Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tukey Talk

Curious George Cuddle Time

In the mornings after the bus devours Ajers and Diva and spits them out at school, Tukey and I have our own special ritual. I make him a sippy cup of chocolate milk (I KNOW HE’S SIX! I DON’T CARE. HE GETS HIS MORNING SIPPY CUP FOR OUR RITUAL), and we crawl into my bed and watch two episodes of Curious George.

Sometimes we lament when it’s a rerun. Sometimes we cheer, “Oh, we love this one! It’s the one when George makes a bridge for the chickies out of marshmallows, toothpicks and playing cards!” Sometimes, I close my eyes and pretend I’m watching while George gets locked outside the apartment and the man in the yellow hat hunts high and low for that darn monkey.

But still, it’s those early morning days, that half-hour of time that Tukey and I have just to ourselves, with the blinds shut tight, the two of us rolled up in all of the blankets, squished together like two newborn pups in a litter trying to keep warm. It’s so cozy.

The other morning we were talking and snuggling and I said, “Tukey, you know what we have in common that no one else in our family does?”

“What?” he asked.

“Well, when we both go to sleep, you and I HAVE to get all the way buried under the covers like we’re in a cave.”

“Yep,” he agreed.

We do. He and I bury our heads and our whole bodies and squinch up into tight little balls to bring in as much body heat as we can in order to fall asleep. There’s no open-armed, starfish sleeping for us. We’ve got to roll up nice and tight and warm to get cozy-sleepy. That’s just our style.

“And you know what else we both have in common that no one else in our family does?” I asked.

“We both have brown eyes?” he answered.

“Yes! You and I are the only ones in our family with plain brown eyes!”

We smiled at one another.

“And another thing!” I said, “We are THE ONLY ONES in our family who are RIGHT-HANDED. How cool is that!”

Boy, he and I sure do share some special things.

And then those brown eyes of his lit up and I knew he had an idea of his own. “I know something ELSE we both have in common!”

“What is it?” I asked.

“We both love to cuddle with each other!”

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

She Said I Was Fat

So, it starts in third grade. Last night, I tuck Diva in and she says, “I have something to tell you.”

It always happens like this. She waits to tell me the important stuff right at bedtime. I guess this is when she feels most comfortable though, when it’s quiet and she feels like it’s just the two of us and she has my complete attention.

“It was cold in line outside today so Melanie and Brit were hugging me to keep warm and then Melanie said I was fat.”

And then she started crying to me.

“First of all, and you know this,” I started, “You are not fat. You know this, right?”

She nodded in agreement, tears spilling.

I have heard of this girl before. This has been the third time this girl has tried to bring my daughter down. I didn’t think this was a mean girl. But now I’m wondering.

The first time Diva came home and said that Melanie had told Diva that she smelled. Well, that was true. She did smell. Because I sniffed her underarms. Then I threw her in the shower and reminded her that maybe she should start bathing a bit more if other kids are noticing her body odor. No biggie.

The next time this girl made a rude comment to my daughter was when Diva purposely did her hair so it curled into what we both thought was a cute little unique style. I sent her off to school that day proud that Diva was so sure of herself and confident to try a new hairstyle.

She came home and said that Melanie had asked her if she forgot to brush her hair that morning.

Then yesterday, the FAT comment. In all three instances, I asked Diva how she responded to Melanie. Diva said, “I say nothing. I don’t want to cause any trouble. I just ignore it. But it disappoints me.”

She actually used the word “disappoints!” That wowed me! And it also made me, as a mom, sad. I don’t want my daughter to ever feel disappointed. I mean, I know she will; that’s just a part of life, and I guess if this is the biggest disappointment she has to face in third grade, then it’s not that big of a deal.

Last night, as I tried to talk her through this, I told her that sometimes people carry their own garbage around if they're not feeling good about themselves. That they try to dump their garbage onto others to get rid of their garbage to make themselves feel better, which is what maybe this girl was doing. That maybe she’s not happy about some things in her own life, and in order to make herself feel better, she tries to bring others down a little.

We laughed and joked about garbage trucks dumping big huge loads of garbage onto people. This made her smile. I think it also made her understand that as human beings, we can either accept the other person’s garbage, or we can move out of the way of the garbage truck and let it fall elsewhere, so it doesn’t ruin our good selves.

In third grade, they have Circle Time. Diva said maybe she would bring this up in Circle Time, and I thought it would be a great thing to discuss, especially because they just had an assembly on bullying, and in a way, this is definitely a type of bullying. I emailed her teacher and explained the situation, and she wrote back to me that she was shocked this had happened and they would be having a class meeting to discuss it. I did tell Diva she is absolutely NOT to share the name of the girl with anyone else in the class because this isn’t about causing trouble for that girl, it’s about making sure all of the kids know how one person’s words or actions can affect someone else.

If nothing else, I hope I have taught my daughter to not take other people’s garbage and make it their own.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday Bloody Sunday II

What a great week for bleeding contestants!!!

Here's our first bleeder of the week: Karen at Suburban Correspondent who forgot to take the photo at the blood center but her hubby took a pic of her arm at home, and yes, Suburban Correspondent, that's good enough for Manic Mom--I believe you! Manic: So, Suburban, tell me about the experience?

Suburban: My people weren't as friendly as yours, but it's sort of a big, semi-urban center that I went to. And they only had those fake Chips Ahoy, the cracker-type ones that come in the 100-calorie packs.

Manic: Which would have been good for me and my point counting! BTW, I'm down 11.2 pounds as of Saturday! Guess the haircut paid off!

Suburban: Look, we're talking blood here, not your haircut. Enough with the hair already! So, the orange juice was good. And I got a bunch of knitting done while I was waiting, and some reading, too. Definitely a positive experience. I talked about it in my post today over at my blog, The More The Messier.

Manic: Thank you Suburban Correspondent for donating your beautiful blood!!! Everyone, stop by Karen's blog and tell her what a wonderful person she is for saving some lives!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And here's the Speedy Bleeder Sarah, good friend to Melissa at Hope for the Hopeless, and yes, remember, you can also submit your blood donating photo over to Melissa's blog to win a $25 gift card to either Outback or Lonestar!

Sarah said this:

"Here's my photo. Yes, it was taken with a cheesy camera phone, and YES, I look like an idiot."Manic: Sarah! NO! YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT! YOU LOOK LIKE A LIFE-SAVER!

Sarah: But I did it!! WOOOHOO!

Manic: Yes you did! Let's do the Cyber-life-saving-blood-donating-happy-dance!

Pause to dance. Really, stop what you're doing cuz I am dancing. And it's a fun and quirky dance, and I'm in Mr. Manic's longjohns looking completely silly but hey, it's fun! Maybe it's a youtube dance waiting to debut?

Sarah: It's been ten years since I last donated!

Manic: Ten years! Think of the lives! Well, you're here now! You've donated! You're back in the donating club! They've got your number now! You know in exactly like five weeks they'll be calling you to remind you that you need to go back in three weeks to donate again!

Sarah: It was about time and it took just seven minutes to fill up that bag. The lady was like, "Hey, it's still really warm!"

Then Sarah and I started talking about warm blood and how it can be used for so many other things and we suggested like heating pads and Sarah came up with this great new marketing ploy:

"Have horrible periods and suffer from horrendous cramps? Try our new Life Juice Heat Pads! Available in two different varieties! Whole or Plasma!"



Manic: Gotta love some warm speedy blood!... Eewwwww! Warm blood... but for a great cause. You know somebody's going to be loving that blood, and someone else is going to be loving that person who is ALIVE because of that warm blood you gave!

Thank you Sarah!

And Sarah sent me another update to let me know that she has already booked her next donating appointment and she has joined the Brighten Life program to commit to donating quarterly now!

YAY Sarah! You go Speed Bleeder you!

~ ~ ~ ~

And then I got this GREAT email from Machelle, who donated, and I remember Machelle from a long while ago, and I remembered because her name is spelled so uniquely. This is what she wrote to me:

Yeah!!!!!!!!!! I donated blood today. I have posted before here, my now nine-year-old daughter went through 2-1/2 years of chemo for ALL leukemia. She is doing great now and is over three years off treatment. But if it wasn't for the blood tranfusions she received while on chemo she would not be here now. I was not planning on donating today. I went on a field trip with my two daughters (one in second grade and my nine-year-old is in fourth grade). After the field trip I had about three hours to kill before I had to pick them up from school. So here I am riding around just trying to find something to do and I ride by this blood bank/donation bus. So I turned around and gave. I barely made the hgb level but I feel great for giving. It has been a while since I have donated.

Get out there and save a life. Actually the lady at the blood bank/bus said three people benefit from one donation.


Machelle--thank you so much for this email--hearing stories like yours are the ones that make me feel that the time and effort I'm spending on this mini-crusade is sooo worth it, and I know the others who have donated are feeling great to know that there are real people out there who are personally touched by their donations! Thank you, and may God continue to bless you and your daughter!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And from another beautiful bleeder, Kay:

Here you go Stephanie!! I did it and thanks so much for encouraging others to give blood. I'm going to share my experience on my blog and hopefully get some people to give too!

It was so easy! The needle prick hardly hurts at all and really I think the finger one they do is worse than the arm one! I'm going to try to make it a regular thing in my life. What could be better than giving someone something money can't buy? Now that's a pay it forward!

Kay! THANK YOU!!! I love it! Your smile is infectious!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Bev: Hi Manic Mommy! I found your blog via Melissa at Hope for the Hopeless, (and I've seen you comment on various other blogs) and have lurked for a while but have never commented. Sorry 'bout that!

Manic: First of all, never apologize for lurking and not commenting! I know how crazy it gets, and I'm a huge lurker too!

Bev: I love that you are encouraging people to donate blood! I used to donate quite regularly.

Manic: Me too, but that tattoo of mine, well, I kinda forgot to keep donating after I got that.

Bev: My younger brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer about 5-1/2 years ago and when he started chemo, I decided to donate platelets - not to be donated to him, just because it made me realize the need for that. I came extremely close to passing out when I donated. For some stupid reason, I did not donate blood or platelets after that.

Manic: I don't think that was a stupid reason, I think you were just really scared of passing out--that's a legitimate reason!

Bev: So I haven't donated in five years after doing so regularly for a long time. I have no explanation! However, your contest encouraged me to start again and I will continue donating regularly even when there's no contest going on. I've attached my picture from when I donated this past Tuesday, January 22, 2008. My co-worker thought I was crazy for asking her to take a picture. I tried to get three other people to go with me: one has a liver condition and is on lots of medications and can't donate; one was too scared, and the one who took my photo was going to donate but her iron level was too low and she was turned away.

Manic: Please tell your friend whose iron was too low thanks for trying, that was very, very cool of her to do so! And thanks for taking your picture anyway! And tell your friend with the liver condition I'm sorry for his or her health condition and I hope everything will be OK.

Bev: Please excuse my hair. It was drizzly and rainy in Atlanta on Tuesday and thus, my hair was in a ponytail.

Manic: Come on, your hair looks great! This is a blood contest, not a hair contest! The hair post was last week when I got mine cut! Ha.

Bev: And please excuse that my boobs look like they are trying to take over the world.

Manic: Everybody, watch out! Bev's boobs are taking over the world, starting with an Atlanta blood donation center!

Bev: They're just huge and I can't do much about that.

Manic: Be proud of those boobs. Bev, you are totally cracking me up! Thank you for making me laugh!!

Bev: Thanks again for what you are doing!

Manic: Thank YOU for donating your healthy good blood to save some lives! Check Bev and her boobs out (Ha, just kidding, just check Bev out, not her boobs), at Sauntering Soul. But seriously, Bev, enough about your boobs, how are your brother's testicles?

Bev: Thanks for asking! Next month will be five years post-chemo and he will finally be considered cured. He's a sculptor and owns his own foundry so he does extremely physical work and has had no problems since he finished his treatment five years ago. He continues to have scans done, of course, but so far so good!

Manic: That's great news! And if I may, that reminds me of a little joke Mr. Manic made up on the way home from church today. Somehow we got on the topic of penises and the kids were making up jokes in the car and well, this is the Manic family.

Here's his made-up joke:

What did the penis say when he looked upside-down?

What are ya, nuts?


And that concludes this week's Sunday Bloody Sunday! You ALL truly rock and thank you for taking the time from your busy schedules to donate blood and to enter the Manic Donate Blood contest!!

Remember, all of you scaredy cats out there, there's still time to donate and enter the contest. And you can bet before it's over, I will have Mr. Manic strapped to a blood table donating, or I'm not Manic Mommy! After all, I did get him to attend an hour-and-a-half long yoga class with me tonight! So what's a little blood donation then?

For all the details, just CLICK HERE!! You can donate all the way through Thursday, February 14, and there is a fairly large cash prize as well as other prizes to be won!

And, as for blood being thicker than water, if you haven't already read the previous post about my Girls Day Out, I spent Saturday with some of my best girlfriends from high school, and let me tell you, I would certainly bleed for any one of them, and I'd definitely help them hide from men in steam showers as well!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

BFF Girl's Day Out

I just spent the past seven hours with four of the most amazing girls I know—my high school girl friends and I’m a little buzzed so this is how it’s coming out and I’m not going to spell scchek and whatever but these girls are amazing and I’ve known them for over twenty years and where can you put five girls together and have this kind of mayhem happen:

1. We get in trouble at a nail salon because we were laughing too much and being too loud and there were people trying to get relaxing massages. We felt just like we were back in high school study hall again, getting in trouble for talking!

2. Drinking from a flask in the back of the car—totally reminiscent of high school!

3. We go to pee at the salon and I take one bathroom and my other friend takes the other bathroom, then my other friend comes knocking on my door yelling, “Let me in!” She had walked in to the other bathroom and there was a MAN showering in the other bathroom! We spend the next five minutes laughing our asses off, only to hear another knock five minutes later and it’s our other friend, T, laughing because SHE HAS JUST WALKED IN ON THE SAME MAN in the bathroom. I tend to think this man has planned this fantasy out on purpose so unsuspecting women getting their nails done then having to go pee will walk in on him hoping his fantasy of having girls walk in on him while showering at the spa will come true.

This is just some of the stuff that occurred during our girl’s day out. Other stuff includes a great lunch with wine, cocktails, desserts the size of your head and awesome waiters who were on hand to give back massages and take photos at the snap of our fingers!

There is much other stuff but I feel that it would jeopardize our friendship if I were to start telling all of cyberspace about our trip to the strip club and the cigar bar. Ha just kidding. We don’t strip and smoke. That’s just classless. And we are such classy chicks.

But, don’t you just love being with friends that you’ve known forever, friends you can say and do anything in front of, friends you can tell anything to?

Friends who you got drunk with for the first time with in high school?

Friends who lost their virginity in your basement when you were in high school?

Friends who you can yell at to turn down the music when you're at U of W in Madison Halloween weekend and you're so drunk you're throwing up and you need them to turn the music down cuz it's so loud and you cannot concentrate enough to throw up while the music is so loud (not me, of course, someone else).

Friends who covered for you when the cops came to your house in high school and when the cops asked them, "What's your address?", one of them actually walked outside to look at the front of the house to tell the cop the house number in order to prove she lived there? WTF T?

Friends who just tell it like it is, even if it means telling ya you need to spend the extra money on a new pair of jeans! : )

Friends you can actually FART in front of? These are those kinds of friends, except of course, we are too mature and ladylike to actually fart, that is just a figure of speech.

I love these friends. I’m so thankful for these friends. I don't say it enough. We are all too busy, with our marriages, our children, our jobs, our own lives. I see these best girlfriends not nearly enough. That’s the bad part.

There is a good part though.

The good part is that when we do see each other, we’re fully time-charged right back into 1987, like we’ve never moved forward, and I love that feeling; I love you all, Tracey, Sue, Peg and Kara, my very best, very best BFFs from high school, and no one can take the places of you gals!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Well, now I officially know how Katie Holme's feels. And for those of you living your lives completely without any knowledge of what goes on in the world of celebrity-dom in a world where you are not sucked into the magazine rack at the grocery store, Katie Holme's is the wife of Tom Cruise.

She also played Joey on Dawson's Creek. She's really cute, and about half my age, OK, maybe two-thirds of my age, maybe as tall as me, but also probably half my weight.

But, now we have similar hair!

But that's not why I feel like Katie Holmes. I feel like her because I WAS STALKED! I am now officially becoming the victim of fame! You cannot believe what it's like to be doing something normal, to be just going somewhere regular, like to get a stupid haircut and have THIS HAPPEN!

Go here to read "HER" version, then come back. I'll wait. It's right below:

Suburban Scrawl

Hahah, OK, see, I fooled you. I wasn't really stalked, but I like to pretend I'm famous sometimes, just because I'm a bored and lonely housewife with three kids and nothing better to do and sometimes I like to act out my fantasies. That's normal, right Dr. Phil?

Wait, didn't I just read on one of those magazines that Oprah fired Dr. Phil? See, we've now come full circle to this post again!

Anyway, it was fun shooting the shit with Melisa again, who happens to be the author of Remembering Ruby, which, sadly, I had to buy for my friend who just lost her dog, and she reads this blog and I haven't given her the book yet, and I hope she doesn't read the blog before I give her the book tomorrow! I wasn't sad that I had to buy the book. I was sad that my friend's dog died. But I was happy I have a friend who wrote a book like Remembering Ruby so I could then buy it to help my friend who is sad for the loss of her dog.

But even though Melisa wouldn't get sloshed sip wine with me, we still had fun catching up, chatting, and laughing, and you know what was the really coolest thing about Melisa? We made a deal last night! Remember Melis? Remember the deal we made?

I said, "Hey Melis with ONE S, how 'bout I let you take a picture of me looking all stupid and silly and all foiled up and drunk on stale cheap wine that had to have been left in the salon fridge since before Christmas, and then I'll let you POST it on your site, if YOU promise you'll DONATE A PINT OF BLOOD for the DONATE A PINT OF BLOOD CONTEST I've been holding over at Manic Mommy?"

Remember that one Melisa?

Yeah! I do remember that one! I didn't drink THAT much! And I think you said yes? Huh? Maybe? Please? Yeah, I think you did? : )

So, everyone, go back to Suburban Scrawl and tell Melisa how important it is to donate blood, and also tell her how funny her blog is, and maybe she'll donate some blood and maybe she'll keep stalking me and catch me doing something really bad, like THE GUY WHO I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL WITH WHO ROBS BANKS!

SCREEEECH! Yep! You read that RIGHT!

Majorly ethical dilemma here: SHOULD I POST THE ARTICLE LINK HERE WITH HIS MUG SHOT??? Seriously, the dude is going to jail for robbing banks!!! That however, is another post for another day my friends.

Now, onto more important things. The Katie Holmes cut.

First, before I share a photo, this is what I told my stylist:

"I want easy. You know my motto, 'Blow and go.'"

And then I laughed and said, "Hey, I guess that could be EVERY man's motto if you thought about it!"

Then, this morning, when Diva saw me, without me fishing for compliments, this is what she said, straight out of that darling little mouth of hers (that I wanted to smack immediately into the month of March):

"I don't like your hair cut that short. It makes you look kinda like a boy."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Quick Manic Poll

I'm getting my hair cut.

Katie Holmes short, or not?

I'm down 9.8 pounds, and if I get that much cut, Saturday's weigh in will surely break the 10-pound mark!

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Yoga and Free Coffee

After yoga today, I’m checking out so I give the lady at the front desk my name so she can give me my ID card.

She asks, "Stephanie, were you in Hallmark magazine?"

“No… but I am a writer, but haven't written anything for that magazine.”

“Well, I read something that said your name and our city and something about yoga…”

“Oh yeah! I did give someone a quote about yoga and they must have published it.”

(Does this mean I’m getting famous?!?!? I'm getting recognized! Hahahahah.)

So then, I went to Starbucks with my friend. We just did yoga and we were feeling really charged, and my other neighbor had just given me a $25 gift card because I helped her out with her charming and cute daughter before and after school a couple times. So, I bought our other friend a coffee (because SHE bought ME lunch at Subway yesterday), and then I turned around and saw a guy waiting in line behind me.

“Hey, what do you want?" I asked him. "I’m buying!”

He was like, “You don’t have to do that.”

“No, I want to! Look, I got like a thousand bucks on this card! I’ll never be able to use it all, plus you don’t look like the type of guy who’s gonna get all fru-fru on me and order some freaked-out double-chunk-o-frappy-whappy-latty-blatty-triple-shot-o-venti-iced-frap thing are you?”

“No.” He looked a little frightened.

“So, tell her what ya want!” I said, pointing to the barrista.

“I’ll have a grande caramel macchiato?”

“Give this guy a grande caramel macchiato!” I yelled, like I was buying shots for a whole bar or something.

I seriously bought the guy his coffee! And it felt AWESOME!!! I hope he then went on with his day felt happier than when he walked into Starbucks, and I hope he then did something nice for someone else. There’s really something to be said for paying it forward! So, thanks to MY neighbor who bought ME lunch yesterday, and my OTHER neighbor who gave me the Starbucks card in the first place! Share the love people!

Oh, and you can also share some blood, for FREE! Click on the link on my sidebar to find out how to enter the BLOODY MANIC Contest which runs through February 14!

Or, just CLICK HERE!!

Peace UP!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday Bloody Sunday

I decided to post contestants on Sundays because there has been an overFLOW (get it! Ha, of course you do!) of you who have stepped up to the Manic-Donate-Blood plate and it's been overwhelmingly awesome and I figured in order to keep track and not go any more whacky than I already am, I'm going to post contestants on Sundays.

So, here is the next batch of brave bleeders:

Tanya, looking all glam:
"You're right, the people are super nice to you. If I ever need to feel like a celebrity I know where to go!"

And this is Tanya AFTER she donated, cuz her blood center is at the MALL, and afterward, she decided she deserved a reward, and SHE SO DID! So, she went and bought herself some coffee, and look what she did? She MADE the manager at the coffee store take a picture of her holding coffee. It wasn't like she was even shopping with her hubby or a friend. She MADE THE MANAGER TAKE HER PICTURE! How cool is that!

That's like so Swishy-esque, don't you think, something Swishy would totally do? (Which, by the way, Swishy, is AFRAID to give blood. Everyone, go tell Swishy to give blood!)

And then Tanya went and bought herself some clothes. And hey, she is NOW entered to win the Manic Mania MONEY all for donating blood, so she can maybe buy a bunch more coffee and clothes if she wins.

You can donate blood too and become a contestant. There's a link on the sidebar that'll take you to the contest info... just right over there on the sidebar, right underneath the blogroll, click on it for all the details...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Katie-Kat's husband!

YAY Katie-Kat's brave and strong and blood-giving husband RYAN!

Here's what Katie-Kat had to say of her amazingly-studful hubby:

"Hi Manic!

I think this is the greatest contest! Ryan's been whining talking about wanting to donate for the longest time, but really got pissed concerned that they would call him incessantly. Apparently, his blood type is very common highly-coveted so he can donate to a lot of people.

We went to swim this morning, went to La Madeleine for breakfast and then went to donate. He had an appointment for later but he was up and out and for whole blood they don't really need the appointment."

(What about for 1/2 blood? hee hee?)

"So he went in, answered his questions, checked his iron (High! Especially impressive since he ran a freaking marathon last Sunday), and then went to donate. I was able to hover. I took this pic with his phone.

So, thanks for the kick in the seat of the pants he needed! Please feel free to use the photo and his name. :)

Kate (aka Katie-Kat)

P.S. He wasn't smiling b/c he's not a big picture-smiler, not that he was mad or even in pain. And the blurriness at the bottom is this little thing that shakes the bag back and forth."

THANK YOU MR. KATIE-KAT! You are a strong brave man! Which brings us to our next donor...

~ ~ ~ ~

And finally, here's a picture of Mr. Manic donating...

Uh, wait. Nope.

There is no picture of Mr. Manic donating.


Of course, if he read this blog, he would jump right in and say he DIDN'T chicken out, but here was his excuse, and this is his exact quote, I kid you not, on Saturday morning, when I reminded him that he had to go over and donate blood:

"I'll go donate later in the week."

"Why don't you just go today? Don't tell me you're chicken?" This is my way of, you know, raising the bar, making him feel emasculated, ball-less, like I can donate, but he can't.

"You know I've donated lots of times. I just don't want to feel all goofy and light-headed tonight."

"Goofy and light-headed!" I practically laughed in his face, practically spit in his face, I was laughing so hard. You're kidding me right? The guy is 6' 5" and weighs at least 285. Goofy yes, light-headed? No chance.

"I DONATED! I WASN'T GOOFY AND LIGHT-HEADED!" (Well, no more goofier or light-headed-er than I normally am). I mean WTF. Is it too cold out for the wittle baby and he doesn't wanna get all cold outside today? I bet THAT'S IT! Cuz it is COLD out today.

So, he's making ME look really, really bad. What does it say when I'm trying to get complete STRANGERS to donate a pint of the GIFT OF LIFE, and my own spouse is fearing a little light-headedness?

He's gonna fear more than a little light-headedness if he doesn't get his goofy ass down to that blood center THIS week to donate some of that goofy ass blood that's running through his goofy ass veins, I'll tell you that much folks.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mr. Manic & Moi

Me, from right here, at the computer: Oh honey! I gotta take you to donate blood tomorrow!

Mr. Manic, from the kitchen, cleaning up after dinner: Oh boy. Can I go next week?

Me: NO! My readers are counting on you!

Mr. Manic: Do I win anything?

Me: Yeah! Me!

Mr.: I already got you.

Me: [Evil Laughter]

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Kindergarten Dress Code

Apparently there is a dress code in kindergarten. Not for the kids. For me. I volunteer. YES, everybody, pick yourselves off from the floor. I do volunteer every now and then; I don’t just sit here at the computer, typing away, drinking lattes or appletinis, wasting away my days. I do volunteer.

So there.

Well, today is one of the days I will go into the kids’ school to help Tukey’s class during computers. I was very happy to put on a track suit (which may or may not be in style anymore, but it fit today, thanks to WW, and it was warm and cozy, and I felt comfortable in it).

Tukey came in and looked at it and I guess I must have… I MUST have asked him, “Is this OK to wear to school?”

Now I am kicking myself for asking a six-year-old such a stupid question.

“No. I don’t want you to wear that.”

“Why not?”

“The shirt doesn’t match.”

“Yes it does! It’s a matching outfit! It totally matches!”

I’m arguing with a six-year-old. He goes into my closet. Yes he does! HE WALKS INTO MY CLOSET. And pulls out a red shirt. “You should wear this.”

Oh. My. Gosh. HE IS GOING TO DRESS ME. “I don’t want to wear that.” Who the freak is the parent here? It is feeling very much like role-reversal freaky Friday here.

“Well, I don’t want you to wear what you are wearing,” he says. “Just wear a plain black shirt. I want you to match me.”

“But you have on a BLUE shirt! And I always wear black. I’m tired of wearing black!” I whine at him.

“Just wear jeans.” He is exasperated at this point.

I put on jeans and a different shirt, and look at him for his approval. “Is THIS outfit OK?”


“Why didn’t you want me to wear the other outfit I had on?”

“I just want you to look cute.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And don’t forget to read the previous posts about our most recent blood donors! Just scroll on down to see their cute photos!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Easy Reading

First: A Public Service Announcement:
To learn more blood donation opportunities, visit or
call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543).

Now, for the Easy Reading:

See Kaylynne's Arm.

See the Blood Flow.

See Kalynne Save Lives.


See Amy.

See Amy Donate.

See Amy Smile.

See Amy Save Lives.


See Katie-Kat.

Katie-Kat Can't Donate.

Katie-Kat Loves Her Husband.

Katie-Kat's Husband Loves Her.

Katie-Kat is taking her husband to donate on Sunday.


Manic Mommy Already Donated.

Manic Mommy Cannot Donate Again for Like Seven Weeks.

Manic Mommy Loves Her Husband.

Manic Mommy Loves to watch her husband get stuck with a big old fat needle.

Manic Mommy will take her husband to donate blood on Saturday too.

Thank you Manic Mommy! I hope Manic Mommy will have a picture of her big strong husband passed out on the floor to share with everyone, but AFTER they get a pint of his big strong healthy iron-enriched blood!

GO DONATE ALREADY!!!!! There are prizes including real cash! And the best prize of all--saving lives.

Two More Contestants!

Two more blood beauties have entered the contest!!!

I'll just let Valerie tell her story:

"So I was almost denied from giving blood today. My iron count the first try was below the minimum and so they tried the other hand it it came in at .2 above. Then they took my blood pressure, like 3 times. I guess I was almost dead? It was 68/60. Never been that low as long as I have been alive."

Manic, thinking: Has it been that low when you were dead Valerie?

"But they had me wait a little bit and retook it, I am alive!

Manic: Good! So we'll get a pint out of her!

At least I know I don't have high blood pressure. So there you go. Another Whole Blood donation added to your numbers!

Manic: Whoo hoo! I am beginning to think like a vampire!

Here is a pic of cute Valerie giving her iron-rich blood.

"There are a few extra pics because they thought it was pretty funny that I asked them to take a picture so a couple of the technicians wanted in on it too! I told them it would be on a blog, so I guess it's OK to show them also. But the guy in the picture was very excited to be on a Mommy blog."

Actually, doesn't he look like a stud? He's like, Yep, I just took some blood, ladies! He's so cute, all proud of himself!

"It was quite the trip. I hope to do it again in a few months and also try the Double Red donation." [Double Red donation is donating platelets I think, please correct me if I'm wrong.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And here's Robin at AbFabGeek offering up a pint of her luscious blood for someone today:

Do you all notice these wonderful donators are ALWAYS smiling!?!?!? NOT SCARY! AT ALL! Happy faces! They're doing a GOOD thing!

Robin said that she almost wore THIS getup to donate today:

Which I would have LOVED because you know I love me my wig and boa getup too!
The two of us could totally hang out together in our wigs--how much fun would that be!! Maybe if I wore this outfit I could sneak into the blood center and pretend to be someone else so I could give blood AGAIN! Nah, I'd probably get caught, and then be banned from ever giving blood. THAT would NOT be good.

Thanks Robin for donating... you PROMISED me you'd do it, and you did! Even though you were worried your iron might have been low.

THANK YOU so much girls! You've just doubled our contestants, and in case you didn't know, the prize money is NOW DOUBLED also, thanks to BUG TRIES AGAIN offering to match the grand prize CASH!

Coming up this weekend: While he's ineligible for the cash, I'm taking Mr. Manic to the blood bank on Saturday, and YES, there will be PHOTOS!!! I just hope he doesn't pass out when he sees the needle. Mr. Manic is quite the baby when it comes to needles!

Peace UP, and GO DONATE ALREADY!!!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Blood And Vomit (Not As Bad As It Sounds) ADDENDUM* END OF POST!!!


If I could projectile vomit split pea-soup ala Exorcist-style all over every single person who thinks they know what the freaking heck they’re doing when they answer the phone at 1-888-KOMKAST, I would do this in a heartbeat and not feel one single ounce of remorse when doing so.

Just sayin’.

In other news, do you have extra blood inside of your body you’d like to share with someone who might desperately need it because he or she is really sick or could be dying? I’m sure you do! Well, if you have an extra pint, I have an extra buck, and I’d like to put that dollar where your vein is! I'm holding the first Manic Mommy contest of 2008 and, if you’ve ever taken part in a Manic Mommy contest, I stay true to my word!

You can read ALL about the contest HERE! And yes, LOTSA MANIC MONEY IS INVOLVED! Because I am that crazy and have nothing better to do with my life.

Except blog and think up ways to spend my money trying to have others save other people’s lives.

I guess that's a good thing, right?

To learn more blood donation opportunities, visit or
call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543).

And check out the NEAT-O contest I'm holding!



Monday, January 14, 2008

Celebrity Blogger Blind Date!

Well, I had my celebrity blogger blind date today, and did you all figure out who it was with?

None other than famed author and blogger, Dawn Meehan of Because I Said So!

For those of you living completely under a rock who do not know of Dawn yet, she is wonder uber mom of SIX CHILDREN! A boy, then a girl, then another boy, then ANOTHER girl, and then ANOTHER BOY, and then, yes, another boy and finally another girl. Whew.

Whoops! I did THAT WRONG! You see, I’m blogging this after our lunch, and yes, there was wine involved.

She’s got boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl. There. How perfect IS that? Six kids, two of each sex. Whoops, my bad again. Three of each sex. There. SHE MADE ME GET WINE. Just kidding. It was a joint decision. Good God! No, we didn’t share a joint! ARE YOU CRAZY! I meant, we decided to have wine together! Joint decision! Get your heads out of the gutter.

However, I will tell you, a pleasant surprise bestowed itself upon us at this particular restaurant, and somehow, we just picked the perfect restaurant to meet. Little did we know that the restaurant we chose was holding a NO POINTS DAY!

Seriously! We walked in, mentioned that we were both counting Weight Watcher points, and they said, “Oh boy, are you ladies in luck today, because did you know it is National No Points Day?”

We had no idea! Dawn looked at me; I looked at Dawn. In unison we said, “Bring on the pasta! Bring on the wine!”

It took us forever to decide what to eat, in between me grilling Dawn on what I hope wasn’t annoying questions she probably has to answer all the time:

How is it at bedtime in your house?

What’s it like at dinnertime?

Do your kids fight? (OK totally dumb one on my part!)

When do you sleep?

How do you approve ALL those blog comments?

When do you ‘you-know-what?’ (Dear Readers, you may fill in the blank to whatever you think ‘you-know-what’ might be!)

I forgot to ask about the bathroom questions! Like what’s the ratio of the “toilet-seat up” to the “toilet-seat down” in their house? Or how many times a day does she have to put a new roll of toilet paper on the holder, or do they even waste time doing such a mundane task? I mean, why bother?

We toasted to her success with her writing, and her two-book deal, and I will tell you this. She is so deserving of the success that has come to her. She is humble and funny, and real and modest about everything. None of this will go to her head, and she’s already made many mothers’ days brighter by bringing a little laughter into their days, by making them feel less alone, less stressed, less feeling like nobody else is out there who understands. I mean, shitola! She’s got six kids! If Dawn doesn’t understand, there ain’t no one out there who’s gonna get it, and she shares her mommy woes with the rest of the moms out there in a lightweight humor that’s so laughable and fun, so Erma Bombeckishy that you can’t just help to want to be friends with her.

And how cool is it that this Manic Mom is now maybe, hopefully, not psycho-y enough to be in the ranks of a real-life friend of Dawn’s now?

Have to tell this story about our lunch date. I don’t even know how this transpired. We had an OK server, who was really kind of stiffy formal, wouldn’t you say so Dawn? Our server, when describing how a certain dish was prepared, explained that, “We then sear the mahi-mahi and then we drizzle it with pesto-balsamic olive oil and top it with grated parmesan that we age for three years in a bin that we keep in back.”

I’m like, “WE?” What’s with the “We” crap? Our server is serving it AND preparing it? Very talented server! Is our server also catching the mahi-mahi?

And then there was another server, who delivered our salads and soup, didn’t offer us fresh pepper, but DID say this straight out of the blue:

“You know, last Friday, I had a table and they stole the salt and pepper shakers.”

He raised his eyebrows at us. Dawn and I laughed, and made jokes about our very large purses. Then he walked away.

Not two minutes later, I see him at another table and he’s smiling at the customers, probably even flirting with them, and CRANKING PEPPER ONTO THE LADIES’ SALADS!

“DAWN! DO YOU SEE THAT! He is putting fresh pepper onto their food! He just warns us not to steal the shakers but he’s over there peppering THEIR food!”

WHAT is up with that? That is just wrong and RUDE!

So, here’s what I ate, totally FAT-FREE:

And Dawn has pictures of what she ate that she’ll probably post too. I didn’t feel it was appropriate to do a photo shoot of her meal. However, when she couldn’t finish the last two of her ravioli, and she asked me if I wanted a taste, I initially declined, then said, “WAIT, NO POINTS DAY! SURE!”

And she said, “Oh, the token, ‘No I can’t’” as I gobbled up her last two points-free raviolis! Obviously, I felt very at-ease in Dawn’s company!

HAD to have dessert. Had to! Here’s a sampling of what they were offering:

HAHA, just kidding, but do you remember these I posted in November? This is really what they offered us for dessert:

Here’s what we got:

Again, no points day, so it doesn’t matter really, now does it? Dawn had a cup-o-tiramisu. I had a cup-o-chocolate-caramel-whip-cream-drizzly-caramel-on-top-with-a-white-chocolate-straw-thing.

YUM. Gotta love no points day! Boy, will I be paying for this at weigh-in on Saturday, but the whole afternoon was soooooooo well worth it.

And for the final icing on the cake, I timidly (right Dawn?) asked Dawn to sign the copy of the newspaper article I have of her. She said she’s never signed anything yet. I have the first-ever signed copy of something from soon-to-be best selling author and celebrity blogger Dawn Meehan!

And hey, I just thought of something… Dawn hit it big when she put up a great story about her kids and a baseball and then some Pokeman cards on eBay…

…I wonder how much I could get on eBay for my signed newspaper article from Dawn!

Dawn, just kidding! Great lunch, and so great to have a new friend!

PS… I so wish I had the nerve to steal that salt and pepper shaker set. How I wish I had the nerve.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Weightless Waste?

I feel like it has been a bad Weight Watcher day. I ‘thought’ it had been a relatively good week of watching points, and even had a stomach ‘thing’ on Thursday, which, in the world of Weight Watchin’ translates into “Yippees” and “Hurrays” because anytime there’s bodily elimination and loss of stuff inside of your body, that means, well, you figure it out!

(Perfect case in point: The week I met my Lifetime Goal back in 2002 was the week I puked my guts out in the front seat of my husband’s car while his employee and his wife watched in horror from the backseat. And some spilled on her. Yup, I know how to make Mr. Manic proud.)

But I did feel like this week had been a good, solid one, with no cheating, following the plan, being conscious of what I was eating. I am starting to feel different; even a few people commented.

I know it takes time. It took me 56 weeks after Tukey was born to take off 60 pounds. But today, when I stepped on the scale, I wanted SOMETHING, even a “point-oh-two” would have been gratifying. It would have signified a loss of something, but the weight today was the exact same weight as last week.

I know there are many things to consider: sodium, water-retention, blah-blah-blah. I know all of that. It’s just a little bit discouraging.

But not discouraging enough to get me to stick my head into the deep-freeze and mow through ten cartons of Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby. As if. Not that freaking discouraged! No way. Plus, that would be really cold.

But really, since December 1, our neighborhood group of W-Watchers has grown to eight-women strong! We are calling ourselves: SKINNY BABES 'R' US, and it's beginning to seem a little cultish actually, and I think other women, like even seriously skinny non-weight-problemesque women, want to join in on our little club. Because we are making it fun!

We are emailing each other through the day, sharing little eating secrets, writing "STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND GO DRINK A GLASS OF WATER!", talking one another off the proverbial I-want-to-eat-the-whole-French-Silk-Pie ledge when necessary, going out for a Jared-Subway or Panera low-point soup and bread lunches. We are making it as much fun as we can have while we try to lose the flab.

So guys, if you all fail me on this blood donation thing, I think I may start leading my own Weight Watcher Cult instead. I'd much rather save lives by getting you all to donate a measly teeny little pint, but if you want me to focus my efforts on the asses of fat, well, so be it. I've got nothing much else going on.

So, I had a little bump in the WW ride. Hey, like I haven’t been through a million and sixty-five thousand, three-hundred, thirty-two little bumps in this ride to try to get published. What’s some more bumps? What’s some little weight-loss bumps? I have decided that it’s awfully, awfully hard and sometimes discouraging to focus on these three things at one time though: Writing, Exercise, Weight Loss.

I think I can focus on one at a time and kick ass on one of these three things really well, but here I am, the first of a New Year, trying to get all “Jiu Jitsu / Tai-Kwan-Do” on all three.

Quick story: This past week, I went to a Writer’s Meeting and they had some chocolates and cookies out, and I had some points left over and decided I was going to have two fortune cookies.

I opened the first one, took a bite, then read my fortune. It said:

You should not be eating this.

I ate it.

I opened the second one, took a bite, then read THAT fortune. That one said:


Obviously, the way my weigh-in went today, I should have listened to Mr. Confucius when he so wisely advised me not to eat the damn cookies!

But really, I’m not depressed, I use humor to deal with it – I’ll just forge ahead and hope for a better week.

Which brings me to some other exciting news!

I have another blind-blogger date! I have already had the good fortune to meet up with some wonderful people from blogland and haven’t been murdered, and I’m pretty confident this woman hasn’t the time or energy to kill me, so no worries there! Although, come to think of it, she might enjoy some jail time! A little peace and quiet!

I am going to be having lunch with a celebrity blogger and soon-to-be famous best-selling author on Monday and am extremely excited to meet this fabulously amazing woman and I’m sure I’ll have a fun recap for you Monday night or Tuesday and hopefully with pictures and stories to share! I just hope I can find something WW-friendly on that menu, which, I can tell you, Ms. Celebrity Blogger and I have already been cyber-salivating over the dessert menu!

Weight Watchers, Help Me!

Addendum: Another new favorite blog, shared by another favorite new blog: Does This Blog Make Me Look Fat? Check it out! It'll make you laugh your ass off! I hope it does mine anyway!

Peace UP, and yes, you may still spare a pint, my friends!

Friday, January 11, 2008

And We're Off and Bleeding!

Contest Details Here!

~ ~ ~ ~
LOOK! Another smiling, beautiful face! Nobody's crying! It's not hurting anyone to DONATE!!!

This is Cat. ISN'T SHE CUTE! Yes! She is cute!

She found me from Dawn's blog over at Because I Said So, one of my favorite blogs (and if you go over there, tell Dawn Manic Hearts Her -- SHE HAS SIX KIDS!)

Cat gives blood regularly through her company's quarterly blood drive, but, lucky for ME, she missed donating in December so she made an appointment at her local blood center (WHICH YOU CAN DO TOO!) She went last night and gave blood.

Now she's entered in the contest to win CASHOLA from me, which will probably, most likely, be three digits large (and NO, this does NOT include a decimal point, you smarties!).

Additionally, HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS is donating a $25 gift card to Outback or Lonestar to our cause over here at Manic's, and at her blog too, so if you send your picture here, make sure to send it to her too, for DOUBLE the chance to win gift cards! Two steaks for the price of ONE PINT OF BLOOD! Ha!

And, our pal at BUG TRIES AGAIN is donating movie tickets to the final grand prize winner! So there's lots of fun stuff, and lots of time to enter, and if you don't enter, then so far, either Barb or Cat will win all these great prizes! And that would be cool with me, because I am in love with both of them already because they are GREAT, but then that would mean we'd only have TWO PINTS OF BLOOD for Manic's Cause.

I know you can do me prouder than that!

So, this is what my new friend Cat said:

Hi there! I read about your contest on Dawn's blog. I give blood regularly through our quarterly company blood drive, but I missed it in December because of the holidays. Your blog request encouraged me to make an appointment at the local blood center, rather than just wait 'til the drive came by again! So, I went last night.

Here's my picture -- I hope it comes through since it's the first time I've sent a picture from my telephone! I'll post a comment on your blog too :)


Cat! It did come through, and it's beautiful and your smile brightened my day and your blood saved a life or two! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

And looky here! Cat also got a cool t-shirt when she donated, so if you donate at your local blood center, maybe you'll get something extra besides some yummy snacks!

Got a pint to spare?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Thousand-Worded Picture:

Tell me this is not the most beautiful picture you have ever seen?

Thank you SO MUCH to Barb from Melbourne, Florida, my first-ever blood-donator contestant! You rock, and you look beautiful saving lives!

And this is what she said:

"Here it is ~ for the first time in 27 years ~ I gave blood. Thanks for the much-needed push. I now plan on doing this much more often ... It is a wonderful thing to do especially as there was a 70-car pile up locally today which makes me realize how much blood is needed."

Visit Barb at her blog, So How Was Your Day? I'd venture to say she's feeling pretty good right about now!

Okay guys, see how easy it looks? Who's next!?!?!? Mom, Dad, Tse-Tse? You all qualify--I never said Family is exempt!!! Go ahead and donate some blood! I know you're reading this!

Contest Details Here!

Unedited Freeflow & Still More Blood

Donate A Pint of Blood: Win Big Prizes! We're Upping The Anty! More Bloggers Comin' On Board: Cash! Movie Tickets! Restaurant Gift Cards!

I'm Out for Blood! Read Details Here!

~ ~ ~

1:50 p.m. It’s Day Three of Butt-Sitting-In-Chair and I really don’t want to write. I am feeling, not a writer’s block, but a rut, and how can this be? This is what I want to do. I need to figure some things out with my storyline. There are at least three separate parts to it. The 1988 part. The 2009 part where Marnie is married. And then the 2009 part where Marnie is reconnected with her 1988 “Luvah”… that one who got away who maybe should have never got away, but maybe he should have? Maybe he should have never been? How would her life been different had she never met him? How would she have been a different person had she never had the experiences in her life with him? What kind of person would she have become had she not met him the night he wanted to pull her panties from her 19-year-old body?

These are the kinds of questions I ask myself as I sit down to try to wrestle with this writing thing. And then I wonder how is the second part of this book going to match up with the exciting first part of the book, which to me is really steamy and full of emotion and just what that first time stuff really feels like. And I don’t know if I can bring that kind of stuff into the second part. And I’m wondering if I should alternate chapters… go with a 1988 chapter, then switch to a 2009 chapter where Marnie is grappling with a loss, and dealing with two young sons, and a husband who is… well, what is he? His name is Stuart, I know this. I think he might be in aviation. He is maybe a pilot. Someone who is out of town a lot. And sidenote. I love, love, love this song: I Saw, By Matt Nathanson, and I think I will put a clip of it here if I can find one on Youtube.

[Okay, I found so many of them (after I wrote this of course, that I spent about another half-hour listening and watching. His music is just beautiful, and inspires my writing! This is how I want my characters to live, breathe and feel!]

Does this count as my writing fiction, because maybe this is kind of like my research? I’m researching my thoughts to try to figure out what I’m going to write about, and I’m also going to just post this as my blog post. So yes, this is how my mind is currently working. It’s quiet here, and I’ve got to get it figured out. I’ve got to write. And by the way, WHERE IS ALL THAT FREAKING BLOOD! Where is all the giving that I know you all have in you?

OK, so Stuart is a loving husband, but I think that maybe he might be a little insensitive, like how most guys are, like they don’t know they’re insensitive, they just are. Maybe it’s because they’ve just been married too long, are just too comfortable with the routine, and just are too expectant of one another, and Stuart and Marnie take one another for granted. And of course, with any novel, she is wanting something more. What is it that she wants. What is it that she wants out of life? OK, and here’s another song playing, and it’s another one by Matt Nathanson, and it’s a good one too. Nope, wrong, Mat Kearney, Breathe In, Breathe Out:

This is the music that helps me think.

So, I think Marnie wants to be loved in her marriage. Yet she wants those feelings from 1988, where everything was a what if, but those are scary feelings too, but also exciting feelings, but she was scared back then too, and some terrible things happened to her then too, and why would she want to dredge up the bad stuff, when even though her life is boring now, it’s also a safe and calm environment. She’s got a loving husband, two good kids, even if they are hyperactive young boys (what boys are not hyperactive?)… what is she searching for that she doesn’t have? And am I secretly searching for these things as well? That’s what I wonder sometimes too? Is the fiction that I’m writing really an extension of some things in my life that I feel I have missed out on so I feel like I need to recreate those environments in my writing so I can live through my characters somehow?

I don’t know. All I know is that I just wrote all of this in 11 minutes and I don’t know if I’m any closer to figuring anything else out. But I wrote something. So, I guess that’s good.

And if you took the time to listen to the Breathe In, Breathe Out video, you’ll hear the first words:

Breathe in, breathe out, tell me all of your doubt, everybody bleeds this way, just the same. Out of all the songs in the entire world for me to be listening to today, completely and honestly randomly, THIS one has a message in it, about bleeding.

What’s stopping you from making your donation? From saving someone’s life? Today even?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Out For Blood


Yoo-Hooo? Knock-Knock!

Anybody out there?

Cuz those photos of you all donating blood aren’t exactly filling my In Box! Is it because you are all out there RIGHT this minute getting those veins popped? Come on! Please don’t be scared!

I was thinking of ways to make it even easier for you, and aside from me driving over to your house, picking you up, and taking you to the Blood Center, holding your hand, I’m not sure what else I can do? I can call you while you’re in the chair, sing you a little ditty while you’re getting your blood drawn, maybe something like this:

I promise you that it won’t hurt!

It’s just a teeny tiny little squirt!

The blood really won’t ooze!

You’ll save a life if you choose!

How would you like for me to sing that to you over the phone? I will! I swear I will! And you can bet there are more verses just brewin’ up inside of me. Don’t make me break out in Blood-Donatin’-Song-And-Dance. Cuz… You know I will.

And come on! After you send in your picture of you donating, I’ll call you, and we can talk about your experience and then I’ll blog about it and that way you’ll be able to tell everyone how simple it really was! It’ll be fun! We’ll chat! And if you live near me, maybe I’ll go with you when you give blood. Would you like that? Or would that maybe freak you out? I could wear the wig! You know, go incognito!

Thanks to all of you who have linked to this cause! You rock! And to those of you who have tagged onto this contest! For instance, Hope for the Hopeless is getting involved and is giving away TWO steak dinners if you donate! Well, she's not sending you the actual steak! She's giving away two $25 gift cards to either Outback or Lonestar. So you have two chances to win! One here, and one over at her site! So after you donate, send your picture to me and then to her, and not only will you win money here, you can also win a gift card toward dinner! And there are some other bloggers who have come forward with the intent of donating to the cash prize so come on, roll up those sleeves! Don’t be afraid!

And today I fielded my first call from a reporter! I didn’t tell you all this, but I wrote a press release with the heading:


I sent it to some of the papers in the hopes that I will get more people involved in the cause, because if I can load up a car with six kids and take them all with me to get my vein deflated, surely a few others can! The reporter said she really wants to write the story, and she was looking for a personal angle and it just so happens the paper is in the town where I went to high school, so hopefully THAT’S enough of a tie-in and she’ll call me back for the story. We’ll see.

I want to thank those of you who already donate on a regular basis. You already know how amazing it is that you do this, and how great it makes you feel, and how many lives you do save! And thank you to those of you who have tried to donate but are unable to.

I’ve thought about the fact that I’m giving away my own money for this and then I wondered if I’m maybe a little crazy. Aside from the fact that I already am regardless if I'm giving away money or not, I don’t think I'm crazy for doing it if people donate blood. Many people donate to charities or good causes all of the time.

This is my charity I want to contribute to, and it’s two-fold. I’m donating money, but I’m also hopefully going to get YOU involved in this, and hopefully you will feel so good afterward that you’ll continue donating on a regular basis and it’ll explode from there. You know, that Clairol hair commercial--telling two friends, and so on... So many people need your blood. I was thinking of it this way as well. If you had extra food, you’d share. You have extra blood available. You can share that too. What's a little blood amongst friends?

I don’t want my blog to become a Blood Donating Soap Box, so don’t worry, it won’t, but please consider it. I’ll make it fun. Send in a goofy picture of you donating blood. If you’re nervous about it, I seriously will call you and talk you through it. I’ll sing you the song. I’ll make up another verse to another song. Heck, don’t make me break out a youtube video cuz you know I will! How YOU doin'?

Start sending me those photos at, and for complete contest details, read the previous post HERE.


Today I started my “Sit-In-Chair-From-Noon-To-1:30-And-Write-Book-No.-2” Campaign, and let me tell you, honestly, I have been scared shitless and very anxious over this new quest. I have no idea why. I've already written one book. I love to write. I WANT to write. I NEED to write. But the thought of making me be responsible four days a week is really scary.

And I woke up this a.m. with a raging sinus headache because it is 62 degrees on January 7 in Chicago and overcast and the barometric pressure is way outta whack and so is my head, so I’m thinking, how am I gonna write with such a bad headache? But I pulled through, got Tukey on the bus at 11:40, and sat down to write at 11:57.

And I felt like a writer. And pulled up my WIP, which I am now calling a NOI (Novel-Of-Intent), which you can read the first teeny bit HERE, if you haven’t already. And I got a big ice water, shut my office doors, ignored the phone that rang three times, took one bathroom break and got reacquainted with my long-lost characters. I wrote a little, not a lot, but enough to find me liking what I was doing and not feeling so scared anymore, and thinking that I could probably get up and do the same thing tomorrow. So, that in itself was an accomplishment.

Next thing – The WW Update. OK, so I started back at WW on December 1. Mr. Manic said I was crazy to start back then. Who does that? Start back right in the most hellish time of desserts and eggnog, and Bailey’s Chocolate Mint and Chocolate Caramel flavors debut, and filet mignon, and cakes and cookie exchanges and caramel corn, and all that yummy stuff that only surfaces in the month of December. Who does this? I did.

And I managed through it, and still ate all of that yummy stuff, and never felt sad or deprived, never cried late at night in bed because I didn’t get to have a piece of French Silk Pie, and guess what?

Since December 1, I have lost 7.6 pounds. You can line up about 30 Quarter Pounders and look at that pile of beef and bun and then say, “That’s how much fat has dropped from Manic.”

Yep, that’s how I look at weight loss. Pretty whacky, but that’s the way I stay on track.

So, Blood, Writing, Watching my Weight. That’s what I’m focusing on right now.

In the meantime, I think there’s a needle out there with your name on it, and I’m waiting for those pictures! I want my In Box all clogged up with your blood-spilling veins and your smiling faces!

Peace UP!

Friday, January 04, 2008

I Donate Blood - Will You? CONTEST!





I used to give blood all of the time when the kids were little and even had an article published years ago about how much I enjoyed it and how I likened it to going on a mini-vacation, because back then, hiding in the bathroom without being disturbed for five minutes was a luxury! So you can imagine what I wrote about getting out of the house for a full two hours and being in a place where I got to lie down, have adult conversation, have nice ladies pamper me, offer me drinks and snacks, and ask me if I was feeling OK. That, to me, was pure heaven back in those early days of motherhood.

Anyway, I stopped giving blood when the last time I went and the tattoo question came up and I realized I couldn’t donate for fear I was infected by tainted ink! Me, infected by tainted needles! Harumphf! It’s been three-and-a-half years since I got my tattoo. Many a lives could have been saved during that time, and really, had I known a tattoo would have halted my blood-donating streak, I might have thought twice about branding myself, all for the sake of thinking I was cool and hip. Ha, who knew?

Today, I had my own brood of kids, and three neighbor kids with me and we had lunch and then we ran a couple errands and for some reason, out of the New Year freaking Blue, I said, “Hey, do you guys want to watch me give blood?”

Shouts from the back seat:

“Ewwww! NO!”


“HECK Yeah!”


“Like a vampire?”

Some of the kids, like Diva, were into it; some, (AJers) not so much. I coaxed the Nays into the Yay side, by explaining that in giving blood, I would be saving a life, possibly even a couple of lives.

“See guys, someone might get into an accident, tonight even, and they might be in the hospital, and let’s say there’s this 911 call, like ‘911! THERE’S BEEN AN ACCIDENT AND WE NEED SOME BLOOD STAT!’ and then they’d grab my bag of blood and pump it into the person’s body and Pow! I’d save a life! Come on, how cool would THAT be?”

Soon the No team sided with the Yays because of my explanation (and the promise of After-Blood-Donating Ice Cream Cones).

I shuttled all six kids into the Blood Center and had it been in the ‘70s, the staff probably would have thought I was a down-on-her-luck single mom looking to get paid for any bodily fluids I could sell. Nope - I was just feeling giving at that particular moment.

When we walked through the doors, I was thrilled to see there was a kiddy section and ordered the kids to sit down.

“Do you take blood donations here?”

“Yep,” she said.

“All right kids. Roll up your sleeves! Lady, get out your needles!”

Six sets of eyes bulged out. Ha, these are the joyous moments of parenting I live for!

The lady then asked for my driver’s license. I threw her my credit card.

She looked at me funny. “We don’t take credit cards. I need your license.”

“Whoops! I’ve been whipping that card out so much the past few months, it just seemed natural to give that to you!”

She took my info, I answered the questions, and then I went into the little top-secret room with her so I could have the physical part done. It’s good they take you into that private room cuz that’s where they ask you how much ya weigh. Diva and her friend blew kisses at me and said, “Good luck! We’ll miss you! Hope it doesn’t hurt too much!”

“I’m not getting the needle now!”

I am telling you, if you ever want to be treated kindly, go give blood.

You will feel like a ROCK STAR! A SUPER STAR! Angelina Jolie! Britney Spears on her come-back night… wait… scratch that. Nobody wants to feel like Britney!

However, the Blood People say the NICEST things to you when you go in to freely donate your blood; the blood that your body makes for you for FREE every day of your life. The blood that you don’t ever have to ask for. The blood that is JUST there for you. Every day. For you. Just because you are healthy, and it is there. For the making.

You give blood, and it remakes itself right back up in your body. It doesn’t hurt! The puny little needle DOES NOT HURT! You don’t even have to look at it! You get snacks afterward! You get to lie on a semi-comfy, cushy, couchy-bed thing. They had movies there, and music, and soda, and cookies, and chips (which, of course, I chose to eat the low-fat cookies because of Weight Watchers, and which, I will also note, not ONE, but TWO of my ‘so-called’ friends commented that I was going to pretty desperate measures to lose weight before my weigh-in tomorrow morning by trying to get rid of a pint of blood!).

The nurse lady who was in charge of taking care of me was THE nicest lady I have ever met. I seriously wanted to take her home and ask her to be my own personal caregiver, but also have her as my friend. Everything she said was just perfect. You would think I was in a “Blood Bank Bar” and she was using all her “Blood Bank Pick-Up Lines” on me, like she sooo wanted to land me in the Proverbial Blood Bank Bed for a One-Night Stand. And let me tell you, the things she was saying to me, she had me wrapped! I fell in love with her and her charm!

You have gorgeous iron numbers for a woman. Most women have 12.3, and you’re at 13.5. That’s really great.

You’ve got a beautiful pulse rate!

You’ve got the blood pressure of an athlete. Seriously, most athletes don’t have blood pressure this good.

Look at these numbers: your iron, your pulse, your blood pressure – just wonderful!

I wish everyone had a vein like this one. You’ve got a perfect vein. I have a feeling you’re going to flow very well.

Your bag is filling so nicely. This won’t take long at all.

I was seriously blushing at these compliments. Like, what do I say to that? “Well, I did do yoga this morning.” Or, “I’ve been working on my veins a bit lately. Gotta keep them in shape, cuz they’re always working for ya!” But really how do you NOT love someone who is THAT nice to you? And how can you NOT promise to come back in eight weeks to be treated like that again?

So, I gave blood, the kids got a little lesson in it, they know I saved somebody’s life, and hey, the nice lady gave EVERY KID snacks afterward! They had a field day with it! I’m telling you, it was like going on an educational but fun field trip complete with snacks and giveaways because they all got calendars and “Future Blood Donor” stickers too. And this experience is going to teach them not to be scared about donating in the future, and they’ll see that I’ve done it, and it’s no big deal, and when they are old enough (16) to donate blood, it’ll seem like a natural thing to do, and I won’t let them get their driver’s licenses until they promise me they will donate blood every eight weeks so they’ll just have to do it! So there!

Going today to give blood was kind of surreal, like the Blood Center just had beckoned to me at that moment. I drive past that center countless times during the week, and 99 percent of those countless times, I am usually without six kids, so what drew me to the center today? I wonder if I was really pulled there today for some specific reason? I’d like to think so. You can bet I’m going back in eight weeks, and you know what? You should consider giving blood too.

In fact, what do you think of the first 2008 Manic Mommy contest where everyone who gives blood during the month of January and can prove it with a photo* will be entered to win a cash prize?

Here’s the kicker: the cash prize is as large as the number of participants. For every one person who gives blood, I will put in $1 of my very own money. Then, on January 31, 2008, I’ll do a random drawing and however many of you readers participate is however much money the prize will be.

And, it just so happens to be National Blood Donor Month, so what a perfect opportunity to save someone’s life? Start the New Year off right! By doing something to help others!

Spread the word, give some blood, take a break, and grab a snack after you donate, and you could also win a cash prize** from Manic Mommy! Details below, and they are subject to change during the course of the month because I haven’t really thought this out completely, but I think it’s a great cause, and I hope this motivates some of you to do this, because it’s a no-brainer, prize or no prize.

Blogging friends, the only way this will work is if you’ll be kind enough to share the link to this post with your readers in order to up the anty to make this offer a worthwhile prize for those who are willing to invest their time, energy and BLOOD (but no sweat and tears, I promise!) into this awesome, awesome Manic Cause!

And if you do post about this on your blog, as I know some of you have already kindly done so, could you please email me at and share the link with me. I'd like to keep track of those who are helping spread the word and maybe somehow find a way to repay you as well!


*Photos submitted may be published on Manic Mommy, and a photo is required to qualify for the contest (of you either holding your blood donor card at the blood center – or of it showing the date you donated, or of you in the chair actually donating).

Photo should be emailed to

Include your full name, city, state, and email address.

**Cash prize can not exceed a three-digit amount (predetermined by Manic Mommy if there is an overwhelming response to the contest) and the first number of that three digit number cannot exceed a 2, because, please keep in mind that Manic Mommy is NOT “Manic-Made-Outta-Money” and this is coming straight out of her own “We Just Blew Through Christmas” pocket.***

***Unless, of course, there are some anonymous rich charitable donors out there who will not only donate blood, but also want to shell out a few bucks to support this awesome cause to save lives? One blood drop at a time? Maybe someone out there wants to match my offer? And in return, of course, Manic Mommy will pimp your company.****

****Of course, Manic Mommy has to be a proponent of your company, has to like your product, use your product, or at least know of your product in order to pimp your product, and it has to be a product relatable to mommies or manics, obviously.

Questions? Leave ‘em for me in the comments.

Ready to donate? Go here:

To learn more blood donation opportunities, visit or
call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543).

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Let This Be YOUR Year

Happy [Screw It!] Year!

So, here’s what I’m thinking. I’m not making a crappy resolutions list.

You’re not?

No, I’m not.

But why not? They’re so fun to not complete!

Exactly, my friends! Exactly! Why stress myself out? Why set myself up for failure? Oh wait, did I not JUST post that to fail is to become successful?

Well, instead of an unrealistic list of resolutions, I am going to reflect on ALL of my major accomplishments of 2007. There were so many! I cannot believe all of the incredible things I achieved in ’07! I amaze myself, and I’m sure my list of successes will shell-shock you as well. You’ll think, “Wow, how on earth does she manage all of this?” and “She is an incredible woman/mother/person!” Try not to be jealous. Work as hard as I do, and you too may accomplish these successes and accomplishments. In fact, I’m guessing that many of you unwittingly have already done so!

Without further delay, I bring to you, my accomplishments of 2007, in no particular order:

My children still love me.

My husband still loves me.

We are still healthy.

We are still happy.

We still have shelter.

We still have food.

We still have friends.

Dude. Not too shabby of a list of accomplishments, huh?

Now, to focus on 2008:

No resolutions.

And not because I don’t want to make any, but because I am going to be WAY too busy in the New Year because I have acquired another part-time job!

I think you may know I work part-time for and love, love, love it! Well, I have a new part-time job too, and this one is just as exciting!

Drumroll please…

I am going to be a WRITER!

Yes folks! Beginning January 7, 2008, every day, Monday through Thursday, from noon to 1:30, (or thereabouts) my new job will take my butt into a chair where I will be writing my second novel. This part-time gig pays very little (OK, it pays absolutely NADA) and offers me NO benefits at all. In fact, I don’t think I am getting anything out of it, except for the fact that I know it’s something I NEED to do, deep down in my heart, and the only way I’m going to get it done is to make it a job for myself, and to create time in my life to get it done.

So, there is no time for resolutions, no time for me to search into my soul for things I want to achieve or to get better at, or to learn to do. Nope. I will be too busy with my two part-time jobs, raising my family, appreciating my marriage, loving my children and my husband, doing some yoga, reading some books, writing my second novel… you get the idea…there’s no time anymore to HOPE to do these things; there’s only the time in front of me to finally DO the things I NEED to do.

Tell me something interesting and new about 2008 for you!