Ladysitter

I was chatting with one of the smart young women I work with yesterday. She’s getting married in less than a week and seemed so calm and relaxed. She told me her secret. She has what she calls her ladysitter.
Never heard of such a thing? Same. Apparently a ladysitter comes in, organizes her house while she works, puts up the art she’s been meaning to hang for weeks – that kinda stuff. She’s no housekeeper, no no no. She does the things that make this gal feel put together. Thank you note envelopes written out. Registry gifts sorted and tagged. Duplicates returned to the store they came from. Reminders to refresh the pantry and buy household needs. The men reading this won’t understand because you already have a mansitter. That would be your wife. Or your mother. Or your girlfriend.
If you’re gay – one of you understands this. The other thinks birthday cards get magically sent to your loved ones.
Sigh.
A ladysitter.
I want one.

How to find true love

Find someone that gets the following text from you at 6:30am after you’ve watched an episode of The Good Wife (which they don’t know) and they still answer you seriously.

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The End.

Putting my marriage at risk for you

I’m going to get in major trouble for posting this pic. But I can’t help myself. In real life, my husband looks like a serious dude. Sometimes his frown does not turn upside down – know what I’m sayin’?

But I think deep inside – he’s always smiling. Look at him doing karaoke with his aunt. Not only did he belt out a tune (Sinatra I think), but then he busted a few moves to make her laugh.

The pic is blurry so I’m hoping he won’t be too angry. He’ll be smiling on the inside when he sees this. Ahem.

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Best Decision Ever.

Ummm…can we just skip over my explanation of not writing during the last 15 days? Ok. Thanks. More importantly – I couldn’t wait to write this post. 

We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout. Really we did. Swear on June and Johnny we did.  And when we made that decision it was filled with worry and anxiety. Are we doing the right thing? Yes. Are we too young? Yes. Will we make it? I sure hope so. But once we were married and living our little life in NYC – all that worry went away. We had a great first year of marriage. Lots of traveling for work and for pleasure. Lots of painting the town red. Not a care in the world. If we wanted to eat out at 2 AM, we could. If we wanted to leave at a moment’s notice to hop a plane to a tropical island, we could. But in reality we never did. We were pretty tame. But we were happy.

Right after the holidays we decided that this would be the year we had a baby. Unlike the wedding/marriage/decision to stay together forever thing- this was an easy one. I loved kids. He…didn’t hate kids. It was perfect. We talked it through. We made a 6 month plan. We’d get our finances locked down. We’d figure out if we could stay in the apartment. We’d figure out if we needed to buy a car. We’d take part of the year to really sort it out. But we forgot something important.

I am a fertile myrtle.  My body was made for baby bearing, and I’m not just talking about my hips. Just looking at babies could get me pregnant. And indeed, just thinking of having a baby was all it took. Well, not ALL it took. I’m not magic, but you get the point. I got pregnant quickly. Supersonic preggers. Look Ma, I got skills!

We were so excited. I won’t brag about how easy breezy the first months were. No morning sickness. No nothing. Just happy little butterfly flutters in my belly. We found out what we were having, because, well, you know. I’m nosy. I need to know things.

A girl!! Exactly what we wanted.

After that, instead of a Friday night movie – we’d head to Barnes and Noble and look up baby names. There must be an Irish/Ukrainian/Indian name right? Not so much. We knew the middle name would be Anne, because 1) Indians don’t really have middle names so I was open to anything and 2) My husband’s family has a long line of strong, beautiful women with that middle name. She could have no other middle name.

But there was an Indian first name that I loved. Asha. It means wish. Not just a small, penny-in-a-fountain wish – but a deep, burning, full-of-love wish. Asha Anne? It could work. I began working on my husband, trying to convince him that this was the name for our little one. He wasn’t loving it, but I think I would have talked him into it. Eventually.

2 months into my “Asha” obsession, my husband came home from work with a deeper than usual frown on his face. Then he proceeded to tell me about a woman who’d just started in his group that was making his life miserable. Anyone care to guess what her name was? Anyone? Bueller? No? It was ASHA. What? Come on!  In the words of Vizzini in The Princess Bride – inconceivable!

Long story short, we didn’t go with that name. But we found something even better. There are so many other details about that time that fill my head.

I could tell you about my doctor (I’d never met a Hasidic Jew before and the first time we were introduced he said,” you don’t ask me why I have curls and I won’t ask you why you don’t wear a dot, ok? Loved him). I could talk about the raging postpartum depression I had that lasted for months, and then one day, just turned off like a light. I could talk about how we painted a hallway yellow and called it a baby room (it was beautiful).

I went into labor at 5am. We hopped into a cab and my water broke. The driver didn’t act surprised, #cabsaredirty. I was in labor for a bit and then she was born. I remember my husband clearly saying to me, in the midst of my epidural haze, “we’re a family”. The next few hours, days, weeks, months were a blur.

I’m sure a lot of people assumed she was a “surprise” because we were so young. None of our friends were even married, let alone parents. We lived in a city where it was normal to see a twenty year old strolling around with a baby – because she was the nanny, not the mommy.

But we were unapologetic. She wasn’t Asha, but she was. Because she was a wish. A plan. A purpose.

That was 15 years ago. There’s a ton of words I could use to describe her. She’s funny, smart, beautiful, kind, thoughtful, stubborn, careful, sarcastic, passionate, loyal – I could go on and on.  Every time someone from the outside world tells me how amazing she is, I try not to do what I naturally want to do – which is to say,” I know right?”. I just say thank you and go cry in a corner.

Happiest Birthday to my first-born. Here’s what happens when you blink.  Your baby goes from this…

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To this…

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Comedy of Errors without the Comedy

It was a simple plan.

Friday night my son had soccer practice at 6:30. I was going to drop him off, watch a bit of practice and leave.

My daughter and a friend had to go to a dance at 7:00. And by had to I mean they would have LITERALLY died without going to this dance.

My husband planned to get home from work by 6:30, join me at the soccer field so I could take off and he could take him home.

We were meeting some friends for dinner at 7:30.

We can do this. We’ve done this before, like, a million times. I’ll drop off the boy. My husband will pick him up, buy him dinner, bring him to a friend’s for a sleepover, and go straight to the restaurant. I will drop off the girls  (another mom was doing pick-up) and meet at the restaurant. All’s well.

Then here’s what happened.

When I got to the soccer field I couldn’t find our team. I know that sounds insane – but it’s a sea of 9 year boys running around a football field. And they don’t wear their uniforms for practice – thanks for asking. It also turned out that they moved from our usual spot to the back field. Anyhoo, we didn’t get there till 6:45.

At 6:50 my husband called to say there is terrible traffic. He’s not making it to the field by 7:15.

No worries, I say. I’ll stay at the field and take him back, you (I’m looking at you husband), take the girls to the dance.

Small caveat that I had to fill him in on. On the way to the dance, you have to stop by another kid’s house and pick him up too.

Another small caveat I had to fill him in on. The dance was in the next town over.

As every wife and mother out there knows, there are certain details of how we get our day done which are on a “Need to Know” basis.

“Why didn’t I know that this dance wasn’t in our town?” he asks.

“What? Who are we picking up? Where?” he shouts.

Need to know baby. As in up until now, you didn’t need to know.

I’ll spare you the “spirited” discussion and “colorful” language that flowed like water from both of us. Did I mention that we never remembered to call our friends and say we’d be late?

We did make it to dinner – at 7:45. Not bad for a total breakdown of plans and routine.

Thankfully our dinner companions laughed off the lateness when we told them our tale of woe. You see, they have grown kids, and I’m sure they were thinking,” you think it’s bad now…wait until next year.”

But they didn’t tell us that. It’s on a “Need to Know” basis.

 

 

 

mo’ marriage mo’ problems

You know what people who are married for 17 years fight about?

No? It’s none of your business? Sure it is. I’ll tell you.

Yes, there’s the big stuff like money, kids, etc. All those things are stressful and cause all kinds of agita.  But here’s what can really drive a marriage off the rails.

Let me set the stage.

I’m not a garden gal. I’ve tried to grow vegetables and herbs (yes even basil) and had no luck. I’ve tried to keep flowering plants alive but ended up burying most of them. But this summer I fell in love with a big, beautiful hydrangea bush in our back yard. I’m pretty sure it’s been there since we moved in but I’ve been busy and hadn’t noticed.  For the last few weeks I’ve been watering it, weeding it, tending to it like crazy. And it’s been beautiful relationship. I love it and take care it and in return,  it gives me big, colorful blooms that I can use in the house.

Then, last week, I had to go into New York City for the day. When I came back I noticed all our shrubs had been trimmed and cleaned up. Four years ago my husband found this dude, Edgar, who comes in every week in the summer to do our lawn.  Edgar and his crew usually make quick work of things that we just can’t get to. Awesome right?

Wrong.

When I went to the back to water my lovely plant – this is what I found.

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It had been butchered. Chopped. Deflowered.

Edgar!

I immediately called my husband and told him what went down.

“oh”, he said.

“oh no! You need to call him and tell him his crew killed my plant!”, I calmly but passionately stated.

So that night he called Edgar and said something along the lines of,”uh..hey Edgar…my wife is pissed because I think you guys trimmed too much from a bush in the back.” Then there was laughing and smirking and it ended with a,”it’s no big deal man….”

Let’s just say we had some “words” when he got off the phone.

He said I was treating Edgar like “the help” and I reminded him that he WAS the help. That’s what his role in our lives is. I’m not saying he’s a lesser human or anything – I’m saying he provides a service. If that service is f’d up – then he needs to own up to it.

Am I nuts? Don’t answer that.

Back to my main point – if my marriage goes down, it won’t be because of an affair or because my husband doesn’t buy me jewelry or crap like that. It’ll be because he didn’t have a fight with Edgar.

Makes sense right?

Here’s the picture I’ll be looking at whenever I want to enjoy my hydrangea plant.

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Not your average Joe.

10 days into my life as a freshman in college, I walked over to my friend’s dorm room to see if she wanted to catch an early dinner. She couldn’t, she was helping an old neighborhood friend catch-up on some math notes. She introduced me to him and I gave her a look – sure you’re “studying”. Later that night she came over and I got the scoop. They really did just study. She had known him for years. She and her brother spent tons of time with his outgoing, friendly sister. Him, not so much. But he was cute. Super cute. And super intense.  I found out everything about the dude. This guy was not here to have a good time. He didn’t laugh easily and he was almost always working.  He was a bit of a loner. The few friends he had were loyal and protective – just like he was. This was the guy for me.

The next part of the story is up for debate. He says I stalked him until he gave in. I remember it differently. Same outcome. I was 19, he was 21.

College was a blur of happy memories. Summers in NYC, jobs on campus and off, friendships and drama and occasionally some classes. We broke up a few times, for a day or two. Then he apologized and I took him back (again, I’m sure he has a different version but this is my blog. There’s no fairness in blogging.)

He graduated before me and moved into an apartment down the block from the dorm. He had a roommate named JFK (seriously. and he was as quirky as his name.) By the time I graduated he got a better job and moved into his own place. I moved in quickly after.

He’s never said to me that “he needed space” or that “he’s not sure he wants to commit”. From the very first day he was all in.

What followed was the anti-NYC story. Marriage and babies in our late 20s and early 30s. It didn’t make sense to many – but it was so natural to us.

We are a bit of a mismatch.  We always have been. Different things make us tick. As you know, I like to get to know people. any people. I love a good chat. I’m all about a party. I love to laugh, I do it often and at really silly stuff. On paper, I’m the kind of person that drives him batty and he’s the type of person that I would keep away from. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of music. I only know what I like. He’s emotional, intuitive and can breathe fire in a nanosecond. I’m pragmatic, fickle and it takes a lot to get me angry. But we have a really good time together. I won’t say the yin/yang thing because it’s not all that zen. It’s volatile and passionate and I wouldn’t last with anyone else.

A couple of days ago, on his 43rd birthday, 22 years into knowing him – I told him that this would be our best year yet. And he looked at me and said,”it better be.”

When I named this blog he couldn’t figure out why the word “wife” came before the word “mother”. He thought my role as a mother is what defined me, the thing that mattered the most to me. He was wrong.

Happy Birthday baby.

This post will make him extremely uncomfortable and exposed – so why not go for it and add photos right?

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