Monday, October 30, 2006

Serves Me Right

Let me preface this by saying not all the laundry has been folded and/or put away as yet. Let me also say this post serves me right for making blog jokes about my wifely duties in our home. Let me also say that mother's instinct is a powerful thing and you should never second-guess yourself when you think, "Should I or shouldn't I?"

Let's begin with a story where I will no longer write, "Let me."

We have a very nice woman come to clean the house every other week. She's from Lithuania and I was talking with her the other day, because I talk to my cleaning lady. Others might just ignore the person who does the most important job in their home, but I want this woman to feel comfortable when she's cleaning pee stains off our toilets (which, I always wipe down before she comes so she's not too grossed out).

Anyway, we were chatting and I was telling her that her English was very good. She has been in the states just six years. I asked if she spoke any English before she came here.

She said, "Three words."

"What were they?" I asked.

She smiled shyly, and said, "Hi."

"And?" I asked. Of course, I figured out what the second word would be and I was correct.

"Bye." Pause. And then she said, "Third word..." Giggle, pause...


So, she came to America knowing Hi*Bye*Fuck.

Hey, in America, maybe that's really all you need to know to get by!

Anyway, not my "Serves Me Right" story.

She was changing the sheets on Diva's bed and I had noticed there are waterproof pads on her bed, and I almost took them off, because she never was a "bed-pee-er" like Ajers was, but some little inkling in the back of my head said, "Nah, I can do it later."

I am sooo glad I had that little voice in my head because Saturday night we went out to dinner for Ajers birthday and the kids drank about sixteen kiddie cocktails each, and she then peed in the middle of the night, not five, but probably six gallons of urine on her bed, soaking through two blankets and her jammies, and her sheets.

But not through the waterproof pads!

She calls for me at 3:42 a.m. and I rush to her.

"My bed's wet."
(How come they never know it's CUZ THEY PISSED THE BED!? It's as if they think it just rained on their bed, exactly at the spot where they would have peed, but they don't think it's possible that they could have peed the bed.)

I stripped the first layer off the bed and was thrilled to see the round wet stain planted smack in the middle of the waterproof pad! The mattress would not smell like a nursing home or a daycare center with diapers filled with pee! I was practically dancing around her room at 3:42 a.m.

I hush whispered to her, "Do you know you have the smartest mom in the world!"

"Uh-huh," she said. Then, "I'm the smartest little girl."

"You sure are!" I exclaimed. Then I thought, wow, she's being pretty nice, and we're getting along so well; she's in a pretty good mood for having just woken up in a slush of piss. Maybe I should continue this happy little conversation with her...

"Do you know you have the most fun mom in the world?"

"Uh-huh." Again! She agreed! Well, I might as well keep the compliments rolling so I said, "And do you know you have the most beautiful mom in the world?"

Through droopy eyes and now dry undies, she replied, "Uh-huh... and I'm the most beautiful little girl in the world."

UH-HUH! You said it sister friend!

I thought it was interesting that the last two posts were about laundry (which I now had a ton more to do thanks to those kiddie cocktails and a forgotten-bedtime-trip to the potty!) and the Dove beauty campaign! We've come full circle here on Manic Mom. I bitch about the laundry, and more falls from the heavens! I talk about the perception of beauty, and suddenly, Diva and I are beauties sharing secrets in the middle of the night.

* * * * * * *

Happy Halloween everyone! Tell me what you and/or your kids are going as!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Quote of the Week

I'm walking upstairs, once again avoiding the two baskets full of unfolded laundry in the living room. I yell to Hubby, "Hey, why don't you make yourself useful and fold this laundry!"

His witty reply:
"I don't want to take away your job security!"

Friday, October 27, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Addendum to Previous Post

Please note:
I * H A V E * O N L Y * B E E N * M A R R I E D * O N C E.

So far.

My husband claims his second wife is only in the eighth grade so he's stuck with me for a few more years.

Five Or So Things

BBFF Swishy tagged me. She knows (well, she does now) that I hate tags, so I'm switching it up a bit. Instead of Five Things About Me You Don’t Know, I'm taking it one step further and making this a new tag called:


And here they are, in no particular order:

1. I was married once before but for obvious reasons I don’t talk much about it. It was a very short marriage-just shy of two months, but going into it, we knew we were making an incredible mistake but it was one of those things where we were high school sweethearts, and our parents were the best of friends (obviously, they are not friendly anymore).

The wedding was spectacular, because his mom and my mom were crazed with the details, which was good for me because I’m not much of a planner, as you all know, so I just sat back and let them take over.

I should have known when he smashed the cake in my face at the reception that it was not going to last. That’s the ONE thing I asked him not to do the whole time we were planning to get married. That bastard.

2. When I’m at the computer, thinking, I pick the bottom of my feet and collect the dried-up skin and keep it in a pile next to my keyboard. I am going to continue to do this until I land an agent and then see how big the pile gets. I’m betting I can probably fill a pillow with it. I just doubt it’ll be that soft.

3. Religion and Dances: I went to Catholic school for 11 years, including preschool and kindergarten, and a stint at an all-girl’s school in ninth grade. Ninth grade was pretty traumatizing, I think. Well, at least the after-football-game dances were. Everyone would convene in the hall where the dance was and dance and make out and talk to cute boys. Except me. I still cringe and have major flashbacks when I hear The Fixx and that one song that was playing one particular night I was feeling very desolate, unattractive, lost, lonely, loserish, pathetic…

(OK, now I gotta look it up on itunes…OK, I’m cryin’ here now: One Thing Leads to Another.)

I didn’t go to my high school senior prom, but my sister, who was a junior, got asked by a senior (one who I would have said yes to, probably, had he asked ME, but NOOOOO, he had to go and ask my cheerleader sister to MY prom. Actually, one guy did kind of ask me, and he was a guy I really did want to go with, at the time, but I laughed because I thought he was joking. And who knows, maybe he was too. He didn’t go to prom either, but he did start a rumor later that year that I gave him a BJ. When I ran into him at our 10-year reunion, I reminded him of that rumor, and he said he didn’t remember. I told him, “Well, let me just tell you pal, had it been true, you can bet your ass you would HAVE remembered!” I smacked my lips and strutted away.

I did go to my ninth grade (another traumatic experience, looking back) “Christmas Formal” and damnit, I’m going to find that photo and take a digital picture and post it here just so you can see how freaked it was! I went with our neighbor’s son, who I had a major crush on my whole life (but he’s not the one I married), and I wanted this beautiful sapphire blue floor-length dress at JCPenney’s for only $90 (see, I was frugal even then!), but my MOM wanted me to have this DISGUSTING floral uglier-than-the-ugliest-piece-of-clothing-you’ve-ever-seen dress for $20. Guess which dress I got? Thank God the lights were dimmed at the dance.
I never went to a homecoming. A guy asked me when I was a junior and I said yes. I bought a beautiful sea-foam green tea-length silky dress for the occasion, along with some of that matching bright green mascara that was hot back in 1985. I had everything ready. I was talking to the guy on the phone. We went to the mall together. I thought I liked him. Then, I got scared. He was talking about drinking and smoking, and hey, that was just not Manic’s thing back then, so I chickened out and told him like four days before the dance I didn’t want to go.

That is probably the reason I never got to go to my senior prom – because I was such a bitch to that guy over the homecoming thing. I later wrote a short story called “Memories of a Lost Homecoming” that was a combination of my danceless experiences with homecoming and prom. It was published in our school literary magazine. I can pull it out and put it on the blog if you all want to read it? It sucks.

4. When I had my tonsils out at about four years old (Mom, how old was I?) I vividly remember the doctor putting that black rubber stinky-smelling balloon thingy over my face they made you inhale so you would pass out, and telling me to count backwards from 100. I think I got to number 98 and I passed out (of course, I was four, so I’m sure, UNLIKE Swishy, I didn’t know how to even count TO 100, and they were asking me to count it backwards!).

So, I wake up from surgery, feeling a little groggy and I just remember it being all hospital green like in the old days, that green that’s not quite avocado but isn’t exactly green-green, ya know? More of a yellowish-green with a hint of blue. Now that I think about it, the colors of the walls at the hospital recovery room probably matched my homecoming dress I had to return and the mascara that I kept.

And then I noticed a soft plastic measuring cup attached with an elastic band had been put on my wrist, and I was four, so I was thinking, “Wow, I’m high,” and then, “Wow, I must have done really well during the surgery because they gave me this plastic cup thing around my wrist as a prize for being so good.”

Then I barfed all over myself.

Years later, when having flashbacks of my surgery, I then understood the cup was for me to throw up into.

5. In probably eighth or ninth grade (it was probably ninth, since it was the year of trauma and I hadn’t been thinking straight), I had a book report project to do and I think we got to choose a place to do it on.

I chose Greece. Maybe because my parents had visited Athens, or more than likely, probably because I thought all the Greek myths were pretty freaking cool. In fact, freshman year in college, I took Greek Mythology, which was a three-hour class on Monday night and the old-lady professor would spend the whole time telling us Greek myths while I furiously took notes. It must have fascinated me because I got an A in the class.

Anyway, back to my ninth-grade project. We had to write blah-blah-blah stuff on our chosen place and include pictures. For whatever fucked up reason I had, I decided to save time and just cut the pictures from our set of encyclopedias.

Sidenote: For those of you too young to know what an encyclopedia is, it’s a bunch of books with a whole bunch of stuff written in it. Like, say, for instance, you wanted to learn about Athens, then you would go to the A book, and find all sorts of things about Athens and great photos too. Or if you were doing Greece, you could go to the G volume and find stuff out about Greece. It was a very cool invention back in the day. In fact, they even had salesmen who went door-to-door selling volumes of encyclopedias to women wearing foam hair curlers and pink furry robes, smoking cigarettes, with a baby on her hip and a toddler behind her picking his nose and the soaps blaring in the background while Luke proclaimed his love to Laura, or Greg got injured in a skiing accident and Jenny was rushing to his bedside, while Opal was trying to figure out how to split them up, or maybe even Dr. Noah Drake and Blackie having a discussion on how to foil Scotty. (Wow! Is my memory amazing or what?!)

OK, so, Greece. My book report.

I cut out pictures from our encyclopedia. I didn’t ask my dad to take the books to his office to photocopy them. I didn’t go to the library to find books I could photocopy. I. Cut. Them. From. The. Book.


My parents were pissed. They yelled. They got mad. They probably even grounded me, and back then, grounding me was telling me I couldn’t lock myself in my room and read any more V.C. Andrews books for the week, so that was a tough punishment! For real.

I guess I learned my lesson. Now I respect books. It was a stupid thing to do, but maybe I was procrastinating till the last minute and the report was due the next day? I don’t know. Regardless, I have never treated a book that way since; I truly learned my lesson.

Oh, and you can bet your ass I got an A+ on that report.

OK, we all know No. 1 is a lie. All the rest, except for parts of No. 2 (there’s not a big pile because I put the dried-up skin in the garbage when I’m done for the day), are completely, utterly, stupidly true.

Hmmm… I think maybe I could write a memoir on being stupid. I’ve got plenty of material!

And tagging these folks, who I hold near and dear to my blogheart.

Karyn Bosnak
Ask Allison

PS--another thing I had to add. Nine years ago today, I became the happiest mom by having Ajers, via an emergency C-section, at the age of 28. Happy Birthday Ajers. I love you!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


So, yesterday and today Tukey and I played a game we made up and it's really fun, it takes almost no props to play, and hardly even ANY energy. It's best played in the morning, and sunshine is required.

We played "Kitty Cat."

The sun was actually out yesterday, and in our house, we have a window above our front door that lets in loads of sunlight. In the morning, it hits right at the upstairs landing in the hallway just in front of Tukey and Ajers bedroom. Somehow (don't ask me how or why?) we decided we were going to be kitty cats so we went into the hallway and I laid down...

(Grammatical sidenote here: "lay, lie, to lay, have lain, lied, layed, laid" has always stumped me and I don't want a grammar lesson here, just go with whatever I wrote, K? Thanks.)

So, he and I were lying on the hallway floor, basking in the sun, talking about being cats and stretching in the warm spot and shielding our eyes every now and then from the light. And, No! WE DID NOT START LICKING OURSELVES!

Tukey decided that I would be much, much more comfortable if he were to get a pillow and blanket for me so he went into his bedroom and grabbed like six pillows and his blankets and his crab pillow, and his Hulk pillow, and his soccer ball pillow and we snuggled on the floor in the sun for like an hour.

And, far be it for me not to play a game by the book, and in doing what a normal cat would do, I felt it was my motherly duty to perform like a cat in the sun...

I fell asleep.

It was the most fun game we have EVER played!

So, today, when he came into my room, he said, "Let's play the Kitty Cat game again!"


This time, I got MY pillows and blanket, and he got out all the same stuff he had from yesterday and we played the game again. He even asked if he could have a bag of chips up there (I am the meanest mom when it comes to food in the house outside of the kitchen!), and I actually said YES!

So, Tukey sat up there, munching his chips, and doing a Madagascar word find puzzle, lying in the sun, while I pretended to be the pet cat he is never going to have.

I am so excited Tukey invented this game. I hope we get to play it every day!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Back In The Day

We ran into a fellow football player of hubby's this weekend at our college homecoming, and you know how there's that initial recognition factor you have when you see someone you know you know but you're not sure what the connection is.

Well, when I figured out how I knew this one guy, leave it to me to blurt out, "Oh yeah! I know who you are! Remember, I left my earrings and watch in your room!"

He looked over at hubby for a minute, who was immersed in a conversation with another guy he played football with, so to ease the tension, I blurt out, "Oh, don't worry about it! He knows we fooled around!"

Blurt. Blurt. Blurt. Open mouth, whatever comes out, comes out.

Flashback to February 1990: It was the weekend after I had met hubby, and hey, he hadn't called me, and I was not one to be all depressed sitting around waiting for the phone to ring for a guy I had just met the weekend previously.
(I can assure you right this moment that S and S, my college roomies and readers of this blog, are yelling BULLSHIT at the computer screen. They had to live through real-life Manic Depression!).

Anyway, we girls went out to "Scamnesia" (Amnesia was really the name of the bar, but who the hell could remember?!), and I hooked up with this guy and we were dancing and he even tried to get away from me, accusing me of dating hubby, and scared to be with me because he thought hubby and I were 'official.' I was like, "No way, he didn't call me."

So, that's how I ended up at this guy's place the week after I met hubby. But at the time there were no discussions, no promises that hubby had his sights set on me. Hell, he didn't even call me. I was a free agent.

So, really, technically, this guy was the last guy I ever, um... kissed as a single woman. Unless you really think it's fair to consider anything that happens in Daytona during Spring Break legitimate?

Later, in the stands during the game, I said to hubby, "Did you hear what I said to Dave?"


"I reminded him that I left my earrings and watch at his place!"

"Ha, did you really say that?"


The cool thing about hubby is he's just so cool. He puts up with me and my shit. And laughs at all the stupid things I do. We had so much fun at the game. It's awesome to go back to the place where you first fell in love, to remember what it was like when the only thing you had to worry about was whether you felt like ditching a class to go to the bar instead.

We ran into some other guys we knew too, and when they asked what we've been up to, hubby answered, "She's still a whore."

And we all cracked up.

Now, you might think, "Oh my God, how completely disrespectful of him to say that." But this is how we are with one another - we constantly joke and play around, and he'll call me that, but believe me, I call him much worse, and we just have fun with it and know we love each other incredibly, and know that when the kids are out of the house, we're still going to have fun with each other, and if he's lucky, I'll still be his whore.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


This is how I felt the other day. I don't feel like this today. When I write a poem, I don't think about what I'm going to say; it just comes out of me, if that makes any sense, and the beginning phrase comes to me and I just write that phrase down and wait to see what comes next. I'm just expressing myself in the moment and this blog is my place to write what I feel. If it disturbs anyone, it's not meant to. It's just me writing my thoughts.

Mom, no need to worry, I am FINE! 143

I can feel it
writhing upward

No longer

I've tried to drown it,
push it

xxxxxxn ...

for just

But it surfaces and I can't stop the flooding.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Slave -

I am

A slave
to the questions I
cannot ask

A whore
to the
questions I
cannot answer

A muted child shunned
into silence...

the questions
I do not know.

And a criminal
to the questions

I know but

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Did Ya Ever Wonder?

Just exactly what would happen if you decided at that instant not to tap on the brakes and slam into the blue Saturn in front of you? To risk wondering whether or not the car would move in time, since the light was already green, but the car is just sitting there, brake lights gleaming, and you are cruising along, thinking, “OK, that car is going to start going any minute now so I really don’t think I need to put on my brakes.”

Did you ever wonder how much money you would save by continuing past Starbucks rather than going in for a tallwhitemochanonfatnowhip?

Did you ever wonder who strives to become a barrista? Are there people out there who think, “When I grow up, I want to work at Starbucks.” Maybe.

Did you ever wonder how much in tips they make at Starbucks, and if there are any employees that dip into the tip jar when no one’s looking?

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to not shave your armpits for like two weeks?

What would happen if you started your diet seriously today, knowing that February and Mexico are only four months away?

Do you ever wonder what would happen if you just went upstairs to lie down and said "Screw it" to everything else that needs to be done?

Did you ever wonder if people look at you funny when you’re shoveling McDonald French fries slathered in ketchup into your mouth so fast you can barely taste the saltiness of the fries.

Did you ever wonder what your ex-boyfriends think about when they read your blog?

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to answer the phone call from the agent who is so in love with your novel, they must represent you?

Do you ever wonder if your husband thinks you're fat but just deals with it because you’re married?

Do you ever wonder what it would really feel like to swim in a pool of jello?

Do you ever wonder if you took all the diet Coke you drank in month, and poured it into a pool, how high would it be?

Do you ever wonder why you spread that crap fake margarine onto your toast/bagel/bread and think it's healthy for you?

Do you ever wonder what would happen if you squeezed a chipmunk hard enough?

Do you ever wonder how much better you’d feel if you just signed up for the damn gym already and made a commitment to make yourself healthier.

Do you ever wonder what people think of you when you smile at them in the grocery store?

Do you ever wonder if your ex-boyfriend remembers that time you listened to the Phil Collins tape over-and-over-and-over that one night when your parents were out of town?

Do you ever wonder how your life would be different if you hadn't chosen the college you chose to attend?

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be 37 with no children?

Do you ever wonder if your neighbors think you're a crazy-nut-white-trashish-type of girl because you go outside in a beat-up t-shirt, capri jammie pants, no bra, and no coat in the middle of winter?

Do you ever wonder why there are so many damn things on the floor right now?

Do you ever think about how Andrea Yates could have drowned her children like that when your own kids are in the tub laughing and playing sweetly together?

Do you ever wonder what you would smell like if you didn't shower for a full week?

Do you ever wonder how many of those dust mites you really sleep with every night?

Do you ever wonder who actually plans on making liver and onions for dinner?

Do you ever wonder if the chicken defrosted last night was left out just a bit too long that it might not be safe for your family to eat?

Do you ever wonder what they’ll say if you serve them the chicken but then you eat a bowl of cereal instead?

Do you ever wonder if this damn post will ever end?

Do you ever wonder if you’ll get through all the things you want to do in life before you get in a car wreck, get a divorce, get cancer, have a child, win an Emmy, give up?

I guess I might.

Wonder, that is. Not give up.

Monday, October 16, 2006

It IS Wrong

To spend more than half your freaking night playing this crazy thing from Google Images.

Fair warning. If you start, you will be thrust back into the days when you felt like there weren't enough quarters in the world to feed your addiction to Ms. Pacman, Q-Bert, Centipede, Jungle King, Frogger (my personal favorites, and btw, I kicked ass on Q-Bert and Centipede thankyouverymuchIwassuchacoolteenager).

Completely addicting, and you can ask Swish all about it because she and I were not only doing the Google Image Labeler all night long, we were also Instant Messaging and comparing our scores, and then yelling out loud at our computers when we got matched up with a sucky Image Labeler Guesser.

You'll completely understand when you check it out.

And please, feel free to come back and thank me for helping you discover a new, fun way for you to completely put your mind to mush and waste your day.

This has been a public service message (unbeknownst to Google) from Manic Mom. (If you didn't read Monday, there's an additional Is It Wrong post below.)

Is It Wrong?

Today I sent Diva and Ajers to school, then crawled back into bed with Tukey and slept till 9 a.m.

Is it wrong?

Today I checked out two local gyms, then went and ate a McDonald's double cheeseburger and fries.

Is it wrong?

Today I made noodles for the kids for dinner, and I ate cereal.

Is it wrong?

Well, this post isn't going where I thought it would with the "is it wrong" formula so I'm just gonna stop here.

Is it wrong?

Is it wrong to wish for a thin and muscular body? Is it wrong to hope your jeans are not too tight when you try them on in the morning? Is it wrong to not shower on a gloomy Monday morning?

Is it wrong to want to sit here and just do nonsensical stuff on the computer when my closets STILL need to be cleaned out?

Is it wrong to ... hmmm... trying to think of something else that might be perceived as wrong...

Is it wrong to be glad I don't have to wake up at six a.m. to feed a child any longer?

Is it wrong to feel secretly superior to

Is it wrong to want to stay in bed and sleep longer than I have a right to do so?

Is it wrong to crave a white chocolate mocha nonfat, no whip of course, in order to offset the dang cheeseburger I ate at lunch?

Is it wrong to think I should get off my anti-depressant medication because Dustin has done so?

Is it wrong to just want to click and comment and click and comment and find new blog friends every night when I could be doing real-paying work or writing my second novel?

Is it wrong to want to spend all my money on novels I want to buy but not have the time to sit and read them?

Is it wrong to feel jealous of

Is it wrong to want to throw up ... just kidding, I don't have to.

Is it wrong to ask you to go over and click my photo at, asking you to ignore the chickies that feel it's necessary to show their boobies to everyone?

Is it wrong to want health, happiness, unconditional love and a two-book, high-five-figure publishing contract?

Is it wrong to be sitting here typing all this hoobalaboo when the kitchen needs to be cleaned, the kids need to be put to bed, and I need to

Is it wrong to hope you'll answer my question?

Is it wrong to not know if Asia is to my left or right, or to not give a shit about who's running for what, or what our president is doing these days, or any other political whatever.

Is it wrong to wonder if David will love his new mother and miss his father in Malawi?

Is it wrong to hope Tom and Katie never get married?

Is it wrong to think it's really strange that Farrah has anal cancer?

Is it wrong to sit here and make fart noises with my mouth while I try to think of the next "is it wrong" sentiment, cuz that's just what I did.

Is it wrong for me to wonder what you think of me?

Is it wrong to say I burned my tongue eating the white cheddar shells straight from the pan?

Is it wrong that earlier, when I was boiling the water for the noodles, I was in here doing something and when I went back into... nah, scratch that one, I don't want to share it with you.

I share too much. My mom says so. So. I'll be done for now.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

If You're Bored

My profile photo was chosen (?!?!?) for this site called

If you've got nothing better to do, which is already quite obvious because you're reading Manic Mom right now (HA!), then go on over to and click on my photo, which is the same photo as the one to the right of my blog. I don't win a prize or anything; it'll just make me feel special, and maybe some more people will stop by Manic Mom's.

You can add your own photo there too; let me know and I'll vote for ya! Share the love, share the blog, but don't share body fluids and the world will be a better place!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Night


PLUS THIS is going to make for a very happy start of a Manic Weekend.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Literary Portrait of The Children

This was going to be titled: This Is Why I Love My Children So Much, but because of later details, I had to change it. In this telling of some of today's events, you will be able to understand each child and his/her personality just by these few expressions and words from the lil' darlings:

This a.m. Ajers is still not 100 percent. Yes, he probably could have gone to school, but when he came into my room at 6 a.m. with another headache, I decided no school for him. So, he crawled into bed and we both fell back asleep.

Twenty minutes later maybe, I see/hear/feel the bedroom door open and sense another arrival. It's Tukey. I whisper to him to come to the other side of the bed because Ajers was next to me.

He shuffles his little feet over and climbs in next to me. And let me just tell you he sleeps in his little boxer briefs most nights with no shirt, and he's still got that cute little boy body that's all warm first thing in the a.m. He's warm and tired and whispers to me in his adorable husky little Tukey voice:

"I'm so lucky I got in your bed in time."

Me: "In time for what?"

Tukey: "In time to snuggle!"

Next, after some awesome snugglin' and more snoozin' with my boys, I slip around Ajers and ask him if he needs a cold cloth or some tissues. He doesn't. I tell him to keep sleeping and that I am going to get his sister up for school.

Ajers to me: "I love you and appreciate all the things you've done."

So, these two unexpected yet beautiful gifts from my boys arrive this morning, and make their way straight into the center of my heart. It's a great feeling to be loved that much in so few minutes of the day.

(queue horror music from Chainsaw Massacre or Friday the Thirteenth -- Ooh! That's tomorrow!)...

It's on to Diva's room.

And I knew there was no way in hell I'd get the royal lovey-dovey treatment from her. And it kills me. Absolutely devastates me to know that already, at the age of seven, at the hour of seven, I'm getting an earful of shit from her. I am having flash-forwards of the angst we will endure with each other when she is a tween, a teen... ugh... I am frightened.

And rightfully so.

I go in and as I do every day, I gently crawl into bed with her.

SIDENOTE: I probably have told you that when my beautiful and wonderful mother, whom I love dearly to this day (yes, she's reading this), used to get us up for school, she would throw open the bedroom door, flip on the light with no warning, and in not a very quiet or calming wake-up voice, she would say, "Get Up!"

Cringe. Ouch. That hurt.

So, I promised that I would never wake up my children in that manner. Mom, I love you; I know this wake-up-call tactic did not scar me for life, but whoa, it was tough!

So, done with sidenote, back to story...

In Diva's warm bed, I snuggle up with her and remind her that her Uncle Boomer is here! And that today is going to be a fun day at school! And that I love her! And that it's time to get dressed and pee!

Reaction. Not good.

See, she went to bed mad at me. For No Reason. So, she wakes up pissed at me. For No Reason. And here I am being so sweet and kind and patient, and THIS IS SO NOT MY STYLE, but I am putting out the white flag this morning. Hell, I wanted a three-for-three today.

Didn't get it.

Instead, she starts whining. And bitching because the clothes are not the clothes she wants to wear.

"Okay, sweetie, you go to the bathroom and I'll pick out something else for you to wear."

Into the bathroom she goes.

She doesn't come out.

I knock. "Honey, sweetie-pie, come on out. I've got some nice clothes for you!" Yes, my smile pasted onto my face is beginning to crack a little.


"Okay honey. That's fine. I'll go back into your room and wait."

She comes out.


"Okay, that's okay then. You can pick out anything you want, as long as it's long pants. It's going to snow today!" Smile plastered. Look at clock. Dear God, 24 more minutes of this shit.

More bitching and griping about God knows what, and then I finally say, "Okay. Here's the deal. Put on whatever you want, I don't care what you wear. But get down stairs in five minutes. If you're not down there, then I'm taking the candy out of your lunch."

Five minutes later, she's down, grumpy as all hell, but dressed!

Nineteen freakin' minutes to go. Smile and wave boys, smile and wave, I think to myself (Madagascar Quote).

Our neighbor Abby comes over. She's in fourth grade and a couple days a week I get her on the bus since her parents have to get to work early.

"Hi Sweetie, do you want some waffles?" I ask.

"Sure," Smiley, bright, lovely, grateful Abby replies.

"I'M YOUR SWEETIE! NOT HER!" Diva yells.

What I want to say is, "No, you're not my sweetie; you're an ungrateful bitchy little girl who is driving me crazy and making me incredibly sad right this minute."

What I do say, "You're right honey, you're my sweetie!"

I grab the chocolate chips because Diva does not eat butter, or syrup, but I put literally about 8 chocolate chips on her two or three waffles (see, I'm making excuses for myself here already)

I sprinkle the girls' waffles with the chips.



Nah, I didn't really say that, but man, if my mind shot out the words before I had time to process them, I would seriously be in deep Department-of-Children-and-Family-Services shit right about now.

So, long story totally overplayed and too long, when she leaves for the bus, I'm at the last strand of rope and I'm like, "Goodbye. Have a nice day."

She has the meanest, ugliest frown on her face like she hates me, and boy, this does really kill me to rehash this because maybe we seriously do have mother/daughter 'issues' (PS to MY mom... I totally threw in that word ISSUES because I knew you'd 'get it!'). I just wish she wanted my love and affection the same way the boys do; I wish she appreciated me and said kind unexpected things to me like the boys do. She does sometimes, but I mean, if this is what it's like when she's seven, how is she gonna be when she starts her rag for cryin' out loud? I don't know if I can handle it?

I'm kind of scared she's going to be the rebellious teen who tries all sorts of drugs to spite me, breaks all kinds of rules, and I'm afraid I won't be able to control her.

Tell me I'm crazy, and that you have a child that causes you the same concern and angst. Tell me I'm not a bad mom (avoiding puke aside!), tell me she'll outgrow it and will someday appreciate how much I love her.

When she's ready for the bus, she is fuming at me, but knows she can't just stomp off. I tell her we're going to have to have a talk later, and for her to go to the bus now. She puts her arms out, rigidly, defiantly, for a hug, because she doesn't want to leave without knowing I love her, that I'll always be there for her, no matter what. And I will. I promise you Diva. I'll be there for you always.

I hug her tightly, tell her I love her so much, and to have a good day at school. We do our little exchange of special "Kiss-for-my-pockets" and I tell her I love her again.

And then she's gone. And I miss her. And my day is not what it should have been. Not how it should have been gauging by how my boys reacted to me first thing this a.m.

(I'm going to go look at her beautiful, sleeping angelic face right now, and remember how much love I felt on that day she was born, the day when I had first thought I had just delivered another son, only to discover I had a beautiful, beautiful little precious girl to love with my whole heart for the rest of my life.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Can You Do This?

Identify your own child's vomit?

Allow me to offer more detail:

Ajers woke up this a.m. sick, crawled into bed with me, complaining of a headache and stomachache. Now, I know this kid is sick when he says he is because he is usually up and dressed, teeth brushed, and breakfast set out and ready before he even comes in to wake me up in the morning.

Diva and I call him "Dad Junior." Every morning, he comes in to wake me at 7 a.m., then I go crawl into bed with Diva to wake her up, and snooze a bit more. She and I hear Ajers downstairs prepping the waffles, and then we hear him start up the stairs. She and I whisper to one another, "Uh-oh, here comes Dad Junior," and we fly out of bed, pretending to be up and ready.

So, this morning, there was no "Dad Junior" rushing us along, just a sick little guy in bed with me. I told him he didn't have to go to school. He said, "I guess I won't be learning about Medieval Times then if I don't go to school." I said I was sure the teacher would catch him up with what he missed. Then we closed our eyes for a little while, but he got up and ran into the bathroom to puke.

Dangit. I had stuff to do today, since Low Motivation Factor earlier this week had prevented me from doing stuff I needed to get done. And now, I would be caring for a sick child today.

From the bathroom, after he retched a few times, he called for me. Thinking he wanted a cool cloth or something, I got out of bed. He tells me, "You have to go wake up Diva."

Go get 'em, Dad Junior.

The kid is still concerned about his sister even when he's barfing.

Get Diva off to school, and then I grab Ajers a pedialyte popsicle, which he cannot keep down, then later I give him some 7-Up, and a few sips into it, he's back in the bathroom heaving it up. Not much in that tummy, but it's those retched-sounding yaks that you know are killing the tummy muscles.

Later, he's STARVING, dying for food. I tell him he can try some bread and if he keeps it down, he can maybe have something else later. He keeps it down. I give him another piece. Seems like he's doing well.

Good. Because I have to go pick up my brother, the one who got arrested at my other brothers' wedding in July, remember him? Well, he's in town for a visit, and he's coming to my house via train after a conference in Chicago.

So, AJers seems to be doing well, and he's begging for food.

"Hey, how about this?" he asks. It's a can of Chef-Boy-R-Dee Ravioli.

Nuh uh. Nothing red. That stuff is just not fun barfing up, and believe me, I know because I had, not one, but two identical bouts puking Barfaroni when I was in college. Yes, we were poor, yes, we had no sense of what tasted good, but why on earth did I choose to eat Beef... Barfaroni from the can in college? Yuck.

So, I know what that can do to a stomach on its way out.

I give him Cup-O-Noodles chicken soup. He takes his time with it. Says it's the best soup he ever had. Says he's feeling so much better. And, is it time to go pick up Uncle Boomer?

We get into the car. Things seem good. But then he gets a little pale. I open the window. I have a puke bowl in the car; it's been in the car forever because of my puke-boy Tukey. Ajers holds onto it.

We get Uncle Boomer. Then I have to run into the grocery store to pick up a few things. Everyone seems cool. Ajers is psyched Uncle Boomer is here. Ajers is feeling better, I can tell. Uncle Boomer has to pee. Uncle Boomer and Ajers go to the bathroom while I grab some bread, lettuce, and five frozen pizzas because I know Uncle Boomer will want to eat late at night when we come home drunk Friday night (we're taking a cab, so no worries there folks!).

I am shopping, enjoying the muzak. I always love the muzak in the grocery store, yet I'm convinced they choose specific songs to make you long for something you don't have. I've blogged about how I always hear the Ex-Boyfriend songs at the grocery store. Or they'll play Sailing, takes me away to where I ... whatever. That song, and some others, and Journey. They love playing Journey, and then some sad crap. I think they play the sad crap to put you in a sad, crappy mood when you're right next to the chocolate aisle.

It's like they have a behind-the-scenes DJ, and as soon as you turn into the aisle with cakes and cookies, they're like, "Queue the Sad-I-Miss-My-Ex-Boyfriend-Wonder-If-He-Ever-Got-Married-And-Had-Kids music!" the minute you hit that aisle.

I'm serious. There so has to be a job like that!

Anyway, the "Sad-I-Miss-My-Ex-Boyfriend-Wonder-If-He-Ever-Got-Married-And-Had-Kids" music gets cut off and I hear "Clean-up in aisle four!" and it's really weird, because after the fact, I thought to myself, "Oh, how funny. I heard them say there was a clean-up."

I turn the corner, looking for Uncle Boomer and Ajers and I see the yellow hazard Caution Slippery sign. I look down.

It's my son's puke.

Cup-O-Noodle chicken soup puke.

I can clearly identify that whoa, my son puked right here, and I even just heard the Clean-Up announcement, and I didn't even know it was for my.son's.puke.

I was really intrigued by this fact.

Then, I got concerned, and went to the bathroom and knocked on the men's door.

"Uncle Boomer? You guys okay?"

The door opens. Poor Ajers is pretty muched slathered in wet pukey clothes, with drippy spit-up noodles on his jeans.

Uncle Boomer says, "He puked."

No shit.

I said, "Go to the car, I have to get one more thing."

Uncle Boomer says, "Fuck the food. Let's get this kid home."

Now, let me tell you Uncle Boomer is a father; a father to an eight-month-old. He hasn't exactly been around the block yet. I'm not done shopping. The kid is done puking, but I'm not done shopping. I tell him I will get the groceries and meet them outside.

They scoot out of the store, and I'm left kid-free, a cart-full of stuff I needed, and dang it, I'm not deserting the necessities just because of a little vomit.

Nope. I stroll out of there, side-step the pool of chicken noodle puke and I seriously have to chuckle because I can just picture my brother, walking with AJers and then Ajers booting all over the place, and the funny thing was he barfed right in front of the pharmacy in the grocery store, and there were like seven or eight people waiting for their prescriptions. All of them watching my son puke in the store.

And they all had to think Uncle Boomer was Ajers father. And here I am, guiding my cart around MY SON'S PUKE, laughing to myself, being seriously glad Uncle Boomer took the fall for Ajers!

Does this make me a rotten mom? Cuz maybe I a.m... Hee, hee, hee.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Motivation Factor:

e x t r e m e l y...




Thursday, October 05, 2006

Coffee Talk with Manic

Homecoming Queen and I are invited to friend J’s house tomorrow to view the episode of Oprah she was on. We drop friend J off at her home after yoga. This conversation ensues:

Homecoming Queen to friend J: Do we have to get all cute to come over?

Friend J laughs.

Manic: Do we have to shower?

Homecoming Queen: Do we have to wear makeup and put on jewelry?

Friend J laughs again.

Manic: Oh! And I’ll be sure to bring my Doonie and Bootchie purse!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Later, in Starbucks, Homecoming Queen and I see two neighbor friends, the same two who got the memo last week that it was DON’T-GIVE-A-SHIT-HOW-WE-LOOK Day. Today, apparently was ANAL Day.

Manic: Oh, your nails look nice!

Neighbor: They’re not real.

Homecoming Queen and I look at our chewed up nails.

Neighbor: I’m anal about my nails and hair. Everybody’s anal about something.

Manic: I’m anal about food. Oh, and I guess I could be “anal” about my hair too. See, it looks like SHIT!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ajers came home from school and didn't want to do his reading before football practice. I told him he didn't have to do it then, but as soon as he got home from practice, he would have to do it, and then he could watch NO TV for the night.

He gets home, takes his shower, reads to Tukey (from his new Bible, no less!), and then gives me a look that I know means he wants to watch TV.

Me: NO! Didn't I tell you NO TV if you chose not to read when you got home? Did you think I was kidding when I said that?

Ajers grins at me, and then says: But mom, you're an easy nut to crack.

Guess what? It was such a spot-on comment, and it made me laugh so much that he proved me right.

I am an easy nut to crack. Dang it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Strange Word

Look at it. It's weird, isn't it? And what the HELL is it?


I mean, I get the lantern part, but really, who's jack, and is it an Irish sort of pumpkin, with that little 'o thrown in their for good measure?

I guess I could Google it or look it up somehow, but I'd rather you guys tell me about it.

What's the strangest, stupidest, corniest word you know?

And speaking of corny, why the hell is there candy corn? Why is it specific to Halloween? It's not a vegetable. Corn is not orange? I prefer the ones with the brown tips more than the white ones, don't you? Although I'd never buy the stuff purely for the heck of it.

Go Here

You have to read Karyn's Encounter! and vote. It's too great a story.

Guess The Category; Shouldn't Be Too Hard!

List inspired from Eileen Cook. Check her out, she's awesome.

The hairy back thing.

And little snippets of dried crusted saliva on the corners of his lips.

Bad breath.

Crooked teeth.

An overtly obnoxious flirty mannerism with other women.

Man Boobs.

Nose hair.

Ear hair.

A cheesy-looking mustache.

Silk shirts open too low with too much chest hair hanging out, and gold chains.


Bad sense of humor.

Thinking everything he said was funny.

A man who didn’t know how to unload the dishwasher…

Or iron.

Or kiss.

Or make me feel special and beautiful on days I’m clearly feeling insecure.

Someone who listens to country music 24/7.

Someone who listens to rap music 24/7.

Or Jazz.

Or Hip Hop.

Have some diversity.

Old guys in red convertibles trying to look twenty-something.

The guy who INSISTS he’s got the bill, when you’re out with a group.

A guy who drinks wine coolers.

A guy who drinks pink cocktails, unless they are pink because it’s a Red Bull and Vodka (Oh wait, Red Bull is kind of yellowish, no?)

A bragger.

A muscleman.

A guy with too much jewelry.

A guy who cares more about his shoes than I do.

A guy with too much cologne.

A guy who chews tobacco.

A guy who spits.

A guy who swears too much.

A guy who belittles his girlfriend/wife/date in front of others.

Can you add more?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Writing Goals

At first I was going to apologize for posting about writing, but then I thought, "No. It's what I love to do. It's what I need to do. So, I'm going to blog about it."

I've been away from the writing for a while, working on revisions for 40 Weeks, submitting to agents, waiting ever-so-patiently for YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE to call to tell me they are so in love with the book they cannot live another day without having the permission to sell it to a publisher.

[Disclaimer: yes, maybe this is a not-so-subtle hint for you, but if it works, well, you've got my phone numbers ladies! Well, you've also got my email address, so if you're going to shoot me down, please do it gently and kindly.]

Enough groveling and begging for my dream agent. That'll get me nowhere. However, knowing that sitting around and waiting will really get me nowhere, I had an epiphany the other night.

Originally when I wrote 40 Weeks, I often said, "There will be no sequel." I had no desire to ressurect the characters I grew to love and write about for almost five years on and off (okay, mostly off, because I was busy raising three babies, but still...).

But, as I said, there was an epiphany and I discovered I didn't want to be done with them. At least not all of them. I wanted to bring to light some of the lesser front-and-center characters because I felt they had their own story to tell, and one night, seriously, in a dream, or maybe in that fog-induced-almost-asleep state of mind, I figured it out.

And now, I'm putting the words back onto paper.

Swishy has been an incredible source of energy to get me writing, and we've been encouraging each other to get out there and do what we want to do. We continue to say someday we'll go on the Swishy and Manic Book Tour, where we'll have to come up with some entertaining and exciting things to do!

So, she and I have been talking and setting personal daily goals, although I haven't talked to her at all today (Swishy? Where are you? Oh, I just popped over to your blog and see you're out getting a black eye in softball... sounds fun). I don't even know if she knew my personal daily goal for today was the same as yesterday's which I proudly met and exceeded both days.

To write 1,500 words for the new novel.

I wrote 1,857 yesterday.
I wrote 1,842 today.

This amount of words averages about 6-7 pages. I think that's about all I am able to handle late at night. I think it's a start. So far, Novel #2, Sequel to 40 Weeks, consists of 9,921 words, 33 pages.

Which means, I am one-tenth of the way done with my first draft.

This makes me happy. I used to wonder when I read about authors who wrote six or seven manuscripts before selling one, I would think, "How can they write so many? How can they just give up on their first and find something else they will want to write about and love more than their first attempt?

I think I'm figuring it out. I hope so anyway. And I hope I'm getting better at what I already know I love to do. And I hope with my T.P.T method of writing-and-not-giving-up, that someday, the right person, or people, will find my work and love it as much as I do.




Here's an excerpt:

By the time he got to the hospital, Jana was already being prepped for surgery. He didn’t even get to see her. They just whisked him into a room, and tried to explain everything.

“I need to be in there with her,” he said, after a nurse told him.

“Mr. Pederson, we don’t recommend this in this kind of circumstances. In fact, we’ve heavily sedated Jana, so she’s likely not to remember much.”

“I have to be in there with my wife. And my children. They are my children.”

So, they handed him the green scrubs that were too short on his legs, and told him the best-case, worst-case scenarios, which both sounded bleak.

“You do know that the boy twin…”

“Will.” Josh said.

“Yes. I’m sorry. Will is no longer breathing. He’s…”

“You can say it. Say it. I know he’s dead.”

“The baby girl is…”

“Charlotte. We’ve named her Charlotte.”

“We’ve still got a heartbeat, but we have to get her out of there as quickly as possible. We’ll take Will out first, and then Charlotte. It’s going to be quick. You won’t get to hold either, or see them for very long, but we will give you a chance to say your goodbyes.”

He knew the nurse was trying to be as kind as possible, but he didn’t like the sound of this.

“You mean my hellos,” Josh said.

“Yes. Well, then, shall we go?”

The nurse led Josh into the sterile operating room after they scrubbed up to their elbows, and he put on his surgical mask. When he saw Jana lying on the table, arms spread out, tubes attached to her wrists, he couldn’t help but think of Jesus on the cross. Dear God, he had thought, this is our cross.

This is our cross.

He couldn’t even kiss her, could barely make out her face. She was heavily sedated.

“Jana?” he whispered to her, voice cracking. He had to keep it together for her. Later, later he would let himself cry. Later, he would let himself tear up anything that got into his way, because he was so full of rage, he knew he had to let it go somehow, but now was not the time. Later, he would scream as loud as his lungs would allow him.

“Joshy?” Jana asked. “Our babies. Our babies.”

Monday, October 02, 2006

Loss and Sadness

Today, I went to a funeral by myself.

With no tissue.

Bad move. Very bad move.

As I write this, I have one of those headaches that are specifically created by crying. My whole head aches, my face aches, my eyebrows ache. And I ache for the pain of the family who lost a dear man. A husband to a woman of 48 years. A loving father to two children. A kind grandfather to four grandsons and a beautiful granddaughter.

I’ve never been to a funeral by myself. As I drove there, I was thinking that I am perhaps now a grown-up, because grown-ups are people who go to funerals by themselves. But I’m also an idiot for going to a funeral without a single tissue.

I didn’t think I’d cry. I barely knew him. In fact, I didn’t know him. I was in the same room with him once, maybe twice. Maybe he smiled at me. Maybe he said hello. Maybe I wish I would have had a conversation with him.

Today, I learned about him. And I mourned the loss of his family. And I felt sad.

I thought about what it would be like to be his wife. His wife of 48 years. The mother of his two children. What it must be like for her to have to sleep in a bed now, for the rest of her life, with no warm familiar body next to hers.

What would that be like to have to live out the rest of your life without the one person you most loved, depended on, spent the most time with, laughed with, experienced the births of your children, your grandchildren… to not have that any longer?

How does one go on?

I thought of the casket, and what it would be like if my own father was inside. How I would feel. Would I want to touch the wood, knock on it, ask, “Daddy, are you okay in there?” How would it be to finally leave that casket at the cemetery, to know it was going deep into the ground, and to have to leave it, leave my father out there. Alone.

I can look out my window and see my friend’s home. I see her children every day. I see her get into her car, take her kids to school, walk their cute puppy. I see when they have visitors, when they take the trash in, when they get the mail. I see her laugh with other neighbors, I see the kindness in her actions. Every day.

I can’t stop thinking about how different her life is going to be now. Now that her daddy is no longer on this earth. And it makes me sad. And I want to make things better for her. And there’s really nothing I can do. What words can help someone who’s lost someone that close to them? What words will make his wife feel less sad, less alone, less angry? That they’ll be together again someday? That earth is just a small blip on the screen of the grand plan? That there’s an explanation to all of this, but we are not yet privileged to know what that plan is?

I guess someday, we will know the meaning of it all. And it will seem so obvious, so wonderfully obvious, we’ll ask, “How could we not have known?”

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Beyond

I didn't want to title this post DEATH, but my neighbor's father passed away this week. Her son and Ajers are very close pals and play together all of the time. I wasn't sure how Ajers would react to the death, especially because he had met the grandfather quite a few times.

It's interesting to watch a young child go through the process of trying to understand about death and the wake and a funeral and what it all means. The first thing he was worried about was if one of his grandfathers died too. I told him No, that both of his grandfathers are fine.

Today, he said to me, "Mom, I can't wait for you to die."

Um, okay.

Me: "Why?"

Ajers: "Because then I would know you're up in Heaven with God."

Me: "But wouldn't you miss me?"

Ajers: "Yeah, but I'm a tough kid. I probably won't cry."

Shit. I would kind of like it if he could at least shed a couple tears for his old lady!

And then later, we explained to him that Daddy and I would be attending the funeral service tonight.

His reply was one that I even had to share with my neighbor and her mother at the wake tonight.

When I told Ajers we were going, he looked up at me in absolute awe and said, "You mean you got invited!?!"

The awesomeness of our innocent children. God love them. God bless them! Mine and yours, and those to come. And say a tiny prayer for my friend and her family as they grieve the loss of their father and grandfather. Who I can tell was an incredible man just by the way his family is.

I just have to close this post saying that there is something greater out there and someday, we will all understand what it is. And an Amen too.

God Bless Ya!