Monday, March 14, 2011


I have stared at the screen for the past thirty minutes. My brain is swimming inside my skull, grasping for focus. Yet it evades me. Why am I so lost today?

Well, let me tell ya. Insomnia. Vicious, evil insomnia. Oh, and the worst kind--to me anyways.

Last night, I decided to go to bed early. So, the irony begins. It sets the stage. The characters appear -- Me, Hubs, and The Boy.

I climbed into bed, saying the words, "want to go to sleep" repeatedly, hoping Hubs would catch onto my not so subtle clues. By 11:30, I gave up, ignored the TV, and rolled over. It was earlier than normal, but not as early as I had hoped, but it would have to do.

Hubs asked a few questions. He received an unintelligible, mumbled response of "Mmm, sleepin".

The moment that I was still, I was out. Like a light. Quickly and totally unconscious.

At 1:30, the evil insomnia crept in through the window, slid into my bed and placed a hand upon my forehead. Like the lid of a jack-n-the-box, my eyes simultaneously flipped open with an audible thud.

Following a normal routine, I flipped the pillow over to the cool side, flopped over to my other side, and shut my eyes tight. At that point, the little hamster that controls the gears in my noggin began an intense run of the wheel. Flip. Eyes open once more.

I've suffered from insomnia before, so I opened up my bag of tricks. Count backwards from 100, concentrate on breathing in and out, focus on a spot behind my eyelids. It was slowly working.

Then I hear The Bear. The man beside me lets out this ghastly snore, startling me from my relaxed state, and sending my heart racing down the block. Then, I did the worst thing possible. I looked at the clock. 3:30

The hamster runs faster on his wheel. I've been doing this for two hours. I can't miss that much sleep. This is bad. I'll never get back to sleep. Meanwhile, Hubs continues to try to suck all the oxygen from the room, run it through a wood grinder, and whistle it back out.

Ahh! I try the tricks once more. 100,99,98 SNORE! Breathe in, breathe out. SNORE!

I don't think I hit him with a pillow. I think that was just an Ally McBeal internal visual, but I can't be certain.

I found ear plugs, and looked once more at the clock. 4:45  I cussed a string of profanities that would make George Carlin proud. I climbed back in bed and fought my way back to sleep. I'm sure there was sleep in there, but I didn't feel it nor remember it.

The next thing that I remember is the faint sound of a child crying. The Girl has been sick recently, and so I jumped up, tripped over a Croc, not my Croc, and rounded the hallway. At this point, I realized it wasn't The Girl. It was The Boy. Oh, no. He's caught it, I think.

"Baby, what's wrong?" I ask.

I focus my eyes, and now see his faint silhouette, light courtesy of the moon shining through the blinds. He is sitting on the toilet. He responds with a few more whimpers, and adds, "I was trying to go poop, and I slid, and my butt fell in the toilet."

All I could do was put my face in my hands. A real live face-palm.


"What, Mommy?", now using sweetest voice he could muster.


I cleaned him up and pointed him back towards his bed.

"I'm not tired!" Insert an on the floor tantrum.

"Son, just go play in your room, but please be quite. Mommy just needs a few more minutes of sleep."

A lie, Mommy needed a full eight hours, but Mommy takes what she can get.

I head back to my room, climb into my bed, hug my pillow like it was my long lost BFF, and the alarm screams. A shrill yell that could wake the dead. I searched for snooze, gave up, and turned the whole thing off. I buried my head, and died to the world.

I don't know how much time passed before The Boy smacked me in the head with a granola bar and said, "Sun's up, Mommy."

I look at the clock, and yep, you guessed it--I was late.

I arrived at the office, completely worthless and slamming caffeine like its tequila on Spring Break. And no better for it. Seriously, I went to the break room for a glass of water, was holding the cup, and staring into the freezer. I don't know how long I was there. Just gone. The last brain cells evaporated. When I snapped out of it, I returned to my desk. Still no water. I wasn't going back. No telling where I would end up. On a plane next to Tyler Derdan, who knows.

So cheers writing buddies. Lord knows, you are no strangers to insomnia. What do you think is worse-not being able to fall asleep, or dozing off and not being able to stay asleep? What are some of your tricks for going back to sleep? Or just say hi, and make sure that my head hasn't floated away. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Welcome to Murphy's Playground. Murphy's Law states that what can go wrong--will go wrong. This blog will laugh at those moments and all the other ironies that life has to offer.

I first met Mr. Murphy when I was a year old. My mom thought it just fine to let me stand in the front seat of the car, no seatbelt, while she drove. My mother, the woman who yelled at driver's such lovely phrases as, "Didn't you see me blowing?" as she honked her horn at the person stealing her parking spot. The same woman who was driving a motorcycle (not sure whose brilliant idea that was), and became hypnotized by the spinning crome rims of an eighteen-wheeler, and then drove into a ditch. No injuries, so it's still funny.

So, the fact that she crashed into a fire hydrant, while I was playing trampoline in the front seat, was not Murphy's Law. That was inevitable. The events that proceeded would be the precedence for my entire existence.

The ambulance arrived and began treatment on my mom. She had a cut on her forehead and was completely frazzled. One of the paramedics picked me up. I screamed. He tried his best to soothe me. I screamed.

We all piled into the ambulance. Mother was recounting the moment when the fire hydrant leapt in front of the car. I screamed. The paramedic began to bounce me on his knee. A game of horsey surely will calm the distraught child. And I, yep, you guessed it, screamed.

Nearly two hours later after Mother had been issued a band-aid and a glass of water, my father pointed out to the physicians that my screams were those of pain. An X-ray showed the fractures quite clearly. Maybe jiggling a child with a broken leg was not the best idea. I was issued a big fat walking cast to hobble along in.

The irony of the situation--I had just learned to walk the week before.

Hope you guys enjoy the new blog. Let's start it off right. Share this via twitter and Facebook (buttons below), and then share a Murphy's Law moment in the comments. Please try to keep them humorous. This is a tissue free zone.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Don't Think They Like Us, Part 1

Growing up, I always had pets. Rescued kitties, the family dog, and an occasional bunny. But there was always an animal.

When I moved out on my own, I adopted a Pomeranian that, strangely, loved to eat lipstick. Seriously, I would secure it in a zipper pouch inside my purse and this determined K-9 would gnaw through the fabric to get to it, leaving stained fur and carpet and zero instructions on how to clean that up.

As time passed and we were blessed with children, we decided against pets. We now had other lifeforms to try to prevent from eating random objects and to stop from pooping on the floor. Cute, yes. Blessings, yes. We know all that. But determined to injure themselves, and it's my job to supervise--that's children in a nutshell. So the pets, um, well, they disappeared. We did have a beta fish for a while. It died.

But the children are getting older and want pets of their own. "We'll take care of them. We'll feed them." Lies, bloody, lies. But yes, a pet. They should have a pet.

Problem--we live in a cracker jack box. People in the 40s were smaller and apparently, not fond of privacy. But we're in a great school district, so what do you do? And our landlord, who is very fond of the original hardwood floors, doesn't allow pets. Even if he did, we are crammed in here as it is. I can picture it now--a floppy-eared, chocolate lab sliding across the floor, colliding into the large screen television. Nope, we need something smaller.

The Boy (4) has been exposed to a guinea pig in his classroom. He talks about it constantly. I spoke to the teacher. "Oh, yes. She loves children. And your child adores her."

Enough for me. Ta-da! We are getting a guinea pig.

Hubs asks, "What do you know about them?"

"Nothing. And you?"


Let the research begin. The Hubs and I are both nerds. Off to the Internet to learn more about these odd looking rodents, which they call pigs, which look nothing like pigs. Oh, we would learn later why they are, in fact, pigs. But lets not get ahead of ourselves.

Near the end of our research, we learned they do better in pairs. Now, we needed not one, but two of the furry rats. We would be smart. We would save up. We were only going to the pet store to hold one, and see if we were ok picking them up. That is all.

Being the geniuses that we are, we took the whole family for this exploratory mission. The guinea pigs were housed in an open-roofed cage in the middle of the store. There were about six of them all huddled inside of one pink house in the shape of an igloo. I swear I could hear them chanting, "We are not the pigs you're looking for."

The Hubs ripped the house off of them like a tornado. Dorothy and Lollipop Kids scurried. All except one. He remained still. Brave soul.

"That's what we need. One that is not afraid. The Boy can be rough. We need one that's durable," said Hubs.

Hubs lifted the pig from the cage and handed him to The Girl (8). Let the squeally, giggly noises begin. From The Girl, not the rat. He couldn't care less.

I spotted a brown and white one with the cutest face, eyes much too large for its skull. I held it close to me, and he whispered, "Protect me from the others."

It was done.

Hubs found a saleslady and asked the question that would seal our fate, "What all we do we need?"

I swear that woman touched everything in the piggie aisle. Hay, feed, bedding, a chew toy."Why do they need a chew toy?"

"It's this or the furniture," she said.

I put the chew toy in the cart.

"Do you have a cage?" she asked.

"No," we said in unison.

Well, we were going to need a large one, because we were buying two of these furry critters. Their new deluxe, two story apartment was relatively larger than our house.

This cart is full. We could buy a registered cocker-spaniel and obedience classes for what we were about to shell out on these New Guinea Rats. A sane person would have abandoned the cart. A sane person would not have brought the kids. The Hubs and I are not known for our sanity. I stared into the faces of my children, who both looked up at me like Puss-n-Boots from Shrek. Their eyes seemed to beg, "PLEASE!"

Mission failed. We were out numbered. And let's be honest. I'm still holding Tiny Tim, and he's clinging to me for dear life. To the cash register we go.

I swiped the card, and the young boy handed me the receipt. He said, "If one of them dies before ten days passes, bring them back with the receipt."

I clasped my hands over the poor pig's ears. "He's not a carton of milk," I proclaim to the clerk.

That boy was smarter than me.