Tuesday, April 29, 2008
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Hope, and Happily Ever After by Trish Ryan.
My first kiss, a diary entry:
December 29, 1982
Chris and Andy came over at 8:30 pm. We hung around talked and stuff. Stacy and Leslie kept whispering to Chris and trying to get us alone. We walked outside with Chris and Andrew at midnight – “The magical hour" ha ha, and said Goodbye. Then Stacy and Les went towards the house but snuck behind the cars. Me and Chris told them to go in the house. Then he turned towards me and put his hands on my hips. He told me that Stacy and Leslie told him to kiss me. Then he turned his head and came closer and we were almost kissing and I burst out laughing. We finally kissed then Stacy and Leslie came out and started spying. So Chris said, “You want to make them mad?” We walked over to the hedge and he kissed me. I really can’t remember that much. But then he asked if I would write. I said of course, “Yes.” Then I kissed him and said “good-bye.” We kissed at least 3 times. I’m kinda glad Stacy and Leslie told him to kiss me. His lips were soft. Ha, ha. Love, Steph
December 30, 1982
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I had to wait like four more years, when I was a junior in high school, until I snagged another kiss, and this time it was with a guy named Carter. He was blond and tall, and WOW, he actually looked at me. That was enough for me! I was wearing black stirrup pants and a red sweatshirt that loomed below the butt. It had a gun-totin’ cowboy decal on the front with some slang phrase on it, like Shoot ‘Em Up or something like that.
I was at one of my first drinking parties, and was probably into my second or third Sun Country original Wine Cooler, or Bartles & James, and so that means I was highly intoxicated. Carter and I had somehow found ourselves in the back office of the house; we were on the floor, bodies next to one another, faces as close as can be. He had braces, and was chewing gum.
We swapped spit and gum that night. It was the first time I had ever let another boy’s tongue feel its way inside of my mouth. And later that night, I found out he had a girlfriend and that blew my chances of ever having Carter for a boyfriend of my own.
I was crushed.
Fast-forward four years and waaaaaaaaaaaay too many toads and thick stinky tongues that should have never been allowed into my mouth.
Then I met Mr. Manic junior year in college. Our first kiss happened the night we met, among other things. We met in a bar called Molly’s. You can read about that here.
We first kissed in a bar called Amnesia, but I forget the details. Get it, Amnesia, can’t remember the details. Ha. But isn’t that what happens when you fall in love? There are so many great moments, but the details are hard to recall. When you’re in love, there are great details that just keep coming and they outshine the next so the previous ones start to fade. I do remember though, I was dying for him to kiss me, and I was so glad when he finally did, right there at the entryway of the bar, and again, on the dance floor at Amnesia. And now that I have him available to me any time I want, I should remember this, and kiss him as often as I want. That’s what it means to me to finding the one. He Loves Me, He Loves Me … He Loves Me!
So, Trish Ryan’s debut novel, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Hope, and Happily Ever After is a book about just that! And you can win it here on Manic Mommy.
Here’s a quick blurb:
Trish Ryan was the quintessential successful thirtysomething woman -- she had a career as an attorney, a nice car, and a succession of men clamoring for her affection. But despite all her accomplishments, the things by which she defined her life continually left her disappointed, especially when it came to dating. Like the heroines of chick-lit novels and Sex and the City, she couldn't escape her bad luck with men: men who cheated, who left her, who made her a lesser version of herself. After years of trying everything out there to make love work -- new age philosophy, feminist empowerment, myriad self-help programs -- she finally, hesitantly, decided to give God a try.This is Ryan's story of how her search for the right guy turned into the search for the right God, and (spoiler alert!) how she ended up with the happily-ever-after ending.
To win an autographed copy of Trish’s book, leave a comment about your first kiss, or an awkward kiss, or the most memorable kiss, or a sloppy kiss, or the nuttiest kiss you’ve ever had. I’m making Trish choose the winner of this one!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Congratulations to our winners, and thanks to everyone who entered! If your name was chosen, please email me at email@example.com
Thursday, April 24, 2008
CONTEST CLOSED! WINNERS TO BE ANNOUNCED ON MONDAY OR TUESDAY
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So, I was gathering up the whites this morning.
Manic does laundry!
She separates the colors from the whites?
Pick yourselves up off the floor folks. Yes, I do laundry. I have to. It sucks.
We’re in the midst of “Turn off your TV Week,” which incidentally, I am a STRONG OPPOSER of, and the school doesn’t know this, but I have dubbed it, “Turn off your TV and Mom Turns into a Bitch” Week. All the other moms are like, “Oh we have our TV off and we played Monopoly and we went to the park and we have rearranged the Tonka trucks and done fifty bazillion puzzles this week.” Go YOU!
Tukey and I started OUR Monday morning snuggled up on the couch with his chocolate milk “shaken-not-stirred” sippy cup and a rousing two episodes of Curious George. Then, would you believe it, I popped in Alvin and the Chipmunks and let him watch the WHOLE movie while I came into my office and
did frivolous internet shit worked hard on freelancing projects all morning! I mean, it’s harder on the MOM than the kid to not have the TV on. It’s the MOM who is punished.
And what’s the point of turning off the TV for one week when it’s just going back on the following Monday?
However, I will say this for my kids. When it’s good weather out, they would much rather be outside riding bikes in the cul de sac, playing football in the front yard, going to the park down the street, or having a picnic of goldfish, pretzels and juice boxes in the little island thing at the cul de sac like they did on Tuesday after school instead of eyes glazed over the TV. So I’m totally OK with TV time. They are not couch ‘tatoes.
Back to the laundry of this morning. I was gathering up the whites before the school bus and for some strange freaky reason, Ajers had on DORA THE EXPLORER?!?!!? Who the heck knows why? Maybe he needed to practice his espanol? Even though he doesn’t take Spanish in fourth grade. Well, you know, my children are advanced after all, but that’s neither here nor there.
Anyway, from upstairs as I’m separating the whites from the colors, I can hear the TV blaring the Dora theme song music.
And I swear to you, this is what I hear:
Where are we going?
Where are we going?
(see that asterisk, read the small print at the bottom of this post)
I swear to you, Dora and Boots were headed to Rehab!!! Do you think they were going to bring her abuela a bottle of Scotch and a case of beer hidden in a wicker basket?
*Please don’t email me or leave me a comment telling me it’s not funny to joke about rehab because YES IT IS!!! OK, it’s not funny to joke about real life people being in rehab, but it’s HILARIOUS to think that a two-and-a-half foot little espanol girl and a Spanish-speaking monkey with YELLOW boots might be walking through the forest singing, WHERE ARE WE GOING? REHAB! WHERE ARE WE GOING?
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
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Great news and Great reads! Lots to share in this world of DEALING.
Michael's mother called. "Michael's coming home. Can Ajers come over to play after school?"
"Yeah, they'll probably just do a board game or something, and you're welcome to come over to say hello too."
So amazing how a little playdate can shift a mood. I am so excited for Michael. I am so excited for Ajers. For two little boys to get their lives back to normal.
And here's some back-to-normal for YOU, nice sweet readers, who always are here to brighten my days when I need brighter days! Two book giveaways!
Just leave a comment indicating Welcome to Shirley, The Department of Lost and Found or simply BOTH and I'll enter you to win either or BOTH of these fabulous books, both touching on the subject of cancer, but I promise, both truthful and uplifting to read.
And something else uplifting: Pictures from Amazing Mimi, from our meeting in Chicago. Ain't SHE AMAZING!??!
VIEW PHOTOS HERE
Read below for a sneak peek excerpt from both books...
An excerpt from Welcome to Shirley by Kelly McMasters:
I stared at the dark lines of the Hudson River as the train rushed toward the city, and then through the scraggly arms of the pines as a different train brought me out to Long Island. It felt strange not to get out at the Mastic-Shirley station, and I suddenly wished that we could go back to our little house near the refuge. I wanted to return to the time when I was a child surrounded by friends as I swung at a papier-mâché donkey in my front yard, not a young woman going home to her sick mother.
I thought of the long white scar on my mother’s neck. When I was in third grade, my mother had a tumor on her thyroid gland. It was benign, but half of her thyroid had to be removed along with the growth. My father drove me to visit her before and after the surgery, and a doctor took a piece of paper from my coloring book and drew a picture of a butterﬂy.
“Your mother’s thyroid looks like this,” he said, pointing to the pen drawing. He drew a line down the center of the butterﬂy’s body, slicing it in half.
“We have to take out this wing, but your mother will still have this other wing.” I looked at the paper and I looked at my mother, somehow smaller under the scratchy white sheets in her hospital bed. I could see the small knob of tumor that pushed through her skin halfway up her thin neck. When she came home, the scar was an angry red at ﬁrst, but she sliced off leaves from her aloe plant, cracking the thick pulp open and smearing the gummy juice on her incision every morning and night. As the scar healed, the line turned white instead of fading into the rest of her skin.
My scars do the same thing. In the summers, when she is tan, the scar looks even whiter against her browned skin, like a piece of butcher’s twine. I wondered if this was what the scar on her breast would look like.
My father picked me up at the train station. He was quick to smile and joke, say the surgery was no big deal, everything was ﬁne. But his eyes looked tired, and when he rubbed them the purple skin of his eyelids rippled into folds where he had pushed the skin to the outside corner, and the folds stayed there. He had been working so hard for so many years; as he had hoped, he had been able to pay for all four years of college. He had become more handsome as he aged, the salt and pepper in his hair an attractive contrast to the blue in his eyes, but more than a decade of working as a traveling salesman had left its mark.
He had brought my mother back from the hospital that morning and had to go away overnight for business, which was why I was home. I could tell he was nervous, just wanted this to be over and for his wife to return to normal.
When we went into the house, there were ﬂowers on every surface of every room; all of the women my mother had driven back and forth to radiation appointments and sent angels and ﬂowers to over the years had returned the favor. The house smelled thickly of lilies.
Recuperating upstairs in her bedroom, my mother looked tired, but she was smiling. We spent the day in her bed, passing magazines back and forth, dozing and watching taped episodes of the Oprahshow. I made soup from a can and toasted some bread, the same meal she made me when I used to stay home sick from school as a child. The shadows grew longer across the walls, and I knew we would have to change her bandage soon. My mother motioned to the bathroom door.
“Okay. Let’s get this over with!”
I followed her into the bathroom, where she leaned her back against the counter, edging her right shoulder out of her white terry-cloth bathrobe.
“You don’t have to do this, you know,” she whispered to me.
“I’m ﬁne, I’m ﬁne!” I lied. I tried to smile. I was terriﬁed to look at my mother’s breast.
The robe hung across her body like a sash. She bent her neck and tried to look at the place where they had removed the lump. She cupped her breast beneath her ribs with her left hand, and for a moment it looked like she was holding a baby to her chest. My eyes traced the bright blue vein that ran from her neck to her nipple.
The yellows and greens of the bruises clouded around the edge of the bandage. She worked the sticky edge with her ﬁngertips until she’d gotten most of it free. Blood crusted along the jagged teeth of the sewn-up incision. I looked at the thin white half-moon across the base of her neck and tried to imagine this new incision healed and faded instead of raw and pink.
“It doesn’t hurt,” she offered, looking at my face. “Not really.”
I turned the brown bottle of peroxide over in my hand and soaked a cotton ball, trying not to look at my mother’s face. I knew if I did I would cry. I slathered antibiotic ointment onto a fresh gauze pad and handed it to her.
“I can’t reach it, Kell. Can you press it on for me?”
Her voice apologized as she asked me. I tried to think of her breast as a knee or elbow. I remembered once when Margaret and my mother and I went for a bike ride when I was little, and I fell before we even got around the corner. The rough gravel had skinned layers off the top of my knee, leaving a slick white patch where the skin used to be. I watched, stunned, as little rivulets of blood pooled on the white patch and started to drip down my leg. My mother left our bikes on the side of the road and picked me up, my head to her shoulder and her arm under my legs. It was summer, and my mother wore a light yellow blouse and white pants. I tried to hold my bloody knee away from her, and she kept telling me to relax, not to worry, it was just blood. But she was too pretty to get blood on.
I snapped back to the bathroom and her purple and yellow clouds of bruise and did my best to press the bandage gently over the stitched incision where the doctor had pulled out a hard mass the size of an almond. The doctor had called earlier to tell us that the mass had been benign.
We should have been happy. But we knew how breast cancer worked on Long Island. Our relief felt very temporary.
* * * * * * * * *
An excerpt from The Department of Lost and Found by Allison Winn Scotch:
If there were any good news of the day, it was that I was actually feeling semi-decent. When I first met with Dr. Chin, when I sat in his dignified office with Persian rugs and leather chairs and mahogany walls, he had told me that this was how it would go. There were three stages of chemo recovery. The first week, you feel like your insides are on fire, like the chemicals rushing through you might kill you if the cancer doesn’t. The second week, you sense that you might survive; it’s not that you feel normal, but you feel the absence of the afflictions that plagued you the last week, so in that way, it’s like you won the lottery. And the third week is the one where you can’t believe that you ever felt like such a steaming mound of shit. Chemo? You’re thinking. That’s the best you can dish out? Because that, my darling cancer gods, I can take without blinking an eye. The sick part of this pattern, which I’m sure you’ve already figured out, is that just as you’re on the cusp of returning to your everyday life, right as you press your nose up to healthfulness and start going about your business as you did before the disease mowed you down, you have to start it all over again.
Dr. Chin flipped through my chart on his desk, ignoring his assistant who kept paging him over the intercom, and explained that we’d be doing six or seven months of chemo, a round every three weeks, and based on my reaction to this treatment, we’d proceed from there. At some point along the way, either in the middle or at the end, they’d perform a mastectomy. They would take my breasts from me. He also spoke about what I could expect: fatigue, nausea, and the thing that I dreaded most—hair loss. “The aim of chemotherapy is to kill the fast-growing cancer cells,” he explained. “But what also happens as a result is that healthy cells are killed as well. So, for example, your hair follicles are in effect shut down. Fortunately, the human body is resilient and smart enough to know how to grow them back when we’re done.” He said all of this in the kind of tone that he’d clearly perfected after years of treating depressing cases such as mine. He was firm yet still reassuring, regretful yet still commanding. I sat in his office and stared at his numerous diplomas and awards and medical society memberships, and I simply nodded my head, a small acknowledgment of the inevitable, of resigned acceptance. It’s not as if I had a choice.
What I didn’t tell Dr. Chin, when he asked how I felt, because surely he was referring to my physical maladies, not the emotional ones, was that I was gutted. That the fear that ran through me was nearly paralyzing. That the sheer terror of his words, “you have cancer,” caused my breath to leave my body, and that nodding my head in resignation was all that I could do. Anything more simply would have been impossible, because, you see, I was frozen. I was 30. I was the future ruler of the free world. And yet…this. I was 30, and I had cancer. I was 30, and I had cancer. I replayed it over and over again in my mind because it didn’t add up; it couldn’t add up. This. Could. Not. Be. My. Life. And yet…it was. So I sat in his office, and I tasted the horror that comes from discovering you’re not invincible, and maybe it was the cancer, but more likely, it was the spine-chilling terror of my diagnosis, but I literally wanted to curl up and die. Because the sum of Dr. Chin’s words let me to believe that I might just do that anyway.
As I left his office, I remember thinking that I couldn’t feel my legs. That I was walking, yes, surely, I was shuffling down the linoleum-covered floor and through the dimly lit corridor, but how I was doing it, I don’t know. I remembered back to high school biology, when my teacher, Mr. Katz, lectured us on the “fight or flight” syndrome: that when an animal is attacked or put in peril, any unnecessary part of his brain function shuts down, that his body responds in a purely visceral way, doing what it must to survive the threat. But my own body, when faced with such a threat, was seemingly retreating. That rather than gathering its army to face the hell to come, it was already abandoning me. Already shutting me down. My legs were just the beginning.
But now, as I wrapped up the last few days of my first chemo round, things were indeed looking up. At least as far as my vomit/nausea/exhaustion/dizzy problems went. Which, I supposed, was something.
* * * * * *
Remember, a comment is all you need to do to qualify to win either book: Just mention which book you'd like, or if you want to enter to win both, go ahead and say BOTH! GOOD LUCK!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
It hits at moments unexpected. A phone call comes in. The announcement is made. A dear friend or a relative gets “it.”
Maybe it is as with you, but it is currently surrounding me. In more ways than you know, in more ways than I share. With Michael. With my friend Kara, from high school. With others I don’t talk about because I just don’t because I respect privacy.
My friend Kara. Man. She got it. She got it bad. Double mastectomy at about the age of 34, about six years ago, ovaries removed, then it spread to her brain; she’s had, seriously, about 28 surgeries, the last a tumor removed about a month ago, from her brain. She has spent months at a time in the hospital, dealing with kidney failure, infections, you name it, and I've NEVER seen her feeling sorry for herself. How does she do it?
She’s thriving, doing great. I love her to death. She didn’t want it. Didn’t ask for it. But when it came knocking on her door, she couldn’t turn it away like it was the Jehovah’s Witness crew. She couldn’t hide up in her room, close the blinds, crawl under her covers until they went knocking on the neighbor’s door.
Instead, she straightened up, put on her game face, opened the door, let the bastard in, and fought the fucker. She’s still fighting. She fights like the girl I knew in high school, all tough and independent and ready to take on a challenge. She talks about it. She doesn’t shy away from it. She faces every day. She laughs. She lives. She breathes. She looks to the future. She plans for the future. She’s my idol.
She called ME the other day to find out how Michael was doing. Her husband read her the note I sent about Michael, because Kara’s eyesight isn’t so great from the last surgery, either that or she’s just “playing” lazy (haha Kara!). And her husband said, “See, what are YOU bitching for!” She sees the goodness that God has given her in her life. She is concerned for others.
Kara is kid-like in spirit. Kids adore her. My kids LOVE her! She is kind and funny, playful and awesome to be around. She’s had a rough go of it, yet she still fights through it, still believes in the positive of what’s happening in her life.
When others question how well she’s doing, or if she’s doing well, I rebuttle, “She’s doing it. She’s positive. She’s not giving up, is she? Let’s be positive for her.” Because what the hell is the alternative? And if you don’t ‘act’ well, then do you start to not ‘feel’ well?
Kara is the type of cancer patient I would hope to be if it would happen to me. A go-get-‘em gal. A “it-happened-to-me-but-it’s-not-stopping-me” kinda gal.
And then Michael. Little Michael down the street. Michael, who came to the door a week ago Thursday to play with Ajers, and when Ajers opened the door he said, “Michael, what are you doing here, you puked at school!”
“Yeah, but I feel better now! Can you come play?”
So they went to Michael’s to play. Two days later, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Five days later, it was removed. Today, he still lies in ICU, recovering. Ajers talked to Michael yesterday on the phone, and I got to talk to his mom, and talk about how a little phone call can lift OUR spirits!
I cried at church today.
It’s been emotional. The kind of tears that just come on for no other reason than you wonder why this kind of shit happens to the people it’s happening to, and what’s the big picture of it all.
And the big picture. That the day I found out about Michael’s brain tumor was the day I met Mimi, (through Dawn and Michelle) who has seen more tragedy than a mother should ever have to bear in 10 lifetimes. It seems that everything goes full circle and people come into people’s lives for a reason. I meet Mimi a week ago today in Chicago, knowing that just three months ago she lost her son to brain cancer, and how is it that she can go on with her life, go on a trip to meet other women and carry on with her life and be with us and laugh and feel joy and happiness after such a tragedy?
I also pause for a minute to wonder who the hell is writing this post and what has happened to Manic Mommy!? Ha, where has she gone! Who is this serious sad pensive woman?
OK, so let’s not be serious and sad and pensive anymore, because yes, cancer is a part of each and every one of our lives, and if you’ve been blessed with good cancer stories, which I do believe good comes from it, because it helps us to appreciate the here and the now, and the people we hold dear to our hearts, then be thankful, and if you’ve been lost and saddened by the disease, then I will pray for you, and while you might be a Manic Mom reader and think that I’m not a spiritual person, I really am, and I will pray for you and I hope you find peace and health and happiness.
So obviously, I'm praying fiercely for Kara, and for Michael, but I also am sending extra prayers and strength and love to others that I know who are facing challenges, including my dear friend Kelly’s husband Mike, my dear friend Stacy's sister Heather, my dear personal friend L., and for Kendra, Coleman and Haley (Haley, you sooo remind me of my friend Kara and her spunk!), who I met through the blessings of Michelle, Dawn, and Mimi. May He be with you as you all face the next hurdle in your journeys to healing. God bless and keep you.
And later this week, let’s just keep with the cancer theme as I’ll have TWO book giveaways which will be FUN, I promise:
Welcome to Shirley by Kelly McMasters and The Department of Lost and Found by Allison Winn Scotch. I'll have the authors stop by and offer something uplifting. I promise.
Peace UP. Cuz there's no other option really, is there?
Friday, April 18, 2008
So, it’s still ‘within my Octave.'
But how is it that I am sick as a dog, and Mr. Manic has left this a.m. for a weekend of golf and drinking and manly men stuff and I’m going to be here with three kids, three soccer games, and one basketball practice tomorrow? How does that add up? Yo no se. That’s Spanish for “I don’t know.” Yes, I am fluent. In that one sentence.
And yes, I am delirious, as you will soon discover in the youtube video I will shamefully share with you. I must love you to show you how disgusting I look in real sickly life.
Speaking of real life, WE HAD AN EARTHQUAKE LAST NIGHT! And I had to laugh because my bed was shaking ALL OVER THE PLACE and it was the one night Mr. Manic was NOT IN IT WITH ME! I tell you, I was a’twittering! Before bed last night, he asked, very sweetly, “Don’t take this the wrong way…”
I thought he was gonna bitch about laundry or the kitchen or how no dinner was prepared and then I was gonna let him have it—
“I’M SICK! I’VE BEEN UPSET! MICHAEL’S IN THE HOSPTIAL HEALING FROM BRAIN TUMOR SURGERY AND YOU WANT A FUCKING MEAL!?!?!”
But he simply asked,
“Should I sleep in the other bedroom tonight?”
YES! YES! YES!!!!!!
Of course, this was supposed to be generous on his part, to give me a good night’s rest, but really, he just didn’t want to catch the HIV from me so he can have his fun getaway this weekend.
Digression is a terrible thing to waste, and I am so doing it here, so I will try to speed things along, but keep in mind, I am ill!
ltdchix.com T-SHIRT WINNER:
I had to do it the old fashioned, by myself way because I’m sick and couldn’t do a fun video, but the winner, and you’ll just have to trust that I’m honest here, cuz I am! …
The winner of the ltdchix.com t-shirt is:
I've always loved Morning Light Mama cuz just look at her profile picture! She's smiling surrounded by all those kids with some kinda unhappy faces. Yet she still sees the joy in parenthood! Yay Morning Light Mamma!
Thanks to the awesome owners of ltdchix.com who so generously donated the t-shirt for this prize. If you're looking for a perfectly appropriate gift for a fun mom friend of yours, they've got a great selection of tees that will fit any type of mom in your life! Check 'em out! Perfect for Mom's Day gifts, birthday gifts, or just because you're a cool mom gifts!
And the non-mom winner, who will be getting some fun delightful "Targetty" package from me is:
DeeMarie at MY LIFE IN A NUTSHELL! which I think is cool because I do believe she is a fairly new blogger!
So fabulous ladies, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll fill you in with details on how you can claim your prizes!
And, MT, you are still holding as the winner of You’re a Good Mom contest for the Febreeze way of cleaning your clothes, but if I don’t hear from you by Friday, April 25, I’ll be forced to give the prize to someone else, so if you can, please contact me! Are you such a SLACKER MOM you don’t even read the blogs you enter contests on to see if you’ve won!?!?! That just further guarantees you are the Ultimate Slacker MOM!
Other birthday news, cuz it’s still my OCTAVE—
Here are some photos from my PRE-Octave fab dinner out with the wonderful Michelle, Dawn, and Mimi...
The four of us at dinner. This is the EXACT same booth that Julia Roberts and George Clooney dined in! So we are the second batch of celebrities to eat at this table! Ha!
Flirty boy Andre with Michelle and Mimi. Where are his hands!?
Flirty boy Andre with Dawn and Manic. Where are Manic's hands?!
Just Another Tequilla sunrise! I wear my sunglasses at night! Why are they wearing sunglasses?
Not Yummy food--this is actually GUM UNDER THE TABLE--YUCK!!!
I also got great prezzies from neighbors and friends—flowers and candles and candle holders and a gift pack of the WORLD’S BEST SALSA, POINTS FREE!, and bookstore gift cards. And a package arrived from the fab Kim Stagliano yesterday and take a look at the most disgusting Manic Mommy as I open a wonderful and completely unexpected gift from awesome Kim!
But I have to say, the best gift is the one I got from my mommy:
MY MOMMY DONATED BLOOD AND DIDN'T TELL ME, then she mailed me photos! Is THAT not the coolest thing EVER!
Thank you MOMMY! What a great birthday present!!! (She said my dad was too chicken. He faints a lot around needles, but he means well. Daddy, that's OK, you can just send me a check (one that's FILLED OUT!)
Now, I’m anxiously awaiting the bus so I can schlep my kids off to a neighbor’s so I can redeem a lengthy nap to get rid of this sickness and try to get well.
Peace UP and prayers for our little friend, who has had the tumor removed and is recovering in the hospital.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
of a second.
on his bike
Feeling the wind
Helmet on head.
But what's been protecting
keeping the mass
As they take his blond locks.
His smooth head.
As he champions
for the fight
of his life.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Because one could be a conversation with your editor and one could be a conversation with a fellow blogger. And one such conversation with fellow blogger could be about how I was going to write something completely inappropriate but decided not to in the event her child would intercept the IM.
When fellow blogger IMs for me to GO FOR IT, signalling her son is not around, and it's all clear to be inappropriate, I IM to her:
"Pimp me like the whore that you know that I am."
Only, you guessed it. I IMed THIS particular message to my editor.
Uh-Huh. Yes. I did. Did too.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
All you have to do is leave a comment. Later this week, a random commenter will be chosen to win a FABU t-shirt from their fun selection of MOM t-shirts.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! If you're not a mom, don't despair! Because I didn't want to leave anyone out, for those of you non-moms (this means, women or men who are not moms (because as an equal opportunist, and now thanks to Oprah, I have to say "Men" who are not Moms now too), you can still enter to win something too!
Or wait. Do I need to say, "Men who ARE NOW MOMS." I am so confused.
So, anyone can leave a comment ... just make it clear whether you're a mom or a non-mom because there will be TWO winners. One mom entrant will win a t-shirt of your choice and the non-mom entrant will win something else, courtesy of moi, the birthday girl.
But that's NOT ALL! Enter within the NEXT FIVE MINUTES AND YOU'LL ALSO QUALIFY TO WIN A YEAR-LONG SUPPLY OF Manic Mommy Magnets! Decorate your refrigerator with them:
After you leave a comment, stop on over at these blogs:
Because I Said So
...to find out what crazy stuff we did last night because I have NO IDEA what they're going to tell the blogging community. Or what photos will be on display? But not to worry, cuz I've got my own stories and my own photos I'll be sharing later this week.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
In case you didn't know, my boyfriend, Michael Johns, of American Idol, voted off. Partially my fault since I didn't call in to vote for him.
Shocked. Utterly. You should have seen me with my mouth gaping open. Stunned.
Mr. Manic said, "How are you holding up over there mama?"
Not good. Not good at all.
My poor, poor Michael.
Mr. Manic just asked if I was crying and told the kids to come comfort me telling them "her crush got voted off."
Season's over for me. Boycott.
Mr. Manic and I are in the office and I said, "Well, I guess I won't be watching anymore. It's OK though, it's just like if you were watching your favorite basketball team in the Final Four and they lose."
And Mr. Manic said, "Yeah, but I don't want to fuck my favorite team."
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
I asked author, Jen Singer, to go through the comments to pick a winner, and she emailed me back with her first choice for a winner:
"I like anonymous and the cereal."
This was the exact comment posted:
Many years ago when my children were young, the neighbor kids from across the street popped in around dinner time. (Those days kids and neighbors "popped in" at any time). The 5 year old little girl looked at the meal my darlings were eating and said to me "Don't they ever get a hot meal for dinner?" I answered, "Yes, at night I heat up the milk for their cereal!"
You ready for this way classic turn of ironic events?
The anonymous poster was MY MOM!
My mother was talking about ME and the FOOD she used to SERVE my brothers and sister and ME for dinner! And Jen didn't know this and Jen thought it was the best SLACKERISTIC answer out of the bunch!
And the story about the girl asking her if we ate hot food ever was TOTALLY TRUE! And we are still family friends with the girl who asked my mother that!
I told Jen it would be a big bad case of nepotism if I announced that my MOTHER had won for the BEST SLACKER contest, but how appropriate is THAT??
I called my mom right away and she was screaming hysterically over the thought that she could actually win one of my contests! Then she said she will graciously bow out of the contest and she can just read my copy of the book when she's here in May, babysitting my kids and feeding them Captain Crunch for dinner while Mr. Manic and I are on vacation.
Once a Slacker Mom, always a Slacker Mom! Love you Mom! You're the best Slacker Mom in the whole world, and you raised me Riggity Right!
So, RUNNER UP winner of the contest is none other than MT for being this cool of a SLACKER MOM:
One of the things that I have taught my kids is how to use Febreeze when mom "forgets" to do their laundry. I can't even honestly say that I have taught them. They have seen me do it so many times they think it's normal!! Sorry, some nights America's Next Top Model is just too good. Laundry can wait.
So, MT, email me at email@example.com so I can get you your book! Congratulations!
Coming up very soon--Manic meets up in Chicago with this blogger, and this blogger, but sadly, and surely, because it is beyond their control, will not be going to see Oprah with them, even though it is her birthday!
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
And YOU dare call me a Slacker Mom.
Speaking of, there's still time to enter the contest for Jen Singer's You're a Good Mom. A winner will be chosen on Wednesday.
Whoops! And speaking of GOOD MOMS, check out My Two Army Brats. Michelle is not a good mom; she's a GREAT MOM! She was one of the first donors in the Manic Mom Virtual Blood drive and now she's spearheading a Relay For Life (where she got 20 people to donate blood in 4 hours!) Go Michelle! And while you're at her blog, you'll see Snarkalicious is still promotin' the Ta-Ta's for her Boob-A-Thon! So many causes, so little time! Talk about some Great Moms!
And not to worry, I'm sure there will be some swooning follow-up regarding what I am sure will be a heart-palpitating, knees-rubbing-together, palms-sweating, wish-I-was-locked-in-a-room-alone-with-you-so-I-could-bite-off-that-sexy-lower-lip-of-yours performance by
OK couldn't keep me away from a little bit o' live blogging. But Michael up first!? That is like NO FOREPLAY! There's no time for me to get all jazzed up, warmed up for the main event! That's like sex without the orgasm. Wham, bam, no thank you ma'am. And what is up with his stupid neck thingies and ascots? Get rid of his stylist.
OMG, could Manic be falling out of lust?
So now that he's done, there's nothing else for me to watch? Paula's chiwauwaus jiggling all over the place? I don't think so.
OK, Jason, I almost want to go watch Wizard of Oz. You hit that one out of the park. Admittedly, wasn't sure about the ukelele at first, but that sweet little shaveless face of yours... hmmm... no ascot... my new fave?
Me to Ajers: Who's up next?
Ajers: Kristy Lee.
Me: Oh, doesn't matter, she's getting kicked off this week anyway.
So I check her out anyway; she's got a strategy though--she throws out those God songs in order to up her chances. Have you noticed that?
OK, I LOVED Simon after what he said about Jason being Fantastic but now I hate him for not loving David Cook. When he finished his performance, I yelled out, "HE IS A ROCK STAR!"
Come on, was that not GREAT!?!? Yes, a little bit Eddie Vedderesque with the writing on the hand, but way cool I thought! I'd like to Give Back something to a couple of them boys!
Carly's going for that rock star image Simon so wants to see her in, but frankly, she reminds me of Cher's little sister, don't you think? I thought the song was good though. Hey, the show must go on.
I'll just quote Mr. Manic on David Archuletta's performance: "I think he just crushed it." Ditto, dude. Ditto.
Who do we have left? Brooke?
Line of the night: Simon on Brooke's "You've got a Friend"... "Was it original? No. Was it pleasant? Yes. Thank you.
What do you all think?
Who's out Thursday?
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Here's a perfect example to back up the case that I am a Classic Slacker Mom.
TRUE Real conversation, and please don't leave comments about what a horrible mother I am for saying these things to my children ...
Day Four of Spring Break, the kids were yelling at each other like they typically did every day of the break. I was upstairs and we have an open section where I can conveniently lean over the railing to
Me: "YOU KNOW WHAT!?!?!?"
(They all looked up at me as I stood there red-faced in my towel ready to blow a gasket--mind you, it was the first shower I had taken all Spring Break.)
"STOP IT OR I'M GOING TO FREAK MY BALLS OFF!"
Silence for a couple of seconds, then Tukey looked up and asked:
"You have balls?"
Me: "I'M GOING TO GROW SOME AND THEN FREAK 'EM OFF!"
Now, I know I'm truly not a 100-percent slacker mom, maybe just a 78-percent slacker mom. And none of you are truly 100-percent slackers, but we have our good days and our bad days, right? To honor the slacker mom in all of us, and to celebrate the SUPER moms in all of us, I am awesomely proud to present an author whom I truly do consider a good cyber-friend of mine, and if I were still living on the East Coast, I am sure we would have met by now!
I have corresponded with Jen Singer from waaaaaaaay back when. Like from so long ago, I can't even remember the moment I first stalked her or what it was about, but you can bet I contacted her about something mom-related cuz she is the BOMB and she has her SHITOLA together and knows what is going on!
And she's just written her second book, “You’re a Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren’t So Bad Either”). Jen's first book was the hilarious and aptly titled, "14 Hours Til Bedtime."
Check out the trailer to “You’re a Good Mom:
Do you sense what's coming?
Yes! ANOTHER DAMN GIVEAWAY FROM MANIC, courtesy of Jen and her publisher, Sourcebooks.
Leave a comment on one of your most "Slackerish" Mom Moments (you know, letting them eat waffles for dinner, skip brushing their teeth, or play the Wii till their eyeballs drop out of their heads), and the one that cracks us up the most will win a copy of Jen's new book because deep down, we all know You're a Good Mom!
But act fast, cuz I might try to be Super Mom this week and get laundry done or some meals on the table, or make it to soccer practices on time, or pay some bills, or get some questions answered on Just Another Manic Mommy at BC.com so I might have to shorten the time limit for this contest ... try to get your entries into the comment section by Wednesday!
Thanks Jen! We love you! The perfect blend of Slacker/Super Mom! Keep making us laugh!
Thursday, April 03, 2008
So, this girl was born a guy and had her ta-ta’s removed, so they’re not there anymore, but the indoor plumbing’s still active, so why not just house a fetus? Why not get on Oprah and have People tell your story? Why not be the first “man” to have a baby?
Did you all see this show?
First, before I talk about this, can you all do me one quick favor? Oops, one OTHER quick favor cuz if you already went to Snarkalicious, that was the first favor, but I promise you these are all for great causes! Anyway, If you are a mom, or about to become a mom, would you please go over to one of my new favorite hangouts, BettyConfidential and take this really quick survey. It’s very quick. I promise. Have I lied to you lately?
Did He Want You Pregnant Sooner Than You Were Ready To Be Pregnant?
Here's the survey, right here:
My answer to that question was a big old FAT YES! Mr. Manic wanted to knock me up so far into yesterday before I was ready it wasn’t even funny. But I wasn’t ready. So I would just fake my orgasm, tell him I loved him, roll over, and go to sleep. Hah, just kidding. A woman doesn’t need an orgasm to get pregnant! But, a man needs to have one to impregnate a woman. Well, usually, unless a teeny bit of semen seeps out, but those would have to be really strong swimmers.
Anyway, did you take the survey? Thank YOU! Thank you, thank you, thank you! So, did your spouse, partner, significant “otre” pressure you into having a baby when you weren’t quite ready?
And what is UP with that girl/guy who is pregnant on Oprah? I did agree when he/she said it is every human’s biological right to reproduce. I get that. I do. Really. But I had a hard time accepting that he wants to be a man but also have a baby. That’s definitely having your cake and eating it too. Talk about Hannah Montana “Best of Both Worlds.” Huh? Did I just say that? Let me remind you I just had a week and a half of the flu bug raging through the house and now we are on Spring Break. The TV’s been on a lot.
I am trying to understand this gu’all. That’s what I’m going to call him/her now. A guall. Like a guy/girl. He lopped off his boobs. Took testosterone to make his clitoris grow into a teeny-weeny weenie, so he could have sex with his wife, who consequently has had a hysterectomy. And now they are having a baby together. Whacked out.
Was I watching Oprah or Jerry?
I have a headache.
I don’t feel like discussing that subject any longer so I would like to hear from you, the VIEWERS, in the comments please.
And, hey, maybe he was trying to let us women know we are not alone, to get a real feel for how it is for us when we go through pregnancy. Like this guy did!
You can read all about how Darren, sweet man that he is, wore the male version of the pregnancy belly for a mere 24-hours (sorry Darren for saying mere, while I respect you to PIECES for your gallantness--double-parenthesis as I ask myself if ‘gallantness’ is a real word but see there is no squiggly line underneath--you can ask any woman who has made it through the whole nine months of pregnancy and while I am certain you are WAAAAAY better and more sympathetic/empathetic than 99.9999999999999999999¾ percent of the whole male population when it comes to understanding pregnancy, I will not worship a man as being completely understanding of pregnancy, ever, not even the so-called man giving birth from the Oprah show, cuz that guy-girl, in my book, is not a man, until a man can completely go through every facet of Pregnancy Joy and Utter Bliss.
I’m just sorry you underprivileged species will never get to experience the one trueness of what it is like to be the bearer of all good and whole. Man, do I sound snark-i-bitchy or what?!
But, for those of you who want to read Darren’s fun and right-on-target with the uncomfortableness factor of being pregnant, his online 24-hour diary can be read HERE.
Thanks for taking the survey you guys! Thanks for humoring me with your thoughts on this gu’all who is pregnant and having a baby.
I NEED A BLOG BREAK!
I will be mailing out the Jennifer Weiner books probably THIS weekend. Sorry it’s taken me so long, and Shelley, I am almost done with Certain Girls! I felt kind of bad today though; I brought it into a public bathroom with me, and thought of that Seinfeld episode when George took a book into the bathroom with him. You still want it though, right?
Live Blogging on American Idol next Tuesday. I see there is a show on Wed and Thursday as well. Who's up for Live Blogging with me?
Three new book giveaways are coming up by these great authors so check out their websites and read up on them so you can enter the giveaways—they’ll be easy contests! Apologies in advance to the one anonymous reader who no longer reads because she got mad at me for self-promoting and holding too many contests. I hope you found some other blogs you can better relate to.
Jen Singer's You're A Good Mom
Kelly McMasters' Welcome To Shirley
Trish Ryan's He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
And a fun Momesque t-shirt giveaway from LTDCHIX.com headed your way in honor of celebrating my BIRTHDAY!
Stay TUNED, Stay Manic! I will if you will!
And if you see Michael Johns, tell him I'll let him carry my baby for me!
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
If it's ALLLLLLLLLLLL wrong, I don't want it to be right!
Could he USE me for a while?
So, the show JUST started and they bring out Michael FIRST. Mr. Manic is saying, "We have to get rid of him so I can have Mommy back."
But he is SAFE!
Now AJers just came downstairs and asked, "Who's still on American Idol?"
Mr. Manic says, "David Archuletta, Carly, and Mom's boyfriend."
See! Even my HUSBAND knows he's MY BOYFRIEND!!!!
I just said, "OMG, if he was right here, I do not know if I would be able to hold back. I might just have to kiss him."
Mr. Manic said, "I would let you kiss him on the cheek."
"I would not be able to stop there."
The kids were all like EWWWW.
OK, so now I'm totally bored with the show cuz some country dudes are singing and that's all for my guy. THIS SUCKS! BORING SHOW! But you know, Simon is kinda cute in a dirty boy kind of way, and Swishy and I have discussed the Simon Sandwich if you get what I mean? Uh huh. Yes we did.
Besides, I would not be able to share my Michael sandwhich.
~ ~ ~
Tukey just came in--
Tukey: Mom, if you could ask an idol a question, but you could not choose Michael Johns, who would you choose to ask a question to?
Me: David Cook.
Tukey: I knew it!
Me: And I would ask him ABOUT MICHAEL JOHNS!
OK--David Cook's up next: SOFA SAFETY! And high blood pressure. The stress of it all. I can understand.
Ramiele--STOOL. She deserves it. Weak performer. She's like a puppy dog that deserves to be kicked, and NO puppy dog deserves to be kicked. THAT'S how badly she deserves to be kicked.
Christy Lee Cook--Stool, but I loved her makeup last night. I'm voting Ramiele the weakest link to date.
OK! Commercial update! I don't know exactly what Simon said to Carly about her clothes last night, but that apology and the way he winks every now and then... I think he might want her OUT OF HER CLOTHES! He said she was very CUTE! Simon's got a cru-uuusssh! Simon's got a cru-ussssh!!
And yeah, the clip of Phil Stacey from last season. Well, I TOUCHED him at the American Idol tour last year. TOUCHED HIM! He gained some weight since the tour, didn't he? But he's still cute. Nice facial hair. I like a little facial hair. And David Cook's new facial hair--definitely a plus. He looks rock-star hot.
Ramiele is out. My prediction. It is 8:37 p.m. and that is my prediction. Watch. Well, I don't know. Depends on how many friends she has voting. Could be Kristy Lee.
(Maybe this would have been more fun had I announced I was gonna do a Live American Idol blog post? Then we could all be commenting TOGETHER rather than me sitting her live blogging with no one reading!)
Ooh! It's back on, but I bet Dolly-Fake-Tits-and-Everything-Else is probably singing next...
Nope we're just talking Idol Gives Back, and Mr. Manic is telling the kids, "Now you know how good you kids got it. How would you like THAT to be your life?!" Free lessons courtesy of Ryan Seacrest. Thank you Ryan. How much of your millions do YOU donate Big Time TV star man?
Now here comes Dolly Parton. I'm at least going to go peek at her outfit...OK, so she's singing about 'something lifting her up' and I go, "Something's lifting her up allright" and AJer's starts cracking up. And then the song talks about gravity... helloooo, it ain't gravity keeping those triple-quadruple boobs in place. And is she actually singing about Jesus? Is she THANKING Him for her BOOBS?
WHERE IS MY MICHAEL JOHNS!?!?!?!
Mr. Manic just adlibbed this from Dolly as she was speaking to Ryan: "Just don't touch my hair, face, microphone or breasts cuz it could all fall off at a minute's notice."
When I started cracking up at that, he asked, "Are you gonna go blog that?"
He so gets me.
Back in a moment to see who the latest American Idol Outcast is.
OK, I almost feel sorry for her. And for the things I said.
Like how I feel sorry for ice skaters when they're doing their triple-axles or their triple-sauckows and they stumble and almost fall but then they pull themselves together but not before they look like a bumbling fool and you're watching and you automatically shield your eyes cuz you're embarrassed for them for making a mistake. Well, that's kinda how I feel for her.
But hey, she gets to go on tour.
WITH MICHAEL! The lucky little girl!
Here's my prediction for the last four standing:
Take that one to Vegas and bet on it baby!
This has been a live American Idol blog post brought to you by Manic Mommy.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Jen, like you, I don't dig these memes, and I never do them, but for you! Anything!
So, here goes:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your entry.
* * * Six Unimportant Things about Manic Mommy -- for some of these I’m going for the gross-out factor!
1--I am not afraid to use the bathroom when I have to use the bathroom. Target, Walmart, Panera. If I gots to go, I gots to go. I had this discussion the other day with a friend. How some people will say, “Oh, I can’t wait to get home from vacation so I can just go to the bathroom.” WTF!? You hold it in for seven days! Now that’s sick. Find a toilet and use it. That’s what they’re there for. However, I refuse to go au natural like a certain friend of mine who may or may not be out jogging on occasion and feel the need to release her bowels in the wilderness. Or behind their neighborhood’s stately entryway announcing the name of their subdivision. Now THAT is just sicko.
2--I guess we’re just going with the bodily function theme here for a moment cuz the next thing I feel like sharing is this: During a one 24-hour period time in my life, I managed to vomit in four modes of transportation:
A cruise ship
In that order.
During this same 24-hour time frame, I also vomited in probably a sink, toilet, the grass, and an ice bucket. Want proof?
There are photos of me throwing up in the ice bucket, sitting Indian style, the bucket between my legs. And I am nekkid. You have Mr. Manic to thank for that. When he returned to our cabin from the midnight pizza buffet, he thought the photos would make a great vacation memento.
3—Back to the bathroom theme. After I take a shower, while still in my towel, I lean backward over the sink and comb my hair so the hairs don’t fall all over the floor because that drives me crazy. I lose a lot of strands of hair when I comb my hair. Then I will roll all the loose (and yes, that is LOOSE, not lose) hairs into a ball and throw them away. Because I am that anal. I will also, on occasion, unscrew the cap of the toothpaste and blow hot water through it to clean all the gunky stuck-on toothpaste that has accumulated there to make it nice and clean again. And, by the way, have you ever pulled out your sink clog thingy to look at how gross it can get? Do it. It’s really gross. Then get some Drano and let it soak in your sink and you’ll be amazed at how clean that thingy does get. It’s nasty. Especially if you have a spouse who shaves daily. That thing gets mungy. Do you know that word? Mungy. That's right up there with MOIST and Twatwaffle. That mungy moist twatwaffle. Use THAT in a sentence Jennsylvania readers!
4—I had this crush on Ajer’s baseball coach a few seasons ago and while this is probably really unimportant to you all, we ran into him in the FROZEN food section the other day. AND, I had on the same shirt as I was wearing the LAST time I saw him which was at one of Ajer’s basketball games like two months ago! YES! I remembered the shirt I was wearing! And the kids totally KNOW I am crushing on this man. THEY were nudging me and making eyes at me while I was trying to have a flirty conversation with hot baseball coach guy!
I even went home that night and confessed to Mr. Manic: “You know, if you ever ditched me, I think I would be brave enough to call up the old baseball coach and ask him out.” Yuh HUH! It’s not my regular grocery store either, but now I know where he shops!
You know how you have like fantasy crushes on say, Michael Johns? Well, Baseball Coach Dude is my real life crush. Too bad Ajers quit playing baseball.
5—I am just now thinking I could someday use a boob lift, but if given the choice of free money and the option to do anything I would want to do with my body to make it more appealing, I would probably go for some thigh/ass liposuction… nah, scratch that—I have seen how those thin sharp bands of steel are jabbed into the skin and shoved and prodded till the fat cells are crumbled all up. Nah, I think I would just take all that money and use it for facials and massages and extra yoga classes. THAT would make me feel really good!
6—I’m looking around trying to think of a number six. I’ve confessed, I’ve grossed out, I’ve shamed myself, embarrassed myself, mortified ... let’s see, what else is there to say? Something unimportant about me… It’s boring to say that I don’t think I have ever broken a bone in my body… I can tell you something kinda cool... that today, and this is no joke, today my sister and I are the EXACT SAME AGE! April Fool’s Day is my sister’s birthday and for two weeks she and I are the same age! We are Irish Twins, which means, if you are an Irish Twin, this means your mom liked to drink a lot and as soon as she could again after not being pregnant again, she did and then she got pregnant right away. Either that or she lent her younger sister her birth control pills so her younger sister wouldn't get pregnant and instead my mom got pregnant. Those are the two theories of how we Irish twins came to be! And on that note, one last thing I will share that’s unimportant, or maybe not … I have an IUD and I know how to use it! And… and… get this… it doesn’t expire until 2013!
Tah Dah! How’d I do!? Now, since I have opened up and torn out my soul to you all, as Jen Lancaster did, I am requesting that you all, even you anons, please share a tidbit of your life with me--something quirky, something shameful, something silly, something you might not share with anyone else in the whole wide world! Let's hear it! And for those who I must tag to share six things, I give you the following:
Swishy because she’s my BBFF.
Jim Cooney at Ink and Beans because he French kissed a giraffe so I'm sure he's got some more interesting things to share, plus his blog name is pretty darn cool!
Karyn at Pretty In the City because I haven't hung out with her in a while and want to see wuuuzzzzup!
Martini but I’m afraid he will not play our reindeer games.
Drewpy Drew because he will play in these reindeer games.
And Michelle Is The Best aka My Two Army Brats cuz her hubby is in Iraq for a long time and she’s at home with two little ones!
And for the rest of you, come on, dish a little bit and share some scoop with me!