Thursday, August 31, 2006

Quick Convo

Actual conversation between hubby and me at 3:45 a.m. in my office this morning...why we were up? Why not?

Him, looking at my bookshelves:
I wonder how many thousands you've spent on books?

Me, quick-witted even at 3:45 a.m.:
Less than I would have if I were a Shoe Whore.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Addendum: I Want --


There, that feels much better.

Good night.

I Am I Want

I want:

to be thin.

to be published novelist.

to be less ungrateful.

to be less whiny, lazy, crabby.

more sleep.

less laundry.

children who can bathe themselves.

Cold Stone Creamery cake batter ice cream with hot fudge, caramel, and brownies.

the PMS Monster to die.

Fresh sheets on my bed daily, and a maid to put them there.

300+ or more thread-count sheets for the maid to make my bed.

hair that looks perfect every day.

a personal chef who also doubles as a personal trainer.

less migraines. (No migraines!)

to see more movies.

to read more books.

to appreciate my loved ones more.

for Tukey to NOT turn five on Saturday (this one is sooo sad for me!)

to snap my fingers and have my house miraculously be clean.

to think of something great to say.

to touch others' lives.

to contribute to our world.

to make a difference, but not in a Red-Cross volunteering kind of way, although that might be nice.

to give blood every available time again like I used to.

to appreciate that I have laundry to do because we have clothes we can afford.

a vacation.

to be alone.

to get a new mattress.

to be able to eat anything and not have to worry about it migrating straight to my asski.

I Am:






in the mood for chocolate and salty potato chips, or french fries and a vanilla milkshake.

boring myself to tears.

hoping... and here I stop myself, cuz what am I hoping for? I really already have everything I need, mostly everything that I want.

I Need:

to kick myself in the ass.

I Should:

take a shower.

be glad that I power-walked today.

Not have eaten that peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich with cheetos on the side (Okay, and I almost didn't admit that I had some doritos too).

be proud of myself.

stop screwing around on the internet so much.

write my frickin' second novel already.

get more sleep.

have more sex.

drink more wine.

love my children more and more.

cuddle with them each and every night.

clean out their ears.

take them to the park after school.

clean out my closets.

clean up this office.

stop smoking.

quit putting vodka in my water bottle.

Ha, those two were a joke to see if you were even paying attention.

So, for you, pick one of these questions, and without giving it too much thought, tell me the first things that come to your mind on any or all of these I Questions below. I want to know your thoughts on:

I Am.

I Want.

I Should.

I Need.

I Did.

I Didn't.

And now, sing along to Neil Diamond: I AM I SAID!!!!

Peace Out folks, it's bus time - let the afternoon chaos begin.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Today I Did

...lots more than yesterday.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Today I Did Not



...power walk

...see sunshine

...yell at the kids

...have any extra kids in my home this afternoon (usually I'm making lunch for six or seven kids on the weekend, so it was relatively quiet)

...think of anything exciting to blog about blogs too much

...spend too much friviously at Target much junk food -- okay, I didn't eat any junk food, but did snake some bowties with butter and parm from the kids and eat a Smart Ones fettucini dinner, and some leftover meatloaf

...feel depressed

...listen to music

...stay dry in the rain that it was raining

...feel badly about my novel

...worry that I would never get published

...spend enough time cuddling with the kids

...feel sad

...wash my face

...use any deodorant

...leave laundry all over the place

...crave chocolate too much a magazine or a book or a newspaper that I received two rejections in the mail

...get whipped cream on my tallnonfatsugarfreevanillalatte

...get my Texas gift in the mail (HINT HINT)

...forget about the winners of the candy contest because I sent chocolate to Princessr9, Katie, and Bear today. I do need to get a whatchamacalit or a carmello to Lori. I need Jenny's (at Mama Drama) address to send her SKOR bars, which I have already scored - and if you don't send it to me soon, I may eat them and then blame you for the Back Fat!

And Monique has kindly offered to forfeit her candy prize so that I may send some soldiers some yummy candy... hmmm, yummy candy for some yummy soldiers who are doing their damndest to keep us safe in the USA, but I ALSO still want to send Monique her chocolate, so email me your address MQ!

...waste my day,
my time,
my energy,
my love,
my thoughts,
my dreams...

It was a good day. Hope yours was too, and that tomorrow is even better than today, especially if you had a particularly crappy day as some are wont to do on a dreary Monday, one that rained tigers and elves all day long (I just didn't feel like using the cliche of 'cats and dogs' and tigers and elves were the first two things that came into my mind. Wonder what that means.

Peace out, good friends, and commenters, and those ever-so-silent-but-much-appreciated lurkers too!

xo Manic

Missed the Emmys?*

Get play-by-play coverage AS IT HAPPENED last night at Swishy's, my BBFF!**

And more talk about the Emmys over here at my friend Allison's blog, which also includes fab info on getting your freelance writing career started. Check it out at Ask Allison.

*It should be noted here that Manic Mom no longer views the television so the opinions of Swishy and Allison do not reflect Manic's opinions of the Emmys because Manic cannot form an opinion because she doesn't even know what shows are on any longer, but you can bet she'd be front-and-center when the Best of the Bloggers comes out. Maybe they'll ask Manic Mom to Emcee! She could come out on stage wearing a hot, floor-length apple-green low-cut gown with sparkling topaz buttons, holding a cocktail shaker and an appletini! Now that's class!

**Best Bloggin' Friend Forever

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Back Fat and The Stomach Bug, Part II

Drew mentioned that "Back Fat and The Stomach Bug" would make for an interesting band name.

What kind of songs would they sing?

Have you ever heard of a phrase or term and thought it would make a good name for a band?

I've often thought: Wasted Sobriety would make a kick-ass band name. Of course, their songs would be about wasting their lives away being sober, or being so drunk they don't even know what sobriety is, or wanting to be drunk but instead are too sober to come up with anything clever to sing.

You have any ideas for a cool band name? And what do they sing?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Back Fat and The Stomach Bug


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Storm Fire And Family

It stormed here this morning.

It was one of those storms where the flashes of lightning and the booms of thunder wake sleeping cherubs from their dreams of recess and candy, of fireflies and slip-and-slides.

First, Diva found her way to me.

“I’m scared. It’s really loud.”

“Get in and let’s cuddle,” I said.

Hubby was getting up and getting ready for work.

“Don’t go yet,” I said. “Wait it out a little bit. It sounds so terrible out there.”

“If I don’t get rolling now, it’ll take me forever to get into work.”

He left, but I didn’t feel lonely because another pair of pitter-pattering feet came into the room minutes later.

“Mom, it woke me up,” from Tukey.

“Get in,” and we moved over some more.

This is sounding like the Five Little Monkeys jumping on the bed story.

And then, Ajers appeared. We all snuggled and talked about the storm, cringing every time a loud boom hit, seemingly right out our door. The windows vibrated, the rain pelted the glass, the ominous thunder slammed into the drenched air, bringing the four of us closer together in the bed.

“Don’t worry, you’re safe here,” I reminded them.

Diva said, “God must have bowled a good one that time.”

When they were younger, I told them during storms, when they hear the thunder, it means God is either rearranging Heaven’s furniture, or bowling.

“Strike!” Ajers said.

And then a flash that brightened the room so I could see the fear in their eyes.

“Say cheese!” Tukey said. Of course, lightning is when God is taking pictures.

We snuggled some more and then I heard them. Sirens just up the street. Lots of them. And they continued on and on. I grabbed the phone and dialed “the Dad.”

“Are you okay?” I asked when he answered his cell. “There are a ton of sirens, and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t for you.”

“I’m fine. The rain is letting up.”

“Call me when you get into work, I love you.”

“I will, I love you too.”

We’re the kind of family that overloads on the I-Love-Yous, but I’d rather know that the last words we had spoken to each other were just that. That would be enough to get me through, I would think. I would hope. To know that the last words said were I love you. To know the last words heard were I love you.

We all snuggled some more and then I said I’d make chocolate-chip-cinnamon pancakes.

Later, at the bus stop, we waited. And waited. The rain had stopped, but little spits fell every now and then in between sky that was pushing its way through gray. The bus still wasn’t coming, and the kids were starting to worry they would be late. There are 13 kids at our stop. Fifteen minutes into our wait, one of the parents began dialing the school to see what was the matter; then the bus came.

I gave Diva a “Squish with Love” and a “kiss for her pocket” (okay, probably about twelve), which are our traditions, and Ajers got some smooches and I Love Yous too.

The bus driver told us the streets were a mess.

There was a fire not far from our house. A three-alarm fire. That’s big, right? Lightning had struck, and that’s what all the sirens were doing – going to put out the fire of a family of eight. Six kids, two parents. This home is walking distance from ours. I have walked past this home, admired it, thought it was a nice neighborhood, quiet, woodsy, friendly.

Later, Tukey and I went to Barnes & Noble with some mom and kid friends. My cell phone rang, and I saw it was the school calling.

I felt a twinge of fear.


“Hi, this is the nurse from the school.” (A new nurse.)

“Is everything okay?” I asked, thinking Diva probably finally lost her “Nanny McPhee” tooth and she was most likely in a panic, shaking hysterically, spitting, crying, and asking “Is there blood?” Because this is what really happens when she loses a tooth. Traumatic.

The nurse said, “Yes, everything’s okay. I was just checking on Andrew’s absence.”


“He’s not absent. He got on the bus. I saw him get on the bus.” Then I thought maybe the teacher didn’t sign him in because it’s a new year and apparently she is calling him Andrew, not his nickname, and maybe he didn’t answer when they said Andrew.

“He’s got to be there,” I said. “He’s the biggest kid in class and wears glasses.” The nurse told me she would go check the classroom. And she hung up.

She hung up on me! Why didn’t she just tell me to hang on, and she would run down the hall and call me right back. I didn’t want to be standing in the cafĂ© at Barnes & Nobles with a dead cell phone waiting for a nurse to call me back to let me know if my son was in fact in his third grade classroom!

I called the school back right away and spoke to the secretary, the one who knows AJ.

“Hi Jan, AJ’s at school, right?”

“They’re checking.”

I’m not one to panic, and I didn’t, but I just started reading this book, Eye Contact, about a child who is eight years old who is discovered missing at school, and I’m thinking, Oh, great. Just what I need.

But then they told me he was there. Apparently, since the bus was so late, the aide took attendance and didn’t see AJ at that point. But he was there. Safe.

Later, as more info surfaced about the fire and the house, and the family, I took a drive by the street, thinking I would maybe catch a glimpse of the damage. When I drove by, there was no chance of missing it.

A three-story home. Ruined. Everything, it looked like. The last of the fire trucks was departing, and a few people were outside. I felt sort of like a voyeur peeking into their horror, for wanting to see what had happened. I felt kind of guilty for driving by to look at the damage, to see what a three-alarm fire does to a home. The roof had holes in it, the shingles were gone, so much was charred, the color of coal; I can’t even describe what it looked like, and can’t even imagine the smell of burned belongings, memories, melted plastic, singed and stuck onto other cherished items, gone. I thought about the three children who still lived at home; it’s their first week of school, all their books, their new clothes, being excited about high school, junior high, everything going their way, and then, to wake up out of a sleep to discover a fire, the smell, screams, cries to get out, call 911. Racing to the nearest door toward safety, which was nothing more than a sheet of rain, and more thunder and more lightning, the family huddled together out front, watching the flames lick away at everything.

And then later, the call the parents would have to make to each of their three children in college.

“Honey, we’re all okay, but there’s been a fire.”

Can you imagine what your heart would do, would feel like at that moment? Dear God.

So after I drove by with Tukey, I thought it was maybe a dumb idea. If he saw this damage, remembered it, heard me say over and over as we drove by, “Dear God, Oh my God,” how is he going to react the next time there’s a storm? When there’s a flash of lightning in the sky, or a boom of God making a strike, and then a spare, and a gutter ball, and another strike. How can I keep them safe, and believing it can’t happen to us? How can I believe this?

At dinner, two of the kids were fighting, being mean, being siblings to one another, the typical, “he hit me,” “she called me an idiot,” “I wish I didn’t have a sister!”

I looked at them and told them to stop.

“A family lost everything they had today, and you’re bickering about a Smartie candy?”

They have to realize they’re all we have. That everything can be gone, whipped right out from underneath us in a flash, a bolt, a boom, and then when it has all evaporated, what do we have?

We’ll never have nothing.

We only have each other.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Spun from a Diet Coke...

I can't drink soda from a can.

I used to call it Coke when I lived in Florida. They'd ask, "What kind of coke do you want?" I'd say, "A Sprite, please." This is how it worked there. In the Midwest, it changed to Pop. Then when we moved East, Pop became Soda, and I had a very hard time saying Soda. Now we're back in the Midwest, and I am slowly reforming back to Pop.

My soda-drink-of-choice is Diet Coke. Until recently, when it was Diet Pepsi. Not sure why this changed.

Before I had my babies, I used to drink one plain Coca Cola right before my period came, and that was a sure sign that my period was coming.

Now, I just get the night sweats a few days before it arrives.

When I power walk with a friend, I have to be on the right.

I hate bras.

I am told I swam before I walked, and I believe them.

I don't put anything on my face, except for Oil of Olay.

I don't wear perfume but will wear scented body cream from Bath & Body Works.

I take four mandatory pills each morning.

I am freckly, and that's one of the things that attracted my husband to me - the freckles on my shoulders he discovered the first night we met, but that's another post for another time.

I am not bothered by crap on the floor, until the stuff really piles up, but I do loathe clutter. How does this make sense?

I enable my children, especially Diva.

I hate sorting socks.

I get satisfaction from tossing old socks into the garbage can.

I will poop in a public restroom if I have to go. Not a problem for me. Would be more of a problem to hold it in, I think.

I need a ton of ice in my beverages, no matter if it's alcoholic or non-alco.

I love frozen margaritas, but hate margaritas on the rocks.

Two appletinis will get me to exactly the perfect place. Of course, I never stop at two.

I only drink milk when it's accompanied by a chocolate chip cookie, cake, a brownie, or a donut, and the drinking apparatus must be glass, it cannot be plastic.

I once ate three cream-filled Krispy Kreme donuts in one sitting. I probably drank milk from a glass-glass that day too.

Then I went running.

The thought of drinking milk and eating spaghetti completely grosses me out, repulses me really. I think my sister does this. They just don't match together. Am I right?

I choose breakfast as my least favorite meal of the day, unless I am the precise amount of hungover where I crave a big skillet and some biscuits and gravy. Oh, and a big Diet Coke. (Hey, I could end this post here and we would have come full circle. So I will.)

Just Posted on Weight Watchers

Okay, so three years ago, I submitted my Weight Watcher's story to their online e-newsletter. It was posted then. Just now, I'm reading through my inbox of emails, and I still get the weekly WW e-newsletter, and since I've been munching on those Milky Ways, I figure I should see what's new in the world of WW, maybe get some new eating tips and workout strategies, and I click the link.

Bwahhhhhwhahahhaahahahh... guess who's picture is staring right out at me from the screen?

Uh, me.

I started cracking up! They're rerunning my profile! However, I am not going to post the page link because then you'll know "WEIGH" too much information about me, but here is the copy that accompanied the before and after photos:

After her third baby was born, Stephanie turned to Weight Watchers for help getting rid of the extra pounds. More than 45 pounds later*, she's thrilled to be a happier, more energetic mom.

During my third and final pregnancy, I gained double the weight I had gained with my first and second. Weight Watchers meetings had helped me lose weight between my second and third pregnancies, so after I gave birth to my third child, I joined Weight Watchers meetings again. I told myself that this was it.

I knew that this time I'd just have to stick with it, so I did. I never felt deprived; I enjoyed a nice meal out almost every week. Of course, I learned my limitations and didn't overindulge. Instead, I just savored every bite. I also experimented with foods I wouldn't normally eat and learned to choose more vegetables and salads. It really wasn't that hard because I knew the POINTS® Weight-Loss System well, and I really wanted to do it this time.

Exercise Trick: 20 a Day
I didn't start exercising immediately; I knew I had to focus on those food changes first. But after about six months I began walking every day. For me, 20 minutes a day does the trick, and I don't get bored with it because doing something for 20 minutes is not a chore. I compare my workout with brushing my teeth. It's something I must do — every day. My teeth suffer if I don't brush them, and my body suffers if I don't work out.

I met my weight goal after 63 weeks*. Now that I'm a Lifetime Member, I still attend meetings and weigh in every week — sticking to a schedule helps keep me focused.

New, Improved Energy
The most significant change in my life is that I have so much more confidence. I am a better mother and wife, and a happier person. I have more energy, I jump around a lot, I dance with my kids. I smile all the time, and I have more fun!

Another obvious change is my wardrobe. Before, I wore black clothes or solid-colored plain shirts pretty much exclusively, and nothing was ever tucked in and belted. Now I wear colorful clothes with fun and funky designs.

My husband and I recently celebrated our 10th anniversary with a vacation to the Bahamas. I was almost as excited to shop for clothes for the trip as I was to take the actual vacation. What a treat it was to buy cute sundresses and a bathing suit that I could wear without a cover-up!

Take It From Stephanie:

Even if you find yourself in a slump, stick with it.

Don't skip a week of meetings because you know you did poorly. That's when you need to go.

Find different things to eat so you don't get bored.

Exercise when you're ready. I started exercising when I knew
I had to jump-start my weight loss.

My favorite snack? Sixteen Junior Mints for a POINTS value of 3.
I keep them in the freezer.

* * * * *

If only I could get back into that mindset that I was in back then. Well, I have gotten up at 6 a.m. three days in a row to powerwalk, so that's a start. Too bad I have a lunch date later...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Candy Contest Update

I'm never holding a candy contest again because I have FOUND bags of Midnight Milky Way minis and decided I should try one just so I know why a couple of the winners chose this treat as their favorite candy bar.

I have now eaten six mini Midnight Milky Ways.

I have no willpower. But they are really, really good.

Winners, look for your treatsies in the mail sometime next week; that is if the PMS Monster doesn't strike and force me to eat all the chocolate! FYI, found the Midnight Milky Ways at Super Target.

And thanks to the anonymous poster who lives near me and offered to trade her Midnight Milky Ways for martinis - perhaps in the future, our paths will cross, and if they do, I have a feeling it will be at an event that serves alcohol or Doggie Diner baskets filled with fries!

Survived Day Two of school - they are still smiling.
I even got out of bed again this a.m. to walk.
Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, August 21, 2006

First Day

Wake at 5:45.

Power walk for 30 minutes.

Come back home and find Ajers dressed, fed, and watching TV.

“Hey mom, Mr. Rogers is on,” he says. We listen together:

It’s such a good feeling,
a very good feeling
To know you’re alive!
It’s such a good feeling…

(I do miss those tedious days of gauging my day by what show was currently playing on PBS; working my morning through Tellytubbies, Sesame Street, The Big Comfy Couch, The Wiggles, Calliou, Dora and Blue’s Clues, then lunching the kids, sticking them in their cribs for naps, and settling in front of The Learning Channel where I would watch back-to-back episodes of The Wedding Story and The Baby Story.)

Shower, shampoo, dry hair, even apply lipstick!

Whip up a batch of Hungry Jack pancakes and add chocolate chips, which will guarantee a pleasant morning with Diva. I throw in a load of laundry.

Look at clock, 50 minutes to go!

Hear Diva’s alarm go off. Am afraid to go upstairs as I don’t know if she will break out into tears at the thought of starting second grade.

Fortunately, she comes out SMILING!

I hug her. She’s excited! I’m excited she’s excited! There’s nothing worse than dropping a sad, pathetic, teary-eyed child off at the bus.

Breakfast, teeth brushed, lunches that were packed LAST NIGHT are shoved into new backpacks. The kids are mature now, they tell me, so the backpacks are not Bratz and Spiderman-emblazoned.

Tukey still asleep. Ajers says, “I’m not taking a picture today mom!” Which only reminds me to get out the camera, which annoys him, which makes him say, “NO PICTURE!” Which makes me say, “You’re breaking my HEART! You’ll love to look back on your first-day-of-school photos when you’re 16.

I.Force.Him.To.Smile… while Diva does Bunny Ears behind him.

At the bus, even fathers venture out to see their children off to school. With video cameras. I feel like a bad mommy.

Diva still smiling!

Now I feel like a good mommy.

Bus comes. Everyone jumps up and down in excitement. Okay, we parents do, not the kids.

Kids get on the bus. Moms and dads yell to their children:

“I love you!”

“Have fun!”

“Email us!”

“Quit picking your nose!”

The bus chugs away and leaves us in a fog of polluted smoke. I wave and blow kisses until it rounds the corner, and then...




I pop open the cork to the Dom I’ve been saving and we all get loaded, right there, in the neighbor’s driveway. Ha, Just kidding. But I do say, “Okay, men, you can leave now and go make a living or something!”

Come back into the house, not as melancholy as I was last year when I reflected on this first-day event.

I see Tukey’s door is open. He must be up. I told him last night: “If I am not in the house, this means I am outside at the bus stop and you can come out to see me.” He can’t read so I had left him a note outside his door that said his name cuz he knows how to read that, and I drew a picture of the bus so he would know where I was. I’m ingenious, aren’t I?

We hug. His little sturdy body is so nice and warm, it would be great to just hop back into bed and snuggle. Instead, he does a Color-By-Number picture while I finally, FINALLY figure out the evils of my Yahoo Group and download something called a Mozilla Firefox or Firewolf or Godzilla Fire Goddess, or some kind of browser thing that allows me now to enter my Yahoo Groups. I feel so techno-savvy at this moment.

I make Tukey some cereal. He drinks his milk. I eat a five-point WW breakfast of Boston Cream Pie yogurt and granola.

I ask him what he wants to do today.

“I dunno.”

“Do you want to go pick out your birthday cake for your party?”


Then he tells me if he were in preschool, he would sing me Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; and then he sings it all cute, making his eyes look like the Puss in Boots character in Shrek 2 when they’re all big and cute and innocent.

We hug more. I can’t get enough of this kid today!

He gets himself dressed, I put the clothes into the dryer that have been washed. We leave.

I go to the Laundromat and drop off the snowsuits, gloves, hats, mittens and coats that have been piled onto coat hooks in the garage all summer. I have discovered they will wash and dry all my clothes for about $1 per pound. I don’t want to deal with all this winter crap so I figure it’s a great deal.

We go to the post office.

Tukey asks if we can go to the library, and it’s his lucky freakin’ day because the library just so happens to be RIGHT NEXT TO THE POST OFFICE, and this little guy didn’t even know!

He picks out two videos: Empire Strikes Back and some Ninja Turtle show. He is so happy. He tell me as we’re walking out of the library:

“I like when we’re together alone like this!”

Me too.

Haircut for him, and he snags three bubblegum Dum-Dum lollipops.

Lunch at SubWay. I have a turkey with NO cheese, baked Lays. He eats a meatball sandwich.

We go to the grocery store. I shop for some healthy stuff.

At home, I put the groceries away, do an hour’s worth of paid work on the computer, and soon, it’s time to get the bus.

Outside, there are only moms now, and one dad who works from home. We are all still as happy as when we sent out little guys out into the world.

It all depends on the look on Diva’s face when she gets off the bus… Is she? Could she? Is it possible? This can’t be my daughter…


Yay! She is happy!

“I love second grade!”


At home, they bombard me with talk of the day’s events, and I love hearing this stuff, how awesome their teachers are, how cool the new playground is, how third grade is going to be ‘challenging but fun and we get to bring a fish home!’

Got the mail.

Not one, not two, but THREE rejection letters from agents. But it’s okay. Well, kind of. One was a rejection from an agent who requested the full, and her note said my writing was “fast-paced and charming” but she was bored with the mechanics of pregnancy, which I can understand.

Another agent, who I blindly queried, said their list is full.

The last agent was one I kind of thought would reject it because she doesn’t rep Mom-Lit but she took the time to write a really, really, really kind rejection letter saying she liked my main character right away and that I have a fun writing style and voice… but pregnancy books don’t do it for her. She then told me I would be welcome to pitch future projects to her.

So, these three didn’t really bum me out all that much; if anything, hopefully it will inspire me to write more.

Next, I helped Ajers get into his football gear, Diva yelled goodbye and ran to a friend’s house, and I made a bunch of sandwiches and froze them because that’s what I do to make making lunches much easier, and last year, the kids never complained about their sandwiches, so I’m going to continue doing this!

Okay, now it’s time for me to get Ajers from football practice, come home, make something sort of healthy for dinner, fill out class paperwork, pack lunches, and I think I’ll be going to bed early tonight.

Man, this first-day-of-school stuff is tough, but I think I got more done today than the whole summer combined! It feels good to be productive, and I kind of liked the quiet in the house, even though I did miss my babies.

Hope your first day of school is a great one! For your kids too!

Postscript: Okay, forget everything I said that was nice. Diva and Tukey are beating the hell out of each other, screaming, pushing, shoving -- well, not right this minute cuz I separated them and put her in her room, and she screamed at me: "BUT I'M HUNGRY!" WTF? Oh shit, she is slamming some serious stuff up in her room right now! I'm out.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

T-Minus Twelve Hours and Fifteen Minutes

In between singing verses of "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" and "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow," I've been spending a lot of time snappin' my fingers today.

I'm also getting out the box of Kleenex for the farewell at 7:45 a.m. tomorrow. However will I cope when that big ole bus comes 'round the corner to gather up my children?

Hope you all had a great weekend.

xo Manic

Contemplate This

Are you left-handed or right-handed?

Try snapping your fingers. Which hand snaps easiest? I just discovered this phenomenon yesterday. I wonder if there's ever been a study done. I will have to Google "Snap Fingers."

For the record, I'm right-handed, yet can only snap with my left with any impact.


Friday, August 18, 2006

T-Minus Fifty-Eight Hours

But who's counting, really?

Who really cares that school starts on Monday?

Me! Me! Me! Me!

And not even because I'm sick of my kids. Cuz I'm not, really. We've had a great summer vaca. Did the pool thing, the beach thing, the movies thing, the car wash thing, the vacation thing, the grandparents thing, we're doing the sleep-over thing tonight (what am I? Crazy!).

But it's time.

And it's time because I need to get my life back into routine, order, calmness. This week I decided our garage was too messy so I spent all day Monday cleaning it out, wiping down racks, tossing old shoes, smacking down spider webs, lining up bikes and roller blades and scooters and skateboards. It felt really good to have things in order, which lasted about, oh, a day-and-a-half before all the shit was thrown everywhere again.

It was like I was nesting like women do before they give birth. I have just felt the need to clean stuff. Get out the clutter, because the new clutter of school books, library books, homework, school supplies, backpacks, lunchboxes, pages and pages of notes and forms and assignments come flying through the door, with no place to put it all.

It overwhelms me to no end.

I still have stuff in the corner of the dining room I put there when school got out in June. I think I have to go through all of that tomorrow.

I just want the clutter to be gone.

And when school starts up again, so does the dreaded D I E T that I'm always on. With school back in session, this will mean no more impromptu trips to Cold Stone, the pizza place that has slices as big as your head and then some. The slurpee runs, the cookie store. It will mean my kids won't be eating and begging and asking for snacks all day long so it won't be around. I won't say, "Oh, let's just drive through McDonald's and grab a burger." I will be saving money and calories! I will have some free time at least four days a week to go for much-needed walks while the weather is still nice. I will have time to lie on my precious living room couch, where the sun shines through the windows and I pretend I'm a cat lounging in the quiet of my house; where I jolt myself awake when I hear the sound of the bus wheels turning onto our street. I can't wait for that.

And, as I say with each turn of schedule, each entry into the new routine, I make promises to myself: Write more. Eat less. Walk more. Sleep more normal hours. If only someone could come into my house and say, "Look this is the schedule you need to keep on a daily basis if you want to accomplish the things you want to accomplish in life. You'll have to wake and walk at 6 a.m. You'll have to do laundry. You'll have to cut down on the blogging and surfing and farting around on stupid sites that suck you in for hours at a time (not yours, of course! I love yours!). You'll have to give some thought on family meals because your family needs to eat each night, but you'll want to make them healthy if you want to lose some of that weight you've put on. You'll need to sit your ass in that chair in front of your computer and stop clicking on interesting things and just write if you want to be a writer. You do want to be a writer, don't you? You do want to be a good mother don't you? You do want to make sure you have clean clothes for your family don't you? You do want to eat healthy and exercise more so you don't turn into a fat, lazy, slob, DON'T YOU?"

Yes, I want all of these things.

And on Monday, hopefully I'll get my ass in gear.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Pregnancy Test Sticks

I collect 'em. In our closet, there are 4 or 5 peed-on sticks, with the double-purple lines fading away, and my handwritten comments on them, with the date.

Is it strange that I have saved these reminders of the moment I learned I was to become a mother for the first, second or third time? That I even saved the one that came out negative?

I don't know. I don't know why I just don't throw them away. Once, when I was early-on pregnant with Tukey, and not showing, I toted Ajers and Diva into the drycleaners to pick up hubby's suits and crisp, medium-starched shirts.

"You pregnant?" The cute little Chinese lady asked.

Oh my God, I was like six weeks pregnant, not telling anyone, yet here this little lady must have been able to tell, or maybe she was psychic?

I touched my belly, and asked, "You can tell already?"

"No," she said. "I found this in the laundry you brought." She showed me the test stick, one I had written on. She knew it belonged to us.

"Can I have it back?" I asked. I don't know why I wanted it back. Like maybe the sticks are symbolic of my pregnancies. Maybe I'll give them away as gifts to the kids on their eighteenth birthdays, or their wedding days, or the day they tell me that I will become a grandmother. I don't know.

I kept a journal throughout each of my pregnancies. Here are the entries on the days I discovered I was pregnant with each one:

Ajers. February 26, 1997, Wednesday:
I was looking for this spiral last night cuz I had an entry I wanted to start this journal with. Simply "No blood yet." Today is day 37 of my last period, and we were hoping to be pregnant but weren't going to take a test till Saturday. But S called me at work today and said he had a favor to ask. He wanted us to take the test tonight. So we did, and we are!

Finally, since July we've been trying. It was starting to get frustrating, but you're finally here, inside me, inside us! I told myself I would never do it, but we ran to the bookstore and looked at books. According to one, our due date is October 28, 1997. Too cool. I felt nauseous (I can't spell that word) all day Monday before we knew but I was afraid I was psyching myself out. My thoughts are of everything, and of nothing. I am calling S "Daddio." We are not telling anyone yet which is going to be maddening! I have a doctor appointment March 7 that I had scheduled before cuz I was thinking I needed to talk to the doctor cuz it took a while for that one good spermie to fly through the tube but it's there!

So, I bought a corny book and am going to read some now. How old are you now? Last period was January 21 - 37 days - they count from that day - are you five weeks old? We did the ovulation test this month and it musta really worked -- plus we did 'it' five days in a row. I think conception was February 7. That's what I'm saying anyway. Now I have to start worrying about ectopic or miscarriage. Please bless us with a healthy baby. WE CAN'T WAIT TO BE A MOMMY AND DADDY! Bye for now. Love, Your soon to be Mommy.

Diva. September 1, 1998; 10:30 p.m. Tuesday:
Well, I guess I'll just write. It's only fair that I document the first nine months of our second baby's life as I did for Ajers. We're pregnant! Blessed with #2. God willing, I pray this will be just as successful as Ajers pregnancy. I kind of had a feeling but wasn't sure. Today is Day 39 of the cycle since the last period, which started July 25. I went to Eckerd's and was going to buy either tampons or a pregnancy test. I chose the latter item. When I got home, I asked S if I should take the test and he said to wait a couple days but I was anxious. I asked him if he wanted to come watch the results. I didn't pee on the stick too much so I thought maybe it wasn't working. Then, the double line showed up. My comment: "We're fucking pregnant!" I laughed when I said it. It seems so unbelievable right now. It took seven months to conceive Ajers and it took practically nothing for this one...

Sidenote: The name I had written down that very night for a girl is the name of our daughter; I never wavered on that throughout the whole pregnancy.

Tukey, December 21, 2000, Thursday:
Okay, Baby #3, God-willing, here you come! I can't even believe that we are pregnant with our third child! I am just as excited as with your brother and your sister. I truly did not think I was pregnant, but we are. Oh man! My last period was November 16 and so today marks 36 days and the end of the fifth week already. I pray that you are well inside me, growing safely and strongly. Your name, if you're a boy is already decided. If you're a daughter, we've got some thinking. I love the name Elise, but not as a first name, although Lecey would be a cute nickname. We like Shane for a girl - have to go with an Irish flair. Maybe we'd just make up another name like we did for your sister! This was our second month of trying and we did it 13 days in a row. I know, you don't need to know this stuff! I am so excited! I don't feel any symptoms right now...I am excited and so very thankful that you are in my life, my womb, already. God bless you my baby, my special one!

Those are my sticks & stories. Do you have one to share? Did you keep the stick?


Go vote for Karyn's cat picture! It's fun! Tell her Manic sent ya!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Not Feeling Very Creative So Let's Have Fun With This:

Today's blog is courtesy of Ramblin' Rose. Copy this and post it on your own blog, inviting readers to participate as well...

1. WHAT TIME IS IT: 8:34 p.m.

2. NAME: Ephaniestay or Manic Mom to those who know me anonymously,

3. PIERCINGS: Ears... three on the right side (two of which closed up but if I try hard, I can still get an earring in the middle one but it always blows up and gets infected if I do this; the top piercing is not penetratable - is that a word?). One on the left side that works.

4. MOST RECENT MOVIE YOU HAVE SEEN AT THE CINEMA: Okay, I know it hasn't been long, but I cannot remember! Monster House and Ant Bully. Oh, actually it was half of Clerks 2 when the film died out on us. If you ask me this same question 24 hours from now, my answer will be Barnyard.

5. WHO DO YOU MISS: Friends from Philly.

6. PLACE OF BIRTH: Tampa, Florida

7. FAVORITE FOOD: I could live off of pizza. I love french fries even though they are disgusting. I love seafood and pasta.

8. BEEN TO AFRICA: No. Used to think I'd want to go on a safari, but now I'd probably just bitch that it's too hot and there are too many bugs and too much poop smell from the wild animals.

9. EVER BEEN TOILET PAPERING: Duh. Who hasn't? Okay, so what if I was scared of getting caught and ducked down in the back seat while my brave girlfriends TPed the house.

10. EVER LOVE SOMEONE SO MUCH IT MADE YOU CRY: Yeah, but I don't harp on it. Plus, I married him.

11. EVER BEEN IN A CAR ACCIDENT: Yes. Not worth writing about.

12. CROUTONS OR BACON BITS: I'm right there with Ramblin's answer of "can I have both"... But if I had to choose, croutons!

13. FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK: Friday or Saturday, but you know what they say about stay-at-home mothers--every day's a Saturday.


15. FAVORITE FLOWER: Those ones I smell when I take my walk that are probably just fragrant weeds. Or Gardenias for their smell. Carnations for their longevity.



18. FAVORITE ICE CREAM: Peppermint Stick with Chocolate Fudge

19. DISNEY OR WARNER BROTHERS: Disney, but this is a stupid question. I think I should make up my own list of things--it would be more exciting.

20. FAVORITE FAST FOOD RESTAURANT: Chick Fila, which they do not have here in Chicago, but I got my share of it when I lived in Florida and Philly.

21. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR BEDROOM CARPET: Off white. And who cares? How about, what color are the walls in my office, which is much more exciting! Here:

22. HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU FAIL YOUR DRIVERS TEST: None, but when the guy told me to turn right, I took a left, and I went over a curve a little bit. Hey, I just remembered I actually chose a special outfit to wear to my drivers test so it could be in the picture. What a dork.

23. BEFORE THIS ONE, FROM WHOM DID YOU GET YOUR LAST EMAIL: Some penile implant company.

24. WHAT DO YOU DO MOST OFTEN WHEN YOU ARE BORED? When I'm bored, it usually means I'm depressed so I'm probably sleeping. If you mean what do I do if I have free time, the answer is either read or blog or surf blogs and stuff on the internet I don't need to really know about.

25. USUAL BEDTIME: late.

26. WHO WILL RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL THE QUICKEST: I hope everyone who reads this will reply in the comments and answer some of the questions even though it's kind of lame questions and I could make it really much more interesting.

Hotwire, R Martini, and Drew at Drew's Muse. Yes, I AM CHALLENGING YOU BOYS.

28.FAVORITE TV SHOWS: Don't watch TV, but did enjoy a snippet of Sesame Street today where Jamie Foxx was hanging out with Elmo and Cookie Monster.

29. LAST PERSON YOU WENT TO DINNER WITH: My family, last night. Buffalo Wild Wings. First time there ever. Last time as well. We never go out to dinner during the week either.

30. FORD OR HOLDEN: What is a Holden? Seriously, I do not know. If it's a Ford or a Holden Caulfield, I choose a Ford, because I have a Windstar and because I could not understand the hype over The Catcher in the Rye. Sorry.

31. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Crickets, and hubby telling me to come up to help get the kids to bed, and also the clicking of the keys from the computer and also the humming of the A/C.

32. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR: Red or pink to wear. Also green and yellow. I am a Fall color kind of gal and love all hues of orange.


34. HOW MANY PETS DO YOU HAVE: Zero and I like it that way. We used to own cats, and don't ask what happened to them. Puck died, after we got Buko, and then we also had Cyclops, the cutest little black kitty with seriously one eye because the other one was removed because it was infected or something.


Answer them or not, but I'd really like to know.


Maybe I'll think of something interesting to write about tonight.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Sounds. Smells. Songs.

I don’t know if I’m ever able to shut my brain off. It’s always running. Rolodexing events and feelings and smells and ideas and things I have to do, and I hope they’re filed correctly so when it comes time to do the things, to tell the stories, to remember to pick up the drycleaning, that these post-its in my brain will surface and tell me what to do.

I fall asleep at night thinking about writing, what will I say next, who will listen, will anyone care? Why do I do this? Why can’t I just enjoy the here and now and live in the moment more often and not have a mind that won’t quit.

I went for a morning jalk or wog or jolk, or whatever you want to call a more-walk, half-jog thing to do with your legs. It’s the most beautiful day out. My shoes crunch over the gravel, I smile at a baby bunny, a squirrel, a bird. I sidestep a pile of animal poop with some sort of non-digested berries in it. It’s still too cool for the flies though.

Then I cross over to the place where my mind reels. It’s this one spot where every time I get to it, I stop exhaling and just inhale because the scent is just one that I want to ingest and have forever. It’s maybe baby’s breath, probably not though, mixed with some weeds, there’s nothing there to indicate a floral scent, yet every single time I walk by that spot, it’s there. It’s the kind of smell that if I could, I would grab a Yankee Candle representative and take them there.

“See, right here. Stop. Smell. Keep smelling! Can you make that into a candle?”

That’s what I want. Not cantaloupe or cotton linen or laundry detergent smells, although those are nice. I want that smell that can’t even be described it smells so luscious. It’s the kind of smell where, if I wasn’t afraid of bugs, non-digested animal poop, and itchy-scratchy things on the ground, I might lie down and make a snow angel right there, inhaling, and inhaling, and inhaling.

So, can you see my mind never stops, because this is not actually what my post was going to be. I wanted to write about music and the impact it has on all of us. How it can turn our mood from sad to happy, and from happy to sad. How it can rocketship us into another era, another time zone, just by the beat and the words and the person singing it. Hotwire, R Martini, and Drew at Drew's Muse (okay, not really Drew, but somebody was feeling a little left out!) recently wrote of songs that affected them. I’ve written about how Fleetwood Mac’s Gypsy makes me think of Diva, and how I love the line from Counting Crows about being feathered by the moonlight, walking along the hillside, with the summer ‘neath the sunshine… I’m listening to it right now. It just gets me. I don’t know why. A Murder of One.

Do you remember being in high school, or wherever you were at the time, and hearing Phil Collin’s In the Air Tonight, and pounding on the dashboard along with the drum solo? Do you remember hanging on friends your senior year in high school, buzzed and happy at an impromptu “my-parents-just-went-out-of-town” party, promising never to lose touch, while Stand By Me played loud on the boom box? Or old U2 like War—Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, A Sort of Homecoming? Violent Femmes where you’d scream at the top of your lungs, “Why can’t I get, just one more!?” Or kissing your first boyfriend upstairs at a party, in some unknown bedroom, messing up the comforter while Phil Collin’s Take Me Home played from the downstairs, where kids were pretending to be adults, drinking from stolen six-packs or bottles of whatever they could find that didn’t look like parents would miss from the liquor cabinet.

Don’t you wish sometimes you could rewind, go back to that moment, be with those people, feel the music? You can. Just close your eyes and listen to the music. That’s all you have to do, and you’ll be right back there, with those people who meant the most to you at that time, with the memories of what it was like, the fun you had, how a song could just turn your mood into something new?

Yep. Wow. I’m so thankful that I can have these memories, that I can have these smells, that I still have friends I’ve experienced these moments with, that I can call up my highschool friends, my college roommates and say, “Remember when we’d sit in the dorm room and blast The Outfield? Or remember when we were in that stinky basement, standing on top of the crooked coffee table, warm cups of crap keg beer in our hands, spilling on top of others but no one cared, and we’d be singing, Shook Me All Night Long, or 38 Special, Hold on Loosely?” I can call my friend Tamara anytime Groove is in the Heart is on, no matter if I’m at a bar, and it’s 1 a.m. I can just call her, shout into the phone, “Do you hear it!? It’s our song! LISTEN!” And then she’ll listen as I attempt to sing along with DeLite, at a bar, miles and miles away from her, yet she’s right there, listening to me singing it along with the DJ at the bar, and she knows, she knows that that’s something we share.

Or like when I listen to James Blunt’s You’re Beautiful and I think every time I hear the first line, “My life is Brilliant,” I really do think, yes, my life really is brilliant.

And man, isn’t that stuff just so, so cool? Music. Smells. Life.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Candy Giveaway Winners Update

Hey I haven't forgotten about the candy bar prizes some of you won a couple weeks ago, however, I cannot find Dark Chocolate/Midnight Milky Ways so to Princessrp,Monique at Word Well, and Katie--what is another option for you?

Bear, I've already got the peanute ones to send ya.

Jenny--if I can't find Bar None or Skor, do you want a Heath?

And, go over to R Martini and tell him I sent ya because I want to win this prize he's giving away. You can win too, if you stop by his very thought-provoking blog.

Also, I just read a fun book involving peanut butter and prozac and I'll tell you more about that later... and tell you some stuff about pregnancy I've been thinking about lately.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I made a mistake today.

This part's not the mistake: Mom and I took the kids to church camp and then we went to the mall to do a few returns without kids in tow. That all was fine. The mistake happened when we walked by the men's cologne.

I saw it there.

The ex-boyfriend's cologne.

"Hold on mom, I just gotta smell this," I said as I grabbed the spherical bottle that housed the liquid and carressed it in my hands, lovingly, I might add.

I closed my eyes as my mom stood by. I put my nose up to the sprayer and I didn't sniff, I inhaled as deeply as if I were a crack-addict knowing it would be the last time I would ever snort.


If memories could come into a bottle, my mind exploded. This is a scent that plummets me back to a time left behind. Of scenes from days I wish I could have photographed, of conversations I wish I had recorded, of senses I wish I could... not feel again, but just know. I felt like I was struck numb, but all these feelings wanted to errupt.

I suddenly felt his chest, saw him looking at me, touching me, talking to me, whispering. Could feel my nose pressed against his neck, just below the ear, and I closed my eyes, thinking. I could hear all the music: All This I Should Have Known, by Breathe, Open Arms (like I need to tell you that's Journey), Sign Your Name Across My Heart (My God, that was a hot night when this song played).

"Mom," I said, after I opened my eyes. "This is seriously an orgasm in a bottle."

I sprayed some onto my shirt and I keep lifting up the front neckline of it to smell what used to be him. What I still remember of him.

I am positive I will dream of him tonight. And these are always the kind of dreams where I wake up in a disillusioned mood the next day.


And does anyone care to guess the cologne?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Plain & Simple

I am plain and simple.

A white t-shirt kinda girl.

Wheat bread with low-fat mayo.

Sunscreen with 45 SPF.

I am a no-name designer chick. Don’t care what the label says, as long as it fits and I feel comfortable. And it doesn’t cost too much.

I’m average. My smile lights up a room sometimes, when I’m sincere. When am I sincere?

I can be filet mignon, but don’t put it past me to order a burger. Nah, scratch that. Not a burger girl. Now a panini with roasted peppers and mozz.

Vanilla shake, no gimmicks. Highlights were a big step for me. So was costume jewelry. Shoes: Payless or Target… Mano-Bla-Who?

No belts. I’m accessory-less, and like it that way.

Makeup, more not that often. Base—I have nothing to cover up. You can see it all. Just look. There aren’t really any secrets. What you see is what you get.

A vanilla wafer. Reliable. You always know it’s going to taste good. You can count on me, most of the time, unless I say Yes, when I really should have said No, and then I get brave and tell you no afterall.

I’ll have you over, I’ll drink wine with you. A box of Reduced-fat wheat thins. Some cut-up block of cheese. If you’re lucky, Havarti, smooth and creamy to go along with the low-fat wheat thins.

No gimmicks. It’s just me. Take it or leave it.

Not gonna try to one-up you on the things I have, the money we make, the trips we take. Don’t care that I drive a mini-van. It’s me. Simple as that.

When I’m sad. You know it. Because I am a hermit crab, stuck inside the shell, not willing to get out there and search for a larger, more colorful one. I’ll stay there until I am too crunched inside and feel the pain of the confines of my shell.

Then I have to leave, whether I want to or not.

Bland. But not bland like plain oatmeal; maybe a touch of cinnamon. Get me in the right frame of mind, and I’m fun to be around. Will smile at everyone in the room. Will ask you about you. What do you do? What’s your favorite thing to do? Why did you choose to be who you are? When I’m out of my shell, I will pull you out of yours. Even if you are so far deep inside, you haven’t seen the sunlight in ages.

I’m not a perfectionist, but I want to be something. I want to do something. I am someone. I have done some things. I am a mother; a wife; sometimes a lover; a daughter; a sister; an in-law. A friend.

I always write thank you notes. Thanks for the night over. Thanks for the cookies. Thanks for bringing me flowers on a day you knew I was sad. Thanks for rejecting me.

I’m nice. I won’t make you feel as if you don’t belong at the party. In fact, I’ll seek you out. Want to talk to you. Will want to get to know you. Want to hear your stories. Because maybe someday, I can weave those stories into mine.

A white t-shirt, non-descript; no label. Nothing you’d look twice at if you passed me on the street. But if you saw me laughing, you can bet I’m usually pretty happy. Sincerity, truth, plain and simple. Kind, yet there is a mean bolt hidden inside. Many people haven’t seen it. There’s no need for mean-ness. Not in my world.

I don’t know how to end this. I’m just a white t-shirt, drinking some white wine, laughing at something funny and stupid I’ve said. I crack up at stupid things I’ve said. Yeah, I guess I do like me how I am. Yeah. I do.

Because I will make you feel as if I care. Because I do.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

My Saturday: Perfect or Perfectly Wasteful

5:56 a.m.: Wake and lie there for a moment wondering, "is this going to be a hangover?" Go pee, drink water, get back into bed, kick covers around because it's too damn hot. Fall back to sleep.

7:46 a.m.: The stupid phone is ringing. Before I went to bed last night, I shoved the phone at the bottom of my underwear drawer. I do this on weekends so stupid people calling at 7:46 a.m. do not wake me up. However, I hear it. I answer it.

"Hey, five weeks today and I haven't been arrested again!"

It's my brother.

I groan.

"Oh yeah, I forgot, it's the weekend and you sleep in! Well, I am out for a five-mile walk with Rudy the dog and Colin my son!"

Dude, go back to jail where you can't have access to a phone at 7:46 a.m. I throw the phone to hubby. "It's for you." Covers back over my head, but no use. Stupid dog Lovey comes jumping in on me. Kids are waking up and talking loudly. I inform hub he can take the kids to the swim birthday party today. I sneak off into Tukey's room with my Woobie blankey and pillow. Drown out the silence and fall back asleep.

12:15 p.m.: Noise downstairs. They're back from the party ALREADY? I guess I better get up.

Downstairs, I eat a bowl of Quaker Oatmeal Squares, drink some water. Screw around on the computer a while. Ajers wants noodles. I make 'em extra good with loads of butter and parmasan. Mom and I eat some.

Get a request for a partial for 40 Weeks. This makes me slightly happy since yesterday's rejection hit. At least I have some game left.

1:45 p.m.: It is decided that from 2 to 4 p.m. we will have family quiet hour, and then we'll all go putt-putt golfing and out for pizza. Hubby's looking for some lovin' and I'm ready to oblige, but then when he comes upstairs, he's got Tukey on his back.

"How can I resist this little guy when he says he wants to take a nap with us?"

2:15 - 3:05: The three of us cuddle. Ajers comes in about ten times asking if he can do this, do that, go across the street, play with Karl. "Do whatever you want, but quit coming in here," I say.

3:15 p.m.: Tukey and Dad are whispering about getting up.

GET UP! GET OUT! Covers over my head again.

4:54: Kind of wake up, roll over, look at clock. Close eyes again.

5:06: Better get up to see if we're going Putt Putt golfing.

5:11 p.m.: Downstairs--Mom and Hub are playing cards and drinking cocktails. Two of the three kids are outside playing. Looks like I got up for nothing. Ate some fudge the neighbor brought over because I offered to get her mail for her when they were out of town.

6:30 p.m.: "Why don't you do something useful today and go get some food for us," Mom and Hubby suggest.


7:12 p.m.: Get back from picking up food at Doggie Diner, a place we used to go when I was in high school.

We gorge on gyros and fries.

7:45 - Now: Prepared eight queries to send out on Monday.

10:15: Think I'll go to bed now and read Straight Up And Dirty.

So, a perfect day or perfectly wasted day?

Pimp His Blog

R-Martini's taken this challenge rather seriously. When you visit him, tell him Manic sent ya. There's a prize involved. And I wanna win it since I thought up this crazy challenge anyway. And the prize is a three-carat rock because I think he's gonna propose!

BTW, had the most fabulous caramel-appletinis last night, the inside of the glass was saturated in caramel drizzle, and at the very first sip, I felt all my negativity ooze right out of me!

Thanks everyone for being so nice on this here blog! Whenever I'm bummed out, you guys never cease to make me feel better.

XO Manic

Friday, August 04, 2006

Plain & Simple

I am plain and simple.

A white t-shirt kinda girl.

Wheat bread with low-fat mayo.

Sunscreen with 45 SPF.

I am a no-name designer chick. Don’t care what the label says, as long as it fits and I feel comfortable. And it doesn’t cost too much.

I’m average. My smile lights up a room sometimes, when I’m sincere. When am I sincere?

I can be filet mignon, but don’t put it past me to order a burger. Nah, scratch that. Not a burger girl. Now a panini with roasted peppers and mozz.

Vanilla shake, no gimmicks. Highlights were a big step for me. So was costume jewelry. Shoes: Payless or Target… Mano-Bla-Who?

No belts. I’m accessory-less, and like it that way.

Makeup, more not that often. Base—I have nothing to cover up. You can see it all. Just look. There aren’t really any secrets. What you see is what you get.

A vanilla wafer. Reliable. You always know it’s going to taste good. You can count on me, most of the time, unless I say Yes, when I really should have said No, and then I get brave and tell you no afterall.

I’ll have you over, I’ll drink wine with you. A box of Reduced-fat wheat thins. Some cut-up block of cheese. If you’re lucky, Havarti, smooth and creamy to go along with the low-fat wheat thins.

No gimmicks. It’s just me. Take it or leave it.

Not gonna try to one-up you on the things I have, the money we make, the trips we take. Don’t care that I drive a mini-van. It’s me. Simple as that.

When I’m sad. You know it. Because I am a hermit crab, stuck inside the shell, not willing to get out there and search for a larger, more colorful one. I’ll stay there until I am too crunched inside and feel the pain of the confines of my shell.

Then I have to leave, whether I want to or not.

Bland. But not bland like plain oatmeal; maybe a touch of cinnamon. Get me in the right frame of mind, and I’m fun to be around. Will smile at everyone in the room. Will ask you about you. What do you do? What’s your favorite thing to do? Why did you choose to be who you are? When I’m out of my shell, I will pull you out of yours. Even if you are so far deep inside, you haven’t seen the sunlight in ages.

I’m not a perfectionist, but I want to be something. I want to do something. I am someone. I have done some things. I am a mother; a wife; sometimes a lover; a daughter; a sister; an in-law. A friend.

I always write thank you notes. Thanks for the night over. Thanks for the cookies. Thanks for bringing me flowers on a day you knew I was sad. Thanks for rejecting me.

I’m nice. I won’t make you feel as if you don’t belong at the party. In fact, I’ll seek you out. Want to talk to you. Will want to get to know you. Want to hear your stories. Because maybe someday, I can weave those stories into mine.

A white t-shirt, non-descript; no label. Nothing you’d look twice at if you passed me on the street. But if you saw me laughing, you can bet I’m usually pretty happy. Sincerity, truth, plain and simple. Kind, yet there is a mean bolt hidden inside. Many people haven’t seen it. There’s no need for mean-ness. Not in my world.

I don’t know how to end this. I’m just a white t-shirt, drinking some white wine, laughing at something funny and stupid I’ve said. I crack up at stupid things I’ve said. Yeah, I guess I do like me how I am. Yeah. I do.

Because I will make you feel as if I care. Because I do.

D-E-P-R-E-S-S-E-D... What's It Spell? ME!

It takes one click of the mouse to put a damper on your whole day.

How many hits can one person take before she decides she's done fighting, doesn't want to get up anymore. Wants to just shoot the puppy in the backyard because it's not doing what you want it to do?

The puppy is the hypothetical puppy, my novel. I'm beginning to wonder if I should take it to the humane society, return it, get a better one, start with a fresh idea. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. What about a dead dog. I don't want my novel to be dead. I don't want to put it in the yard and shoot it. I don't believe it's dead yet. Maybe it's just not time for it to be jumping and licking my face. Maybe it needs to just go in the backyard and sleep awhile. Maybe I'll start thinking about that second puppy.

But I'm not ready for another puppy yet. I love my first one too much still. I still have faith in my first pup, that it'll grow up to be a big, strong doggy, on the shelves of bookstores. For now though, I think she's gonna hang out in the backyard for a little while, see what happens.

I'm tired of basing so much of my mood on responses from people who don't even know me, who don't know the passion I have for what I have written. I have been beat up, kicked around, accepting the rejections graciously:

Thank you so much for your courteous reply.

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I know being an agent is tough work and you're a very busy person.

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement, and yes, I'm sure I'll find a lovely home for my novel someday.

Blah Blah Blah.

Piss on it all. I'm in serious need of a night out and two or three green-apple martinis with a thin slice of Granny Smith as a garnish.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Challenges & Scale Fun

He doesn't know it yet, but I've just challenged R Martini to blog every day for a week. Think he can do it? And, it has to be interesting, thought-provoking stuff, you know, like the kind of crap you read here on MM! And let's see, I challenge him to get at least five comments from five readers each day, and the comments cannot be from Martini or Manic, and the same reader commenting on the same post does not count either.

Up for the challenge buddy?

In other exciting Manic Mom's World News, I got a scale.

I didn't open it for a couple days, then Mom (the real Mom, my real Mom, not Manic Mom) asked me where it was. I told her, she got it out, we both looked at each other, then back down at the scale.

Then, we went for it.

We each got nekkid in the kitchen to weigh ourselves.

Erase gross mental picture in your head, because I have.

Apparently, I bought a very friendly scale because both Mom and I were pleased with the nekkid-kitchen weigh-ins. But... we were doubtful. However, I had remembered Ajers was weighed last Friday for football so I yelled down to the basement:

"Ajers! Get up here!"

He thought he was in trouble.

"Get on this scale. How much did you weigh when you went to football on Friday?"

"92" BTW, Ajers is EIGHT. He's a house. He's an eight-year-old in like a thirteen-year-old's bod.

The scale was right on for his weight.

We weighed Lovey the maniacal dog (Yes, she's still here, and no, she stopped sleeping between my legs, but you know what? I kind of miss her there).

Mom said she knows Lovely is nineteen pounds.

Lovey weighed EXACTLY nineteen pounds.

We weighed Tukey; we weighed Diva. We made my Dad get on the scale in his skivvy-whitey-tighties, and believe me, if you think nekkid-kitchen weigh-ins are gross, check out Dad in his whitey-tighties (just kiddin' Daddy, you know you are the Fox according to my friends!). We made Hubby's best friend, Joey Bear come upstairs and get on the scale. When Hubby got home, I made him come up to the bedroom with me. At first he was very excited. Then I told him to take off his pants. He was still very excited. Then I told him to get on the scale. Not very excited.

Tonight, my mom-in-law, sis-in-law, and E the main man, my new little nephew adopted from Russia arrived. (No, they didn't arrive from Russia idiots... from Ohio and Kankakee, respectively.)

Mom and I glanced at each other. Fresh meat.

"B," my mother said to my sis-in-law, after gooing and ahhing and oohing over Ethan. "How much does Ethan weigh?"

"Twenty-six pounds."

Mom and I look at each other, and yell, "GET HIM UP ON THE SCALE!" We all know little kid's weights do not fluctuate like the water-weight-carrying-PMSing weights of a woman. We raced Ethan up to the scale. I also had Tukey there in case Ethan got scared of us and our enthusiasm. We had Tukey demonstrate the proper etiquette for scale-weigh-ins.

"Okay, Ethan, do like Tukey. Get on the scale."

Drumroll please....


I LOVE MY NEW SCALE! I seriously was expecting a seven-to-10 pound gain from what it said. I love it. I love it. I am not afraid of it.

Mom and I were extremely pleased that the new improved magical scale was a NICE one! So much so that after we all weighed in, we celebrated by going to get ice cream!

Me? A double scooper in a waffle cone--Peppermint stick on the bottom, and Fudgy Pudding on top.

I'm out.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Man's Memory

This is a beautiful post.
July 31.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Date Night

We never have a weekday date, and this is what happens. We to go see Clerks 2.

(Who saw Clerks? You'll only enjoy Clerks 2 if you understand the humor behind Clerks, which is 10 year's old, and mostly viewed while people are stoned or lit-up drunk, not me of course)

So, we're at the movie, laughing hysterically, and then the stupid movie film goes and dies out on us. I was pissed.

But then I think it was payback karma since we movie-hopped Saturday and saw Ant Bully and then Monster House at the buy-one-get-one-free-rate, even though we splurged majorly at the concession stand. And don't get all high-horse on me again about this.

I liken this to people who go to the bookstore and read the magazines or even a whole book for free.

Diet is mediocre. Power walked today and yesterday and it is oppressive heat here. I am not sending anyone their candy until it cools off. I have thought about sending a picture of your choice of chocolate along with some cash to buy your treat... is this okay with you winners?

Oh, and Gloria Jean coffee drinks SUCK. I wasted $3.80 on a vanilla caramel crap drink today. Then went to Starbucks and told them I will never buy Gloria Jean coffee again. Give me the good stuff.

So, this is a stupid post, and you probably shouldn't have even read it, and if you're going to tell me to quit acting like a bitch, then don't bother because everyone who knows me knows I am being any or all of the following, at any point of the day:

Crabby.Bitchy.Pissy.Tired.Grouchy.Sad. Yes, I am Manic.