Chill…to the next episode

February 4, 2012
Am I the only person who suffers from travel anxiety? This is the feeling that no matter how much you pack and prepare for a trip you won’t be ready. A simple three hour road trip turned into a two hour long chest tightening, jaw clenching, tear inducing…with one text message from my dear husband. “I’m just taking a little nap. We’re not going to hurry getting out of town” Is he kidding??? First of a..I am always in a hurry to get out of town. I hate to prepare to leave. (what are you preparing, you are always preparing…just go!). I take quick inventory of my closet…what do I pack? What are we doing? What will the weather be like? I just want to get some clothes in a suitcase complete with makeup, jewelry, medication, toothbrush, face wash..etc. Then there is the kids. Now that they are a little older, I mostly let them pack on our own..mostly. Since they had a couple hour start on me my hope was that: they were packed, Josh was packed and dinner would be ready so we can eat, I can pack and we could be on the road in an hour. I had obviously not taken into consideration my husband’s case of narcolepsy. A nap? I kept looking at my phone. I couldn’t even respond. It was three thirty and I was happily singing songs in my head that would be fun for a Friday road trip. I had decided that Saturday on our trip would be the perfect occasion to debut my new pink skinny jeans. I had been asking myself the question over again if I was too old to pull off a pair of bright pink jeans. With a black sweater and my new turquoise necklace, I would be cheery and colorful. When I got home from work, I did not feel cheery or colorful. 

I walk in the door at 5. My chest started tightening as I looked around the kitchen. Dishes were all around the counter. I feel cluttered by dishes…and there was no dinner cooking in sight. Josh came in and all I could ask, in my most un-concerned wife tone was, “Who was your nap?”. He explained how he only slept ten minutes. The kids were not packed and they came running to me asking when we got to leave. “Bad day at work?” he asked. I hated him. I glared at him and went to the bedroom to begin my packing. Blinded by rage and anxiety, I was barely able to put a shirt and pants together. Questions started to be asked and as the central decision maker of the house…aka mother…I was unable to answer even the simplest of questions. I started folding clothes onto the bed to put into a bag. Since I couldn’t think straight enough to put together an outfit, let alone jewelry and shoes to go with it, I packed the following items for a two day trip: Three pairs of skinny jeans, one pair of boot cut jeans, one pair of sweats, two T Shirts, three tank tops, two sweaters, one cardigan, one skirt, four pairs of socks in various colors, four pairs of underwear, three bracelets, two necklaces, and all my make-up. Josh brought in a bag. “not that one.” I said..” I want the quilted one..that one has a hole in it.” He brings back the quilted bag..and began packing his stuff in it. I saw red for a second and grabbed my chest. I walked away. Did he really think we were going to share a suitcase? Did he now see how I had half my wardrobe ready to go into this bag? I didn’t want his man crap touching my pink jeans. On top of everything else we had no plan. Where were we going? when were we leaving? How much time did I have? When was I going to get to eat?  I needed to cool off so I decided to take a quick shower. Let him question that…

I felt a little better when I got out of the shower. I went back and got the suitcase with the hole and stuffed my clothes inside. I added a pair of tan ankle boots, purple heels and leopard ballet flats. I just needed to pack my electronics and medications. (birth control and migraine medicine). Josh had picked up my prescription for migraine medicine last Monday. I haven’t needed one since, so it was still in the spot in the kitchen where we leave our medications. “Can you grab my migraine medicine?” I asked him. I was coming down a bit and was speaking to him in short sentences instead of just ignoring him. I was still hungry so every hunger pang that I felt resulted in anther glare in his direction. He brings me a bag from the pharmacy and slowly pulls out my birth control and looks into the bag. No migraine medicine. I look at him. I see red. “No migraine medicine?” I manage? He shakes his head. I put my hand to my chest. Here comes the anxiety again. pangs of chest tightening. I look at the clock. 6:15.  “will you please go to the pharmacy and refill it?” I attempt to calmly ask. He takes the kids and goes to get the perscription. 

It was 7:00 when we finally got on the road. We picked up some Mc Donalds on the road. I read to avoid actually talking. It was a calming quiet three hour car ride. I had to really come down from my anxiety over drive. Josh and I will be married for ten years this fall..and the only thing I can say is: there are times you really won’t like your spouse at all..but you will always love them. (same goes for children). This morning I woke up feeling a bit better. My heart had returned to its normal beating pattern. I looked at all the clothes I had brought and immediately selected the pink jeans, black sweater and turquoise bubble necklace. Josh asked if I was still mad at him. “No” I said. “But in the future, never tell me you are going to take a nap before a trip. lie to me..just don’t tell me that.” 


Shirt: Gap
Pants: American Eagle
Shoes: Target
Necklace: J.Crew (Ebay)

Sleep vs Snoring

January 4, 2012
“I got my feet on the ground..and I don’t go to sleep to dream.” 
Fiona Apple

I am too tired to either think or act. By the end of the last night, I was pretty sore from all the moving and cleaning and folding and de-Christmasing of my house. I needed one of those amazing night’s sleeps…the kind of sleep where your eyes spring open and you leap out of bed..ready to embrace the day. Of everything I accomplished yesterday, around midnight it started to become very apparent that this was not going to be an easy task.
11:30 pm. I was sitting on the couch curled up with Josh watching a movie. It was a great end to such hectic holiday run. The tree was unlighted and unraveled in the corner. Upon our mantle the pictures and vases of fake flowers had replaced the tinsel and light up snow men. There we no longer stockings hung by our chimney by the dollar store “peace” hook that was running at about twenty percent of its original glitter. The mail returned to its usual table as the small Victorian winter wonderland village would return to its carefully wrapped tin as I packed in their holiday cheer for another year. As I wrapped the manger baby Jesus and his angels in the remains of a Victoria’s Secret catalogue (ooh the irony…), I was so happy to see the house return to a normal, less chaotic, less sparkly place. The peace of the ending season had swept over me as poured myself a bowl of Honey Nut replace the Christmas Candy midnight snack I was used to. As the pendulum swung a little closer to midnight, I made out a faint sound of sniffling coming from our dark hallway. Josh and I looked at each other with the same faint curiosity turned into dread gaze. It was Olivia. She was crying in her room. It wasnt’ the sort of “I am going to cry myself to sleep cry” but the “I am going to keep doing this until you ask me what is wrong” kind of cry. She was too weak from all the crying to walk out of her room, so Josh came to her rescue. He carried her into the living room as her tiny body dangled in a forced limp noodle kind of way. Her hand hung in such a way that can only say: pity me. In look of half satisfaction and half apprehension she looked at me. “Hi Mommy.” I was mildly annoyed. I had waited two weeks to be able to force a bedtime. “Whats wrong, Liv?” I asked. “I am so ….(pause for drama)…lonely.” She said. “You should be so…(pause for mocking of the drama)…asleep. You do know it is almost midnight and you have school tomorrow?” She looked at Josh. He seemed to be on her side so she nestled her face into his neck to make sure he knew she was rewarding his loyalty with cuteness. I resisted and turned back to our adult humor movie. I could feel both of them staring at me..”fine” I gave in. “you can cuddle for a little bit”. As if the pathetic had leaped right from her existence, she came over and curled up on my lap. I covered her eyes as we continued watching the movie. I let her have a few bites of my cereal..(and even let her drink up some of the milk). I was hoping she would just fall asleep and we could drop her off in bed on our way to our room. I stroked her hair and rubbed her arms like I usually do. The movie was over and it was time for bed. If I forced her into bed now, there was that chance for long and loud sobbing. Since her wall backs up to mine, I didn’t want to risk sleeping next to that guilt trap. I started to rub the area above her nose as I had when she was a baby. It didn’t work then and it wasn’t working now. She would cuddle then flop around to try to get comfortable. I could see her eye balls twitching behind the closed lid. I was a kid once,  I knew that twitch can only come from one thing…fake sleeping. This went on until she finally dozed off enough to sneak her into bed. 
12:45 am. We finally pull down the covers and crawl into bed. Then I came down with a case of the floppies. I flopped right, then left. I couldn’t quite get comfortable. I started to poke at Josh and see if he were awake. I was suddenly pretty awake and thought it was a good time for some long and interesting pillow talk. 
12:47. Long and interesting pillow talk was over. Josh had drifted to sleep and I got out my Kindle and put the glow to a darker, night time background. Since I got my kindle, I have found bedtime reading to be much more enjoyable. No more night lights to annoy Josh, no more page turning or struggle to have one hand propping the book open and the other hand to twirl my hair in nervous content. I had my knees up and the book resting on them. 
1:00 am. I am getting the the center of the plot. Somewhere beyond middle, but no where near the end. It was becoming a page turner (or screen slider?). Josh had begun to snore next to me. It wasn’t the mucus is fighting for air kind of snore but more like the heavy breathing kind of snore. This is usually where he started every night. If I am lucky, I fall asleep during this snore and it won’t keep me awake. The battery on my kindle flashed 10%. I tried to think where the charger was. living room? bedroom? CAR? I figured I had about twenty or so minutes before it died and I would be ready to doze off into “I am too tired to hear my husband snore” land. 
1:30: Josh’s snoring has reached epic battle of phlegm and air stage. He sounds like an exploding volcano with every breath. My Kindle has died and the charger is not with in immediate reach. I curl away from him and pull the blanket over my head. As I tug on the blanket, Josh rolls my way as if her were attached to the blanket. He curls up behind me, draping his arm around my waist. The volcano of snoring is behind my left ear. I wiggle a bit…hoping he gets the hint and rolls back over. He snuggles closer. I paw around in the darkness, desperately hoping to find that charger. It is getting so late and I have to work in the morning. I had set out my clothes mostly because I wanted to wear a new cardi my mom got me for Christmas. It was a studded Simply Vera sweater that was shorter in the front than the back. It was the perfect greigh (grey beige) tone that could compliment both black and brown. I had paired it with a magenta button down and my brow pants. Since I had the outfit worked out, I knew the morning would be less stressful. 
1:35: Volcanic snoring continues. It was briskly winter outside and you could hear the sound of soft snow falling all around. The sound of snow is very quiet. It has such an airy quality about it that you hear almost nothing when it happens, but you just know that it is the sound of snow. It is oddly peaceful and between inhales and exhales of the volcano, I could hear the snow falling. Great, I thought, they kids are going to have a snow day. I will once again be the only person in this house who has to get up. I watched Josh’s back under the blankets rise and fall. He was sleeping so soundly, so deeply. I hate him. I thought, my lips tightening in anger. I decided to get up and find the kindle charger. Maybe my rustling out of bed would wake Josh up and I could tell him to stop snoring. (like he can control it….)
1:45. No luck in the living room or bedroom with the cord. I knew it had to be in my car. I sat on the couch..maybe I could fall asleep there. I laid down and switched on the TV. Nothing on…go figure. Maybe Josh had suddenly stopped snoring….
2:00. I am laying next to Josh. I flop right. he is still snoring. I flop left. He is still snoring. I pull the covers over my head and wiggle my toes. Maybe if I squirm around enough he will become annoyed and move to the couch. (this tactic has worked in the past…) he doesn’t budge. All the flopping has made me hot so I change my sweatshirt into a Tshirt. I roll Josh slightly to the side. A couple minutes later he rolls onto his back. My toes are wildly wiggling. I try to stab Josh’s leg with my big toe…but it isn’t sharp enough for him to feel.  I grab my phone and look at Facebook. No one is posting anything remotely interesting at this point. (15 people have posted about snow….) I update a few apps. I am too annoyed for my phone or any other electronic device at this point….I just want to sleep. My arms get cold so I put the sweatshirt back on. I look at the phone new emails. I google “how to stop snoring” and “how not to kill your snoring husband”
2: 45: I move back to the couch. There will be no sleeping in the bed. I begin to cry a desperation and exhaustion. I hate sleeping on the couch. The dog clinks her paws across the kitchen as she comes in to find me in her spot on the couch. She finds another spot on the rug as she knows I am the only person who enforces the “no dog on the furniture” rule. I pull a blanket over my shoulders and curl up in fetal position…next to my non working Kindle. I feel myself finally floating into a world of slumber. I try not to think that I will have less than five hours of this feeling..I stare at the window and the snow scattering across the yard as I drift. 
3:15. My eyes bounce open. I hear something that sends my heart fluttering. It sounds like someone is outside dancing in bells. Is it Santa? Is a Jingle Bell robber? I don’t hear it again so I start to close my eyes again. The jingling starts again..only this time closer. I slowly peer over the back of the couch. Fiona!! I yell at the cat. She is playing near the front window with a piece of our tree that had fallen. I forgot Layla had bought her a bell collar for Christmas. Look Mom! she had pointed out earlier I can’t believe Fiona hasn’t lost her collar yet….” I sighed. Her eyes were wide like she was tripping on nip…she was in full out play mode. I threw the blanket off of me and stomped to bed. I could hear Josh’s snoring getting louder as I got closer to the room. I lept into bed,  yanked the covers up over my head and squeezed my eyes shut. I started to count his snores like sheep. One out of every five inhales was loud. I began to brace for the loud one, counting five more after that. One was loud..two was a follow up tremor three and four were soft and five was a lead up back to one. I took one last look at our neighbor’s snow buried driveway and finally drifted off to sleep. 
5:23: My phone is ringing. I don’t know the number so I ignore it. 
5:25: I am trying to fall asleep with out wondering who could possibly be calling this early in the morning when my phone lights up. I have a new text message: SCHOOL DELAY 2hrs. I groan extra loud. The missed call was the automated phone system from the school alerting me I was the only one getting up early that morning. Annoyed I force myself back to sleep…mumbling to Josh that there was a delay. I see him smile. 
8:15: I jolt out of bed. Since I had turned the ringer off of my phone when the school called, I didn’t hear my alarm. (I have to be at work by 8). I race around to get the outfit I had picked out to wear on. I wanted to accessorize, but there was no time. I ran out and started my car. I quickly put on make up, glasses and shoes. As I was brushing my teeth, Layla came in the bathroom. “Good morning Mommy. My clock says it is 8:25. Do we have school today?” She asks. “Yes, two hour delay.” I say as I spit. “Did you have a one hour delay?” She asks. “Very funny…I just slept in! Do me a favor and make sure Daddy gets up by nine.” I say. I kiss her on the head and run out the door. 
As I was driving to work in a white out blizzard, I could barely keep my eyes open. I was so tired….and I felt so messy. My makeup felt uneven, my hair wasn’t quite pulled up right and my ear lobes were naked. I was glad that my sweater had such a stunning neckline…earrings would only be frosting. When I came home for lunch..and to do my first photo shoot in the snow, I had to freshen up a bit. I pulled my hair up a little higher to indicate perkiness and put some gloss on my bare pasty lips. I was grateful for my new glasses…they hid my dark circles and the scarf I had throw on at the last minute added an unexpected color twist to my outfit. I am ready for bed with two weapons in my war against snoring: Breathe Right Strips and my Kindle Charger. 





Shirt: JCPenney
Cardi: Kohls
Pants: The Limited
Scarf: TJ Maxx
Boots: Madden Girl (DSW)

Peter Pan

December 16, 2011

“I love Peter Pan…it is one of my favorite stories.” Said Josh when he justified taping that show Neverland that has been on Syfy lately. I gave him the normal look I give him when I linger between making fun of him and just telling him that he is lame. Single ladies, I hate to be the one to tell you, that is the most excitement you get after ten years together. You learn to make fun of each other. I can say honestly that my marriage has been so successful because my husband supplies me with endless amounts of material.

“What?” Josh said trying to read my look
“Really? I am shocked.” I started. Josh looked at me puzzled for a minute…then began a smile.
“You love the story of a boy who refused to grow up….” I said. And to quote Dr. Sheldon Cooper..Bazinga.

It isn’t that my man child refuses to grow up…he just sort of stopped around year three of marriage. I am pretty sure 2004 was the most mature he is going to get and after that he has lingered somewhere between adulthood and the life of a teenage boy. Am I the only wife whose husband owns the following toys: Playstation 3, Wii and a Drum Set? I often say when I grow up, I want to be Josh Taylor….that guy has it made.

Tonight when I took the girls to see Disney on Ice..the skaters reenacted the story of Peter Pan. When they began to fly, Liv looked at me and said “I see their strings.” Nothing gets by Liv. I was thinking about the idea of having eternal least in spirit. Who doesn’t want to be youthful and fun. When was the last time you did something that your inner child wanted to do? In order to fly, you would have to think a happy thought. I close my eyes. “New shoes.” I ponder. nope..not flying. “Reduced interest rate on my mortgage.” Nope..nothing youthful about that. “Big raise at work.” My big toe begins to lift. “Trip to Disney land.” And my arms are beginning to rise. “Trip to Disney land with buy one night get five free and included breakfast.” The hair on my head moves like a gentle breeze has passed through it. “No lines at the mall..everything on sale and no traffic so I can finally get my Christmas shopping done.” and I am flying. As a kid, I would have probably thought things like “We get a swimming pool.” Not that that wouldn’t make me happy as a grown up..but my mind immediately goes to cost and maintenance. One of the Peter Pan kids says “Christmas”. That is a child only fantasy. Christmas probably makes me fall out of the sky in mid fly. Lets face it, the things that you fancied as a child don’t come close to making you happy now. Unlimited candy? cavities. Unlimited cookies? large ass. Staying up late? tired in the morning. Snow Angels? Frostbite. Climbing on a jungle gym? HSA. (health savings account..).

When I think of my man child, I am both annoyed and jealous. Maybe one day I can play video games and bang on the drums (i don’t wanna work…). One of my favorite things about my husband is his boyish charm…and the fact that we tease each other like teenagers. What did you expect from a relationship that started by wet willies? There are days when I have to draw my inspiration from him and stop taking life so seriously. I get these moments where life comes at me like a pang of anxiety. I will look at Josh and just say my heart is going to explode from the anxiety. He just asks if I need a hug. Like a Xanax for my soul, that hug seems to do the trick. For any other girls out there married to Peter Pan: whether he is the guy who still plays video games, still fantasizes that he will one day be in a rock band, throws temper tantrums when his football team looses (oh wait, that is my Dad), buys expensive toys, any or all of the above…just be happy you have this stroke of teenage bliss to keep you from going into anxious shock. (even if they cause it). The man child may not always be the most motivated of husbands, but he will be the most loyal and entertaining. Days like today when I put on a great skirt and sexy red cardi, he will look at me like a teenage boy who has caught his first view of a boob. That makes it easy for me to convince him to take my pictures all the time. Tonight, Peter Pan took pictures of me in my skirt outfit in front of our Christmas lights. The same lights he proudly put up him self. The same lights that caused the missing wallet incident. “Have you seen my wallet?” he asked. The missing wallet is a usual occurrence. “Where was the last place you had it?” I asked…giving him my best motherly glance. There is not a member of this family that can handle my “you are dumb” look. I have perfected this look over the years and look forward to the time when I can regularly use this on my teenage girls. “Um..let me think”. He started. “Oh..the roof! I thought I saw something sitting on the roof when I was backing out of the driveway today…” We both started laughing. My Peter Pan is going to have to think a happy thought and fly up on the roof to get his missing wallet.


Sweater: Old Navy
Shirt: Banana Republic
Skirt: The Limited
Boots: Cole Haan (TJ Maxx)
Belt: vintage (my Grandma’s)
Necklace: Charlotte Russe

The Dog Days

July 14, 2011

I will be the first to admit it…when you have children your pets take a back seat. My dog, who once took up the whole bed nestled between Josh and I is now lucky to find a good place on the couch. Dog beds? forget about it. The cat seems to think that is her bathroom and scratching post. So Monday when I came home from work I had a real eye opener. What had started out as a steamy July day gave way to a early evening thunder shower. We got home around six thirty…I couldn’t resist the lure of a home cooked meal from my Mom. The three of use went went about our separate ways. Layla to the bathroom (she can only go in our toilet) and Olivia to play with her new toys. I was sifting through unpaid bills and coupons when I realized the house was unusually quiet.
“Liv-can you go let Nomi out” I said, referring to our almost thirteen year old pit/chow mix. Nomi was Josh’s first lady love and remains loyal to all of us in her old age. Liv ran (never walks) to the back room where the pet food is stored. “No Nomi” she calls. “Try the garage” I respond. “not in the garage” she yells. I stopped staring blankly at my closet..something was wrong. I look at the patio door…it was open. “Did you guys leave the patio door open?” I asked. ” I shut it” Layla responded..almost too quickly. I recall the door was open when we got I ran outside…hoping I could find Nomi before the Poland Nazi (I mean police) found her and fine me for her once again lost tag. The three of us are calling to her…and i swear even the cat is meowing.

In the back garden near the tomatoes..something catches my eye. I blink..and look closer (not wearing my glasses always seems to mess with me). Is that a pile of dirt on the back corner of the garden? I knew Josh had said something about a raised garden…. (I heard blah blah blah garden). “Nomi?” I called. no movement. This time I was close…almost close enough to touch her…but she wasn’t moving. My heart dropped…I feared the worst. The storm and humidity had been too much for her old body to bear. “I didn’t leave the door open” was all Layla could say. “Nomi” I called again, a little louder. I was still unsure if I should touch her but I reached out my hand. Slowly she got up..and I gasped. The side of her face was all swollen. She had bumps on her back. I got her into the house and with the help of some deli ham I coaxed her into the living room to examine her. I sent Josh a text as he hadn’t responded to any calls..probably in the middle of a dinner rush. “she has been getting bad lately, we are going to have to discuss some things :(” was his response.

Nomi’s new spot

If this story had a sad ending..I am not sure I would be able to post it. Three days, a couple allergy pills and some fish oil later, she is a new dog. Today she got a clean bill of health and a fresh round of shots from the vet. The swelling was a bug bite or bee sting of some sort and the shaking and slow moving was most likely due to the trauma of the storm.

While I am grateful that she is ok and that nothing serious is wrong her her..I really have rethought her place in this house. Hopefully with enough bacon strips, fish oil, and a nice place on the couch..she will forgive us and we can give her a couple good years.


July 5, 2011

“Do u know it’s a scientific fact that women are better at grocery shopping then men? It’s science” Josh Taylor