Monthly Archives: August 2012

Bedtime Ritual

There comes a time in a marriage when crawling out of bed in a slinky nightgown at 2am to feed your famished baby (after all, it has been 2 hours since his/her last feeding) just isn’t convenient. So naturally, we resort to sleeping in that old pair of high school sweatpants that miraculously fit (even though they used to be two sizes too big) and our husband’s favorite t-shirt. Or is that just me?

It’s an adjustment to accommodate the changes a growing family brings. Just like a marriage, compromises have to be made and needs have to be met. For instance, upon hearing me curse in the middle of the night when I “accidentally” fell into the toilet, my husband agreed to always put the seat down and in return, I agreed to stop using his razor in the shower. But there is one thing we haven’t been able to come to an agreement on: my bedtime ritual.

Having come from a large family, I almost always had to share a room or a bed with one of my sisters. One of my sisters is three years older than I am and one is 3 years younger, so I had the best of both worlds. I could play Barbie’s and house with my younger sister, and offer words of advice (all of which I took from Seventeen Magazine) about love, friendship, heartache, and make-up to my older sister. Our bedtime ritual consisted of talking until one or both of us fell asleep. No matter how hard I tried, I could not break this habit. My husband, on the other hand, could fall asleep (and still does) as soon as his head hit the pillow.

For years, he insisted it wasn’t because he found my conversation boring but rather, he found my voice soothing. (He’s good, I know.) To prove this point, he would call me late at night when he was on a trip and wake me up, just to hear me talk. Being a stay-at-home mom with 3 small children, I had about 30,000 words to get off my mind. On one occasion, when I was about halfway through my story of how our 6 month old son’s diaper leaked while he was in his “walker” and he rolled poop all over the house, he cut me short. “It worked honey, your voice has put me to sleep,” he said. In my husband’s defense, I will say that I have been told by numerous people, including my children, that I have that kind of voice.

The compromise came when we put a TV in our bedroom. I would watch the most mundane shows, hoping I wouldn’t get too interested and stay up half the night. I kept the volume low so I wouldn’t disturb my husband, but when we moved to a new house and the TV was across the room, this proved to be a challenge. So, for Christmas, he presented me with wireless headphones.

In the early stages of writing Magestic Dreams, I had to make a few changes in my bedtime ritual. I had to admit, it was hard to find inspiration while watching TMZ. How could I possibly dream up a story that would sell millions of copies to blood thirsty vampire lover’s all over the world? Oh, wait. That’s Stephanie Meyer. Anyway, in an attempt to edit my manuscript, I read Magestic Dreams into a little handheld recorder so I could listen to it at night–my new bedtime ritual. Often times in writing, we have a tendency to repeat the same words and our brains have a unique ability to correct sentences that are riddled with mistakes, so these mistakes go unnoticed. I thought it would be helpful to hear the words aloud.

It’s a great concept, in theory. There is just one problem. I can never make it past the first paragraph or two before I fall asleep to the sound of my own voice. 

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Categories: writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Never Say Never

Knoxville to LA

One of the pitfalls of having a writer for a mother is eventually, she will write a story about you. I try to avoid this but since there are a few lessons to be learned (and my son is on a long flight to Japan), I felt the need to share.

In preparing our son for a year-long stay in Japan, we went on a shopping spree, buying everything from socks and shoes to toothpaste and deodorant. When one of the two pairs of Chinos we bought him sprung a button, I pulled out the travel size sewing kit, complete with pre-threaded needles. My husband, a FedEx pilot and seasoned traveler, suggested I teach our son how to sew the button back onto his pants. I argued the need. After all, wouldn’t his Host Mother be able to sew a button if the occasion should arise?

My husband reminded me of a time or two when his uniform pants split straight up the back and he had to walk through the hotel lobby with his underwear hanging out. I guessed a little instruction couldn’t hurt. My son was more than willing to learn and he was surprised at how easy it was for me to tie a knot in the thread, weave the needle back and forth through the four little holes on the button, then tie off the thread again—simple.

While waiting 8 hours for his departure flight at LAX, my son’s second pair of Chinos sprung a button. In a disappointing turn of events, the travel size sewing kit didn’t make it into his carry-on bag. We encouraged him to find a store, buy a kit, and then find a bathroom stall. Imagine my surprise when he called from the bathroom stall and asked me how to thread the needle. When I told him he had to stick the thread through the tiny hole at the top of the needle, he said he figured that out but was hoping I knew an easier way. I didn’t.  I’m not sure if the new button was too small or the task was too tedious, but three safety pins are holding his pants up now.

Lesson #1   Last minute packing is not a good idea.

Lesson #2   When your pants are being held up by safety pins and you’re on a 12 hour flight, it is

best to limit your beverage consumption.

Lesson #3   Never say never.

Categories: Life is an Adventure | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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