Blog Posts by Andrea Frazer, Good Housekeeping

  • Massaging Rex For a Happy Ending

    As part of my montly membership fees, my gym - Total Woman - offers either a monthly massage or a monthly facial. Given I tend toward blackheads the size of Rex's famous paella dish, I utilize the zit squeeze treatment.

    Every month I dread taking the hour out to get this done. "That's 40 dollars I could be spending paying off my credit card," I think. But the moment I slip into that soft cotton robe, I unwind.

    Today, as the steam poured over my face and Tomoko massaged my hands, my mind turned to Rex. "He'd love this," I pondered. "I should get some candles, some soft music, some white sheets, some towels, and rub him up like a cajun chicken."

    If you're thinking he's going to get a "happy ending" you might just be right.

    But honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if he fell asleep. He's been working like a fiend lately. Instead of getting all cranky about gobs of time spent with children and household duties, I'm attepting to put myself in his shoes. "How would I want

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  • Morphing into My Father One Joke at a Time

    Unlike a lot of women who subconsciously marry their father, I spent most of my twenties looking for the polar opposite of mine. With Rex's quiet, predictable, and calm-to-the- core personality, I indeed found the subdued ying to my father's all-you-can-talk, larger than life, unpredictable yang.

    As is always the case with a life well examined (too examined as some of the haters of this blog remind me, in which case I will respond, "Then stop reading!") there are some downs to not marrying my father's ups.

    There are less raucous meals around the table with uninvited (but always interesting) "friends" my father met that day at a hard ware store, a parking lot or a K-mart blue light special.

    There is less army themed car tunes, less last minute road trips (in RV's we can't afford to buy) and less deli frequenting.

    While my "out there" personality appreciates the grounded Rex in my life, I am realizing how much I miss my dad. It only makes sense, then, that at 40 I

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  • 5 Ways To Turn Your Bedroom into a Sex Cave

    For all you newly married folk out there, I'm aware that you could have sex on top of a laundry machine... in broad daylight... with the garage open... and all would be orgasmically fantastic.

    For us old fogies reaching the ten year mark, we're working a bit harder. And by "harder" I mean it takes more than a "I need you now" comment to get us to drop trou quicker than we can say "Wow, 9PM... time for bed."

    Yup, I fit into that category. I don't care if by stating it to the world it makes me sound grumpy and tired. The fact is, I am grumpy and tired. I could use a lift.

    Since I refuse to get Botox, surgery or the fat sucked out of my "I come by it genetically" white butt cheeks, I'm going to admit that I'd like a makeover in my bedroom.

    Yes, it's materialistic. Yes, I have a bedroom when some people are living on the street, in their cars or in rented rat-infested shacks. Yes, it's a false sense of sexiness. That all said, I'd kiss Nate Berkus quicker than he

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  • Navigating the Oceans of Marriage

    Today I accompanied my daughter on a kindergarten field trip to the El Capitan Theatre . Located in the heart of Hollywood, little feet unknowingly scuffled over Burt Reynold's sidewalk star before entering the 1920's movie house to watch Disney's latest nature film, OCEANS.

    As I sat in the back of the theatre, listening to the predictable "oooohs" and "awws" of five and six year old's reaction to orca whales attacking baby seals (and laughter when the sea otters burped.. gotta love Disney for hooking their audience in the first two minutes) I was flooded with the contrasts of life at that moment: Innocent souls sat safely inside a darkened theatre, while steps away on Hollywood Boulevard a nature show of its own was taking place.

    There were kiosk vendors pushing cheap wares to Mid Western Tourists, fifty year old Marilyn Monroe's posing with Asian exchange students in front of Mann's Chinese Theatre, homeless street bums waiting for a handout outside the metro, location

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  • When A Quickie Lasts an Hour

    As open as I am online, I'm not going to reveal how long my husband goes. (I'm talking about sex, not body parts.)

    I will say, however, that my girlfriends and I have had some pretty rowdy discussions about what a quickie actually means. For some of them, it's literally a few minutes. For me, that's about as satisfying as seeing an entire Cheesecake Factory pie and licking just a tiny bit of whip cream. I'd rather pass on the entire experience then get my hopes up for a boring cherry. (Hee hee.)

    Others say that a quickie simply means sex without foreplay. But what if the sex itself takes a half hour? Is that really a quickie? "I have to slap my husband's butt to give him the little 'It's time for the grand finale' hint hint," one laughed. (The friend whose husband goes for the two minute marathon? She wasn't chuckling so much.)

    I can't complain about my husband at all. After all these years, I'm just as attracted to him as I was when we first got together. For me,

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  • A Chance To Be Kids - Without Kids

    I haven't had a lot of time to myself lately. With Rex in Germany for two weeks, and subsequent 14 hour work days, I haven't had a ton of time with him either. Lack of sleep and time together is a recipe of disaster in our house. (Giving up Diet Coke has not helped matters much.) Good thing I have a great support system in place.

    On Friday a friend called and said she'd be in town for a work function. Her daughter would be away at Girl Scout Camp, so she'd only have her son. "Do you want to get together for dinner?" she suggested.

    "I have a better idea," I chimed in. "Since you'll have two extra spaces in your back seat, how about we meet for lunch and then you take my children home for a sleepover?" After a quick check-in with her husband, she agreed enthusiastically - the idea being I would take her kids a different weekend.

    I can't tell you how amazing having even 20 hours alone has been. Rex and I went to dinner, slept in, took a long walk around our neighborhood and

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  • Cashing In On a Good Marriage

    I worked the Scholastic Book Fair all week for the kids' grammar school. While it might seem that all I did was show up and boom - instant 2 Grand for the kids' school - it actually took quite a bit of prep. There was the work shop, getting the volunteers, learning how to work a cash register/credit card machine, restocking books, convincing myself to not run screaming to a Two Buck Chuck Refinery and drown in a 4 ton vat of cheap wine, etc..

    As I took everyone's payments, I couldn't help but think about marriage. The "bells and whistles" of the display cases... alll those non-wrinkled shiny books... were like a wedding: Crisp, colorful, full of promise. But the effort it took to keep things orderly... the follow through, the single minded purpose toward profit, the stalwart smile despite complaints about prices...that was marriage.

    Marriage is a lot like reading. It takes an education and a mindfulness. It takes selective hearing: "I will remember this chapter of my

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  • 5 Fights About Money in Marriage

    I've never been a materialistic person. Thrift stores for my kids school clothes? A public education? Cooking at home instead of funding McDonald's billion dollar empire? Sign me up. But lately, I've been feeling resentful - right or wrong. I need a break.

    Rex and I need to look at the budget again and decide what is "fair". For example: He's flying to New York next week to see a friend. His justification? It's free money based on mileage he's built up from work.

    On one hand, it makes perfect cents - pun intended. On the other, I don't get mileage on my Mommy Credit Card for driving the kids to karate, dance, school, doctors, friends' houses, swim lessons, etc.. Does that mean I don't get a vacation?

    This article brings up a ton of good points on why couples fight about cash. In short order they are:

    1. Neglect (Pssst... it's more about not paying attention to the marraige than the finances.)

    2. Love is Blind (At the beginning of the relationship, money is

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  • Sex: It's a Laughing Matter Sometimes

    I had a good run there for a while. I was exercising daily (both in and out of the bedroom), eating well, staying mindful on a spiritual and intellectual level... heck, I was even doing my hair. But then the mother of all volcanoes hit, and my good habits went out the window.

    Sure, Rex is back from Germany now, and we had a few nights of awesome reunion nookie. But what hasn't returned is my sense of humor.

    Motherhood, in all honesty, has worn me down. I'm not proud of it, but the fact is, I am beat to a pulp at the end of the day. Is it Rex's job to fix it? Certainly not. He has helped immensely just listening and being my back up. But when I've put the kids to bed at 7 for a night to myself and it's now almost 8 and I can STILL HEAR FOOTSTEPS AND WATER RUNNING upstairs... like my car key every school morning when I'm running hopelessly late... I'm going to lose it.

    This means by 9PM I have not unwound. Which means I need an extra hour to gather my thoughts but ooooh

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  • Birthing New Ideas About Infertility

    April 24 - May 1 is National Infertility Awareness Week. As I've said on many occasion, Rex could do his business in the bathroom upstairs. Somehow his sperm would find a way into the baby hatching machine known as my uterus. But not everyone is so fortunate.

    Luckily for them, organizations like RESOLVE exist. This organization provides invaluable support for couples trying to conceive. They do everything from define what it means to be infertile (the definition chanes depending on how old a woman is), the emotions behind not getting pregant/miscarriages), how to optimize one's chances with and without medication, and more.

    Many of my close personal friends (and family members) have suffered from infertility. While one friend swore she wouldn't be the jealous type, she'd blubber like a two-year old every time a member of her infertility support group got pregant. "Why wasn't it me?" she'd lament.

    Evonne Lack, a collegue and writer I admire greatly, talks about her

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