Christmas Miracles and Everyday Madness

xmas_tree_before_1214It’s been an eventful few weeks since I posted anything fresh here for you. First, a bit of an explanation. Christmas was my mom’s favorite holiday. The tree was always up on the day after Thanksgiving and every inch of the house was covered in something that lit up, jingled or played holiday songs. More than once, I walked into the room at my parent’s house and had a motion-sensing, dancing, singing Santa scare the living shit out of me. As far as holidays go, my mom never wavered. She was all in.

Not surprisingly, since her death, the holidays kind of suck for me. Add to that an always lingering residual bit of depression, a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder and the stress that comes with planning a major holiday and a child’s birthday party at the same time, and you’ve got the perfect storm. Unfortunately, I’m terrible at writing in the midst of a storm.

Now for a little public service announcement…If you are considering getting pregnant (or knocking up your wife, significant other, or surrogate) I would highly recommend that you carefully plan the fateful insemination so as to avoid having a child born in December. Or the beginning of January, for that matter. Many moons ago, my darling Biggie was our Christmas miracle. She was born on December 12th after three years of trying to get pregnant culminating in three rounds of in vitro. But here’s the thing…we really should have timed the whole miracle thing much better.

Everyone worries about the kid when they find out he or she has a Christmastime birthday. “Oh, the poor thing! He/she really gets the shaft having his/her birthday so close to the holidays.” But, I say…remember the parents! (Or, in our case, the mother. Let’s be honest.) Ever try making candy flames while shopping online and addressing holiday cards at the same time? It’s a challenge even for the sanest parent and we all know that’s not me.

The last few weeks have been such a blur, I’ll just try to fill you in with a few main events. First, there was the aforementioned birthday party, which was another sleepover because I’m a masochist. I did put my foot down this year, though, telling Biggie she could invite only two girls from school and two girls from the neighborhood. Last year’s sleepover was significantly bigger and a bit of a debacle actually (at least for me).

campfire_cake_1214For once, Biggie liked and went along with my idea for the party theme… a camping themed, birthday slumber party. The girls slept in an eight-person tent Ad Man and I just barely managed to erect in our downstairs living room. But, before that, there was an outdoor scavenger hunt, pizza, a movie by the fireplace and a campfire birthday cake. I’ve included a photo of the cake here because I think I got more comments about it on Facebook than I’ve gotten on any cute kid or puppy post ever. Honestly, that cake was the highlight of my last few weeks. It came out so much better than I’d ever imagined. In fact, I’m considering never baking another cake for as long as I live. Why not retire at the top of my game, right?

Despite all the preparation that went into Biggie’s party, it actually turned out to be fairly easy and she was happy. Yay for me! I have to savor the little victories in parenthood because, lord knows, they can be few and far between.

Unfortunately, there have been some low points in the last few weeks as well…for example, when our Christmas tree came crashing down yesterday. I will elaborate, but I should first mention the wonderful way my day began. I was lucky enough to spend the day with a friend’s sweet, beautiful, eight week old (ish) baby boy. Oh man, is he delicious! We had a lovely day of snuggling, snoozing (him, not me), smiling (both of us) and sniffing his luscious new baby smell (Birdie and I). It was a bit of a challenge managing a puppy and a newborn at the same time, but I still found myself thinking, “See? I’m not too old for a baby. I could totally do this again!”

That is until I was attempting to calm little man who was squawking with hunger while I tried to heat up his bottle as fast as humanly possible when we heard an ungodly crash from the adjacent living room. Squawking turned to screaming, Birdie ran around like there was a squirrel in the house, and I reluctantly peeked around the corner only to find shards of glass and spilled water everywhere! The poor Christmas tree that had been so elegantly dressed just moments before, lay sadly in a bed of its own debris.

xmas_tree_after_1214I had the sense to put the the baby in his bouncy seat and unplug the tree lights before one of us was electrocuted in a pine-scented cloud of sparks. That was the last coherent thought I had, however. I looked at the mess, the hungry baby, the bottle of precious breast milk warming on the stove and the puppy threatening to run through broken glass and picked up the phone to call Ad Man. Luckily, another Christmas miracle occurred and he actually answered the phone. I said something like, “I need you! Come quick! The tree fell and there’s glass and water and I have a baby and a dog!” in not my calmest voice. Ad Man’s office is only three miles away, so after telling me to put the damn dog in her crate and doing about twelve additional things at the office, he headed home to face the destruction.

Eventually, Ad Man arrived, cleaned up the mess and we took inventory of our destroyed ornaments. By then, the baby was sleeping contentedly with a belly full of warm milk while Birdie slept off the adrenaline rush from dodging an enormous falling tree. As it was too early for a drink and I was babysitting, I got my stress relief from gazing at the perfect, peaceful face of little man. Demonstrating my remarkable skills of denial and self-delusion, I breathed a sigh of relief and thought again, “I could totally do this.”

The following day, I was again entrusted with the care and keeping of another living being, but the outcome was less successful. Birdie tends to be a pain in the ass about getting her nails clipped, so I’ve given up trying to do it myself and now take her to Petco for monthly pedicures. Because she apparently has the same short memory as her adoptive mother, she blocks out her nail terrors and is super excited to go to the pet store every single time.

Yesterday’s trip was no exception. She bounded out of the house with her tail wagging as soon as I said, “Birdie, want to go to the store?” We hopped into the car and I carefully lowered her window to a level where she could stick out her snout and enjoy the breeze, but not hang half her body out the window like a teenage boy in a limo after prom. In an abundance of caution, I hold onto her leash with a death grip the entire time she rides with me. I’d like to point out that Ad Man thinks I’m a neurotic freak (for this, and many other reasons). He just loops her leash through the seat belt and lets her hang out and gulp oxygen to her heart’s content.

Luckily, I can rarely, if ever, be convinced that his method of doing something is better than mine. And, it’s a damn good thing I stuck to my neurotic guns, because I’d just pulled into the Petco parking lot when Birdie jumped out the damn window! Of a moving automobile! Who does that?! Freaking the f*ck out, I managed to pull the car over and park all the while clinging to her leash. I’ll never forget the panicked look she gave me as she dangled outside, with just her eyeballs reaching the level of the now completely lowered window. I steeled myself for what I would see as my mind ran wild with images of her wrecked body flashing before my eyes.

Instead, I opened the passenger door and she hopped right back in, fresh as a daisy. It was as though she jumped out of a moving vehicle on a daily basis! A woman in the parking lot who had witnessed the whole scene called to me, “Is your dog OK? Are you OK?!” In a state of shocked disbelief, I told her yes. Birdie and I caught our breath and continued into the store as planned because, well, I didn’t know what else to do.

Not once did I think to wonder how the car window had gotten rolled down. That is, until we were back in the car on our way home and Birdie had her nose and paws out the 3 inches of open window I allowed her when the stupid thing rolled down again! All I could figure was that it was broken and would roll down whenever she put pressure on it. However, after we returned home and my scrambled brain started chugging back into action, I thought to myself, “You dumbass, the dog was stepping on the window button!” Erg. Anyway, this was the very difficult way I learned to always, always turn on the child safe window locks whenever doggie Evel Knievel is riding shotgun. Public service announcement #2.

Aren’t you glad you read this whole rambling post? I provided you with two nuggets of wisdom so you don’t have to learn them the hard way like I did. I also told you a couple stories that undoubtedly made you sit back and think, “Holy crap…I’m glad I’m not her!” Don’t say I never gave you anything. Have a great holiday! I’ll have lots of updates in the new year. Now, go tether that Christmas tree to the closest immovable object you can find. You’ll thank me someday.

Back and Forth: A Tale of My Spine Told Through Photos (Blatantly Stolen from the Internet)

As you may know, I’m just emerging from a week away from the computer during which I took a complete break from writing. After months of dealing with worsening back and neck pain, enough was enough. In an effort to heal my gnarled spine, I had to do something drastic. How did I get to be such a pathetic physical specimen? Easy. I spent far too many hours doing this…

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Which left me feeling very much like this…

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So, I set aside the computer and spent some quality time with my chiropractor who tried just about everything to get me back in line, including some of this…

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…and a little of this…

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…except that my chiropractor doesn’t look like Huey Lewis. In fact, mine is actually the perfect blend of this…

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…and this…

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And when I say he tried everything, I mean everything. Neither the tiny pogo stick…

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…nor the laser gun seemed to do the trick. I left the office feeling defeated.

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The next morning though, I awoke feeling quite a bit better. And, after a blissful afternoon of this…

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I felt like this…

flying_baby_pool Hopefully, that wonderful feeling will remain after I return to doing this…

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I won’t hold my breath that I’ll be able to do this though…

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And, let’s be honest, in hot yoga I actually look more like this…

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Now, I can finally get back to doing this…

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…and all is right with the world.

R & R

birdie_5_months_1014Dear readers, I’m a mess. I know it goes without saying that the inside of my head is an untidy place, but this time I mean I’m physically falling apart. My neck and back are tweaked and I haven’t been to yoga in longer than I’d like to admit. I have a hunch (get it…hunch?) that much of my problem derives from being bent over a computer all day. Well, actually, it’s more than a hunch seeing that both my chiropractor and acupuncturist have pointed to my far-from-perfect posture at the computer as one of the main culprits causing my back issues.

Another major culprit is the furball pictured above. Miss Birdie has quickly gone from cute, little puppy to big, strong puppy with places to go and people to see. I take her for a couple walks a day, so that’s a lot of being yanked along by a leash. Me, that is, not Birdie. She has a magical new harness that has lessened the pulling significantly, but I still bear the wounds of her less civilized days.

This is a very long way of saying I’ve decided to take a leave of absence for a week to rest and rehab my aching back. When I’m done writing this post, I will tuck my computer away in a safe place, (or better yet, have Ad Man hide it from me) and not pick it up again for seven whole days. Instead of spending hours every day draped over a glowing screen, I will check in with my chiropractor, actually use the massage gift certificate Ad Man and the girls gave me for Mother’s Day, and drag my sorry ass to yoga. If I really, really need to check email or Facebook, I will do so on the tiny, uninviting screen of my iPhone.

So, ta-ta for now, my friends! I shall return in a week a changed woman, or at least one less dependent on anti-inflammatories and heated neck pillows.

Lock Me Up and Throw Away the Key  

list_insane_asylumThis list of reasons one might be committed to an insane asylum in the late-1800s is one of my favorite things. It comes from West Virginia’s Hospital for the Insane which still stands and is open for “Heritage” and “Ghost” tours. Huh? If I were committed to a creepy insane asylum, that would be the very last place I’d choose to haunt in my afterlife. I’d choose something more like the Bora Bora Nui Resort. Yep, I would haunt the shit out of one of those little villas set literally on the ocean. I should mention that the asylum also hosts Zombie Paintball and and a drag show, both of which sound a hell of a lot more fun than being spooked by pissed off, long dead lunatics.

Reading through the list of reasons for committal, it’s clear that I would have been a long term resident at my friendly neighborhood insane asylum if I were around in the 1800s. This is, of course, presupposing that I’d survived the Salem Witch Trials prior to that. Let’s peruse the list, shall we? I suspect a good number of us would have been potential patients at the asylum. Right off the bat, I’m screwed:

Intemperance and Business Trouble.  I’ve been known to imbibe an alcoholic beverage or two in my time and anyone who reads this blog knows that, despite my license to practice law, I’ve earned approximately zero dollars over the last eight years. If that’s not business trouble, I don’t know what is. While I wouldn’t necessarily draw a causal connection between intemperance and my business trouble, both of these character flaws exist simultaneously so I’d have to plead guilty on this one.

I clearly have a Hereditary Predisposition to insanity. Thanks a lot, Mom. I would also be remiss if I didn’t blame my grandmother and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. You’re all a bunch of crazies, but I love you.

Ill Treatment by Husband. Check. Um, here’s an idea though…perhaps they could have thrown the husbands in the asylum, not the long-suffering wives!

I don’t think they could get me on Imaginary Female Trouble. All my female trouble has been based firmly in reality. I am, however, clearly suffering from Hysteria (i.e., “female trouble”), an Immoral Life (see Intemperance, above), and Laziness. I’m also guilty of Using Medicine to Prevent Conception, Menstrual Derangement, Mental Excitement and, worst of all…Novel Reading!

Overaction of the Mind would be a yes; Overstudy of Religion, a definite no. I have been accused of Political Excitement, especially since moving to the South. For some reason, I was considered very calmly political when I lived in Berkeley, California. I can also be Bad Company at times, just ask Ad Man.

I don’t think I’ve ever had Bad Whiskey, but whiskey has definitely been bad to me. I am pleased to report that, as far as I know, I have not suffered from either Bloody Flux or Brain Fever. Neither of those symptoms sounds like a good time.

As for the rest of the first column, I admit to Business Nerves and Congestion of the Brain. I’m sure I displayed both to a few judges in Los Angeles County courtrooms. I’m safe on the rest of the symptoms in that column, but I’m not going to make any promises that Desertion by Husband won’t be forthcoming.

I definitely have Domestic Affliction and Domestic Trouble, but again, why do I have to go to the insane asylum while the real culprits, my husband and children, get to walk free? Actually, I should throw our puppy Birdie in there, too. Am I the one who barks at my own tail and pees on the kitchen floor? I think not.

Not sure what Excitement as Officer means, but if it involves a sexy policewoman’s uniform and stilettos, I can’t absolutely rule it out. A girl’s got to keep the home fires burning, if you know what I mean.

Yes to both Fever and Jealousy. Suppression of Menses? Hell yes! Shout out to my IUD! Time of Life? Well, this one depends on context. Is it like, “Woohoo…I’m having the time of my life!” If so, then I’m sure that’s occurred in one 4 am Chicago bar or another when I was in my 20s. If instead, it means “The Change,” then no, not yet, but check back in five to ten years. I’m sure I’ll be plenty deranged by then!

asylum_buildingI think we’ve sufficiently covered Uterine Derangement and Women Trouble. Add those to Hysteria and Menstrual Derangement. Jeez, you’d think getting one’s period was like catching the Black Death back then! Hmm…I wonder what the gender was of the person who wrote up this list. Such a mystery. I guess we’ll never know.

Do you think Shooting of Daughter had to be an actual shooting or would merely contemplating be enough? I’m going to read this literally and say no, I’ve never shot one of my daughters. Not even during a homework meltdown.

Gathering in the Head is one of my favorites. I’ve spent many years in my head, but as far as I know I’ve always been alone in there, so I think I’m OK on this one. And, if Greediness means hiding the good chocolate from your children and eating it after they go to bed, then I’m greedy as hell.

Grief? That’s a topic for another blog post. Let’s just say grief is the only thing on this list that’s actually gotten me close to requiring hospitalization. Speaking of which, today is the 12th anniversary of my mom’s death. I’d like to believe she’d be MommyEnnui’s biggest fan if she were still here. Thanks for the twisted sense of humor, Mom. It’s serving me well.

Hard Study could have gotten me committed to an asylum a few times during law school. Instead, I went with outpatient therapy and tequila. Rumor of Husband Murder? Much like Shooting of Daughter, this one depends on who’s spreading the murderous rumor and whether empty threats count. As for Seduction and Disappointment, I’d refer you back to the same Chicago bar in my 20s. I’m sure this one was checked off back then.

And, finally, Dissipation of Nerves. For this one, I looked up dissipation and found a number of interesting definitions: “breaking up and scattering by dispersion,” “wasting by misuse,” or “a process by which energy is used or lost without accomplishing useful work.” Considering the fact that I spend much of each day gathering in my own head, Dissipation of Nerves could be my middle name!

Well, there you have it. I would have been the ideal candidate for commitment to West Virginia’s Hospital for the Insane if I were around in the 1800s. The good news is that pretty much every one of my female friends and a good number of the guys would be committed with me, so at least I’d have company. Imagine all the fun we’d have drinking, being lazy, reading novels and just generally living an immoral life. Doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

How many reasons would you have had for being locked in the insane asylum?

Puppy Ennui

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I’m pretty sure I’m suffering from puppy postpartum depression (“PPPD”). I just called Ad Man because I was lonely and feeling frustrated by doggy parenting and ended up crying on the phone like an effing lunatic. I’m now sitting at … Continue reading

It’s a Girl!

birdie_sitting_0714If you’ve wondered about the radio silence at MommyEnnui lately, I’m happy to announce that it’s due to the arrival of this gorgeous girl, my new daughter Birdie! I’m using her real name here because she is far less likely than Biggie and Smalls to accuse me of exploiting her for page views when she’s a teenager. Miss Birdie is a 4 month-old* pointer/hound-of-some-sort mix and the fur-covered apple of my eye! (Apologies for the disgusting visual.)

The details of her provenance are sketchy because her birth mother was apparently a bit of a whore who was unable to name the last fellow who humped her let alone identify which stud fathered her bastard children. And, while she may regret the anonymous hook-up that resulted in her getting knocked up with multiples she couldn’t afford to feed or send to puppy school, we’re pretty damn happy about it!

This is my first time raising a puppy, so a number of things have come as a bit of a surprise. For example, it turns out that dogs aren’t born inherently knowing how to walk in a straight line or having the slightest idea why one would want to do so, for that matter. I also didn’t realize that I would get virtually no help from Biggie and Smalls because they’d spend the majority of the time standing atop chairs, screaming in fear of Birdie’s needle-sharp piranha teeth. Every person we told we were thinking of getting a puppy said the same thing…”hide your shoes!” However, no one warned us that little missy would also attempt to eat clean laundry, dirty laundry, the shirts off our backs, rugs, bugs, rocks, sticks, weeds, grass, trash and much, much more.

The good news is that the rest of the family is similarly riddled with character flaws, aggression issues and eating compulsions so I think Birdie’s going to fit in just fine!

*It turns out that Birdie is not actually 4 months old as we were initially told at the shelter where we got her. A further inspection of her paperwork revealed that she’s actually only 2 1/2 months old. This means that she will be a bigger girl than we expected and that we will enjoy 1 1/2 additional months of having our appendages punctured by the dog version of a lawn aerator. Wheeeee!!!

A Day in the Life of a Stay-at-Home Mommy Blogger

When I was an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles my life was pretty glamorous, at least on paper. I was married, without kids, Ad Man and I had plenty of time and money on our hands. I wore the finest in lady-lawyer pantsuits. I spent time on movie studio lots, went to premieres and loaned my bathroom key to celebrities in my office. I never could have foreseen what my days would be like 10 years, 2 cities and 2 kids later. I’ve recorded one average day in the life of MommyEnnui below. Brace yourself for the excitement and please keep your hands and arms inside the ride at all times.

another_day_in_paradiseThe alarm on my iPhone goes off at 7:30 am because Biggie and Smalls have gymnastics camp this week. Feel the pain of having to get out of bed before I’m damn good and ready and making sure the kids leave the house looking somewhat presentable. Seriously dread the start of the school year which is coming in 2 short weeks. Curse the Atlanta Public School District. Curse my friends in Los Angeles whose children don’t go back to school until after Labor Day. Curse Ad Man just for fun.

Jump in the shower and ignore the fact that my legs are less than silky smooth. No time to shave today. Figure no one’s checking out my legs these days anyway. Quickly blowdry the front of my hair and hope no one notices that the back is still dripping. Contemplate yet again whether I should get my bangs cut or keep growing them out? Bangs or Botox…bangs or Botox? Realize I have to make a decision before my hair appointment first thing tomorrow morning. Know I’ll never actually decide and will let my stylist make the call.

Things I can count on to happen every single day…Smalls throws a fit and cries when getting her hair brushed and I threaten cut her hair short. Biggie realizes she’s forgotten something vital just as we’re pulling out of the driveway. The girls complain that their car seats are too hot, they stage a sit-in under the tree and refuse to enter the car. (I have no doubt they would do this if we lived in Canada.) Envision myself tying them to the bumper and dragging them to gymnastics.

xanax_better_momPick up their neighborhood friend for carpool to camp. Chat with my friend, her mother, who’s rocking a similar “disheveled mom” look as me. Notice that my friend is at least dressed in workout wear. Feel bad for not even pretending today. She mentions her fear of the start of school but remains fairly calm (or at least well-medicated). Full-on freakout mode shouldn’t hit for at least another week at which time we’ll support each other with beer on on the porch and offers to share Xanax. Feel deeply grateful to have found friends who are as neurotic as I am.

On the way to camp, realize that I’ve put my bra on twisted not once, but twice. Hope this isn’t a bad omen for the day.

Go home to blow dry the rest of my hair and brush my teeth. Watch a stupid segment on the ‘Today Show’ with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. Feel offended on Tim Gunn’s behalf for this clear waste of his time and talent. Count the days until the new ‘Project Runway’ season starts. Changing of the ‘Today Show’ guard. Think about how much I love Hoda and and would really like for her to find a good man. Wonder how she manages to restrain herself from slapping Kathie Lee Gifford.

heidi_montag_manipediConsider folding clothes and cleaning up the kitchen. Decide to get my nails done and write instead. Hop into our crappy, 8 year-old Passat station wagon and drive to the nail salon. Count the numerous very fit, very blonde, stay-at-home moms in workout gear, getting mani/pedis. Think about how no one in this place has any true understanding of the reality of everyday life for 90% of the people in our country. Realize I should hardly be one to judge. Defend myself in my own mind, pointing out to a nonexistent other person that I spent time on Skid Row and produced a documentary on homelessness in LA. Know that nonexistent person would say that doing a documentary about something is nothing like living that experience. Make myself stop having an imaginary conversation with no one.

Go to Starbucks to write. Lunch is an energy bar and an iced green tea. For the 5,000th time, think about how annoying lunch is, occurring in the middle of the day when I’m trying to get stuff done. Such an imposition.

Sit outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather. Take in the blue skies, temperature in the low 80s, and lovely breezes. Realize that not one part of my body is sweating…a rare state indeed. A 50-something year-old woman sits down to share my table and we can’t help overhearing the couple at the next table, who are obviously freshly divorced, argue about who’s going to pay for their kids’ private school. The woman and I eye each other nervously. The bitter couple leaves and my table mate says cheerily, “Man am I glad I’m single!” We chat about the pros and cons of marriage for a bit and she goes on her way. Acknowledge that I’ve had an amusing chance encounter with a stranger. I usually try to avoid those.

Check email. Check Facebook. Start to look at sandals on sale, but stop myself, recognizing the classic signs of a writer procrastinating. Peruse my extensive list of topics to blog about and reject all of them. My brain is too fried to actually craft an essay of any quality, so I decide to spew out a stream-of-consciousness, day-in-the-life kind of thing. Doubt anyone will read it. Write it anyway.

I know it’s time to stop writing when I have to pee. Head to Target because I need a couple things and because the bathroom there is fairly clean and smells like Froot Loops. Feel happy that Target has finally decided to ban guns in its stores so I can discontinue my boycott. Three weeks without Target was a serious sacrifice. That alone should show my dedication to the cause. Spend $96 on nothing. Forget to pee.

Get back in the car and consider the fact that I never once forgot to pee or eat a meal before I had children. Blame them.

Inhale a banana and peanut butter and greet the girls when they’re returned to me from camp. Ask how their day was and get vague and unsatisfying responses. They do, however, insist that I watch them do cartwheels and bridges in the front yard for the next half hour. Suggest they come inside for a snack and watch a TV show. Acknowledge that a better mother would stand outside all day cheering on their impressive gymnastics skills. I am not that mother.

bath_salts_0714Spend the rest of the afternoon alternately listening to squabbles over whose turn it is to choose a show, reminding Smalls to go to the bathroom, thinking about the fact that I have no plans for dinner and doing nothing about the situation. Pry the girls away from the television and attempt to entice them into taking an early bath in order to avoid an evening drama. Fail in that attempt. Instead, the girls busy themselves by planting land mines of tiny toys with sharp edges all over the house.

Text Ad Man to ask when he’s planning to leave the office. An hour and a half later, when I’ve given up on him and started cooking the girls an inspired meal of macaroni and cheese, raisins, and almonds, finally receive a text back saying he’s going to be late. Think, “No shit” but do not reply. Pour a sizable glass of wine.

Biggie and Smalls beg to take a bath together then spend the entire time fighting over tub toys and who’s taking up more space. Smalls cries and complains during hair washing, because the child apparently has the world’s most sensitive scalp. Plan to call the Guinness people if we all survive this bathtime. Listen to yet more high-pitched arguing and threaten to take away their reading time before bed. Plan what I’m going to wear to the ceremony when I receive my parenting award.

Supervise the drying off, hair brushing, donning pajamas and brushing teeth process. Just as the last preparations for bedtime are complete, Ad Man walks in. The girls squeal, “Daddy!!!” and run to hug and kiss him like they hadn’t seen him just this morning. Give Ad Man a dirty look, say, “They’re all yours,” go refill my wine glass, and take off my bra. Consider my job complete. Spend the rest of the night zoning out in front of the TV with a computer on my lap, thinking about how I really should be working out instead.

Lather, rinse and repeat tomorrow.

Hot and Bothered

As a writer whose life is an open blog, I’m often asked for advice on a number of sensitive subjects. Luckily, I have no shame. Today’s topic is how to spice up your relationship after those white-hot first months as a couple have passed. I’ve found that social media and electronic technology are wonderful tools for staying connected with your partner, which will enhance your relationship both in and outside the bedroom.

Below, you’ll find a number of sexy tips along with real life examples from my own 16-year marriage to the handsome and talented Ad Man. I don’t mean to brag, but as you’ll see, our sex life is still smokin’ hot even after two kids and many long years together. Here are some things that have been successful for us:

1. We try to keep our lines of communication open at all times.

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2. We surprise each other with flirty text messages during the day. For example, I’ll entice him with something like:

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Ad Man’s texts rarely vary, but they never fail to get me all hot and bothered. Two of my favorites are:

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3. I take photos and email them to him at work so he feels more connected with the girls and I at home. Here’s one from a few years ago…

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4. Because Ad Man is often out of town for business, he posts photos on Instagram so it’s almost like I’m there with him. Almost.

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5. Sometimes we even bring technology into the bedroom.

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6. I’ve taken advantage of Facetime and Skype to have intimate conversations with Ad Man while he’s on the road. I don’t have video, but a few months ago I called him via Facetime late at night, all wet and completely nude. Our conversation went something like this…

“I’m running around naked because your daughter just barfed all over her bed, herself and me! Why doesn’t this shit ever happen when you’re home?!”

Well, I hope you’ve picked up a few tips for using technology to help keep your sex life fresh and exciting. These are just a few examples of what has worked for my marriage. I’m sure you’ll think of many others. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go text a sultry photo of my bare derriere covered in mosquito bites as yet another reminder to my dear husband that if he doesn’t call the exterminator tomorrow, he’ll be sleeping in the back yard. Yep, we’re sexy like that.

MommyEnnui’s ‘Sex Tape’

sextape_promo_computer_picI’m thrilled to announce a project of which I’m super excited to be a part. Sony Pictures has a movie opening on July 18th titled ‘Sex Tape.’ The movie stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel as married couple Annie and Jay who are looking to spice up their sex life after ten years and two kids have put a bit of a damper their formerly steamy relationship. The couple sets a goal to try every position in the ‘Joy of Sex’ in one night and to film themselves doing so. Unfortunately, they wake up the next morning only to find that their private video isn’t so private anymore. Hijinks ensue, of course, as Annie and Jay go to any length to retrieve and destroy the video.

I haven’t yet seen the full movie, but I will tell you that Ad Man and I both laughed our asses off watching the extended trailer. Here’s a sneak peek just for you!

But that’s not even the most exciting part! In the film, Diaz plays a “mommy blogger,” so Sony approached some of their favorite bloggers to write posts for Annie’s mock blog on the ‘Sex Tape’ movie website on Tumblr and one of those bloggers was me! They’re even paying me which makes this my official first paid writing job. I can now call myself a writer with a straight face! Looks like I may just have found myself a career after all.

MommyEnnui’s guest post, ‘Hot and Bothered,’ provides tips for spicing up a relationship with the help of social media and electronic technology and is illustrated with examples from my own exceedingly sexy 16-year marriage to Ad Man. Please check out my blog post here and go see ‘Sex Tape’ when it opens this coming Friday…unless, of course, you don’t like to laugh, in which case I’d recommend staying home and watching ‘Meet the Press.’

Planes, Ferries and Taxis

mommyennui_office_st.john_0714I had a post all written and polished to a shine for you this week, but unfortunately, it’s going to have to wait due to circumstances outside my control. Let me tell you though, It’s pretty exciting and I can’t wait to tell you about it! What I am not excited about, however, is the fact that it is now Thursday and I haven’t posted a damn thing all week. So, here’s a quick update.

It is 4th of July Eve and we’re getting ready to hop back into the car tomorrow to drive up to Ohio where we’ll be dropping Biggie and Smalls off at my dad and stepmom’s house and then getting the hell out of town. This will be the girls’ first extended visit without Ad Man and I and the first time he and I have been away together without a child since before Biggie was born. We’ve known about this trip for months so you’d think we’d have spent all that time hatching a plan for how and where to spend those blissful child-free days.

As I’ve told you before, however, Ad Man and planning don’t mix, so as of yesterday, we still had no firm plans. Oh, we’d thrown around some ideas. Our friends offered us their lake house in Ohio which would have been easy and peaceful. We thought of heading to Chicago for a few days since every time we’re back home we spend the trip shuttling back and forth between suburbs and never actually spend any time in the city. I haven’t gotten my fill of the beach this year, though, so we started looking at Portland, Maine, Nantucket and other charming East Coast towns. We considered flying to New Orleans but Ad Man was horrified by the thought of the heat and humidity…as if we don’t currently live in hot, humid Atlanta.

Finally yesterday, I said, “Why don’t we just hop on a flight to some Caribbean island? We have frequent flier miles and how often do we have a few days alone together?” Two hours later, we were booked on a flight from Dayton, Ohio to St. Thomas and a ferry to St. John! I’m so incredibly excited! We decided on the US Virgin Islands because the USVI is one of Ad Man’s clients and because my passport is expired. Oops.

I’m nervous about being away from the girls for so long, but they will absolutely be in good hands. And, our children generally only act like little shitheads when they’re at home. Elsewhere, they are well-behaved and polite…practically unrecognizable. Regardless, I’m sure they will keep Grandma and Grandpa nice and busy and that we will, no doubt owe them a weeklong spa vacation somewhere after this. (The grandparents, not Biggie and Smalls.)

But, before we hit the road, we’re throwing one last dinner party (Ad Man’s genius idea) so I’d better get cooking. My new bikini is getting more use than expected this year!

Update to my update: After a long day of planes, trains and automobiles–well, actually, planes, ferries and taxis–we arrived last night in gorgeous St. John! Ad Man and I were so exhausted after the journey, we had dinner on the beach, took a quick swim in the pool and were in bed by 8:30 pm. Ad Man snored while I watched a marathon of ‘Ray Donovan’ with Liev Schreiber on Showtime. (Great show, by the way.)

Today, after a morning swim, laying around in the sun (while Ad Man went for a run), and breakfast by the pool, I’m blogging with a view of the ocean. Not a bad gig! I’m missing Biggie and Smalls terribly though and was heartbroken to hear that Smalls had a rough time missing us at bedtime last night. Everything I see or do, I think, “The girls would love this.” As much as I was looking forward to some kid-free time and as good as this is for Ad Man and I, I can’t help wishing the little shitheads were here.

I’m planning to do some writing this week, but most likely won’t be blogging unless I get the go-ahead to tell you about my mysterious project. Until then, enjoy the above photo of the MommyEnnui office this week. I could get used to this!