Enoughness. Part Two.

Ok, let’s see how quickly I can write this thing.

The list for this morning:

  1. I slept in my bed last night. By “my bed” I mean…. MY BED that I slept in as a wee young child up until I left for college. You know? It was pretty comfortable. That was the bed where I would lie and dream about my life…. you know…. the dreams where I become an alcoholic, then recover, then get to write two books about it? Those dreams.
  2. These conversations:


Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 9.44.53 AM.png


I am pretty sure Brian KNEW that I didn’t mean “cat.” He is rather smart. And yes, I am not kidding about the feeding thing. In my “brian notes” it does NOT mention stopping to actually FEED MAH SWEET BAHBIES while I am gone, and Brian sees food as a willy-nilly experience punctuated pizza distributed at weird times… so. Let’s hope they’re alive when I return. But then… he just sent me a text promising that he would not forget to FEED THE PETS and I am really starting to question his parenting.

Also, feeding the pets is a no brainer. All Steve has to do is sit in front of his dish and look sad, and food will come. It’s impossible to avoid. He’s that good.

BTW – he is “working from home” while I am gone. This narrates to: “watching ESPN and typing once in a while” but no judgment. I write blog posts while binging on Project Runway, so yep.

3. Oh, I didn’t explain the “gone” thing? Well, here you go:

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4. This is where I am heading:



5. Also: I have really good hair today, so here’s hoping it holds on for tomorrow too. One never knows.

6. And this:IMG_8134-1.JPG

My pops drove me to the airport. Y’all, he was talking on the phone to his office, zipping in and out of traffic like the Boss of it All, and I only had to pray once for our souls at a rather dicey merging into traffic situation. The man is a BEAST, I tell you. A very sweet beast.

As we unloaded at the terminal, he told me, “Have fun. Try to be in the moment and actually enjoy it, you know? God is giving you all the gifts.” (I know, Dad, that’s not EXACTY what you said, but it’s close and I haven’t had enough coffee yet. #writerslicense).


I will. I will enjoy it. All of it. It’s such a crazy life.

Do you know why I get to do this? Because God is awesome. And I did what he asked, after a lot of whining and fighting and nutty behavior. I got sober.




See you in New York!!!




Not a lot of depth, whole lotta shimmy and shake.

I used to think that reality television was so lame, y’all. I mean, who would want to watch some mom try to feed her eight children while learning her new dance routine while losing weight and also picking fights with everyone?

Who would wanna watch that?


Ok. I am not into a ton of reality shows. I have my favorites. They usually involve food and anything with Paul Hollywood, and I tell you, true. Paul Hollywood could butter toast and it would be done with a steely, blue eyed stare and he wouldn’t even have to touch the butter with a knife: HIS EYES WOULD MELT THE BUTTER. LIKE MELT IT, RIGHT ON THAT TOAST.


But I digress. My POINT is that I wonder sometimes… do you guys really wanna read about my life? Like… watch me do some laundry and then put it away? Like… that really makes good reading? For reals?

Well, if the Kardashians can do it, so can I.

Scratch that. I kinda have to think that the Kardashians have someone ELSE do their laundry. They mainly seem to sit around on huge, fluffy couches a lot and then do yoga in impossibly tight and misappropriated yoga clothing.

Anyhow. I am telling you all of this, to basically say:

This post is about nuthin. Well, almost nothing. It’s like on the cusp of nothing.

Like every reality show, in the history of ever, there’s not a lot going on here, but there’s a whole lotta shimmy and shake.

So, we got back from Thankgsiving. We were gone for three days. It was like a non stop buffet of really good food (I tried to be good but at one point I think I might have actually taken the entire “take home for the family” plate of pie upstairs in bed. My husband found me gnawing on it like a guilty chipmunk, and then Brian walked toward me, and I had a mouth full of pecan pie and I tried to have a totally normal conversation with him. It was pathetic. I relinquished the pie plate, sorrowfully, after that. It was like Intervention, only with pastry.)

So, after we got back home, I looked around.

It was like my house got mad at me while we were gone. It was a MESS.

There are levels of mess in every house’s life. Some levels are just cluttered. Some are disheveled.

This house looks like it partied in Vegas all weekend.

I texted the husband:

Screenshot 2017-11-29 13.32.14.png

He responded with his oh-so-usual caring: I’ll help, don’t worry, it’s not so bad nonsense. But I knew, I KNEW, that if I did not deal with that house they would never find me. I would be buried under forty loads of Batman underwear and dirty dishes that learned to procreate on their own.

Of course, while I was cleaning I did have a helper.


This is Dog. He has some sort of device implanted in his brain that makes him follow me closely wherever I go. Also, I do know I have the beigest hall in the history of halls. It’s a sad little hallway.

So, I would walk down beige hall to put laundry away.


Then, I walk back the other way, same beige hallway.


Then, I go down the stairs. Beige is done.


And so on.


Enough, dog.

So, after about four hours of washing clothes I was done. (How did so many clothes HAPPEN? I will give away all the clothes. That’s what I’ll do.)

(Should make for an interesting, albeit chilly, winter.)

And that is my post. It is basically about me doing laundry, but there is also this:

As I was walking back and forth, to the endless delight of Dog, I got a great idea for a story. I needed to write it down, so I grabbed my little notebook. Then, I looked for a place to store the notebook, because as every good writer knows, ones notebook must go back and forthing with you, everywhere, because you never know when the good ideas are gonna strike.

I didn’t have on a bra. That is how I clean. I refuse to be constrained. I might need to clean something up high, and my bra could accidentally snap and strangle me, and I would be found, later, by my husband, snagged by a bra strap, with the cats hungrily circling me.

It could happen.

Also: bras are just a pain.

So, I couldn’t tuck the notebook into my bra. Instead, I tucked it inside my pants. Logical. Sorta weird, but logical.

And then I kinda forgot it was there, until I went to the store and as I was walking down an aisle I laid a notebook.

Undeterred, I said, “Ta DA!” and picked it up and went in search of applesauce.


The end.




I Went Away and Came Back Again.

Yep. I did. A few weeks ago I went away to Jacksonville, Florida.

And then? I came back. But… just for about twenty minutes or so, on the fabulous deck overlooking the pool with my coffee and bible? I had a teensy little bad thought (I know – one is not supposed to have bad thought when the bible is around, because bible = goodness, but, well, it’s me).

Here was the thought:



Ok, so let’s just kill the suspense right here. I did, in fact, leave the balcony.

I left it to put on some really strappy, high heeled shoes that are ridiculous, and then tromped down to my presentation here:


I don’t really know what I’m doing in that photograph. But, as already mentioned, I don’t always sit well on video, so whatever.

Here’s another one. I like to call this:

Contemplative Momsie. Or Scared. Not Really Sure.


This was my weekend at the Intervention Project for Nurses and it was amazing. Such an honor. Such an awesome event. Such a great balcony. The only unpleasant thing about the entire trip was those shoes.

Honestly, why do we do heels? Remind me again? I understand they make us look lean and lithe and thus, you know, ready to leap tall buildings and all that but really? I so would rather do so in flip flops.

Anyhow! I just wanted to tell you that I DID come back. And I am now firmly wedged in full-on summer with two boys that are playing baseball four nights out of the week. We have dinners that have sunflower seeds as the main dish. Sometimes, if they’re lucky, I throw a cheese stick at them as we head to the car. I add the goldfish that are colored with vegetable dyes because healthy.

Oh, and also this happened:

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Kansas Notable Books press release

Life is amazing and wonderful. Even when it’s not it is still pretty special. I am so grateful. I am SO grateful!!!!!!


Post-game. Waiting for ice cream, because it helps battle the over 100 degree heat. I am even more grateful for Mr. Grimy, don’t you know.

Yes, you know. All moms know. We might have cool stuff handed to us, but really? If it came down to it, we’d take the sweaty kid with the dripping ice cream cone over all of it. Every day.

Every. Day.




Just Stay Alive.

So, I have decided to take my show on the road.

Yep, me and my entourage will be heading out to speak at a conference on Wednesday – and I am sooooo excited! Here’s why:

  1. I got to say “Me and my entourage.” This actually means that I will be leaving alone. I have no entourage. It just sounds cool. Also, this means I WILL BE LEAVING ALONE. For those of you who really know me, you know how much I love to get away (high tail it out of Dodge) for a brief respite from my babies. I say this realizing how cold hearted I sound, but let’s face it folks. I waxed poetic about my hotel room for an entire blog post when I went to San Francisco for the book signing. I was not above admitting that just sleeping completely and totally alone is the wind beneath my wings, every once in a while. No snoring. No dog. No small mouth breather who comes into the room at three am and announces, “Mom? MOM? Are you awake??”
  2. Look kid. I am NEVER awake at three am. We have covered this territory. Just get it in your wee head that your mother is sleeping and having a conversation with me at the hour of the dead is NEVER good for our relationship.
  3. Wow. I kind of went off on a tangent there. I’m a bit tired.
  4. The conference! Yes! It’s the ACT Speak Hard conference for teens. So, I will be speaking to an audience that I am super comfortable with – teenagers. Clearly their maturity level and level of nutball pretty much tells you: These are my people.

Anyhow, I leave today to travel to the capital of Missouri – we will be speaking and meeting with legislators, talking and brainstorming and working together on a subject dear to my heart: trouncing substance abuse amongst young folk. I have my presentation all worked up, and last night had the brilliant idea about how to incorporate some sock puppets into my final ten minutes (It’s a jazzy little song and dance number. The kids will LOVE it).

Ok, but what I would REALLY like to talk about today is this:

Sweet end of days I am leaving my children they will not survive without me.

I have been making meals and freezing them as if I am leaving for walkabout and my children have an deep need for fifty casseroles while I am gone. I did extra laundry. Because surely the husband will have gastrointestinal distress while I am gone and he needs about thirty extra pair of undies. It will happen. Also, he won’t remember how to work the washing machine because simply keeping mah sweet preshus babies breathing will be his one focus.

Last night, I sat the hubs down and we talked about lunch boxes. I had whipped up a simple powerpoint presentation to help explain how only one type of tupperware fits in Blonde’s Spiderman lunch box, BUT Red’s Lego lunchbox can only fit an entirely different set. His eyes glazed over at slide ten, and  I imagined that both children would go to school with some gummy vitamins and bottled water.

This morning I walked around the house sticking post its to everything.

For example: these are instructions about the lunches again. They will help the husband find things in the refrigerator. I am sure he would never have considered opening the fridge as part of the lunch thing, but I am here! I have post its! It’s my job to remind you about EVERYTHING!

photo 2

Yea, then I got a little out of hand. This is our bed. Not our kids’. I am hoping he LOL’s along with me, instead of just reveling in the fact that I am GONE.

photo 1

I considered putting a post it on Steve the Cat as a reminder to feed him, but he can fend for himself. When he’s hungry he just comes over and sits heavily on you and then tenderly shreds whatever appendage is closest, so he usually gets fed pretty regularly.

And then, later this morning, as I told the babies goodbye outside the school, you would have thought it was that “I’ll never let go, Jack” scene from Titanic. It was that heart-rending. Except nobody drowned.

I kept hugging on them and it got a little intense. In fact, I can’t help it. I just have to, once again, give you my favorite movie line ever. It wouldn’t be a Momsie post unless there was a Mohican.


Yep, that was me, dropping the boys off at school.

I am pretty sure I freaked out a few other kids. They passed me and then eyed the building with some nervousness, but then I just tried to explain that I was leaving for two days.

“Oh.” said one kid. It was an ‘Oh’ like, “Oh.  You’re weird.” And then I turned around and both Blonde and Red were high tailing it for the front doors. They seemed a bit freaked out as well. I wonder why.

So, now I am off. Wish me luck. Also, you might want to pray for my marriage since it seems, after reading this post, that I have married a man who does not know how to open refrigerators, and has bowel problems.

Poor dear. He’s really going to love reading this. Keep those prayers coming!

Oh, and then I hopped in the car and this was waiting for me:photo 3

Chocolate. And a love note.

I think the boys will survive just fine.


How to do a Book Signing. By: A Very Important Person

How to Do a Book Signing

By: Someone so Famous I Almost Can’t Stand It

1. Find out about book signing months in advance. Feel a warm glow of anticipation. Like looking forward to Christmas. Or when the next Star Wars movie comes out.

2. Time passes. Realize you have one week until you leave. Start scheduling the freaking out to occur with regularity from hereon.

3. Arrange childcare, pack, make meals because they will all starve and die without you, pack some more, freak out on regular intervals. Wake up at 2 am a lot and then freak out about freaking out. YOU ARE SO NEUROTIC STOP IT.

4. Drive to airport. Get lost a little, right NEXT to the airport. You can see the planes. You just. Can’t. Get to the planes. Start muttering “da plane! da plane!” in a weird Fantasy Island moment, while gripping onto the steering wheel and what’s left of your sanity.  Get a grip and finally force yourself to take on google maps. OH HOLY ADULTS,  YOU ARE SO GROWN UP.

5. Get through the metal detector thing without losing your pants. Make weird eye contact with guy while putting belt back on pants. Awkward.

6. Someone on plane is wearing your high school boyfriend’s cologne which is confusing. You suddenly want to listen to Spandau Ballet.

7. Turbulence on plane makes everyone in your row start up impromptu bible study. You start humming, “I’ll Fly Away” and “Nearer My God to Thee” as comedic relief. Jesus humor is not well received.

8. Get to hotel. Twelve year old model checks you in. You want to offer her a granola bar and ask her why she’s out so late. She upgrades your room. You love her!

9. Get to room on the 27th floor. You can’t figure out how to use the keyless key thing. You are smarter than this. You nearly dismantle the keyless thingie until you realize, while holding the plastic thingie in your TEETH as you are searching, Lord, help please, PLEASE I am finally HERE just let me in the damn door, that you just need to hold it in FRONT of the keyless thingie. There is no swiping. You feel like a complete idiot and know that somewhere, someone in the concierge office is laughing his arse off. You don’t care because


11. You can’t figure out how to turn on the lights. Everything is chic and automated. Therefore, it is hard. You start to wonder if you should just go home. But, there’s two bathrooms. You can’t leave them.

12. WOW. Bam! You found button for lights and blinds! You got this! You can see now! The button says, “Welcome!” and when you push it the whole room just comes to life! All for you! It might be possible your ego cannot handle this hotel room.

13. The view from the room almost makes you burst into tears.

photo 3

14. The television says, “Welcome Dana Bowman, author.” You almost, ALMOST burst into tears.

15. You watch Real Housewives until two am because your brain is going to freak out anyway, so you frost it over with blonde highlights, drama, and boobs that smoosh upwards in clothing. You wrap yourself in the big, white, fluffy robe that the hotel provided, and realize, you can so relate to all those women. They are fraught, fraught, I tell you, with the struggle. Except to the boob part. You can’t really relate to that part.

16. You wake up at 5 am. The coffee is sublime. You dress in your “Ima author! Here is my all grownup book signing” outfit and wait for your Cali friends to show up. You feel like it’s your first day of school.

17. Friends show up. They take you on BART and amidst the Gay Pride parade which is kinda, well, overwhelming. Evidently it is rather a big deal. It just makes you very, very distracted. It is just too early for all that leather.

18. You end up by the water, and slurp down the best latte you have ever had in your entire life. It almost makes you burst into tears.

Screenshot 2015-07-04 12.29.38

Adorable Cali friends.

19. Sweet friends walk you to conference center, give you a kiss, and send you off. Your editor takes you to your booth.

20. You see your book, a stack of them actually, waiting for you to sign.

21. And finally. Finally. You burst into tears.

photo 1

Bad, teary pic. Happy author.

Postscript: Your editor hands you a tissue and exclaims, “There is NO crying! There’s no crying at book signings! Our authors do NOT cry! Hold it together, woman!”

And, later, you met the author of Lemony Snicket! Squee!!


The end.



Extreme Sleeping

We are back from a nice trip to see the family over Thanksgiving. I ate my way through so much turkey and dressing it’s a wonder I don’t start strutting about and peevishly pecking at the ground, all Momsurkey.

Just bear with me though, because I would like to oh so briefly*  comment on one thing that didn’t happen whilst we were away:



As much as it’s a magical time of year, and we’re all Thankfuling all over ourselves, I’d like to put it out there that I would be really, really grateful for just a teensy smidgeon of shut-eye. PLEASE.

I’m a bit grumpy. Ask my husband. He will verify.

Allow me to explain. My sweet family and I are happily kenneled at our father-in-law’s house for the Thanksgiving break. This is wonderful because we have our own little apartment on the second floor, with its own bath, and two very comfy beds in which to loll about and actually sleep in. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT BEDS ARE FOR, AFTER ALL.

Yep. Toddlers slept. Husband too. How, you may ask, do I KNOW THIS? (Brace yourselves, ex students. I totally overuse the ALL CAPS rule in this post because I have aggression issues when I don’t get enough rest.) Let me repeat, HOW DID I KNOW THIS?

Because I was watching them.

Here’s the formula:

2 Beds / 4 people = 2 persons per bed.

Evidently this formula was born in a magical math land of fairies and unicorns and no mothers. Mothers make the formula all:

4 people/ 2 toddlers +2 beds = UNSOLVABLE, YOU FOOL.

It’s like that unworkable formula that drove Russell Crowe nutty in A Beautiful Mind.

I have come to find out that when sleeping, as in life in general, ones expectations need to be really, really low. And so, it works out that everyone gravitates to the most grumpy and disappointed person in the group (because, expectations), ME, and piles in HER angry bed.

It doesn’t help matters too that the darling husband seems only to snore when we’re traveling. I don’t understand it.  There should be some medical reason for why he only channels his inner snorty wildebeast when on the road.  I think he has figured out that I am super sleep deprived and has decided to torment me (more so than normal), or toughen me up (because, marriage).

Let me give you some visuals to help with your understanding of Momsie’s fragile mental state at this point:

1. Exhibit A: a cozy bed. Nice pillows. This is not the actual bed at my father in law’s. I was too tired to think about taking real pictures. This is a stand in bed. Stunt pillows.












2.  Exhibit B:














3. I am grateful, however, that we don’t have to deal with Exhibit C (C is for Cat):













Bonus points to you if you know the movie Logan’s Run. It will make this post all the more meaningful, I hope. If not, go rent it. It is all 70’s and bad special effects, and will probably put you to sleep, which is KIND OF WHAT I WANT TO DO RIGHT NOW.

I am home now, and dealing with the aftermath of travel.

4. Exhibit D:










My theory, here, is to join the cats in their guerrilla style attacks of the bed. I will sleep on the extreme level. If that means I am going to curl up for ten minutes while the boys run their Tonkas over me and make me part of their Lego fortress, so be it. I have nooks and crannies. I can be a fortress. At this point, I am ready to slip into a short coma while  in the shower.

Drop and sleep! Whenever, wherever. I’m like the Marines of lethargy, people!















*Ha HAA AHA HAAAAHA ha haarr har har. Did you really think I could be brief?

It’s quite possible that I have nailed this parenting thing

I have figured it all out, the parenting gig.

It’s basically the hardest job I have ever had (next to back-up dancer for some guy named Steve, who played for about three people in a basement bar called O’Malleys, and yes, dad, if you’re reading this I am sorry. It seemed like a good idea at the time.)

You know, the more I think about it,  the whole back up dancer for an abysmally unsuccessful man with a pony tail and a dream was actually good experience for parenting, in some ways. But that’s a post for another day.

Are you ready for the key to perfect parenting?  Here it is:

The rule for being the best parent ever is:



Last weekend I packed up my bags and left them. All three of my cherubs (husband included in this mix) were all alone with some pizza and a lot of football for the whole weekend, while I attended a writers’ conference in Indiana, and tried to remember the days when I wore professional clothing on a regular basis.  And do you know something? IT WAS AWESOME.

Especially for the following reasons:

1. Writers are my peeps. True, we are a quirky, sometimes rather unbalanced lot, but we get each other.

2. Writers accept dark jeans as “professional clothing” so my tuckus has still not seen a nice pair of pants for, oh, some years now. Now, truthfully, my dark jeans had rhinestones all over the back pockets. I do like my rear end to sparkle.  And I did have a moment of trepidation when I realized my glittery bottom did not really shout “serious writer,” but I decided I was gonna speak my TRUTH, ya’ll, with a rear that would be a shining beacon for all to see.

3. In my presentation, I got to talk about myself. Yea!

4. People actually LISTENED to me talk about myself! ADDED BONUS. SO BEYOND MY EXPECTATIONS, I TELL YOU.

5. My hotel room.

Now, let me just interject here with a brief description of me walking into my hotel room:

Walking down hall with plastic key and rollie suitcase, all, “here I am, a writer, doing my writer thing, all grown up and somewhat professional in my dark jeans, just gonna freshen up in my hotel room-” (opens door, after some problems with the plastic key thingie, user error, of course)


(I did some sort of weird shimmy twerking thing that would shame my entire family, but HOLY ROOM SERVICE, BATMAN, I AM ALL ALONE HERE FOR TWO DAYYYYYS.)

  • Big fluffy pillows that have been slept on my a majillion other people but I don’t care because mine now?  Check!
  • Big bed in which I will sleep, not sharing, just me, all alone, by myself, no mouth breathing toddlers or snoring husbands or weird cats, JUST MEEEEEEE?   Check!
  • A marathon of Say Yes to the Dress AND Dirty Dancing, in which I can program the remote to bounce back and forth between the two, with crazed Swayze, poofy wedding dress fervor as much as I like?  Say Yes to the Check!!!


Um. It is quite possible I had rather strong feelings about my hotel room.


After a good fifteen minutes of me just wandering around, fondling all the appliances like one of those stick model women on The Price is Right, I decided to, you know, actually go to the conference.

But ya’ll? For a moment there I seriously considered jumping on the bed, ordering 400$ worth of room service, and then, NEVER LEAVING THAT ROOM.

Like, everrrrrrr.

For all of you waiting in breathless anticipation: No, I am not still in that room. I did actually return home. It involved a lot of driving and grim resignation to the fact that I would again have to do my own laundry.  And ohhhh no, not just MY laundry, but the laundry of three boys and sometimes, it seems, additional toddlers from all over the neighborhood.  In the spectrum of life, I rate laundry just a scooch above how I feel about political ads.


But back I came, like a neurotic little boomerang, drawn always, back to these three:



photo (2)


photo 5



And CURLY,Screenshot 2014-04-15 13.58.10

Oh, and Shemp?



yes, those are Spiderman underwear on my furry head. It’s a thing, evidently, in this family to wear undergarments on their heads. I want out.


As much as I gripe (the lawyer interjects here with actual statistics on how often griping occurs in my posts, along with moaning, whining, general malaise, and some bad singing of 80’s music, but who needs statistics when you have important things to say?) I did actually like returning home.

Here’s why:


Ok, ok, and seriously?  I love them. I really do. I loved that hotel room with a deep and passionate ardor, yes, but it didn’t hold a candle to the life I have here. Which, if I really allow myself to think about it, pretty much looks like the life of Consuela, my housekeeping lady, who cleaned up after me the whole time back at the hotel.

Call me Consuela, I still choose home.

But I’ll be back, hotel room, next year.  Wait for me, darling? We’ll have a lot of catching up to do.  I know there will be a conference in there somewhere too, but honestly?  You had me at hotel room.