Amy's Tips for Professional Success

August 29, 2008

I have a meeting in an hour where I have to present market research to six men who are all at least twice my age. As far as I know, one is a former politician and another sits on the board of some company somewhere.

I should mention--I'm not totally clear about what "market research" actually is.

I'd like to venture a guess that a lot of twenty-somethingish women would be intimidated by a situation like this--but not me. All I can do is fart around on my blog and think, "Oh my crap, I am so hungry. I wish I had some chicken."

I really should be preparing. You know--putting forth some inkling of professional effort to protect myself from all out humiliation. But no, I'm not. Instead, I'm sitting here telling myself that as long as I can avoid, 1) excessive use of the word "um," 2) passing loud and/or stinky gas, and 3) letting a boob flop out of my blouse, then I should be totally fine.

I know what you're thinking..."But Amy, wouldn't the boob floppage give you a significant advantage in the situation like this?"

You know--I think it would push me a step ahead in some major metropolitan areas, but certainly not in this neck of the woods. These men are Mainers--they would be far happier to see a six-pack of Budweiser, a .22 rifle, and a small mouth bass roll onto the table than a useless old set of knockers.

After all, even the most bodacious of taa-taas are attached to women. And women like to nag.

With that pearl of wisdom, I will button my shirt up to my chin and head out for my presentation.

Wish me luck! And I hope you all have a fun filled, traffic-free long weekend.

Love for NieNie (BUY OUR BOOK!)

August 28, 2008

If you're a Mormon mom, then you've undoubtedly heard about the tragedy that has struck our beloved Stephanie Neilson from the NieNie Dialogues. For those of you who aren't familiar with Nie, and her super-classy-wonder-woman-ways, I'm very sad to report that she was in a terrible plane crash with her husband who she lovingly refers to as "Mr. Nielson."

They are both in medically induced comas due to the fact that they are badly burned over most of their bodies. While they are very lucky to be alive, the upcoming months (and years) of recovery are expected to be grueling--to say the least.

If you're not familiar with her blog, I'd encourage you to check it out. I'm sure you'll be blown away by her outlook on life, her gorgeous family of six, and then pee yourself laughing when you take a moment to compare her domestic abilities to my own.

If you're interested in following her recovery, you can visit her sister's blog, C Jane Enjoy It, here.

And if you want to help Stephanie's family directly, you can do so by purchasing a book that I'll be featured in. And come now--how much freaking fun is that?

A dozen-or-so Mormon mommy bloggers (the funny-frazzled-why-in-the-hell-did-I-have-so-many-kids ones, not the lame-o-my-life-is-perfect ones) have teamed up to compile a self-published book of snippets that will probably make you shart in your pants. Well, at least my entry will.

Hopefully they won't edit out all of my inappropriateness for the sake of our religious standards, because HELLO, LADIES! IT MOST CERTAINLY ISN'T AGAINST OUR RELIGION TO TALK ABOUT FARTS IN DETAIL!

100% of the proceeds from the book will be donated to The Nie Recovery Fund, and it should be ready for purchase in a matter of weeks.

I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Hello, Art!

August 28, 2008

Earlier today, around lunchtime, someone stumbled across my blog by Googling the following phrase: "my name is art it rhymes with fart and that's a fact."

Well hello, Art! I sure am happy I am to have you join us!

And to the suffering soul who found my blog by Googling, "how to unstick an emergency break in a buick regal," I would suggest taking the plunge and purchasing a new vehicle. Well, unless you'd like to remain celibate for the rest of your time on Earth--then you should have that sticky break repaired.
Have a great rest of the day, troops!

Art Rhymes with Fart--Maybe That's Why I Like It

August 27, 2008

My life isn't all about processed foods and reality TV--really, it's not.

Yes, I do try my best to make it appear that way, but if you want the honest-to-goodness truth--and I can't believe I'm about to share this with you--our television broke three or four months ago, and we haven't gotten around to replacing it yet. I'm sure we'll take the plunge and buy a new one when The Office comes back in the fall, but in the mean time I'm perfectly happy to live my life with a television that produces sound only on occasion.

My second confession circles back to the processed food thing. Yes, I absolutely do love generic cheese balls. And yes, I ate an entire bag of said cheese balls this past weekend, but they're actually not the staple of my diet. I mostly consume things like apples, and whole grain cereal, and veggie burgers, and beans, and--actually, I'll stop now. That's enough exposure for today.

The reason I included that little disclaimer is because the subject of today's post is art--and that's a topic that I didn't think I could simply switch gears and start writing about. I was concerned that you might lose your bearing on the world and think, "Whoa there just a minute! Art?! I was under the impression that her house was totally decorated with posters of half-naked men!"

Um, no. I'm afraid not. That's just my office. And my half of the garage.

Truth be told, I have a major thing for locally produced art--and I'm not talking about the crafty shizzles you buy at your neighborhood fair. I love paintings, and sculpture, and hot damn I felt lame even typing that.

Other than the fact that my great-grandfather was a well-known folk-painter here in Maine, I really can't figure out where this fascination comes from. On second thought, I read a book about my great-grandfather a few years ago and learned that he painted a ton of nude portraits of the same woman--who was speculated to be a nun. Clearly the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, so maybe that is where my interest comes from.

I'm feeling excited today because I decided to use some extra pocket money to sign up for a course with one of my very favorite local artists. Trust me folks, it took a major dose of self control to stop myself from using the cash to buy Guitar Hero and an industrial sized bag of Twizzlers. I consider this a major victory.

So stayed tuned for photos of some very mediocre art projects by yours truly. And in the mean time, you can rest assured that I will never understand Shakespearean theater--I honestly believe there is far more cultural value in any Will Ferrell film. That man is a genius.

Middle School Dreams

August 26, 2008

You know what I'm doing right now? I'm sitting in my office, listening to a recently uncovered 15-year old mix tape.

It's amazing how a couple of songs by Guns n' Roses, and Boyz II Men can instantly send me back to my thirteen year old self. But trust me, it's a time in my life that I'd love to relive. Unlike most people, middle school was my heyday--I always had a boy by my side, a party invitation in my backpack, and six miniature donettes in my belly.

I also had a locker laced with moldy sandwiches and bangs the size of China--but somehow, those details never stood between me and social acceptance. I suppose I was lucky--very, very lucky.

I would have to say that one of my fondest middle school memories is of my 98 pound boyfriend. He played the trumpet like a rockstar, owned almost 100 CDs, and earned a hefty allowance that he often put toward the purchase fabulous gifts for his girlfriend. Really ladies, what wasn't to love?

On top of all of those positive attributes, he was a boy who took our relationship very seriously. At least that's what I took away from his eighth-grade yearbook comment that read...

Dear Amy,
I sincerely hope I marry you someday.

In between work calls today, I decided to sign on to Facebook and search for my old flame. Well, he was there, and when I read his "About Me" description I felt a little bit faint and audibly muttered the words, "Oh sh*t, Craig. We were supposed to get married!"

Then I called Jared at work...

JARED: Hello?
ME: Oh my word, do you know what my eighth grade boyfriend is doing?
JARED: I guess I don't.
ME: He just graduated from business school, Jared. Yale business school. YALE BUSINESS SCHOOL!
JARED: Wow, that's impressive. My eighth grade girlfriend has three kids from three different dads and is trying to get her GED.
ME: Jared, I almost married this guy. Seriously, he wanted to marry me! I'm so mad at myself.
JARED: For what?
ME: For letting him break it off in ninth grade! Do you think he'll take me back!? Seriously, do you think he will!?
JARED: Probably not, babe. You're married and pregnant. Maybe you can just say hi to him at your reunion.
ME: Do you think he'll give me a gift?

And that's when Jared hung up on me.

Out of you know what your middle school flame is up to these days? If so, post it in the comments.

These are Normal Ideas

August 25, 2008

I'm not feeling very funny today. Probably because we're mourning the loss of our third hubcap. It happened on a leftover frost heave, we watched it roll into a ravine, and this time it was the driver's side rear.

Instead of forking out the cash for three new hubcaps--which I know we'll lose within 48 hours--I'm thinking about creating a visual distraction by covering my three naked tires in silver poster glitter.

I don't know--it's just an idea.

I'm also thinking about quitting my well-paying day job to work at a Thai restaurant, replying to every 0% credit card offer that comes to me in the mail, and buying a minivan.

It's totally not the pregnancy hormones. So don't even suggest that.

Gracie 911

August 22, 2008

The ducks in that picture are a whole lot more graceful than my 65-pound dog.

Last night, I was walking Gracie and things were pretty much status quo--a couple of soupy poos, a tromp through a huge bed of poison ivy, and a whole lot of trash sniffing. Like I said, totally normal.

When we took a left onto Hayward Street, I spotted a party up on the lefthand side of the street. The yard was packed with 20-something year-olds who were laughing, flirting, and drinking Sam Adams. I can honestly say that I've never seen anything like that in my trashy little town. Usually it's three or four rednecks gathered around a 1988 Buick Regal, listening to gangsta rap on the cassette player--not a happy little Abercrombie crowd.

"Well, excellent," I thought, feeling incredibly self conscious. After all, I was wearing a pair of sweatpants that I've owned since 2001, a white t-shirt that's no longer large enough to contain my baby-belly, and a really strange TEXAS zip-up hoodie that I bought on clearance for less than two dollars. I was pushing an unkempt, and reckless three-year-old on a tricycle, and on top of that, I wasn't wearing any make-up and my hair looked a lot like this.

I had the overwhelming urge to run in the other direction and sob behind a trashcan--but that's far easier said than done when you have a toddler in tow. After a split second of thought, I decided the best thing I could do was to act cool. Also easier said than done.

As we approached the party I adapted my walk into more of a swagger (because that's cool), did my best to swing my knotted-up hair over my shoulder, and casually waved to the party saying "What's up?" in my patented sexy voice.

At that point the sidewalk ended, and were were forced to cross the street (thank goodnich). James followed my directions and looked both ways, and we cautiously stepped off of the curb--away from that horribly fabulous party. I was so anxious to get away from that party, that I gave Gracie a firm tug on her leash when I felt that she wasn't following.

As soon as I tugged on her leash, it was as though I had pressed the whimper loudly button, because Gracie did just that--she whimpered very, very loudly. I quickly turned around in a huff, just wanting to get out of there, but knowing something was probably wrong with my dog.

And it was.

Gracie--having the coordination of a monkey who's drunk on tequila, and a brain the size of a chopped walnut--had decided to tromp across the sewer grate, and inadvertently allowed her back legs to fall through the holes.

For a moment, I completely forgot about the party, because my dog looked so super strange...really short, I guess. And then it dawned on me--"I should probably feel moderately humiliated."

I was itching to rescue my dog, but before I did anything heroic, I had to make sure that James and his tricycle were planted firmly on the sidewalk. That step took about thirty (long) seconds. All the while poor ol' Gracie was howling, and the entire party was watching the situation unfold.

It took three attempts for me to successfully rescue my dog. I probably could have gotten her on my first try, but I was dying not to expose my extra deep plumber's crack to the entire party. By the third attempt I really didn't care and I was like, "Ahem. Attention all party-goers! You will now see the crack of my ass!"

At least I got my dog out.

Ten minutes later, when I arrived back home, Jared was like, "How was your walk, you guys?"

And that's when I finally had the opportunity to hide behind a trashcan and cry.

Yay or Nay?

August 21, 2008

My friend from Texas, invited me to join Twitter last night, and I finally broke down and did it. In case you're unfamiliar with Twitter, it will give you periodic updates on my day-to-day happenings. In other words, you'll have very timely updates on when I fart in front of my in-laws, or when Jared pees his pants.

(no, that's not a typo--it should say Jared and not James)

We have two options here, you can either follow me on the Twitter website (I think my username is Amy Lawson), or the updates can go straight to my blog--like up above. Just to be clear on this, if you're completely uninterested in when my dog licks a random baby's waffle, then vote no. If want to know what I had for lunch, then vote yes.

And finally, if anyone out there knows how to add a left hand column on my blog (and is willing to do it for me for nothing more than a virtual handshake), then I'll move the the whole Twitter thing over to that side and I can list four or five updates instead of just one.

Cast your vote, you goofballs!

Should I keep the Twitters on my blog?
Free polls from

New York, New York

August 21, 2008

It was absolutely beautiful yesterday afternoon, so we headed across town and took James for a little hike. He was quite the mountain man, climbing all the way to the top of the hill in nothing but a worn out pair of Crocs.

Yes, my kid does own a sturdy pair of sneakers--but I'm a self-proclaimed mediocre mother, so he wore Crocs. Just wait until I let him sport his water shoes in the middle of February--then you'll really be impressed.

When we reached the top of the mountain (and I know I have a lot of Utah readers, so I use that term in the most casual sense of the word), we met up with a very nice couple who had a three-year-old boy named Danny.

After a few minutes of conversation--and a few minutes of observing their BlackBerry use--we learned that they were from Westchester County, and both worked as attorneys in New York City.

From what I could gather, they were taking a few weeks to unwind at a family cabin up here in Maine, and they were strangely mystified by our way of life. They asked us questions about everything from property taxes, to the job market, to what to do with a three year old.

Wait a minute. Hold the phone...What to do with a three year old?

These nice people were staying in a cabin, with a huge yard, on a lake, with a dock--and they wanted to know what to do with a three year old?

I don't know, maybe let Danny run around the yard for a few hours without having to worry about traffic, or kidnappers, or hypodermic needles? Just a thought. Or let the boy hang a worm in the unpolluted lake and catch a non-radioactive fish that only has two eyes?...Launch a canoe? Toss a frisbee around? Swim?

They were all, "We've been here for three days and we've already been to the children's museum, gone to an animal farm, taken a scenic drive, gone out for ice cream, did Old Orchard Beach, and played mini-golf. Twice."

Jared turned to me and was like, "We have a children's museum?"

I kind of shrugged and shook my head and said, "I don't know. I guess so."

They went on to tell us that they tried to go out for dinner at nine o'clock on Sunday night, but they couldn't find anything that was open--did we have any suggestions?

Well of course I had no suggestions, all I could say was, "Dinner at nine o'clock? Oh my gosh! Weren't you starving?!"

They really were nice people, I can't stress that enough, but I can't help but think they chose the wrong place to take a vacation. Next year maybe Disney World. Or a cruise.

Day Dreams...

August 20, 2008

Most days I sit in my office and dream about quitting my job to become a full-time writer. I'd probably have a stylish layered haircut, wear very expensive jeans, and drive a Subaru wagon from coffee shop to coffee shop--because seriously, they're not just for lesbians. I'd give the occasional lecture at the over-priced liberal arts schools that dot the New England landscape, I'd do some evening-time humor workshops at the off-beat church houses in my region, and--dang it!--I'd get paid to do all of it.

But lately, my officetime daydreams have changed. These days I sit in my dark, little sheetrocked cube and fantasize about more important things--like butter. I think about eating melted butter on blueberry bagels, I think about eating butter on my morningtime banana, on my eveningtime M&Ms, and straight from that luscious-looking stick.

I want to make out with butter, and honestly it's consuming my thoughts.

I'm not sure if this is a pregnancy thing, or if all of the sudden I've turned disgusting. I wouldn't be surprised either way.

Any thoughts?

Damn You, Google Maps!

August 19, 2008

Sure, it's true. Google Maps is a miraculous technological development, but be honest with me here--have you ever tried to use this cutting edge tool in an underdeveloped, rural, and thickly wooded state like Maine?

Well don't.

Rednecks in this region scoff at the idea of printed map, never mind some fandangled eeelectronic map. If you ask for directions to the nearest grocery store, they're all, "You wanna get to sto-ah, now do ya? Well follow this he-yah road a mile eh so, take a shahp tuhn at the fallen' down house, keep goin', and the sto-ah will be in the next town."

So just imagine what they think of Google Maps..."I don't need some computah to tell me how to get to the sto-ah to buy bananers! I'll just ask m'neighbah!"

That's what they think.

Yesterday afternoon, Jared and I packed up the station wagon and headed for a family barbecue at his Aunt and Uncle's house way out in Western Maine. Seeing as we've lived in Texas for the past four years, we've never been to their new house. So naturally, without skipping a beat, we downloaded directions from Google.

Well, we followed those directions to a tee. We took Rt 117, to Rt 52, took a right onto the McCall Road, and followed it for several miles. As we drove along, checking out the four-wheelers, we laughed and argued and barely paid attention.

My attention was snapped back to my driving, the moment the road changed from pavement to dirt. Dust was flying, rocks were pinging off the body of our car, and Jared said, "Do you think we're going the right way?"

And I was all, "Oh yeah. I guess they live at the end of a remote dirt road, all by themselves."

"Yeah, I've heard that too...but this is pretty rugged," Jared replied.

"I know J, but we're in Maine. Let's just follow the directions," I retorted.

As we drove further and further into the woods, James started to get nervous. I could clearly hear this babbling about "broken cars" and "flat tires" and "very scared of monsters," but it didn't sway me one bit, after all, I was just FOLLOWING THE DAMN MAP!

With every yard we drove, the road seemed to narrow until eventually the pine branches were screeching down the sides of our car on both sides. We were feeling claustrophobic, yet focused, until a pine branch came in through the barely open window and slapped Jared in the face.

He was all, "Darn it, Amy! TURN THE CAR AROUND!"

To which, I replied, "I seriously don't understand why your Aunt and Uncle drive a convertible Saab. One of their kids is gonna lose an eye out here!" And I kept on driving.

And I kept on driving until we hit a small river. Running across the road. Only then did I apply the brakes and throw her into neutral. "If we get good cell phone reception and have some extra food in here, then I'll try and cross this thing," I said as I shifted into first gear.

Jared applied the emergency break (against my will), and said "NO."

A few minutes later we had reversed of off the dirt road, and called his Aunt and Uncle. His Aunt was all, "You're where?! That road's been close since the storm of '86. I think it was washed out." Jared confirmed her suspicion--the road had indeed washed away. Twenty-two years ago.

Twenty minutes later, when we arrived at his Aunt's house she pointed to a sign next to her driveway. It read FOOT TRAFFIC ONLY, and was situated next to a heavily overgrown walking trail.

"That's where the McCall road comes out," she said. "That's what you tried to drive down!"

I turned my nostril up at Jared, let out a huff and said, "We totally could have made it ya wuss." And I meant it.

So damn you, Google Maps! Damn you straight to hell for almost giving me the adventure of a lifetime.

Hardly Working

August 15, 2008

I'm working as Jared's sexy front desk girl this morning, and I swear to the heavens above that I'm gonna get myself fired by noon--which is fine, because it's only 10:45 and I'm totally starving.

Deep in my soul, I feel like I'm capable of handling this job every Friday--but my word, I'm having a hard time getting my act together. This morning alone I was late, my outfit has failed to meet the standard office dress code, I'm blogging, and I keep calling my husband "Jared" instead of "Dr. Lawson."

I'm like, "Excuse me Jared, Ms. Smith has finished filling out her new patient paperwork."

And Jared kind of mutters, "Call me doctor, not Jared."

And I forcefully pull him aside by the arm and whisper, "Um...Seriously, let's save the far fetched bedroom fantasies for home. You've got work to do."

It's bad. Jared instructed me to charge a woman for a "97124," and I really had no idea what he was talking about, so I made my best guess and said, "That will be 971 dollars and 24 cents." Meanwhile, I was logging on to to pick out a few new things--because seriously, if people are paying that much for chiropractic care, I can certainly splurge on a fabulous wool sweater.
In reality "97124" is a code for some kind of physical therapy procedure, and the lady has a plain old fifteen dollar copay.
Well, damn. That was a bit of a let down.

Q & A

August 14, 2008

Thank you so much for all of the well wishes you've offered up. It's nice to know that so many people are looking forward to my stories of weight-gain, and complexion issues, and hemorrhoids, and mood swings. I feel loved.

Several of you emailed or commented with questions. Here are I few that I've decided to answer...

When's your due date?
Glad you asked. My due date falls somewhere between Christmas and Easter, so please mark your calendars accordingly.

Now that you're pregnant are you still running?
Yes, but my "running" is very different than it used to be--I run less often, I run shorter distances, I walk up the hills, I walk down the hills, I walk when I feel like it, and I get far fewer cat calls than I did a few months ago. Sure my runs have evolved into more of a lopsided gallop, but have I really lost all of my sex appeal? I guess I have.
Yesterday, some tipsy old fart walking out of the American Legion Hall had the nerve to forgo the kitten purr, or the come-n-get-it whistles, and BARKED AT ME LIKE A DOG! I stopped, I whirled around, I gave him the evilest eye I could possibly muster, and clearly mouthed the words I'm gonna kill you. He offered up an apologetic wave, scuttled to his car, and peeled the hell out of there.
So yes, I'm still running. I need to stay in shape so I can run away from the cops--because this pregnancy is seriously going to land me behind a set of bars.

What are you craving?
Cheetos, Doritos, Cheez-its, Pop Tarts, pickles, ribs, biscuits n' gravy, root beer, beef, hot wings, bagels, and cheese cake. Oh, and pancakes, bacon, chili dogs, fries, sausage & mushroom pizza, egg rolls, ketchup, salami, cheese danish, and anything else that I see on TV. So not too much.

Can we have a baby naming contest on your blog?
Oh sure, that sounds like fun! I totally trust this crowd with that type of sacred responsibility.
Aside from naming my baby, you'll also have the opportunity to win the chance to make monthly contributions to Jr's college fun, pay for 50% of the medical bills, and be my nanny with no pay or benefits. Good luck!

Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?
As long as it's not "kind of a boy" and "sort of a girl," I'm fine either way.

Thanks again for all of the well wishes! I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Deli Tickets and Cheetos

August 13, 2008

Yes, the rumors are true--so you can all stop messaging me on Facebook. Well, all four of you can stop messaging me anyway.

I can't zip my fat pants, I ate a Cheeto off the ground at a Blue Canoe gas station, and this past weekend I asked my mother-in-law if she would be my Maid-of-Honor if I ever get remarried. She said that she absolutely wouldn't--not unless her son ends up in prison.

At this point, I wouldn't place my bets. If anyone in this marriage gets thrown in the slammer, it will most certainly be me. After all, what happens to twenty-something-year-old women who use the men's bathroom for adventure's sake and send their toddler to daycare wearing water shoes and mismatched socks? They go to jail.

Fine, not usually--but I have a tendency to overreact these days.

And this straight-up craziness is all because of some guy named Jared Lawson, who had the nerve to knock me up. Again.

At this point in time, a typical conversation in our home goes something like this:

ME: Jared. Why did you eat my frozen taquitos?
JARED: Because I was hungry.
ME: Well you can't eat my taquitos.
JARED: Why not?
ME: Because YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!!!


JARED: Amy. Are you ready for church?
ME: I'm too fat to go to church.
JARED: What? No you're not.
ME: Shut it, Jared. YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!!!

I was remarkably calm during my pregnancy with James. Seriously, I was all "Look at you, trying to steal my car. Hop out of the driver's seat and run along now young man! I wouldn't want to have to disrupt our days by calling the authorities..." And then I patted the perp on the shoulder as he dove into my bushes.

This time? Not so much. I'm more like, "Take a damn number you numbskull--this is the deli line, not a frigging circus." Then I like to cap it off by tossing an $8 loaf of bread into the darkest corner of the bonehead's cart when he goes to take the ticket. That'll show him.

But underneath the empty threats, and the air born household items, I'm really very happy. I guess I'm not so sure how Jared is feeling about the whole situation--I'll ask him about it when he finally works up the nerve to come out of the linen closet.

Tripping, Falling, and Other Fabulous Happenings

August 12, 2008

I'm usually a pretty nice person, but every now and again I can be a teensy bit insensitive. Not on purpose really--it's just that from time to time I laugh at the expense of my friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

You all know what I'm talking about. There are just certain, unfortunate things that happen to other people that also happen to be frigging hilarious.

For example: falling, slipping, tripping, and rednecks getting their fishin' poles stuck in the really high tree branches--and losing their balance when they try to unstick 'em.

Seriously folks, provided that no one is old or knocked-up or has sustained a serious injury, what could possibly be funnier than watching another person unexpectedly land on their rear?

Actually, I'll let you in on a little secret of mine. There is in fact something on this planet that I find far more amusing than the good old fashioned ker-splat.

Yesterday morning the crankiest, crabbiest, most most demanding member of my Board of Directors walked into our morning meeting in a major huff. Wearing her pants inside out.

It was awesome--pockets were flapping, her size-tag was exposed in all of its glory, and I had a bird's eye view of her poor, unfortunate seams just trying to hang on for dear life. With the exception of my wedding day, the birth of my child, and the grand opening of my neighborhood bakery, it was probably my favorite day in history.

So be honest here, what makes you laugh at the expense of other, innocent people? I'll open up anonymous comments--you know, to protect your identities and your no good, wretched souls.

Deep Thoughts by James

August 11, 2008

A few months ago I bought James a package of pocket-sized cards that depict a variety of monumental religious events. You know--Moses parting the Red Sea, Noah petting an elephant, Paul falling off of his horse--the works.

When I bought the cards, I was hoping they'd keep James silent and reverent during the quiet parts of church. Also, little religious cards throw out a much better image than, I don't know, a smoking cap gun...or a talking Jay Jay the Jet Plane book...or half a pound of deli meat. I know this first hand, as each one of those items has fallen out of James's backpack and onto the pew at one time or another.

Please take a moment and try to imagine my embarrassment when I had to forcibly wrestle a package of thinnly sliced honey ham from my three-year-old's hands during the opening prayer.

But yesterday morning, my plan went off without a hitch. James sat quietly, sifting through his card collection, occasionally pausing to tap me on the shoulder and excitedly whisper his own pictorial description into my ear--"Mom. Yook. It's Cheeeesus. He es usin' a coupon ta save some money."

Close enough, James. Close enough.

When James eventually came to a picture of the crucifixion, his eyes widened, his mouth fell into a frown, and with a great measure of concern in his voice, James said, "Dis is twoubo (trouble). Der is a yot of twoubo in dis one, Mom. Twoubo."

Out of the corner of my eye, I watched the middle-aged woman behind me place her hand over her heart and slowly shake her head back and forth as if to say, "Wow. What a sweet, sweet child. He must have an excellent mother."

Then, James put his cards down on the pew, turned around to face the congregation, and clearly said, "Someday, when I am maweed (married) I well be in twoubo aw of de time. A yot of twoubo."

Not surprisingly, the middle-aged woman behind us though that line was even cuter than the first.

Going to the Chapel

August 8, 2008

I shared a hotel room with my brother-in-law last night. I would say that it was one part awkward and nine parts fun. We watched the history channel, we gorged on fruit flavored Mentos, and any time I would ask him a question like, "So Dan, are you nervous?" he'd respond with an answer like, "For what?"

Well, Daniel is getting married this afternoon, and somehow the man has remained as cool as a cucumber.

I asked him again this morning, "So dude, are you nervous today?"

And he was all, "Uh yeah. I want to get down to the breakfast buffet before the french toast is all gone."

Not quite what I was referring to, but I was happy to take any sign of jitters from the kid.

Why I Run...And My YouTube Debut

August 6, 2008

When I woke up and stumbled to my laptop this morning, I was absolutely thrilled to find my email inbox stuffed with messages from my old friend Sarah. I was even more thrilled when I opened all thirty-hundred attachments and found plenty of photos like these:

The crack of my a$$:

Scratching my a$$:

A different angle of the crack of my a$$:

The photos were taken in December of last year, and I honestly don't think I've laughed so hard since that day.

If you're curious to know what's happening in those photos, the explanation is really quite simple--I'm trying to work up the courage to jump backwards off of that faux rock structure. Yes. The faux rock structure that has toddlers standing on top of it.

You see, what I lack in athleticism and bravery I make up for in humor. Sure, I run--and I do it pretty well. But do you know why I run? I run because I am an absolute reject at every other sport on the planet. Basketballs knock the wind out of me, baseballs tend to knock me unconscious, and gymnastics??--well, if you want some concrete proof as to why I'm not a gymnast, you can click on this link and watch my YouTube debut.

The video is over five minutes long, and it might be one of those things that's only funny if you were actually there--I don't know. But if you don't have the time or patience to watch a five minute video of yours truly (and I don't blame you), or if your company has blocked your YouTube access (that stinks), I'll go ahead and give you a written recap:

Part 1: Me jumping off of the toddler friendly faux rock structure.
Part 2: Me jumping off of the toddler friendly faux rock structure in slow motion.
Part 3: A demonstration of my upper body strength.
Part 4: Me performing ariel stunts on a caterpillar

And from that point on, I really don't remember what comes next.

So, if you have nothing better to do, then go enjoy the video. At the very least, you'll get to see some real-life footage of my all-time favorite running partner, Sarah. You know--instead of a hand-drawn illustration of her taking a dump on an unsuspecting homeless man.

Perhaps next week I will post some YouTube footage of me on ice skates. Then I can follow it up with some footage of me filling out paperwork in the Emergency Room reception area.

Kid Free To-Do List

August 5, 2008

Well, I've got some good news. I no longer feel like a loser for sending James to play with my mom this week.

One kid-free dinner with friends, one kid-free trip to the grocery store, and one kid-free midnight stroll did wonders to lift my spirits. Not to mention the Olive Garden gift card that came in the mail for our anniversary yesterday--we can use it this week with absolutely no prior planning. And that my friends, is a major miniature miracle.

My goal is to eat fifteen bread sticks in fifteen minutes while I hum Aerosmith power-ballads and eavesdrop on the conversation one table over.

Other items on my kid-free to-do list are as follows:
Cook chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for lunch.
Watch Oprah in my underpants.
Watch Ellen in my underpants.
Eat carrot cake in bed.
Sneak another purse home from the TJ Maxx clearance rack.

I also made a kid-free to-do list for Jared. His looks like this:
Paint the den.
Install new floors in the den.
Split wood in preparation for the winter season.
Install a new blower motor in the Blazer.
Remove the large bush from the front lawn.

We'll review these lists tonight at dinner.

Thoughts on Adulthood and Hall-of-Fame Moms

August 4, 2008

Despite my chronic overuse of the word "poop" and my occasional references to partial nudity, I really am a grown-up. I have a husband, I have a house, I have a kid, and I have a car. I pay my own cell phone bill, I cook from scratch almost every night, and the sad state of my ass forced me stop wearing thong underwear many, many years ago.

See? I'm a total and complete grown-up.

That's why I was so surprised when I found myself alone in my living room, sobbing like a cartoon moose at four o'clock in the morning, feverishly typing an email to my mother. It went something like this:

SUBJECT: I really, really need my Mom!!!!!

Hey Mom...
I need your help so bad. James's daycare was closed all of last week and I "worked" from home. Except I got nothing done. And I have a huge meeting tomorrow morning where I'm supposed to discuss all of my recent accomplishments. That would be okay, except I don't have any recent accomplishments. And James's daycare is closed again this week, so I really don't think I can achieve any notable accomplishments today.
It's raining, our TV is broken, and I know I'll have to spend all day in a tent in the basement pretending to be an angry bear. And seriously Mom, that's not an accomplishment I can talk about at tomorrow morning's meeting.
Mom, I'm crying and worrying and just freaking out over here. I'm supposed to work part-time, and be a great mom, and help Jared at his work, and cook dinner, and clean up after people--and let me tell you, I totally blow at all of it right now.
I only slept for three hours last night and my brand new purse smells like poop.
I love you,

Within two hours my mother and sister, the kind-hearted superstars that they are, had worked out a plan.

Jared met my sister--who drove up from the South of Boston--at a parking lot in Southern Maine. She drove James to her house where my mother will pick him up and bring him back to her place. From there, James will spend the next few days playing at the beach, eating soft-serve ice cream, and manipulating the heck out of my parents.

I guess you could call it a win, win, win situation.

But for some reason, despite the all-around fabulousness of the scenario, I feel like a big, fat, loser of a mother. Probably because I now have concrete proof that I can't do everything, flawlessly, at the very same time.

Now don't get me wrong here--I know that I'm not a loser, but deep down I still still feel like a first-class loser. But I know I'm not a loser. Even though I kind of am.

That makes sense, right?

Either way, I'm unbelievably grateful to have my mom and my sister and I hope they know how much I appreciate their help this week--because I'm seriously, seriously stretched too thin right now.

Don't ever let anyone tell you that adulthood is easy, because that my friends, is a bold faced lie. I've been a grown-up for a few years now, and take a look at me--I WANT MY MOM!!!!

The Sixth Year

August 4, 2008

It's official. I'm twenty-seven years old, and Jared and I have now been married for six years. My Mormon is that?

This past weekend our friends generously offered to babysit for James so we could have a night on the town to ourselves. We started the evening at a funky little Thai place that sits right on the edge of the water, and ended our night at our very favorite coffee house/bar.

You're right. Mormons don't drink coffee or alcohol, so it probably seems a little bit strange that we frequent a coffee house/bar, but rest assured, we only go for the live music. Well, the live music and the view of male bar tender--he works out and shops at Banana Republic, a very rare combination in Maine. Even Jared admits that he'll be happy for me if the guy's shirt ever happens to fall off while he's mopping down the counter someday.

Anywho, we had an excellent time together on Saturday night.

Usually on our anniversary, we recap our last year of marriage--you know, talk about the hi-lites and the low moments, what we did well and what we should try to improve on for the upcoming year. But this year, we skipped right over that conversation and spent hours reminiscing about years gone by.

I was like, "Oh man. Do you remember what we got married and I weighed 135 and wore a size six? I used to be so hot."

And Jared was all, "Oh I know. And do you remember when we used to do fun things together like road trips and skiing? You were so awesome back then."

And I was like, "You're so right--I used to be so much fun. I remember when you used to mountain bike every day. You were all in-shape and bruised up and muddy. Gosh I loved that. I thought that was so sexy."

And Jared was all, "You know what I used to think was sexy? The way you never used to make me to-do lists. And they way you never bossed me around or micromanaged my career. You used to be so laid back. That was great."

And I was like, "Yeah that's true. And I used to think it was really sexy when your student loans weren't in repayment yet. I loved it when you didn't have that big-ass payment attached to your soul. So carefree!"

Then Jared gave me a gift certificate for a manicure, pedicure and facial. He handed me the envelope and said, "Here, this is for you. I think you could really use this. I don't mind if you treat yourself to a haircut, too."

The thoughtfulness of that gift made me tear up because seriously, I've been looking a little bit rugged these days. I leaned over the tiny little bar table, gave Jared and hug and said, "I couldn't afford a gift for you, I had to pay the electric bill. So happy anniversary, I hope you enjoy our household illumination!"

All in all, it was a fabulous anniversary. I think we've clearly exited the honeymoon phase of our marriage--but that's okay. There's no one else in the universe who I'd rather clip coupons for.

Life Lessons

August 1, 2008

Earlier this morning, James and I went to Target to buy some deodorant. As we were approaching the checkout line, James inserted an index finger into his left nostril, quickly pulled it back out, and put the gooey finger right into his mouth.

Usually I wouldn't mind this type of behavior so much, but there were three or four people in our immediate vicinity so I decided to give my three-year-old a talking to--you know, just for looks.

"James," I said, "It's not nice to do that."

"Do what?" he asked, shrugging is shoulder as high as his ears.

"It's not nice to put your finger into your nose and then into your mouth. That's really ick."

"But you do it, Mom! You do it a wot!"

I looked around at my fellow shoppers, offered up an embarrassed smile and fake-laughed as I shook my head and muttered the word, "Kids!"

Then I bent down to James's ear, put my mouth directly onto it and said, "James. There is a major difference between picking your nose and picking your nose and eating it."

Because it's true...there really is.