no. He was clawing at the cave walls, screaming like a madman, and he totally pulled my skirt down for a second. That's when the overly friendly tour guide shimmied over, looked at James and said, "Honey, remember not to touch the walls of the cave!"
James stopped crying, looked at me, and said, "Mommy, I bite her." I was like "Ok."

So there ya have it! Our weekend trip to San Antonio with a toddler in tow. Hee-haw!
If you want to get technical about it....
August 9, 2007

I'd like to thank my kind hearted readers for their outpouring of support in my previous post, because I don't make stuff up. Well, if you want to get technical about it, I kind of do--I make up my own swear words. I make up my own swears for three reasons. First, it's so much fun. Second, my sister went through an extended nasty swearing phase, so I've kind of had my fill. And third, I'm Mormon, and Mormons aren't supposed to swear. Consequently members of my religion are quite famous for making up cusses. I would say that the two most common Mormon swear phrases are as follows:

1) Oh my heck!
2) What the fetch?!

I like to think that I can do much better than these, as both happen to be unbelievably weak. So I've taken to making up my own curse words, and borrowing pseudo-swears from here and there.

The two pseudo-swears that I'm the most proud of are schnit and sha-dang-dong. They both replace the SH** word. I'm pretty sure that I've also coined the terms shiggle, and shi-tang-tang. Non-original replacements include shiz, sha-diz-nit.

Then there's the b-word. I generally stick to non-homemade replacements for that one. I like biz-natch, and beyotch does the job quite nicely as well...although I'm never completely sure of the correct spelling. I've also been know to use the terms ba-dingle-dozer, ba-doodle, and super-bitter-titch to express my deepest sentiments--those are all made up.

I tend not to replace the word ass. But on occasion I will use the words trash, tooter, and pooper in its place.

I try to avoid the f-bomb all together.

So there ya have it. Susan was right, I guess I make stuff up. My in-laws love it.
I really don't know what's up with the formatting of that post down there. I tried!

Also, in following the example of the fine blogger Half-fast, I'm going to take that word verification step off of my blog comments, too.
Shout Outs!
August 9, 2007

It's been a while, and it's due time that I do some shouting out to my friends around the block.

The first Shout Out! goes to:

I was supposed to get $6.44 in change. Do you think I didn't notice that you only gave me $1.44? Am I really supposed to think you couldn't hear me knocking on your Plexiglas window? Well I don't, because I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt that those are not noise cancelling headphones you wear. I will gitch-you, you nasty lady. I don't know when, or where, or how, but watch your back because one strategically placed banana peel with bruise your Jack-in-the-Box ass--so bad!

Glad I got that off my chest. I'm over it, I forgive you. Believe me, I could use an extra five bucks, too.

And the second Shout Out! goes out to:


Susan is a somewhat friendly reader from the Midwest, who might take mommy blogging just a tad too seriously. I like Susan because she sent me my first ever piece of fan mail, which boosted my self-esteem more than I'd like to admit. But I struggle with Susan based on the content of her letter:


I like your blog but I can't help but think some of your stories are made up. Also, you come across as being quite negative at times...blah, blah, blah, etc.


I would like to take this opportunity to respond to Susan.

Dear Susan,

Thank you for your email. I like having fans, even when they're not so adoring. I must disagree with you when it comes to your comment regarding my negativity. Rather, I would term myself a realist.

For example, yesterday James attempted to flush his own hand down the toilet--repeatedly. If I were negative I would blog like this: James is trying to flush his hand. I'm cracking under the pressure, I'm unhappy in my marriage and life, and I need to get some therapy.

If I were strangely positive (as you seem to prefer), I would blog like this: Awwww! James is trying to flush his hand down the toilet :o) I'm so grateful that he's taking interest in the potty and that his developmental skills are right on track. That's m'boy! :) (o:

But since I'm a realist, I blog like this: James has been trying to flush his hand down the toilet for two hours. I'm loving the free time. Oh, and remind me to put anti-bacterial soap on my shopping list.

I would also like to set the record straight and beg your forgiveness because, yes, I make things up--all the time. I'm actually the assistant CFO of a fortune 500 company and I really love to blog in my spare time. I am a 52 year old male who makes $349,000 annually, and I'm sitting in my corner office on the 68th floor of a high rise as I type.

**Sidenote: I am single, so if you'd like to go out, just leave a comment**

It is quite true that I have a two year old son named James. However, he is a very reasonable human being, he rarely misbehaves, and he far prefers flashcards to toys. He has been potty-trained for 4+ months and has little trouble speaking in full sentences.


Roger P. McSchmidtyschnuts (stage name: Amy Lawson)