Twins Beds are Totally Underrated

July 29, 2009

Last night I had a very restless sleep, and surprisingly enough it wasn't due to the three pound baby in my belly. Actually, it can be attributed to the one-hundred-fifty pound baby who sleeps right next to me.

Yes, I'm kindly referring to my husband.

Sure he elbowed me square in the nose three time last night, but the real piece-de-resistance? That came at 3:13am when he violently shook me awake saying, "Amy! Amy! Amy!"

I woke up instantly, not sure if Jared was having a minor heart attack or had accidentally pooped the bed--either way, it was obvious that he needed me.

"Amy! Amy!" he continued.

I opened my eyes to find him two inches away from my face, eyelids shut, but somehow looking frantic. "What Jared? What's going on," I demanded?

"It's the middle of the night," he said. "And you're sleeping."

Seriously? Was that it?

Yes. It was.

By the time the words, "It's the middle of the night, and YOU'RE DEAD" had the time to flow off my lips in response, he was rolled over, wrapped in the blanket, sleeping like a man in a coma.

My dream of twin beds? It lives on.

The Truth Revealed

July 28, 2009

Welp, I fooled ya, but not by much. Let's recap:

Sammy and the Dress--With the exception of the first name "Sammy" that story is 100% entirely true. What else is there to say?

The Seminary--Also 100% completely true. But I will admit, that after some quick Googling, I realized that Hannibal Hamlin wasn't a former governor of Maine, he was actually Abe Lincoln's Vice President--an infinitely bigger deal. What can I say? History's never been my strong point. Bu-ut thanks to this sexalicious hot pot, I'm fairly well versed in world religions.

The Great American Poop Incident--Unfortunately, it's true. Thank goodness I'm so hopeless when it comes to history, otherwise I know I'd feel ever more ashamed than I already do--which I assure you is a great deal. Please direct all hatemail to I'll be sure to get right back to you.

Sticky Sweet Revenge--50% false. We all know that Texas real estate agents are in fact that bad. But we also know that my husband doesn't love me nearly that much. I did meet a real estate agent who pulled over, told me I was huge, and handed me a card--but then she drove off. Nothing lost but 83% of my already low self esteem.

So that's that. If you would like verification, feel free to contact my mother--she's great.

Voting is Open

July 23, 2009

Voting is open until Monday evening in the top right corner of my blog. You Google Reader users will to have to click on over--I know, soooo inconvenient while you're trying to dodge your work!

I'm loving the discussion ad deductive reasoning--it's so funny!!!

Three Truths and a Lie: Sticky Sweet Revenge

July 23, 2009

And this concludes the fourth and final day of Three Truths and a Lie, which is still an idea stolen straight from the pages of CJane.

In case you haven't been following along, I've written four stories this week--three are true, and one is a total and complete lie. Voting will commence tomorrow to see if you guys are smart enough to know when I'm fibbing.

And, as always, if you know me in real life, please don't spill the beans...

Sticky Sweet Revenge

Back when I was pregnant with James, I had the sweetest little attitude. I have no idea how or why I've morphed into such a hormonal nightmare over the last five years, but I promise, these two pregnancies are totally and completely different.

We were new to Dallas at the time--living in a neighborhood that was super manicured, ultra-trendy, and in my opinion, friendly-to-the-point-of-almost-being-creepy. Our neighbor on one side drove an Audi TT, our neighbor on the other side drove a convertible Mercedes Kompressor, we on the other hand, drove an '89 Blazer. It's needless to say that Jared and I didn't fit in as seamlessly as we would have liked to.

We had rented the duplex sight-unseen, while we were still living in Maine, so we really had no idea how lucky we were to be occupying the rattiest, crookedest, crappiest house in a very well-to-do neighborhood.

I was already ten weeks pregnant by the time we made the move, and people were so incredibly kind--bringing plates of cookies while we unpacked, listening (with true interest mind you) to the details of where we'd come from and where we were going, and constantly complimenting my pregnant glow.

We most certainly weren't in New England anymore. And looking back, I think I had no choice but to be super sweet and happy--you know, in a Southern chicken-fried kind of way.

One afternoon, when I was about eight months pregnant, I was walking Gracie down the street when a black Toyota Camry pulled next to me on the side of the road. The window rolled down and a super-coiffed head popped out and said (in a sticky Texas accent), "Ha hun, when er you due?"

"In April," I said. "I've got two more months to go."

"Wow," the woman replied. "Ma sister had twins and I promise she never got nearly that big! Yer cute, but ya sure are big!"

The New England in me wanted to clean her glossy, little clock with my big, fat, pregnant fist--but I resisted, acted like a proper Southern lady and giggled in response to everything she had to say.

Turns out she was a real estate agent, prowling the neighborhood for new clients and new listings. Mmmm yeah, at that time our income consisted of nothing but student loans and my husband's biweekly check from the petfood shop--I'd have to go out on a limb and say that we definitely weren't interested.

She handed me one of her cards, on which her hair appeared even larger than it did in real life that day (nothing short of mind blowing), I thanked her and proceeded on my way.

I managed to make it about three steps before her Toyota lurched forward and stopped next to me again. "Sweetie," she questioned? "Would you mind terribly just runnin' up to that door and stickin' one of ma cards in it?"

"Um, sure. No problem. I can do that," I answered.

"And how 'bout that next house?" Why don't ya just go ahead and get that one, too. Ya know, while you're up there."

"Yeah, that's fine," I said--with the reasoning that pleasing this women might somehow lead to her departure.

Well friends, I was wrong. The woman in the Toyota continued her lurch-beg-con scam for the entirety of the street. Before I knew it, I had been tricked into peppering every single screen door on Valencia Drive with this blow hole's business card--at eight months pregnant, in the eighty degree heat, while her Gucci ass never left the comfort of the cool, leather seats.

I knew what she was doing, I just didn't know how to put my foot down. And just like that, I was a sucker.

When we reached the end of the street, she thanked me profusely, called me a 'sweetheart' over and over again, handed me a chilled bottle of Ozarka saying, "Aw hun, you need this," and promptly sped off.

I walked home, feeling stupid, tired and defeated. By the time I reached my front door, I was sobbing like a preteen--what a mother lovin' ho she was.

When Jared came home later that afternoon, I recounted the story, and it's needless to say that he was angry. "She WHAT," he exclaimed?! "Amy that's horrible, you should call her real estate agency or something."

"No, Jared. I feel stupid, I just want to forget about it."

"Fine," he agreed, not wanting to rock the S.S. Hormonal.

I went to bed early that night, couldn't sleep, and continued to cry in embarrassment when I got out of bed the next morning. I felt so used, so tricked, so dirty, so pregnant--and that my friends, is when Jared pulled into the driveway with the solution to my problem.

My husband, my sweet Jared, had gone to the computer lab at school, taken this lady's picture and contact information off of her website and printed up one-hundred-or-so homemade business cards with the following slogan stamped in bold:

I hate everyone, I suck at my job, and if you hire me I'll steal your money.
At least I think that's what they said--something to that effect.
I was beyond touched by his loving gesture. And even more touched when he raced up and down three blocks, sticking the cards in every doorway before our neighbors began to filter in from work.
I'd have to say we won the war. In our three-and-a-half years of living in that neighbor, not once did we see a real estate sign bearing her name.
And still, to this day, that was nicest thing that my husband has ever done for me. What a guy!

Three Truths and a Lie: The Great American Poop Attack of '98

July 22, 2009

Day three of Three Truths and a Lie--idea curtosy of the lovely CJane.

If you need to know the rules, check yesterday's post. Or Monday's.

If you know me, don't spoil it.

The Great American Poop Attack of '98

Back in the fall of 1998 I headed over to Washington DC for the annual Marine Corps Marathon. Although I was a super serious runner at the time, I wasn't actually participating in the marathon--my roommate and I were only going to the race to watch.

If you really want to get picky about the details, we were going to watch a guy named Jim, who I found to be pretty frickin' hot.

I met Jim on a random Saturday evening, while I was hauling ass on a solo training run down a farm road in western Virginia. I was running up and over a hill, we met at the crest, waved, and continued to go our separate ways.

Forty minutes later, we met up again. This time we passed each other on opposite sides of a fairly busy overpass. We repeated the casual wave, and I feel like it's very important to note that I was still hauling ass--and markedly faster than Jim.

Then, about thirty minutes later, we met up once more--this time on campus, in front of Norris Hall, the same place where that really horrible shooting spree happened at Virginia Tech a few years back.

I ran past Jim, smiled, waved, and kept on trucking. This time however, he stopped and yelled, "Hey!"

I stopped, turned around, wiped my sweaty hair out of my eyes and said, "Hi."

Jim was like, "You're fast. Are you on the cross country team?"

And doing my very best to sound smooth and sexy I replied, "Why yes. Yes I am." Okay fine, that was a lie, I'm pretty sure I said something more along the lines of "Yup," while I picked at a moderate-to-severe wedgie.

We pounded out three-or-so more miles that night and chatted about nothing too important. Turns out Jim was training for the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon with hopes of qualifying for Boston.

Over the next five or six weeks, we met up for a couple more runs together. I'd tag along for ten of his Sunday twenty-miler, or we'd run a quick six on a Wednesday night.

In October, when his marathon finally rolled around, he invited me to come and watch. Never passing up the opportunity to impress an older member of the opposite sex, my roommate and I jumped on the chance.

The Marine Corps Marathon is widely known as one of the most spectator friendly on the planet, so Allison and I managed to see Jim five or six times during the first eighteen miles of the race. At mile eighteen, Jim was obviously beginning to struggle. He ran over to us on the side of the road, put his hands on his knees and huffed, "Can you meet me at mile twenty and run me in? I don't think I can finish. I need someone to run me in."

"Can I run your sexy ass to the finish line," I thought to myself? "Um, it would be my pleasure!!!!"

I was excited. So excited that I nearly shat my shorty-shorts right then and there.

And that last sentence? I meant that literally.

As soon as Jim took off for mile nineteen, the contents of my colon began taking off for daylight. I had to poop, and I had to poop immediately. At once. If not sooner.

Still to this day, through pregnancy, travel, and all manners of illness, it was most severe fecal attack of my entire life.

According to my calculations I had approximately fourteen minutes to get to mile twenty, and fourteen seconds before I had a load swimming around in my underpants. Scoping out an appropriate, legal place to relieve myself was simply not an option--my friends, there was absolutely no time.

So, in my moment of pure and absolute desperation, I found a clump of beautifully manicured bushes--which technically speaking, I'd have to call landscape features. Landscape features of a prominent, highly photographed national monument that is.

Honestly, it hurts my very patriotic heart to type the next half of this sentence, but guys, I Amy Lawson, took an emergency poo on a national landmark--about twelve inches from the actual structure if you want to be precise about it.

I can't tell you which wheelchair-bound leader this particular monument paid homage to, I'm far too ashamed. He was a tremendous man, and it's far too painful to admit that I took a doodie on his well deserved legacy. Far too painful. Seriously.

Fear not fellow Americans, these landmarks seem to very well monitored. I'm quite sure that monument defication is a very rare event, because before I even had the chance to get out from behind that little bush, I spotted a security guard, and he was approaching quickly.

I walked away, he followed. I walked a little faster, he sped up. I broke into a jog, he broke into a light run. I hopped the plastic, orange fence onto the marathon course, merged in with the oncoming runners, and thankfully he stayed behind.

I was clear. No arrests for me. And to this day, I still maintain a squeaky clear legal record--I take a lot of pride in that.

Eventually I did meet up with Jim at mile twenty, and oh my word, he had all but given up. He was groaning and shuffling, draping his sweaty self all over my shoulders, and at times he even slowed to a walk. A walk!

What a friggin' pansy.

I dragged his sorry ass to the finish line, where he missed the cutoff for Boston by three and a half minutes--so not sexy.

And a relationship? Yeah, nothing like that ever panned out. I needed a man who could run like a man. And Jim? Well, he needed a woman with a little more colon control than I had to offer.

Obviously, it was never meant to be.

Three Truths and a Lie: The Seminary

July 21, 2009

Here we go with day two of Three Truths and a Lie--which, of course, is an idea that I stole (without permission) from CJane.

Remember, Monday through Thursday I'll post stories from my life. Three will be true, one will be made up. On Friday everyone can vote on which story they believe to be the lie.

And really now, if you know me in real life, please fight the urge to spill the beans with a comments. We're having fun over here!

The Seminary

Did you know that I spent a year and a half in theological school? I'm not talking about bible college or BYU, I'm talking about a full-on Protestant seminary where people go to become ordained ministers--UCC, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal--that type of thing.

You couldn't major in finance or biology at this institution. Hell, you couldn't even focus on philosophy. There were only two degree tracks, Divinity or Theology, and to be quite honest, I still don't understand what the difference is.

I was eighteen years old when I enrolled at the school, and yes, for eighteen months, this was my full-time college experience. No football team, no keg parties, no furry mascot, and definitely no hot guys.

Well, actually, I take that back. My World Religions professor was bangin' hot--his name was Dana Somethingorother, he had long brown hair, and I spent hours upon hours fantasizing about trekking across India by his rippled, muscly side. He drove a purple Toyota Tacoma, and oh my word, it gets me all hot and bothered just reflecting on the memory of beautiful, enlightened him.

Anywho, this was certainly not a traditional college experience by any stretch of the imagination. In total, there were one-hundred-and-thirty students with an average age of forty-seven. I was the second youngest student at the school, as a kid named Shawn was one month my junior--and trust me, I whipped that guy around harder than a kid brother.

During my time at the Seminary I learned Greek (very well, mind you), I sang in the church choir (against my will), and I was the worst player on our school's bowling team--which I proudly named "The Holy Rollers." And dude, the old people loved it--thought it was a friggin' hoot.

The campus consisted of a very New England church building with classrooms on top, a cafeteria/meeting hall, a library, four or five old apartment houses, and for some reason--I'm still not sure why--a big old mansion that had belonged to Hannibal Hamlin, a former governor of the State of Maine.

Shawn lived in the Hannibal Hamlin House. Well, he actually lived in an apartment that was attached to the side of the mansion--we think it had been the maid's quarters way back in the day.

One night, after a box of doughnuts and a-dozen-or-so wine coolers (sorry, Mom), Shawn and I somehow discovered that we could get into the museum part of the Governor's Mansion by jiggling the handle on a teeny-tiny connecting door in the back of Shawn's linen closet.

We took turns wriggling through the little entrance, and made it in without a trace. The idea of a security alarm never crossed our minds, and apparently that was okay because we peered through cabinets, sat on the roped off furniture, and rolled around on the old feather beds (not with each other get your mind out of the gutter), without ever calling it to any one's attention.

And then we did it again the next night.

And then the next weekend.

And then eventually, we started sneaking into the old governor's mansion every single weekend to sit at his expansive dining room table, sip on brandy (Shawn, not me), and play poker in our best colonial accents. Some nights, when we were feeling particularly crazy, we'd climb through the master bedroom closet, to the top of the widow's walk and smoke cigars in the purplish. moonlight.

I know. How weird can you get?

Eventually, my lack of an age appropriate social life started to weigh on my soul and I transferred up the road to the University of Maine. I had had it with the age difference--If I saw one more can of Ensure, I swear I was going to lose my mind. This young girl need cans of Bud in her sight line, and trust me when I tell you, they were flowing at the University.

Of course I was sad to say goodbye to my wealth of post-menopausal friends, and almost none of my credits transferred, but really, I wasn't sure how I'd ended up at that school in the first place.

Three Truths and a Lie: Sammy and the Dress

July 20, 2009

This week I'm shamelessly swiping an idea from the fabulous CJane, and we're gonna have some fun playing Three Truths and a Lie.

For the next four days, I'll post a story about my life--three will be true, and one will be a big, fat, fabricated lie. Then, on the fifth day you'll all get to vote for the story you believe was pulled straight out of the darkness of my arse.

To prevent any bean spillage from those of you who are familiar with my real life business, please, please, please refrain from commenting.


So here we go. Story numero uno:

One zillion years ago, I sold a never-used wedding dress on FirstClass for $50. FirstClass was my college's email system, and in a lot of ways, it resembled a stripped down Craig's List. It was the place to sell heavily-used furniture, adopt frat dogs, and find random, non-committal hookups on a lonely Friday night.

Not that I ever did that--because seriously, I really never did that.

In all honestly, I wasn't that type of girl. My style was far more akin to lasting devotion and long-term commitment. I suppose that's how I found myself engaged, at the age of 19, to a promising young chef.

This was no joke you guys. We're talking diamond ring, wedding dress, wedding date, church, reception site, the works.

Trust me friends, if you had tasted this man's lobster bisque, you would have said 'yes,' too. I don't care if you're male, female, gay or straight--you most definitely would've let him put the ring on your hungry little, food loving finger. His soup was that good.

(Do you think it'd be overly tacky to call him 9 years later, and ask him to whip up a quick batch for my husband and me?)

If you do the math, and consider the fact that I married Jared at the fresh, young age of 21, you'll come to realize that this engagement didn't last so long. Within a matter of months the ring was returned, the date on the calendar was scratched off, and all kinds of deposits were rightfully refunded.

But the dress? Oh my word that dress stuck around.

For the first couple of years it hung around in my childhood closet, taking up 60% of the available space with its many cubic yards of tulle and organza. And then, 3 or so years later, when Jared and I bought our first house (which coincidentally, we later sold on FirstClass), my mom wrestled that dress into the back seat of her Jetta, drove it up to Maine, plopped it on my bed and said, "Congratulations on the house. Now take this."

This house--all two stories of it--boasted just over 800 square-feet and was set on a lovely .09 acre lot. Our master bedroom literally measured 7x11, so it's needless to say that storing a 62 square-foot dress from a called off wedding was completely out of the question. Even the backyard couldn't have handled this thing.

So up it went, on FirstClass. It was listed above a ratty apartment for rent and under an advertisement for keg-stand coaching.

I'm dead serious.

Within 48 hours, I had gotten two inquiries. One from a super sweet, size 24 girl, who was hoping to be a size 8 by her wedding day in August, and the second was from a person named Samuel. The email was signed by "Sammy," and according to the text, Sammy was a wedding dress collector.


I replied to both emails, setting up times for each person to come and see the dress.

Cara, the plus-sized sweetheart, came to see the dress on Monday. As soon as I unzipped the garment bag, tears welled up in her eyes. By the time the dress was out of the bag, she was engulfed in full on sobs. A few minutes later we were sitting at my kitchen table, sipping hot chocolate, discussing Cara's lifelong battle with her weight. An hour later we hugged, and she drove off. Without the wedding dress.


The next day, Sammy came to see the dress, and sure enough, Sammy was a man dressed as a woman. Actually, he was a college guy dressed up as a college girl. He was obviously in the beginning stages of his transition wearing female clothing and press-on nails with a giant men's watch. High heels and long hair with very manly glasses.

Whatever. I didn't care. I just wanted someone, anyone, to buy the damn dress.

Sammy stepped into the privacy of our bedroom and quietly worked himself into the dress. He came out a few minutes later asking for help with the zipper.

No problem.

"Suck it in," I said.

He did.

I yanked up on the zipper and Sammy said, "You've got to be kidding me! This is so tight! I can hardly breath!"

"But it looks beautiful," I replied.

"But I can hardly stand it," he retorted.

"Listen," I said. "Sammy, being a man is all about the comfort. But being a woman? It's all about the beauty, and you look beautiful in this dress."

"Really," he asked?

"Really," I said. "If you're serious about this, you've got to get used to not breathing."

And apparently he did. He bargained me down by $10, bought the dress, and a few weeks later he emailed me a couple pictures of himself sporting the dress at a sorority formal.

Sure he was overdressed, but damn he looked goooood.

These days, Sammy and I still keep in touch on Facebook and she looks a heck of a lot better than I do--perfect hair, perfect nails, and slammin' legs in a miniskirt.

Every now and then I'll find myself feeling jealous of her looks. But then I have to remind myself--I've had a baby, Sammy hasn't.

Sense of Smell

July 18, 2009

I'm not sure about the science behind this, but now that I'm in my third trimester, everything smells.

My dog's breath smells just like a swiss cheese and salami sandwich on rye--even though those foods are clearly not a part of her therapeutic canine IBS diet. My kid's head smells exactly like spicy Thai peanut sauce--not his breath mind you, but his head. His four-year-old body on the other hand? Now that smells like sweat and Ju-Ju-Bees dipped in 2% milk.

And then there's my husband. Who just smells bad.

I haven't been able to pinpoint exactly what his smell is, or precisely where it's coming from--the only thing I know for sure is that it's very pungent and it travels in waves. Sometimes I swear it comes from his mouth, other times I'd bet money that it's anal in origin. And then, just when I'm about to ask him if he farted clear up into my nose while I was distracted by Days of Our Lives, the smell seems to shift, and waft from his feet.

Sometimes it's spicy, other times it's sugary, but most of the time it's plain old defecation-y. And my heavens, I can hardly handle this type of uncertainty at a sensitive time like this. I should be worrying about Twinkies and Ho-Hos--not the fact that the people in my house all smell like chocolate covered hot dogs on a stick.

Last night, when Jared came home from work, he cracked open the mudroom door and yelled, "Hey Hon, I'm home!" James immediately left his Pinocchio movie in the dust (Side Note: Did you know that kids drink and smoke and say "jackass" in that movie? If that sounds interesting to you, it's available for rent at your local library.) and barreled to meet his Dad Almighty at the door.

Now I, on the other hand, stayed on the couch, gave a sniff or two and said, "Hi Jared! Have you been eating Doritos?"

He was like, "I ate Doritos three days ago with my lunch."

"Well you still smell like them. Can you jump in the shower before you come in here and hug me?"

And he was all, "No Amy. I've had three showers, mowed the lawn, and swam across the lake since I ate those Doritos. A shower won't help."

"Well were there any Doritos floating in the lake, Jared? I'm pretty sure you're contaminated."

And so on and so forth.

Now I know what you're all thinking--"Well Amy, what exactly do you smell like these days?" I'm gonna be completely honest with you right now--I smell like baby powder and lilac deodorant. This is no lie.

I know.

According to Jared I smell more like body odor and hair gel.

I have no idea where that man gets these things from.

Helluva Mood

July 16, 2009

I'm not sure why, but I am in quite the mood today.

For example, a few minutes ago I got an email from "Wells Fargo," telling me that they needed to verify some information on my bank account--specifically my social security number, my account number, and my password. The return email address was something like

Mmm hmm.

On an average day, I simply delete those type of emails--as well as any messages I receive from orphaned African royalty (Don't you know I already wipe my ass with dollar bills? Why would I bother myself with your silly, little inheritance?). But today is different. Today, ignoring must have fallen right out of my tool box of coping skills.

So, instead of hitting delete I hit reply, I typed "Fu*& You" in the message box (except I used the real word), and then I hit the send button.

I can't say that it completely cured me of my crappy mood, but my goodness, it gave me a genuine rush for a second or two. I felt fabulous.

And now, to continue that fabulous feeling, I'm pretending to be my own secretary. It basically goes like this:

1. The phone rings.
2. I pick it up and say, "Hello, this is Amy Lawson's office. Can I help you?"
3. The person says, "Yes. Is she available?"
4. I say, "I'm very sorry, but she's not. May I take a detailed message and have her return your call?"
5. Then I hang up and call them right back.
6. Then they seem confused that my secretary and I sound so much alike.
7. Then I dismiss their comments with a professional sounding laugh.
8. Then I feel powerful.

So far it's working, I still feel fabulous.

And if that feeling of fabulousness starts to fade? Well friends, that's when a gigantic ice cream sundae will enter stage left.

Helicopter Parenting: Seeing it From the Other Side

July 14, 2009

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time at all, then I'm sure it's abundantly clear that I, Amy Lawson, am not a helicopter parent.

For those of you who don't know, a helicopter parent is any person, male or female, who constantly hovers over their child. You know the type--they won't allow their son to walk to soccer practice at age 13 for fear of wild animals, they won't allow their daughter to walk to her 2nd grade classroom on her own for fear of overly-slippery floors, and they won't allow their 15-year-old to trick-or-treat without supervision due to the possibility of Snickers laced with crack cocaine.

To put it simply, any respectable helicopter parent most certainly would not allow their child to fall ass-over-tea-kettle into an electrified pig pen. See guys? I failed the test right there.

It's not that I fight the urge to hover over James--to be quite honest, I just don't have it in me. Over supervision plain and simply isn't in my chemical make-up. The thought of it alone tires the hell out of my big, pregnant body.

On the other side of the token, I'm not a laissez-faire parent either. In other words, my kid has a bedtime, he doesn't eat candy for supper, I limit the amount of TV he watches, and trust me when I say that he'll see stars if he has the audacity to throw a rock, a frog, or an unkind word at any other child.

I like to think that I fall somewhere near the middle of the road--I keep James safe, I'm doing my best to instill him with kindness and compassion, and he has freedoms that are appropriate for a kid his age. He can play in the yard when I'm inside, he can deliver items to our elderly neighbor's house without me tagging four feet behind, he's taking the bus to pre-K in the fall, etc. He's also free to dig at his boogers as he pleases, as long as he's in his bedroom.

I'm saying all of this because this morning I had I really strange experience.

James was in the middle of his swimming lesson, while I sat on the beach and watched. It was a small group, so there were three teachers and three students. James had assigned himself to his very favorite teacher, Miss Tina--and really now, who can blame him? She's 19, a natural blond, and has a very suggestive tattoo on the small of her back. After every single lesson James longingly says, "Mom, I weally luff Miss Tina." And I say, "James, I really don't blame you. She's smokin' hot."

Anywho, Tina turned her head to talk to another one of the teachers, and at that very moment, James slipped off of his kick-board and started struggling to keep his head above water--arms flapping, feet kicking, total look of terror in his eyes. My instinct, obviously, was to tear the maternity clothes clear off my body, dive into the lake and save my son. But the logic side of my brain was saying, "Amy, he's one foot away from his swimming teacher and his head hasn't gone under the water once. He's scared, but he's fine."

About three seconds later, Tina noticed James, reached one foot over and plucked him out of the water by the back of his wetsuit. I don't care if I'd been crowned the International Helicopter Parent of the Year, there's absolutely no way I could have gotten to him that quickly anyway. James didn't cry, he just trudged up to me on the beach, gave me a sopping wet hug, and said, "I'm done."

"Done," I said? Trying my best to sound surprised. "I know you fell in, but you're okay. You did a great job keeping your head above the water, James. Let's finish up your lesson." It took five full minutes of convincing, but he got back into the water and finished what he had started.

That left me feeling pretty stinking proud.

After the lesson, James dried off and changed, clicked himself into his car seat, and we headed off to an afternoon at daycare. I walked him in, kissed him on the head, and wished him a really happy day. Then, as soon as I got into my car and drove around the corner, I pulled over, put her in park, and cried my eyes out.

We're talking a major crying moment. It was an OH MY GOSH MY BABY ALMOST DROWNED OUT THERE kind of cry. One of those cries where you're sobbing so hard you can't make coherent words. A cry where a paper bag probably would have come in handy.

For three seconds, while my kid was helplessly struggling in the lake, I felt fear like I've rarely felt it before. If I had to guess, I felt the same level of fear that helicopter parents feel about the idea of almost everything.

So, to all of you moms and dads out there who just can't help but hover, I say this: "I will no longer think bad thoughts when I see you at the park. I will no longer send snide text messages to my husband about how thoroughly insane I think you are. From this point forward, I will empathize with you, feel compassion for you, and encourage you to get a heavy prescription for blood pressure medication--because DANG YO, I bet you need it."

I, Amy Lawson, have officially made peace with the helicopter parent.

Cars, Pigs, and Electical Shocks to the Wanker

July 10, 2009

For the first time in six weeks, the sun has been shining in Maine. And no, that is absolutely not an exaggeration. I can't even begin to tell you how happy and relieved I am to see some yellow light in the blue, blue sky. Greyness wears on my soul, and let me tell you, my soul was dangerously close to kicking my husband's ass. Thankfully--due to the weather and not my propensity toward self control--we're still very happily married. The bliss marches on.

Anywho, we had a big week over here in the Lawson house, so I'll go ahead and catch you up on things:

1. I'm now officially 27 weeks pregnant, and according to most sources, that means I'm in my 3rd trimester. In honor of this milestone, I've become absolutely huge. Here's a story to prove it: There's this creepy guy in my office building--you know, the type who has a weird ponytail, outdated glasses, and is so stinking quiet you question whether or not his lips are sewn shut? Mmm hmm, that guy. But yesterday, when I walked past his door he did a quick double-take, and before his mind could filter his mouth he blurted, "Whoa! What happened to you? You look like you're about to explode!"

I stopped, stared for a second and said, "Ummm. I'm pregnant?"

And he was all, "But what happened?"

So I was like, "Well John, sometimes, when man and a woman love each other very much, they..."

Thankfully this phone rang right on cue, because honestly, I had no idea where I was headed with that story.

2. We actually bought a new car. I'm not lying, it's sitting in my garage. Right next to the '89 Blazer that I love so much.

Jared thinks we're going to sell the Blazer for for $500 in the newspaper. I, on the other hand, think we're going to slap some antique plates on that beauty and start featuring it at local car shows--Bondo, rust, and all!

Official Kelly Blue Book value: $181.

3. Last night, when I brought the new car home, Jared was itching to go for a ride. I, in my infinite wisdom, suggested that we take James to the local strawberry farm--after all, I heard a rumor that they have baby pigs. So off we went, with a four year old boy, a very new vehicle, and light grey interior to enjoy the sight of swine.

When we arrived at the farm and asked for the piglets, the friendly farmer directed us to a big clump of woods, telling us that "The pigs er back thar."

"Well ookeey."

We drove back to the one acre-ish stand of trees and sure enough eight baby pigs came barreling out of the woods and toward the electric fence. Well, seven actually--the brown one just kept on lounging in the food trough.

These suckers were up to their elbows in pure mud, and James was (obviously) thrilled beyond capacity. He leaned over the fence to pat a piglet on the bum, tripped over the electric fence, and landed in the pig mud.

I stood there, silent, shocked, reluctant to grab my child--because hello!, I have no idea if he's a conductor of electricity or not, and I was in no mood to get shocked when I had a perfectly able-bodied husband standing directly to my left.

I was like, "Jared, save him."

And Jared was like, "I think you should save him, he needs his mother."

So I was all, "I'll save him, but next time you want me to touch your you-know-what I'm putting on a pair of wool socks and rubbing my feet all over the carpet before I do it. That way you'll know how your kid feels."

I won. Jared picked him up. Turns out the electric fence was off, thank heavens, stars, and goodness.

So now, we have a sweet new car with an iPod jack and the scent of piglet poop.

It's good to be a Lawson.

Fourth of July Pictures

July 6, 2009

Welp, I pulled it off.

I singlehandedly used thirty pounds of duct tape, fifty cardboard boxes, six cans of spray paint, and ten tons of fabric to make: 1 Statue of Liberty costume, 1 Abe Lincoln Costume, 1 Uncle Sam costume, 3 cardboard x-ray machines, 2 giant signs for the side of a pick-up truck, lots of sparkly decorations, and 1,300 labeled pieces of candy.

Jared, bless his heart and muscles, generously put the seats down in my car so we could take all of the props to the parade site. What a man!

I'm still waiting on a couple of group shots that are on my sister-in-law's memory card, but in the mean time, these will have to hold you over. And I'm sorry, but there will be no Abe Lincoln just yet--I think he's in the group shot.

But, for now, here's a picture of Jared dressed as Uncle Sam in an x-ray machine. As you can clearly see, he was not amused. And he had his hat on backwards (the duct tape was supposed to be in the back ya know).

This is my nephew/patriotic ninja/candy thrower extraordinaire. I let him eat 3 chocolate donuts while we rode around in the back of the truck that morning--my apologies to his mother. But really now, how could I eat three donuts and then say no to him? It just didn't make sense.

Here's Jared again, strutting his stuff, pretending to be a happy person in red striped pants.

And finally, my sister-in-law Alicia who kicked Jared's ass in the sportsmanship competition.

Believe it or not, some random guy called Jared's cell phone and offered him money for the x-ray costumes after the parade. Apparently, he's in a band, and thought the costumes were perfect for a gig that night. I'm generous, so I gave them away, totally free of charge. Well, actually, I gave them away on the condition that he kept our ad on the back, turned around multiple times during the performance, and told the crowd a fake (but amazing) story that involved natural healing and my husband's office phone number.

All in all, I'd have to say that it was a smashing success. Thanks again for the inspiration.


July 6, 2009

...of the parade will be up later today. I promise.

Oh, Just an Update

July 1, 2009
(Happy 30th Birthday, Jared!)

Well friends, as of my appointment this morning, it's official--I'm up 24 pounds and I've never looked better. At least that's what the medical assistant keeps on telling me.

(I love you, Lisa!)

Actually (and I fully realize that according to the fashion magazines I'm supposed to hate myself and wretch every time I look in the mirror right now), I really can't help but agree with her. I'm looking pretty stinkin' cute these days.

So fine, the back of my thighs are a straight-up cellulite horror show. But the rest of me? Not so bad if I do say so myself--and I should know. After all, I see my reflection at least thirty to fifty times daily--you know, every single time I have to stop what I'm doing to get up and go pee.

And no, that is not an exaggeration.

There are many days, today included, that I'll excuse myself from my desk to use the facilities, do my business, and turn on my heels before I even get back to my office, because I have to go and pee again. And friends, these are not false alarms, these are good-old-fashioned fire house pees.

Earlier today, while I sat in the waiting room for sixty minutes at my midwife's office (gestational diabetes test), I used the potty not once, not twice, but five times. James went twice. We earned our stares--every last one of them.

This pee situation doesn't bother me so much during the day--any excuse to leave my work in a cold, stagnant pile is fine by me. But dude, the night times? Not so good. I'm tired, I'm walking into walls, and a couple of weeks ago I actually woke up to find myself standing on the cold tile, jiggling the deadbolt on our mudroom door. Apparently, I was changing things up and planning to go outside to pee in a sleep-walky haze.

Huh. Makes sense. Safe, too.

Anywho, that's about all I've got for this latest update--up some pounds, pee machine, and it now officially take three jabs to get the blood in my veins out of my arm. Oh, and I almost forgot--this season, McDonald's double cheeseburgers are the new apple.

Have a good rest of the day, guys.