Category Archives: bad dreams


Do you watch Cougar Town?  The comedy used to be on ABC but now it’s on TBS on Tuesday nights at 10/9c (in case you’re wondering what happened to it).  I like the humor on the show.  That, and they drink a lot of wine (like normal people) (okay, like me).  Courteney Cox’s character, Jules, actually has a name for her wine glass.  Big Karl, I think.  Ha!

Editor’s note:  There is such a thing as too much Botox and lip augmentation.  It really must suck to be over 40 in Hollywood.

In the first episode of the new season, Jules has a dream where Grayson (Josh Hopkins) does something bad.  We never find out what he did (in the dream), but Jules believes it to be real and insists that he apologize.  Funny, right?  Because dreams aren’t real.

I had a terrifying dream the other night that felt so real that I woke myself up.  I dreamed I was on an airplane dangling in the sky…dangling as in about to fall…fall as in about to crash.  It was nighttime and all I could see were stars outside the windows.  I had no idea if we were over land or water.  There were other people on the plane but I didn’t know them.  I was me.  In other words, I was exactly who I am in real life – a Crazy Mama who spends too much money on owl tchotchkes.  As the plane was about to drop (and just before I forced myself awake), all I thought about was myself and that I didn’t want to die.

My family is my life, my livelihood.  Aside from a few precious hours during the day when I run or write (or watch Cougar Town), almost everything I do is for my family, Dylan and Riley especially.  So, why didn’t I think about my loved ones in the harrowing moments before my (dream) death?  Why didn’t I have gorgeous flashbacks of my childhood, my wedding day, and the births of my boys?  Just like Jules, I woke up wanting to blame someone for what happened.  The difference is that she smacked Grayson and I wanted to smack myself.

I struggle every day with the intensity of love I feel for my boys and the resentment I sometimes feel about losing myself in them – about putting their wants, their needs, and their everything above mine.  It’s not their fault.  I made a series of choices that led me to the off-kilter, unbalanced world of Stay-at-Home Mama-hood.  I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, but I sometimes wonder what I might’ve accomplished had I chosen a different path on the spectrum.

Guilty Mama alert!

I told Mike how selfish I felt about not thinking about the people I love before the (dream) crash, and he reminded me that it wasn’t real.  He also suggested that maybe the dream wasn’t about dying at all.  Maybe it was about writing the book and feeling – for the first time in a long time – that I was, in fact, doing something just for me.  He also thought it was silly that I was tormenting myself about it.  Silly, indeed, but I’m far too good at it to pass up such a rich opportunity.  He’s right.  The Book is all mine.  It’s my dream and my burden, and it’s forced me to give myself completely to the writing process, which is new, unfamiliar, not surprisingly guilt producing, and every now and then as terrifying as, for instance, being on a plane dangling in the nighttime sky.

Thankfully, it was just a dream.


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Filed under bad dreams, book, Crazy Mama, owls, Stay-at-Home Mama

Anatomy Of A Friday Night In My Bed

Don’t worry.  This post is G-rated.  There are far too many children and animals roaming in and out of my bed for anything R-rated to take place.  And I wouldn’t write about it anyway.  A blogger has to have some boundaries, right?  So, we’ve established that there’s no sex in this post.  There are, however, some really poorly drawn pictures to illustrate the night.  They’re the kind of images you’ll want to turn away from, but like a really bad car accident or train wreck, you’ll be unable to look away.  You’ll also wonder if perhaps Dylan did the drawings.  He didn’t.  I’m a horrible artist, but I can’t be good at everything, because then you’d hate me.

Last night I fell asleep on the couch, so Mike went to bed alone.

I told you the art was bad.  That’s my bed.  That’s Mike on the left.

I crawled into bed at about 1:00 a.m.  This is where you might think something romantic took place.  Ha!  Sleep is too precious a commodity in this house these days.

That’s Mike on the left and me on the right.

At about 1:30 a.m., Dylan woke up crying from a nightmare and wouldn’t go back to sleep in his bed, so Mike brought him to our room.  This was a risky move, because Dylan isn’t typically a good bed mate.

That’s Dylan in the middle.  What is it that makes kids want to sleep horizontally?  And kick their Mamas and Daddies in the head and back all night long?

At 5:00 a.m., Dylan yelled out “I want to get up.”  I replied, “No.”  I waited all week for this glorious Saturday morning when I wouldn’t have to set the alarm for 6:00 a.m., make lunches, and chase the boys around the house to get them dressed and brush their teeth.  There was no way in hell I was getting up.  Apparently my “no” was just the right tone, because I shut the whole thing down (Akin pun intended).  Dylan fell back to sleep and resumed his horizontal assault.

At 5:30 a.m.,  Riley joined us.  At least his presence forced Dylan to succumb to the vertical.

From left to right – Mike, Dylan, Riley, me.

At 6:30 a.m., Harry joined us.

At 7:00 a.m., Dylan asked, “Is it time to wake up?”  By that time, Riley’s head was nestled painfully against my left shoulder blade, so I said, “Yes.”

You know what they say… A family who sleeps together, stays together is bruised, cranky, and exhausted all day!

p.s. Riley drew a family portrait this morning.

Yes, he’s a better artist than me.

How did you sleep last night?

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Filed under bad dreams, bedtime, sleep

A Pretty Good Tradeoff

I have a confession to make.  Another one.  A while back, I wrote about how I secretly enjoy bringing Riley into my bed after his 4:00 a.m. nightmares about stickers and cookies and other frightening things [insert sarcasm].  In that post, I also wrote about how Dylan never comes in my bed, but I’d jump at the chance to do it now that I realize how quickly he’s growing up.

Well, I take it back.  Dylan is a horrible bed mate.  He doesn’t revel in the wonder and mystery of Mommy and Daddy’s king-sized bed like his younger brother, he doesn’t appreciate the mountain of soft pillows and fuzzy blankets, and he doesn’t cherish the chance to curl up safely next to the belly in which he once grew.

This morning, he also didn’t understand how utterly and completely exhausted he was (and I was) after our zoo adventure yesterday.  At 5:30 a.m. (which still feels like 4:30 a.m., thank you very much), I gave Dylan the choice to (a) play in his bed or (b) come with me to mine.  Going to the family room to watch the Power Rangers was not an option.

Staying in his bed would have been the smart decision.  Currently in his bed are: 50 or so squinkies, a dozen books, a lamp, a portable DVD player with Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (don’t get judgy…the DVD player is only allowed on non-school nights) and a cup of water.  If he had a few snacks, he could probably survive a week there.

He chose (b).  I knew there would be little sleep for me no matter what he chose, but I naively welcomed the chance to snuggle with my little boy.  Fast forward forty-five minutes and we were in the family room watching Power Rangers with Riley, who also woke up too early.  Rewind a bit and this was the scene in my bed:

Dylan (in an astonishingly loud whisper as only a five-year-old kid can do): “Mommy, is it time to watch the Power Rangers?”

Me (in a whisper yell as only a Tired Mama can do): “No.”

Dylan:  “Mommy, look outside. It’s morning time.”

Me:  “No, that’s the glow of the moon.  Close your eyes. You need to sleep a little bit longer.”

Dylan:  “Is two minutes a little bit longer?”

Me:  “No.”

Dylan:  “Mommy, is it time yet?”

(Cue Riley’s crying.)

Me:  “Yes, it’s time.”

The truth is, unlike Riley, Dylan is no fun at all to bring into my bed in the wee hours of the morning.  He does, however, give great hugs on demand, you can (almost) always trust his pinky promises, and his dance moves are fierce.  That’s a pretty good tradeoff.


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Filed under bad dreams, sleep, Tired Mama