Monday, December 31, 2007

Heading to 2008

This is the quote that's going to drive me into 2008 and the successes I hope to achieve:

"The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people fail more."

So I'm saying... Bring on the failures! Because that's the secret!

Hope you've set some goals to make you a happier and healthier YOU!

See Ya Next Year!

Peace UP, Manic Style!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Rollover **Addendum in Comments

I did NOT get that low-sodium cookbook I was positive I was getting, which was a BONUS not to receive! Instead, I got PEACE and joy, and surprise and delight in my children’s eyes as they discovered all of their gifts. I got naps and treats, and calmness and relaxation. Yesterday AND today.

Today I got a spring-like day of 41 degrees, and an awesome walk outside to some great music and my very own thoughts. I got sunshine to warm my face, no soggy snow, a skip in my step, and genuine good feelings today, a nice cross-over from a very good day of Christmas yesterday.

I got a husband who came home from work today at noon, who is having maybe even more fun playing the Wii than the kids are having. I haven’t seen this much bonding with the family since we went to Disney World. Wait. That wasn’t bonding. That was hell.

I got 26 hours and 10+ years’ worth of home videos transferred to seven DVDs where I can watch my children zoom through their childhood at a moments’ notice. I can watch as Ajers build towers out of paper towel rolls and then knock them down as he loved to do at age three, and listen to him as he tells me how he, “Definitely, definitely loves his presents” at age four.

I can watch Diva say, “Hi Steffy!” at age two when she decided that’s what she was going to call me instead of Mommy. I can watch as she holds her newborn brother and caresses his cheek. I can watch as poor little Tukey spends HOURS rocking in the swing, stuck in the corner of the family room, while the other two kids danced to “Turn The Beat Around” in their t-shirts and undies and diapers. Now I know how I survived those years. I kept Tukey happy in the swing, and I never clothed my children!

I love having these snippets of their childhoods available to skim whenever I want. I love looking back to see what their bedrooms looked like; what the house they grew up in used to look like; how CALM I actually was as a mom to three little kids under the age of four. I love knowing I did it and I love knowing that I’m kind of a good mom, and that my kids are happy, that my kids were happy, and that they’ve had a great Christmas, and they are completely totally loved by my husband and me, and to me, there is absolutely no other gift better in the world!

I hope your Christmas was special and memorable, full of surprises and love!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

May the gifts you receive be the kind that cannot fit under the tree.

May they be the kind you can receive as well as give, continuously, day in and day out, throughout the year, throughout your lives.

May they be the intangible best kinds!









and Happiness!

And yes, I just realized LOVE is on the list twice. Subliminally, I must have put it there twice for a reason. Peace UP!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

All I Want for Christmas

OK, if asked what I want for Christmas, the first two honest answers I’m gonna give are diamond earrings the size of quarters, and a laptop. But ideally, what I really want is a thoughtful gift. A thoughtful gift to me is something that requires THOUGHT. You know, something the gift-giver needs to THINK ABOUT. Not something the gift-giver needs to rush out the weekend before Christmas in a flurry of excitability in hopes of finding the most perfect-smelling candle (which, as a sidenote, whether it be a candle, or just a smell in general, I am drawn to these families of smells: cinnamons, citruses, peppermint. Aren’t those just divine scents?)

Anyway. Thoughtful gifts. Not candles. Although, if a candle in one of the above families of scents were to come prettily wrapped, I would be delighted, and rush to light it, and be happy to sit in the glow of the flickering glimmer and be happy. Not that it’s particularly thoughtful, but if it didn’t arrive in musk or floral scent or those heavy dark and warm odors that give me headaches, I would light it and bask in the glow and the smell and be happy and thankful.

Other thoughtful gifts might include pretty stationery, notepads, journals, things for my office because I love to write, love to be in my work space, love to be surrounded by pretty things that inspire me to write. And books. Obviously, I love books. But books are very hard to pick out for me. I am very picky when it comes to selecting books for me as gifts. Your best bet is a bookstore gift card, and I for one, will never, ever look a gift card in the horse’s mouth. Or however that saying goes.

Now, this post is starting to sound greedy, and it’s not intended to be so. It’s meant to be humorous, and I’ve got a story to share. So, I told Mr. Manic, all I wanted was some sort of thoughtful gift; after, of course, telling him my first choices would be the diamond earrings and/or the laptop, which we both laughed because we are so not extravagant gift-givers.

The other night, he said, “I think I’ve got a couple things figured out for you for Christmas.”

“Are they thoughtful?” I asked. Because, of course, I have already chosen, purchased, and wrapped quite a few thoughtful gifts, not only for him, but also for his three children, his parents, my parents, his grandmother, my grandmother, his siblings, my siblings, etc. etc. etc. etc. You get the picture. Loud and clear. Yeah. Thought so. Thoughtful.

“Are they thoughtful?” I asked again.

“Well, I think you might be offended by one of them.”

“Offended?!” I paused to think about this. Why on earth would somebody, a spouse even, want to give you a gift that would offend you? Who does this? This sounds like a Seinfeld episode! OMG, I wish Seinfeld was still ON! I could submit this for an episode! It could be Jerry and Elaine discussing this very topic!

So, I start thinking about gifts to offend. “OK, I think I’ve got an idea, but I don’t want to say it in case I’m right.”

“Say it.” He says.


“No, but that’s a good idea.” He said.

“For the record, I would not be offended if you got me some personal trainer sessions for Christmas.” I reply.

Our day went on, and we didn’t discuss it further. In the back of my mind, I really didn’t think he’d get me sessions with a personal trainer because that is quite expensive, and I’m already “working on my fitness” via the health club, and yoga twice a week, and Weight Watchers (where I lost .08 this week and am now officially down 5.6 pounds DURING THE TOUGHEST TIME OF YEAR TO EVER DIET!) So, I pretty much wrote off the personal trainer thing, which was fine with me.

But last night, I was upstairs, and it came to me suddenly and I KNEW what the offending gift was. I just KNEW it, and without even saying anything, I thought to myself, “It so better NOT be what I think it IS going to be, because it would be the most non-thoughtful gift EVER!”

I went downstairs and I said, “I just figured out what your offending gift is.”

“What do you think it is?”

“I DEFINITELY don’t want to say it. But I’ll write it on a sheet of paper and when I open the gift on Christmas morning, I’ll hand you the sheet of paper with what I wrote down and then you’ll know I knew.”

“Just tell me what you think it is but don’t look at me and I won’t look at you when you say what it is.”

I’m laughing and he’s laughing because we’re both freakishly convinced we both know what we know what it is. Because we do, and I’m like, Dear God. Puhlease. Get some creativity.

And I go: “It’s a low-sodium cookbook and don’t even wrap it, and you might as well return it right now.”

And he goes: “Am I that predictable after 15 years?”


Two things to consider here:

I HATE to cook.

HE'S the one on the low-sodium diet.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ode To My Doctor

I took a Christmas gift to my doctor today. I had a follow-up appointment. The last time I went, she watched me as I fidgeted, listened as I cried, told me I wasn't comfortable in my own skin, and she was absolutely right. She could tell just by watching, listening to me. She knows me, she gets me. I walk in and she's totally there for me, ready to hear what I feel like telling her, what I need to tell her, what's on my mind. She's sympathetic, proactive, caring, considerate.

She'll give me any test I ask for. She's open to trying new medications to help me feel better, to help me with weight issues, thyroid issues, headaches, depression. I walk in the door and she'll shove a Xanax prescription at me (not really, but I do joke with my mom about this). She calls to check in on me, is available for appointments practically immediately, knows my history, smiles when she walks into the room while I'm sitting there, waiting never more than a couple of minutes for her to arrive.

I haven't had a migraine in over a month because she put me on topamax. And strangely, this medication has given me an adversion to STARBUCKS, can you believe it?! I have not had a latte since the day after Thanksgiving, and even then I didn't finish it. Think of all the money I am saving! I'm back on Effexor and feeling the need to pummel the kids less and less every day. Kidding! I've never wanted to pummel my beautiful angels! I'm really feeling I can face the holidays cheerfully and readily. That's got to say something. I'm back on WW, and enjoying the choices I'm making in food, although it's going to be a challenge the next couple of weeks. So, all in all, good feelings abound.

I've never given a gift to a doctor before. Never felt like I should, or never wanted to. But I wanted my doctor to know how much I appreciated the time she spends helping me to get well, the time she spends caring for me. I know she's busy; she's a mother of three young boys, AND she's a doctor! She's got her own problems! I just wanted to let her know how important she is to me.

It was just a little gift-a candle, a notepad, a beanbag paperweight with one side imprinted BAD DAY, the other side printed GOOD DAY, a monogrammed post-it note holder and some chocolates.

I'm hoping the card is the most meaningful gift though. In it I wrote: "I'm hoping the season brings you all the peace, health and happiness your care has brought to me."

Because she really has made me better!

Is there an unexpected person in your life you have considered giving a gift to? Someone who would totally be surprised by it? These are my most favorite gifts to share!

Kids Keep Reminding Me: Five Days Till Santa Comes!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Crazy Quick Blog

Cuz I know you can’t possibly have time to read it, and I don’t have time to write it, but since it’s kind of been a tradition for well, I don’t know, THREE FREAKING YEARS NOW, I guess I’ll post something real quick here.


You too? Yeah. You too.

Let’s see. Tukey’s sick. Had to pick him up from school. Supposed to take Diva on a field trip tomorrow, one in which the parent has to drive oneself and not go on the bus. WTF kind of field trip is that? But I guess that’s a good thing. Who really wants to be on a bus with a bunch of screaming-hyped-up-Santa’s-coming-in-one-week third graders going on a field trip? Yeah, glad I’m going in my own car. But wasn’t sure I was going to go since Tukey is under the weather, but neighbor extraordinaire, (pick one, they all rock) came to the rescue.

Another neighbor’s dad passed away so I was busy organizing meals for the family, cuz that’s another thing we do in our ‘hood besides cookie exchanges and drinking. It’s sad, especially this time of year.

I’m also in the throes of trying to get these dang packages together and shipped out so I don’t have to pay priority shipping and was waiting for last-minute things to arrive in order to send them out.

And on top of all that, yes, I’m crazy, and am hosting another smaller neighborhood “Adam” party here Sunday evening. Why not have a party a week after hosting another party. All the shit’s still out. Right. Yes, I am Manic. I am shaking my head as I type, thinking, what the hell am I thinking. Why do I overschedule. What am I trying to prove. What am I doing? Why am I doing this?


I guess I enjoy it.

Some housecleaning necessary blog-talk.

Be on the look-out for my friend Eileen Cook’s book (hey, that’s kinda funny, like it’s a cookbook, but it’s not a cook book, but it is a Cook Book cuz it’s Cook’s Book…)

Anyway, UNPREDICTABLE by Eileen Cook will be debuting in February and you’ll definitely want to pick up this book. Just trust me on it. Have I ever, ever, EVER steered you wrong on a book recommendation? No. I haven’t. And don’t worry, I’ll be reminding you again when it comes closer to Eileen’s debut date. And Eileen will be here in Chicago late February, right when it’ll be perfectly chilling and freezing and probably icy stormy and snowy, and you can bet I’ll be front and center cheering her on as she reads something hopefully smutty and hilarious from her debut novel. And hopefully, all you Chicago readers would want to join me for this fun event! Go Eileen!

You can also read the first chapter by going here: Chapter One: Unpredictable.

Another great woman, another cyber pal of mine, Kim Stagliano, who I am just as certain would be a real-life pal of mine if we were to live near one another, is holding a contest on her blog right here. Yes, just simply click RIGHT HERE to win some fun teaching products for kids. Go Now! Tell her Manic sent you. Please! Pretty please. She rocks. She’s awesome. She’s funny as hell! You’ll love her! I promise.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Now on to the fat-ass recap of the week. With all the cookies around, I was really going to be thrilled if I managed to just not tip the scale in either direction; if that little needle just teetered on that exact same spot it had been on the week previous. When I got there, my palms were sweaty, and I admit, I get very nervous before stepping onto the scale. My heart does race a little, I feel truly nervous. And… I wear the EXACT.SAME.CLOTHING. Every single time. No matter what. Since I started out this time in the winter, I wear like work-out pants, but they are capri-mid-length, because even I don’t want long pants on when I weigh in. And I have on a short-sleeve Life is Good shirt. Cuz, I need to be reminded. That life is good.

Damn. This is not your regular Crazy Quick Blog I had intended it to be.


OK, so, first, let me tell you some of the things I ate this week. Oh, screw it. Some of you already know what I lost because you read the comment trail. I thought the chick wrote down the exact same number as last week after I got on the scale, and I was like, “OK. That’s cool.” Then she said, “Good job.” I was like, “Good job?” For staying the same. The she said, “You lost 2.2.”

Yay me!

With an eighteen-hundred-plus cookie exchange included!

And here’s some of the stuff I got to eat and ENJOY this past week, cuz it’s all about writing everything down, and tracking those points, right? RIGHT!

The first night, we went to Carrabba’s and I had Shrimp Scampi, and I asked them to go easy on the lemon butter sauce, and instead of eating all EIGHT pieces of garlic bread, I only ate one piece. The guy even came back to clear our plate and was like, “You’re not going to finish it?” We told him we were starting our New Year’s resolutions early. I also did have another piece of bread, a $15 freaking glass of wine, that made me LOOPY! But it was some damn good wine! And an awesome dish I had been craving of crushed tomatoes, grilled chicken, pasta, garlic, white wine, easy olive oil. I took half of it home and ate the rest for lunch the next day.

I also ate this plate of two hot dogs with buns and these chips:

Total points for THIS WHOLE PLATE – SIX!
The kids keep asking me: "Mom, why do you keep taking pictures of all your food?"

Grilled peppers, onions and goat cheese pita pizzas, like four points total.

There was one day where I had like 10 points left over. I had the big dilemma of NEEDING to find something to eat. My WW gal pal suggested I needed some dairy or some protein. Here was a hard thing to figure out. Should I go to McDonald’s and get a sundae or a hamburger?!?!? Can you believe it? I went, and had a vanilla cone for three points, and that was all I was going to eat, but then Tukey didn’t like his cheeseburger, so I ate three bites of it, called it three points, and called it a day!

And let me tell you, I had my share of cookies, but I made sure to make myself accountable for everything I put into my mouth…. GET YOUR FILTHY MINDS OUT OF THE GUTTER YOU PERVERTS WHO READ THIS AND CRAVE LINES LIKE THAT!

OK, that’s all, so much for a crazy quick blog. Now it’s back to wrapping, and planning for Santa, and field trips, and making sure kids aren’t sick, and trips to the post office, and not overindulging, and Christmas parties (other people’s, and one I’m hosting), and remembering ‘the reason for the season, and being thankful for friends and family, and still figuring out how to fit in the laundry, the cleaning, the cooking, the planning, the oh my oh mee oh my when can I get a vacation……

Already I’m ready for school to start back up and it’s not even out yet!

I’ll try to fit in another post before Santa and his reindeer visit but if not…

Oh, who the hell am I kiddin’? I’ll be back!

Peace UP and goodwill toward men! And women too, cuz we just totally ROCK!

Here's to being stress-free--want a tip--go knock back some egg nog!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cookies Aftermath

First, I want to show off the cookies *I* MADE:

As I write this I am savoring the remnants of a Seven-Layer cookie bar… yum… And yeah, so much for the freakin’ willpower. Of course, I did fabulous all day yesterday. Unbelievably fabuloso. Even put on a pair of pants I wasn’t sure would fit and hadn’t worn in over a year. Not sure if they looked all right or not, but they were zippable so that was a plus. Am not looking forward to WW tomorrow but Oh-to-the-Well. That’s the start of a rap song by the way. One I’m making up. Sounds catchy… Oh-to-the-Well, Weight Watchers is hell.

So, a blast last night. Like 14 bottles of wine between 35 women, and ON A SCHOOL NIGHT! What does THAT say about my neighborhood? Yes, we like to par-tay. I have the best neighborhood in the entire world, minus the crack addicts that keep trying to rob all of us, I’d say it’s a pretty rockin’ hood! Not often does a hostess throw a party and does she actually GET to enjoy the party herself, but even I had a great time!

Mr. Manic was out of town so I got a babysitter to strap the three kids down upstairs so they would not murder one another so I could relax. Another thing I was a bit pre-stressed about was my carpets. The weather outside is frightful. Well, the snow has stopped, and there are no more ice storms, but that means it’s now all muddy and sloppy and salty and goopy out, which translates to muddy and sloppy and salty and goopy getting tracked all inside. If you haven’t guessed my now, I’m pretty anal about crumbs and dirt and messes so I was concerned about my carpets and asked one of my friends how rude it would be to ask everyone to remove their shoes upon entering.

“People will understand,” she said. “It’s crappy outside. They have kids, they know what it’s like.”

“But what if they don’t?” I whined.

“You’re creative, come up with something!” she suggested.

So I did:

And it worked:

And not having to worry about my carpets getting filthy and having to steam clean them today sure beat taking and handful of Xanax last night and following everyone around with a bottle of Resolve or Bubble wrapping the floor (remember that commercial from a few years ago?!)

Here are some pics of the cookies in my dining room the night before, as I had all the ladies drop them off in advance--look at all the boxes of cookies!

The pre-assembling of the cookies was even so much fun!

Here's how the boxes were shaping up as we assemly-line filled them in my kitchen:

Here's a close-up of what the boxes looked like after they were filled:

Cookie boxes filled -- Don't they look like pretty presents?

One of my neighbors who helped with the assembly line of cookie assortment box filling brought over a newspaper article on some la-dee-dah neighborhood cookie exchange and there was a photo of the women wearing their Burberry (did I even spell that right?) Gear, and drinking their la-dee-dah wine, with their foo-foo la-dee-dah whatever crap and they were looking all you-know, and I was like, “HEY! Let’s call the local paper and get them to come out and do a story on OUR cookie exchange, cuz ours is gonna be way better than this foo-foo one!”

So I called and left a message at the editorial desk, but sadly, no one returned my call. I bet they were afraid to come to this section of town seeing as we've got the crack addicts trolling around here lately looking for houses to break into. Too bad they didn't want the story though, cuz then they might have gotten some happening shots from a REAL cookie exchange party:

Anyway, it was so much fun, and neighbors were so gracious and kind and fun and I couldn’t ask for a better group of neighbors who I can honestly call girlfriends too! And guess what? I discovered this last year when I hosted the first Annual Manic Holiday Cookie Exchange. There’s this thing called a "hostess gift." I had no idea but people bring presents to the person hosting the party! Look at THIS:

I have decided to keep them all under the tree and open them Christmas day and make believe they are all from Santa Claus!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


You would not believe how many cookies are lounging on my dining room table at this very moment. Chocolate, mint, candy-bar cookies, kit-kat bars, Frango-mint cookies, sugar cookies, homemade biscotti, cranberry nut bars, peanut-butter bars, pumpkin chocolate chip bars, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, blackout cookies, snowball cookies, wait, I have to go look to see what else is over there... Andi's mint cookies, glazed butter cookies, Italian cookies, some in boxes I'm afraid to look at, seven layer bars, Kerry's Krispy treats... and there are more coming TOMORROW!

And I have not eaten a single one.

How's that for freaking willpower. You can smell the butter and sugar and chocolate wafting through the house.

Don't worry, I'm taking pictures, and will have a full account of the cookie fest (which is tomorrow night), which I feel is fast becoming a neighborhood-excuse-for-the-women-to-get-loaded wine party!

PS... ANOTHER BREAK-IN, this time ON MY STREET! And someone was home when it occurred! The dude got scared and ran to his car and the guy in the house didn't get the license plate number. Duh. I just keep laughing cuz the joke's gonna be on them if they attempt to rob me...there's nothing here to take! Well, unless they come tonight, cuz then they'll get a lot of yummy cookies!

ME WANT COOKIE! But me want skinnier ass more than cookie!

Peace UP!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Weight Watchers Week 1 Done

So, I had a good week on Weight Watchers but did not lose that six pounds I hoped to in the first week. I only lost 2.6, which to me, was kind of a disappointment, to be honest. I know, I know, don’t yell. That’s a good start, especially around the holidays, but looking back on my track record (yes, I’ve kept all my WW records cuz I’m anal that way), I lost 4.4 pounds the first week I got serious with WW and lost 60 pounds. But that was back in 2001, and it was a month post-partum, so maybe that had something to do with it.

But, I had some GREAT food this week! I’m gonna tell you what I ate, and keep in mind I didn’t eat all of this at one sitting; this was throughout the week:

Salmon with black beans and rice and a spinach salad with almonds and dried cherries.

Baked potato with low-fat cheddar broccoli Green Giant stuff on top (this was my dinner and it was sooo filling!).

Whole wheat pasta with cherry tomatoes, basil, and fresh parmesan cheese.

Tomato soup and a grilled Panini made with Pam spray. I put tomatoes, avocado, low-fat mozzarella cheese in the Panini and it ROCKED!

Another night I had like zero-points corn and bean salsa with avocado (I know avocado is a higher-fat, higher points food, but actually, it’s only one point per ounce, and the good kinda fat, and if you like avocados and save your points, then you can have it, so I did). I added fat-free sour cream and the Light Tostitos in the blue bag, which are different than the Baked Tostitos, which, when pushed, I will tell you they suck, but, stuck on a Survivor island, I wouldn’t turn them down. This was so awesome and so filling and so points-friendly I had it twice at dinnertime.

During the days I munched on pre-cut apples, microwave popcorn, and at night if I had points left over (which I usually did since I have a lot to lose, I have a lot of points to use throughout the day), I ate junior mints, but only like a small amount (15 of them = 3 points), and one night I even mixed a few in a small cup of ice cream! Twice my girlfriends and I (I’m partnering up with neighbor pals in this fight for flab) went to lunch at Subway, which is great cuz we’re all about the quantity versus the quality, not that Subway isn’t quality, but it does fill ya up. Just ask Jared. Except now that have that fat cartoon guy from The Family Guy or The Family Man as their mascot which I just don’t get. They go from some real-life fat-to-thin guy as their company mascot to some cartoon fat-guy figure to motivate people to eat their food? Weird. But it must work, I ate their twice this week.

It’s great working together with friends to try to lose weight. My other friends both lost weight also: 2.6 and 2.8 pounds. The first morning of our weigh-in I emailed them this note: “Are you fat-asses out of bed? We have to go weigh in!” I like to joke that way. Neither of them are fat. I’m seriously thinking they’ve secretly banded together to help ME lose weight. Like they said to each other, “Hey, we feel sorry for Manic. How is she ever gonna lose weight? Hey! I know, let’s PRETEND we need to lose weight and we’ll go to WW and she can come with us and then SHE’LL lose weight that way!” Hee hee, I know that’s not true, but sometimes I’m just silly that way.

And one day this week I was talking to WWGalPal#1 and she was having a dilemma over what to do with a French Silk Pie left over from a family event from the previous weekend.

“Throw it out!” I yelled at her.

“I can’t just throw out a pie,” she said.

“Why not?”

“My girls will kill me.”

“Do your girls need pie?” I asked her.

“No.” she said.

“Throw it out! Take it to the sink, turn on the water… let me HEAR you turn on the water! TURN ON THE WATER!”

I hear her crying into the phone but I also hear her turn on the water while she’s whimpering.

“Put the pie under the water,” I say, as gently as I can. “Put the pie into the sink, let the water runneth over the pie!”

“Bye bye Pie,” I hear her whisper.

“Bye Bye Miss American Pie! Drove the chevy to the levy but the levy was dry!”

No, I didn’t really say that, but that woulda been funny!

So, ya see how much fun Weight Watchers can be! Now, if I can only get through this week, where I will be surrounded by, let’s see… you know I suck at math, hold on a second….where is my calculator…

30 women with 5 dozen cookies each =


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Too Much Time On My Hands

I got a present in the mail today from Jess Riley and a great card where she writes about how she's glad we're friends (A real author is HAPPY to be friends with ME!) And that she knows I'll be a published author someday! How awesome is THAT! That's the kind of stuff that keeps me going! So thanks so much Jess!

She recently wrote about how her husband mentioned she has no upper lip and according to her gift to me, I guess she thinks EVERYBODY has no upper lip. Well, I have an upper lip. Mine just happens to need a shave, according to Tukey this a.m. when he announced to me, "You need to shave" as he pointed to my upper lip. I then informed him that girls do not shave their faces.

Anyway, Jess sent me this cool lip stuff called Sexy MotherPucker!

It's tingly! It's got fun slogans all over it like:

Lip Size Found Crucial for Sexual Attraction!


Scientists Confirm: Size Matters! (Duh. Like you need a scientist for that. Just get out a tape measure, right Spry-Man?)


Fuller Lips Attract Men More!

Fool Your Lips into Looking and Feeling Fuller without Plastic Surgery!

If only I could fool my ass into fitting into some smaller pants I'd be golden!

So, what do you think I did right after I suited up my three kids and sent them outside to find the nearest flagpole to go lick?

Sure, my house is a disaster. I have garland strewn all over the place. Wrapping paper bits everywhere, Christmas cards and tissue paper, receipts and ornaments, boxes ... you know, I should just take a picture to give you the visual of how Manic Mommy REALLY lives:

Looking into the living room:
At the bottom of the stairs:
In the dining room:
From upstairs, full view of the disaster:

Instead of cleaning and decorating and wrapping Christmas gifts and preparing for the neighborhood Cookie Exchange I am hosting here in one week for 30 women, what am I doing?

I am doing a scientific experiment with Sexy MotherPucker Lip Gloss to see if my lips will plump and make me more sexually attractive to men.

Because I'm all about trying things for the good of science, right? And yes, of course I documented it. But when I took the before photos, I felt like Nora Ephron and her book, I Feel Bad About My Neck cuz I looked at the photos and I really did feel bad about my neck which made me sad because when that book first came out I remember thinking, "Good God, who in the world feels bad about their neck. Butts, thighs, stomachs, yes, but a neck? Come on already!" Well, I now feel bad about my neck. I'm getting old and I don't like it! So I "scarfed" it up for the photo shoot.



Final Experiment Analysis:

The product makes my lips tingle for a while.

It tastes kinda yummy.

The color, called Nude, is subtle but nice.

The model on the package looks a lot like Lucille Ball.

The product does plump up my lips a little.

I should probably stop bleaching the hairs on my upper lip and consider waxing or even lasering the hairs off.

Jess Riley is a thoughtful gift-giver!

Mr. Manic is not home right now to be amped up by my sexiness so I'll just have to apply more later.

I'm still wearing this scarf and am kind of hot, temperature-wise, not sexy-wise, unless you're looking at my amped up lip-plumpness.

My house is still a disaster and my kids have not yet eaten.

I feel bad about my neck.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Pics from a photo shoot of two of my nephews.* Feel free to come back to the comments to tell me how adorable you think they are. Cuz they are.

Disclaimer: To my sister and my other sister-in-law: Your children are beautiful too--send me a link on a blog and I will post their photos too! Or give me permission to post their photos and I will brag away!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Well This Is A First

So, in all my years of being a homemaker, this has never happened to me, and it's actually quite shocking and I wonder if it's a sign of things to come. I mean, it certainly caused some angst in my evening.

I was cleaning up the kitchen after eating my Weight Watcher-approved baked potato with low-fat broccoli-cheddar Green Giant gunk on it (which was extremely filling and YUMMY!) and had just finished loading the dishwasher and reached into the cabinet to grab a dishwashing soap tab.

There were none!

I had run out of my dishtabs.

I never, ever run out of supplies. In all my years of happy homemaking, never have I run out of a home necessity, warranting a trip to a neighbor to borrow something!

If you know me, I have a surplus of whatever you may need for back-up. Open a cabinet and there are sixteen extra boxes of Ziploc baggies just in case we run out of a certain size. I have been called a Ziploc Whore by well-meaning friends. And foes. I have cabinets full of toilet paper. You need tin-foil, I've got rolls of 50-foot, 75-foot, or even the heavy-duty kind of tin-foil on hand. Tampons spill from drawers. You'll never not find a Q-tip in a medicine cabinet upstairs, and if you need a tissue, all you have to do is walk into a room and voila, there's a box right there waiting for your stuffy nose.

If you have a mishap in a bathroom while you're a guest here, simply open the cabinet in the bathroom and you'll find a container of Lysol wipes so you can clean the toilet yourself, or if you need any personal hygiene product, it's there, just waiting for you to please use! Prefer the nice wet wipes for your bottom as opposed to dry toilet paper, that option's there too. Rather have body wash instead of bar soap, you got it! Headache while at the Manic House? You've got your choice of Advil, Ibuprophen, Tylenol, Excedrin, Maxolt... even Vicodin or Xanax, if you're an especially good friend with a really bad headache!

I've got everything you could possibly want, and in multiples, and in various options, so you can imagine my shock when I could not find one measley little dishwashing tablet to run the dishwasher. This, my friends, is something that might seem so little and meaningless to most, but really, this, this scares me.

And this scares me because it means only one thing. And I've been purposely avoiding it, specifically because of the time of year. This means tomorrow morning, I must make the pilgrimage to Target. Be with me, please, and pray I don't stray to the Christmas aisles.

For I fear the outcome that will be my MasterCard. Which will be with outcome of the wrath of Mr. Manic during Christmas Season!

: )

Oh yeah, and Happy Three Years to my little blog and me!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

WW Update

I've lost six pounds on Weight Watchers already!

Ha. Just kidding. I only signed up yesterday!

I crack myself up!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Back On My Meds & A Movie Whore

So, I’m back on my meds. It’s been a rough few weeks, not something I share on the blog too much, and I hope to be feeling better soon. Roller coaster of emotions. My doctor has been great. She describes it as truly a disease, and just as a person with diabetes needs medication, or a person with kidney disease needs medication, I have chemical imbalance in the brain and I need medication. Deep sigh. I’m totally OK with that. I like myself WAY better when I’m on Effexor. And I know my family does too.

In the interim, I was a movie whore yesterday. Saw one while the kids were at school. Saw one with the kids after school. Loved them BOTH! Loved the music in them both! Loved the leading men in them both!

Do yourself a favor, screw shopping this weekend, and treat yourself to a movie:

August Rush


A couple other things:

~ Fave author in the world Jen Weiner had her baby, thanks to Swishy IMming me to tell me today! Phoebe Pearl is the baby's name. Thought you'd all be as excited as I was to hear this news!

~ Going to Weight Watchers for real tomorrow morning. For really real. It’s time. Really time. I’m not kidding. There. I said it. It must be true. Shitola. And yes, for those wondering, that is pronounced SHY-TOE-LAH!

~I'm cleaning out my office--it's like training for a marathon--you know, like preparing for a major event, and my major event is to get my ass into gear to write my second book, well finish the first draft I'm half-way done with. I need to bulldoze through the crap in here, declutter my clutter and get into shape to start writing again. Because we're just about one month away from Resolution time!

~ Be safe this holiday season. A neighbor in our subdivision was not just ‘robbed’ on Wednesday, but ‘ransacked’ is the word used to describe the robbery. Apparently, the thieves broke in via the front door, then drove their van into their garage, went through every drawer in their house. They rang neighbor’s doors to make sure no one close by was home. I’m very thankful we have an alarm system that I set each and every time we leave the house. Make sure to keep your garage doors closed, your home doors locked, and packages out of view in your car. And always lock your car doors. That’s just asking for something to be stolen. And don’t let your kids out of your sight. It’s one thing to have possessions stolen, but the real valuables are your family. Keep everyone safe. This has been a Manic Public Message.

~ This weekend marks THREE freaking years I’ve been blogging. Has blogging even been around that long? Am I insane? Why do I continue? Again, Shitola.

To give you an idea of where I was three years ago, I give you two installments of what I wrote on that first day’s post, December 3, 2004:

So, being freshly relocated to the Chicago area, the men in this family are all about the sports scene. Mr. Manic’s buddy was able to score some big tix for a box at the Bulls game. I used to follow MJ back when he was 23, then 45, then we moved east and I became disenchanted. Now we're back, and it would be really cool to see a game, experience the Chicago sports thing again, and maybe eat and drink some free grub. I thought it would be a fun family night, seeing as we've all been a little stressed with the relocation.

Hub: Joe got about 25 tickets to a Bulls game skybox.

Me: Cool! Can our whole family go?

Hub: Uh... I'll have to check with Joe. [grabs the cordless, walks into the other room and makes a call - or maybe he didn't make a call? hmmm....]

Hub (returning from the other room): Actually, he's only got 10 tickets.

Yeah, right.... and next time someone in this house wants to score, there just might not be a ticket available for the box...

And then, this post---

Last night, my seven-year old, out of the blue, mind you, opens up an interesting topic of discussion. Let me replay the incident for you within quotation marks:

AJers: Mom, how do you spell fuck?
(Emphasis was placed on the word DO, as if he had been contemplating this earth shattering question for days now in his young life.)

After my eyeballs were suctioned back into my head by the inhalation of my breath, I said,

"Where did you ever hear that?"

AJers: (shrugging) "I dunno."

I pressed further: "Come on, where did you hear that?"

AJers: "Nowhere."

Me: "AJers?"

Unable to come up with a logical answer he lifts his shoulders and his eyebrows, almost as if a question and says: "You?"

Me: "You never heard me say that!"

AJers: "Yeah, remember the other day, you started to go 'ffffffffrrrr'?"

Me: "I was going to say FREAK."

Then I sat him down and said, "AJers, that is the baddest, baddest worst bad word in the entire world. Worse than stupid or dumb or hate or fart or crap and I never want you to say it again, okay?"

AJers: "Okay."

Me: "I'm not mad at you. I'm glad we had this talk."

Fuck, what am I going to do now?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tukey Poop

Addendum to Tukey Talks, here's a Tukey Poop for your reading pleasure... or not. This is not for the light-hearted. This is Poop Talk. Consider yourself warned.

Well, Tukey still needs some help in the potty on occasion. It’s because I’m anal (pun intended), and since I’ve been a butt-wipin’, diaper-changer for some point in the past 10 years I have no problem going into the bathroom to help the little guy out once a day.

Beats skidmarks on his skivvies. I hate the thought of tossing poopy-pants into a load of laundry – the thought of that mixing into all the other clothes does not seem like it’s getting clean—it just seems like stuff is being relocated to other clothing. Right? Right.

So, today, I hear the tell-tale yelling from the bathroom, “Moooohhh-oohhhhmmmm! I’m Dooonnnnne!”

I go in, and ask, "You done?" He beams up at me, and leans forward.

I take a quick look-check into the bowl, and, well, let’s just say this was not your typical six-year-old poop!

You know the usual comment, “Looks like you took the Browns to the Superbowl?”

Well, instead, I went with the: TUKEY! My Gosh! You didn’t just take the Browns to the Superbowl!

You took the Browns! You took the Bears, you took the cheerleaders! You brought along the sportscasters, the coaches, and even all the fans to the Superbowl this time around!

His comment:

“Don’t forget the Mascot!”

~ ~ ~

And then, another potty discussion, upon another wiping episode, another day, when Tukey sees me reach for the pack of matches because the smell was quite, well, you know, STINKY!

Tukey, clearly awestruck: You need to light a match?

Me: Yep.

Tukey: You need to light a match all because of me?

Me: Yep.

Tukey: You need to light a match all because of a huge poop from me?

Me: Yep.

Tukey: Wow.


Tukey: Can I light it?

Me: Nope.

Tukey: Giggles

Then I hear him go downstairs and say to his friends…

Hey guys, my mom needs to light a match!

And, to quote my cutie Tukey Patookey at his best: The End.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Deck The Halls & Such

This year, I'm loving Christmas. And that's only because I've cranked out sooo much shopping already. AND, I've wrapped AND shipped some gifts already. STOP! Don't throw your coffee mug at your monitor--you'll just make a mess. I've started decorating. Check out how cute my front door looks!


I might even put up a sign that says: Your PRESENCE is welcome! Get it. Presence. PRESENT. I know. Dumb. But who cares.

You're lucky you caught me in a good mood because seriously, I was vacillating between either this post or a post titled GIFT OF THE MANIC, which I will write soon, that's going to be a play on this O. Henry story.

But you're lucky. Cuz, this immediate second, (and as it is with seconds), it could change, but I am feeling like it's OK that I'm off my meds. Last night, and most of this previous week, I was not so sure. Here's to the holidays. Right? Right.

But, as it is with free-writing, I digress.

Anyway, really, most of my shopping is done, even a present for myself, which sparked the idea of the O. Henry-soon-to-be-plagarized Gift Of The Manic short story (is it considered plagarized if it's spoofed?), and I think we may get our tree up this weekend, and I'm hosting a neighborhood cookie exchange with like 30+ women in a few weeks, and I'm like ALL spirited and shit. What the heck is going on with me?

Where did my inner Grinch go!?!?!?!

And we saw Fred Claus yesterday! Dude! GREAT MOVIE! All-star cast, including, Kevin Spacey, playing an evil villain! This movie's right along the lines of my other faves ELF (SANTA'S COMING! SANTA'S COMING!) and THE SANTA CLAUS.

Here's a youtube trailer, cuz you know how big I am on the youtube movie trailers. Feel free to skip it if you like, but the dancing section is really cute. I think Vince is a hottie, and who is the song by? Elvis?

And a Dancing Vince Vaughn. Yum. I would so like to hang with Vince. I mean, I would want to drink an appletini with him (although I had a tangerine-tini the other night that gave my beloved appletini a MAJOR run for its money let me tell you!), but Vince... he is my kind of guy. Jennifer A. and he were positively NO match. I like him because if we were together, I'd be like, "Honey, I didn't feel like making dinner," and he'd probably say, "Baby, that's OK, let's you and me go grab a pizza, and then I'll give you a back rub, and let ME make love to you. But ONLY if you want me to, OK?"

Nah, he wouldn't say that.

But, he seems like he is just my type. If I had a type. I guess I do have a type. He's tall. He's dark. That's part of my type. He seems like a Mr. Manic type, when Mr. Manic is on my good side, which he is sllooowly working his way back to, and I wasn't even going to 'go there' and boy, if you folks could read the hand-written BLOG I own... HA! Can you believe that! I HAVE A HAND-WRITTEN BLOG!

I crack my self up! Anyway, he was up to less than standards this week. That's why maybe I need to go back on my meds. So I can like him better.

That's ALL I'm gonna say on THAT subject. Because I could go on and on and on and on. And I won't.

But Vince. Yep, Hottie in my book. A guy's kinda guy--you know, someone a guy would befriend at a bar, and not be intimidated by, not be afraid he would be trying to pick up his chick, although he would be totally capable of stealing away another man's girl. A girl's guy. A charmer. Someone Swish, Jess and I could hang out with till 4:00 a.m. and teach a few things to, right gals? Maybe we'd let him show us his boxers or something? Maybe get out a measuring tape? Hmmm... you betcha!

Anyway, what really sparked this post, which really was supposed to be just a two-line hey, Merry-Holidays-Check-Out-Melek's-Post was what the talented and cute Melek has to say over at her blog about Christmas and memories. So go check her out now. Tell her Manic sent ya.

And remember...

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing aloud for all to hear--
Buddy the Elf

Peace UP!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Wishing you blessings upon blessings and loads of mashed potatoes and gravy!

Remember to thank the people most important in your life today, and tell those who mean the most to you just how much they mean to you. To all those in my life, and you know who you are, and if you're reading this, this includes you... I'm thankful for you and I love you!

Oops, and I just remembered something else important--even those who annoy you--make it a point to tell them you're thankful for them, because if nothing else, you've learned from them--how NOT to be!

Oops, forgot one more thing--I'll probably not post through the weekend, so if you're checking in, please leave a comment and let me know how you've spent your holiday, including what you ate, cuz you know how I love me some food!

Oh crap, I forgot ONE MORE THING! Tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day is the sixteenth anniversary of the day Mr. Manic made it known to me and the world that he wanted me for his wife. Sucker! I am sooo thankful for him. And he's thankful for me, cuz as we all know... IT'S CHEAPER TO KEEP HER!

Peace UP, Manic Style!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Quite the "Spry" Evening

Don't mean to leave you hanging, but well, I don't even know if famed author of the upcoming novel, Driving Sideways, Jess Riley, is still alive!??!!? Quite possibly we may have the makings of the sequel to Misery??

Here's an abbreviated update, or check in with Swishy, as she's got more of the scoop anyway.

Some highlights to the evening:

Started out with Swish getting lost to my place, then other awesome surprise guest arriving, none other than, well, I already told you up there, didn't I? JESS RILEY! And gosh, I do hope she's alive! Jess?!?!?! Please, be alive!

The last time the three of us were together, this is what happened.

So, we had some wine and cheese and crackers at my place cuz THAT'S HOW I ROLL!

Then we all did that sorority sister thing trying to find outfits to wear and I ended up with shoes I wasn’t happy with but then I was happy cuz at the bar, a girl came up to me and said, “Hey, I like those shoes!” That’s like such a good karma thing. They are like cloggy leopardy, zebra-y, tiger shoes, and really, I shouldn’t have been wearing them out, but once I got the ‘shoe compliment’ I was OK with it.

Previous to going to the bar, we all had agreed we wanted to see this FABULOUS movie, so we did:

And I was bawling, and Jess was rubbing my shoulder during it making sure I was OK. How sweet was that!

Then we went to dinner and had our drinks. Can you guess which one is mine?

And that's when the moral dilemmas we had to contend with entered into the evening, and went straight out the window. We had to ask ourselves at that point, WWJD when the conversation turned to girl-on-girl lap dances... we decided good old Jesus had left the building and Lucifer was now at the party.

NOOOOOOOOOO! We didn't GET lap dances. We were JUST discussing them! Keep in mind, we are authors. THESE are things authors talk about! Well, officially, Jess is the only author to date, but Swish and I will be someday soon. If nothing else, we've got notebooks full of our times together!

This is a lipstick touch-up:

Next up, we went to see some band of doctor rockers. Yeah, we don't get it either. But we figured if they were a bunch of doctors pretending to be a bunch of rockers, we could be a bunch of writer / bloggers pretending to be a bunch of groupies so I guess it all makes sense.

They are called Ed whom Swish nicknamed Erectile Dysfunction and we threw Blue Little Pills up on stage at them (and sorry Swish if I stole your joke, cuz I do have to give that one to Swish, cuz that's hers... she coined that one)... so, that wasn't all that great. I mean, it was, because we were like the YOUNGEST people in the WHOLE place, but we were also the only NON surgically enhanced people in that place, so we could only determine the doctors were plastic surgeons! Then we met up with fellow blogger Kristabella who reminds me of me, so obviously, she is very cool and fun and nice to be around, and her pal Darcie, who just happens to be a new neighbor of mine, and a teacher, who fortunately for her she will not have to ever teach the Manic kids!

And then, because I have this effect on men when Swishy is in town, the sparks flew. I don’t know what it is about me, but I emit this sort of elixir that from whence it comes from me, it attracts men to Swishy!!! Because seriously, whenever Swishy is in town, I help her to meet men! I know! I am her Wingman! I am her Makeout Muse! It has nothing to do with the fact that she is beautiful and charming and fun and sincere and that she alone emits a beauty that draws men to her like bees to nectar!

But, I have to also stop here for a moment to let everyone know just how equally beautiful Jess Riley is. Unfortunately, for all the men in the world, both Jess and I are passionately, madly, irrevocably in love…

NO, FOLKS! NOT WITH EACH OTHER! Although I do find her attractive… I just mean we are both married! So, sadly, we are OFF THE MARKET!

So seriously, like within THREE minutes of walking into a new bar, after leaving erectile dysfunction--heh heh TOTAL PUN INTENDED--these CHARMING men come through and one of them speaks to Swish, and she does her cute giggle, hair flip, flirt thing that girls on the make do. Not that she’s on the make, mind you. It’s just that I don’t have any of those moves of course, so I watch, with envy.

Then they walk away, then they come back, and then we spend the whole night talking with these charming men who, would you believe are LAW STUDENTS FROM NEW YORK!!! What a score! And of all the women in the bar, they chose US to talk to all night long! And they were so charming and nice and kind, they even bought drinks. You do not find young men in bars these days willing to buy women--even women with large rocks on their hands--drinks in bars. But yes, these guys knew how to roll!

Two guys in particular were very fun and sweet, unlike their other friends, like one who was nicknamed Neanderthal Date-Rape Boy, who was just flat-out mean. I totally tried to get the him drawn into conversation because I like to engage people, and he seemed bored that his friends were paying my friends attention. I like to learn about the nuances of people. I like to learn what makes them tick. So, back to NDRB… I just wanted to know why he was so angry. I asked him, “Why are you so angry? What happened in your childhood to make you so angry?” He didn’t tell me. Instead, he flat out told me, “You’re a three. Definitely a three.”

So I asked him, “OK, so I’m a three at 10:00. Do you think I will be a 10 at 3:00?”

The dude didn’t even LAUGH AT THAT? What kind of person is that? How angry of a person is that?

Anyway, back to our fun boys, who I won’t name, because I know they may or may not have very high profile fathers, who may or may not be lawyers, who are definitely NOT doctors, who may or may not live in Burr Ridge, who may or may not be hockey players for De Paul U, who may or may not be “connected,” who may or may not like the number 44, who may or may not have ever had sex with a 40-year-old thong-wearer in Fort Lauderdale, who may or may not smoke Parliament cigarettes, who may or may not be “spry,” but who most definitely were very fun –Thanks to “F” and “J” for such a fun night—and even though we know you were not ‘completely’ honest with us all night long, we harbor no ill will. Because you know everyone tells a few white lies, right?

Boys, just promise us one thing—you’ll ask the girls your age to be honest when it comes to that topic we openly discussed, OK? Because, you all know for sure that they are LYING TO YOU TOO!

Oh, I forgot one of the most important parts… the night wasn’t a complete loss for me as I did get picked up by a hottie too… but since I’m married, I had to turn the poor guy down:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Big Weekend for Manic

But first, the important thing: The Tooth, after living inside Diva's mouth for about seven or six years, depending on when it popped into her mouth, no longer resides there! And how ironic that I just mentioned it in yesterday's Daring post! Go ahead, read about the trauma that is a Diva Tooth. I'll wait. You'll see. Pure Trauma.

I was more excited than Diva was when she got off the bus, and it suddenly fell out. You could hear me screaming from down the street. That tooth fairy better bring her a Ben Franklin!

Go Diva.

And in other, equally exciting news, I'm getting me some ME time! Yep, I am kickin' 'em out! All of 'em. And having some very special guests this weekend. You will not believe who is coming to Manic Land! There will be martinis, movies, munchies, music with some doctors pretending to be musicians, and much, much, much more...

Stay tuned for a possible suburban invite!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Daring Book for Girls

Exclusive Minute With Manic

By: Andi Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz

I had the chance to connect with Andi Buchanan when I was living near Philly and read about her book, Mother Shock in Philadelphia magazine. I was like, “Wow! She’s got kids! She’s written a book! She says it’s not all fun and games, this parenting thing!” I wanna be her!

But, Andi IS all fun and games because she and co-author, Miriam Peskowitz, have written a book on fun and games, on being a girl, a daring girl, and it’s called The Daring Book for Girls, and if you have not yet seen this book in a store, or in an advertisement, or on the Today Show, or in a magazine, or at the store, then surely, you are living under a rock. And, guess who got a copy?

Well, yeah, me. But guess who snagged the copy the minute I got it and called up her two little girlfriends and hoarded it up in her room and then laughed and giggled and wouldn’t even let me see the book for the first two weeks it lived in our home! Yep, my own Daring Daughter Diva!

Although, now that I think about it, she's not very daring because THIS TOOTH HAS STILL NOT BEEN EXTRACTED FROM HER MOUTH! Yep, since the dentist tried to yank it in May. I think there needs to be a chapter on extracting teeth for these daring young women! Just a sidenote. So, let's get back to the topic at hand, shall we?

So, I’ve had a chance to look through the book, believe it or not, me being the cell-phone-abusing-busy-executive that I am, and I had a few questions of my own for Andi. I figured I’m a bit behind in the Minute With Manic forums, and I promise on the death of this blog that I will feature those four of you I promised, but since Andi is a best-selling author, a mother, and a cyber friend (can I say that Andi? I mean, I’ve been email stalking chatting with you ever since Mother Shock came out!), I figure this would be the best way to showcase The Daring Book for Girls! So, anyway, Andi, please define for me, if you will, what is a ‘daring girl?’

Andi: Someone who has enthusiasm and spirit and isn't afraid to get in the game.

Manic: Hmmm… Sounds like a cheerleader could be a daring girl. Or an athlete, or a scholarly girl, or a musician… I’m getting a bigger picture. Like ALL girls can be a daring girl! What age of a daring girl would enjoy this book?

Andi: Eight to 80! Well, actually 90 because Miriam’s 90-year-old grandmother loves the book!

Manic: Major shout-out to Miriam’s 90-year-old daring grammy! Mine is 93, and she is still kicking it! Love that lady, my little granny! Ninety-year-old girls sure are daring! Now, regarding the chapters, of course I flipped straight to the BOYS section. Don't you think that's where all girls will go first?

Andi: Depends on the girl! For some girls, that's the last place they'd look!

Manic: Is there anything you didn't include in the BOYS section that maybe you should have? First kiss would not be appropriate, you think?

Andi: No and no. Our motto for the book was "no sex, no body stuff." There are plenty of books that do a great job of navigating girls through their changing bodies as new teenagers…

Manic: Can somebody suggest a book to navigate me through MINE!?!?!?

Andi:… and of course current pop culture itself is an unfortunate primer for what's expected of girls in terms of how they present themselves, how they look, and how they interact with boys. The Daring Book offers a refreshing alternative to all that.

Manic: Would you consider your nine-year-old self a daring girl?

Andi: Absolutely! I did things at nine I might be nervous to do now!

Manic: Me too! Like the time I hit the neighbor kid over the head with my lime green skateboard cuz he called me a baboon. I think that was pretty daring. Boy, I ran like heck after that! So, what were you like? Tomboy? Girly-Girl? Bookworm? Diva? Somewhere in the middle?

Andi: A little from column A, a little from column B. As a nine-year-old, I'd alternate between wearing my Sears Toughskins and running with the boys, and wearing a flouncy dress and Mary Janes and hanging with the girls. As a 15-year-old I was a definite bookworm.

Manic: Me too! I had a ton of books and spent so much time holed up in my room reading. Being a lover of words, I especially enjoyed the Words To Impress chapter. What are some of your most favorite words that you like to slip into conversation to bamboozle the person you're speaking with (kinda like I just did with the word "bamboozle!").

Andi: Oh gosh, I think we covered most of them in that list!

Manic: You’re gonna make me look up the list aren’t ya? OK, I did it. And I know like two words from that list. Those are definitely impressive words!

So, here’s what I need, and not in light of yesterday’s post, but I need a book called Daring Book for Moms©™*... You know, like chapters on how to cook for your family. How to fold laundry. How to unfold the ironing board – who are we kidding – how to find the ironing board! How to clean the toilets…

Andi, do you think I've got a best-seller on my hands with this idea? So many moms could benefit! Like for instance, a chapter on How To Pretend You've Spent The Day Cleaning… my tip is to spray Pledge all around the house and sprinkle Carpet Fresh deodorant on the floors. Oh, and I could also put blue food coloring into the toilet so Mr. Manic thinks I've deodorized it! Good one, huh?

Andi: I think a Daring Book for Moms would have to be all about learning to be comfortable in your own skin as you figure out parenthood – whether or not you're good at all the "practical" stuff. (Also: perhaps a truly daring thing would be to have Mr. Manic do the deodorizing himself! I'm just saying...)

Manic: Oh Andi, don’t get me started on Mr. Manic. We’re actually friends again. He was totally on my “you-know-what” list yesterday. Anyway, back to the book! While Diva likes the How To Be a Spy and Putting Your Hair Up with a Pencil chapters, I myself gravitated toward the Slumber Party Games chapter. What other slumber party games did you play as a young, daring girl?

Andi: The ones in the book were the basic ones we did as kids.

Manic: We used to steal the bra of the one girl who had boobies and we’d wet it and then stick it into the freezer. Or we’d try to put a sleeping girl’s hand in a cup of warm water in the hopes she’d pee in her sleeping bag.

And, when we got around to Truth or Dare, we were pretty daring, I think! I remember having to eat rabbit pellets mixed with peanut butter and milk, and also running down the street in the birthday girl’s mom’s bra and yelling at the top of my lungs as a dare… that is pretty daring! And, Light as a Feather, well, no one could really lift me.

And what about Bloody Mary? You’ve listed that one in the book! Have you seen her? That one always frightened me!

Andi: I remember playing Bloody Mary and freaking myself out, but I never actually saw anyone in the mirror other than myself and my freaked-out friends!

Manic: The only Bloody Mary I've ever seen had a celery stalk and vodka in it. And now that I think about it, the only scary ones were the ones without vodka!

Andi, thanks for playing Minute With Manic. I’ve been a little stressed lately, if you can’t tell from previous posts, and just taking some time with Diva to peruse (ooh, that’s another impressive word!) through the fun chapters of The Daring Book for Girls has brought me back down to reality a bit.

It’s a great book for girls truly of all ages – daring ones, ones on the verge of being daring, not-so-daring ones, and even ones that are so daring they may need some daring instructions to keep them from being TOO daring!

Everyone should add this book to their holiday gift list – the little girls, and not-so-little girls in your life will cherish it!

Go ahead, I dare ya!

In fact, I double-dog dare ya!

*Notice how I trademarked and copywrited my idea for the Daring Book for Moms? All mine!

A Friend of a Friend

I try not to write about other people on here, but I don’t think this person knows about Manic Mommy and well, it just bugged me and I feel it warrants a conversation.

This friend calls me up regarding another friend and it’s something little, but I wonder if everyone can relate. It’s a spousal thing, so men, you may want to click onto something else, like one of those Fantazee Sports sites or something. And yes, it’s a rant.

So, this friend wakes up the other morning to a note from her husband written on her cell phone bill and summary. It has something snarky written on it about her going over her monthly minutes and wow, she must be a busy executive, or something like that. I don’t know for sure the exact wording, but I think you get the gist of it by just what I’ve written above.

The thing is, my friend said the bill wasn’t even OVER the usual monthly amount because she must have had rollover minutes or something so like what was the big deal? Was her husband just trying to be mean, or snarky, or FUNNY for God’s sake, or was he trying to put her in her place telling her she’s NOT a busy executive and she doesn’t need to be making 1000+ phone calls in a month’s time. And it wasn’t like February with twenty-something days… October hath thirty-one!

A busy executive: Did that husband know what she did all day long? Does any man KNOW what a mother does do in a 24-hour timeframe? I, for one--just last night--was up doing a ton of stuff, and it kills me when I’m finally tucking the kids in (because Mr. Manic had a work dinner because he is usually great and a total hands-on dad) and they want to cuddle yet I can’t because I still have two hours of straightening, and cleaning, and laundry, and lunch-making, and check-writing, and organizing, and freelancing, and … UGH!

Did this snarky note-writer know all of the things his cell-phone using wife had done the whole day? That she probably had all of his laundry clean and put away, that she did all the homework with the kids, that she fed the family… yadda yadda yadda…

I’ve been there. Why is it that husbands sometime feel the need to pull their wives back a bit. Like, “Me caveman, she getting too much freedom, must yank her hair and bring her down back in cave.” Why be like that? How does that help anyone?

I know this woman. I know it made her feel lousy. Cuz it woulda made me feel lousy. I can imagine her coming down the stairs on a bright sunny morning, having had a good night’s sleep, being in a good mood, happy to have such a nice life, a great family, her health, ready to make a cup of coffee and start in on the piles of stuff we moms must start in on. And then I imagine she finds this “busy executive” snark-note and it plummets her mood. I imagine she starts snapping at her kids, to hurry up and eat, to brush their teeth, to put their lunches in their backpacks, get their shoes on and get out the door for the bus. I imagine she makes her little one a chocolate milk, goes to her computer and cries a bit as she writes this post.

I didn’t mean to say that. But I can’t help it. And I don’t care if my mom reads this and gets upset because I’m upset for like 10 minutes of my day. I’m allowed to be upset. I’m allowed to be mad at my husband. I’m allowed to have feelings.

I am a busy godgosh-damned executive (Sorry to God, and I hate that curse, but I am trying to make a point). But don’t demean me for using my fucking cell phone.

In yoga the other day… SCREECH! Don’t get me started—Going to yoga is just too frivolous! I shouldn’t even admit to going to yoga because ‘busy executives’ should not HAVE TIME to go to yoga!

But, our instructor mentioned someone once said that before you say something, you should ask yourself three things:

Is it true?

Is it kind?

Is it necessary?

Yes, it was true that I went over my minutes.

No, it was not a kind note (even with the added smiley face and I LOVE YOU, I felt there was an underlying message, obviously).

And no. It was not necessary.

Monday, November 12, 2007


OK, so, am I the only person in the entire world who goes on a medication proven to cause weight loss in OBESE people, yet find that I’ve gained weight while on the drug?

What, may I ask, is up with that shit?!

Phentermine. Well, it didn’t work. I think if it came with a roll of duct tape along with the pills it would have done a better job at keeping me from eating. Why do I have such a hard time? I exercise. And I think I exercise A LOT! Well, a fair amount anyway. Three to five days a week. Nothing. I got nothing.

And here’s the scary thing. Mr. Manic joined the health club. MY health club. So now he’s all going around telling everyone, “Oh, it’s great! It’s got something for everyone! A perfect gym. And let me tell you, the gauntlet, yep, that’s MY thing.”

OK, he’s done the gauntlet a total of THREE TIMES, and suddenly it’s his thing? This is what I mean: A guy gets a little warning that his blood pressure is high and suddenly he’s Arnold Pump-Me-Up Schwarzenegger

and here I am, feeling like Roseanne Barr, trying to bust my ass with exercise, and pills, and Weight Watchers, and whatever else I can concoct and he’s probably going to lose 15 pounds by the time he wakes up tomorrow morning.

How unfair is that?

I’m just feeling really, really uncomfortable in my body these days. Like it doesn’t belong to me. It’s not mine. I don’t want it to be mine. I want the body back I had when Tukey was one year old because that, well, THAT was A BODY! I had it. I worked on it. I got it. I lost it.

And ‘tis the season for copious (dontcha love that word?) amounts of food—cookies, and turkey (I could give a rat’s ass about the turkey, but the mashed ‘tatoes, gravy, corn mush -- remind me to give you THAT recipe – jiffy corn mix with creamed corn and regular corn, cheddar, sour cream, butter… need I say more?)…

OK, I just discovered my problem.

I Heart Food.

That’s all there is to it.

But back to this Phentermine stuff. Like OK?!?!? A drug specifically designed to make FAT people less fat. What does it do for me? Makes me GAIN WEIGHT. There is someone up there playing a really cruel joke on me.

And now I’m going on this daily migraine medicine. I just can’t wait. It’s guaranteed to have my head throbbing, me writhing in pain for shiggity sure. Because that’s just the way medicines work for me, apparently!

I should have my thyroid checked again. I betcha the Synthroid I’ve been on for almost two years is doing nothing for me! That’s another one of those jokey things—“Oh yes, Synthroid can actually regulate your weight; you may LOSE weight on Synthroid!”

Who’s the bastard messing with my metabolism and why can’t he go fool with someone else?

Not fair!
Not fair!
Not fair!

The only way I'll actually feel better is if I wake up with my period tomorrow.

See, the ranting is back.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I can't tell you the amount of relief I have knowing I don't have to do a Minute With Manic tonight. Thank you all for being so kind and understanding! Now, I'm going to curl up with Diva and let her read me a book titled: I DON'T LIKE TO READ. Then we are going to watch Elf. Then I'm going to say a silent little prayer thanking the higher-up for the seven-mile walk I took with a friend around her lake yesterday, the family time we had, the awesome meal, and the three appletinis (and the fact that my head wasn't pounding too terribly this morning).

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Now, it's time to get ready for some important stuff... I need to order a turkey breast and figure out how I'm going to pull of a Thanksgiving meal!

Peace UP!

Friday, November 09, 2007

November 9, 2007

Minute With Manic

Blogger Name: Manic Mommy
Blogger URL/link: Duh. Here.
Blogging since: December 2004, coming up on three years.
337 posts from my first Blog; 510 posts from Manic’s Blog

Manic: Well, this evening, we have a very special guest interviewee, and I’d like to introduce you all to Manic Mom.

Manic: Hey there. I still cannot believe I was randomly chosen for a Minute With Manic. It’s great to be here.

Manic: You don’t sound so great, what’s up?

Manic: Well, I think I have to quit this daily Blogging thing…

Well, it’s just that… I may have over-extended myself with this feature-a-blogger-daily thing.

Manic: How do you mean? It’s great! People are excited, they love your interviews. You’ve never gotten so many comments from such nice people in all of the three years you’ve been blogging! You’ve posted 847 times in almost three years! What’s that come out to per year?

Manic: I don’t you. You know I suck at math.

Manic: So do I!

Manic: You know, I really thought I could do it, but it’s like, it’s just too hard! I’m neglecting my family big time. I mean BIG TIME! I should be focusing on my freelance work more. I haven’t touched my novel (or my husband!) in like a month practically. And don’t get me started on the laundry.

Manic: Oh come on, everyone has laundry to do. That’s a lame excuse.

Manic: I know. I feel really bad about the whole thing, like I’m letting people down.

Manic: Yeah, you kinda are, but when you think about it, family comes first, and you have to prioritize.

Manic: Prioritize! I know! I suck at that. I try to take on more things than I can handle, and it just comes back to smack me in the face.

When I thought up this fun idea to do an interview every day for the month of November, I was thinking I’d do three quick and easy questions, but then I really get invested in it, and it’s fun to learn about everyone and… can I have a Kleenex please?

Manic: Oh, Manic, don’t cry. I understand, and I am pretty sure the people out there will understand too.

Manic: I hope so. But I don’t want to quit, and I’ve promised four or five other Bloggers who have already been selected that they will have their Minute With Manic. I’d love to do two or even three a week, but … well, I could make them all feel really sorry for me and start talking about the migraines and all that, and my doctor’s appointment yesterday, but I don’t need to go there.

Manic: Migraines. Man, I get them terrible too! What do you take for them?

Manic: Maxolt. But my doctor’s going to put me on that daily drug for migraines now. I’ll be fine. I just hope I don’t get shunned in the Blogger community, cuz I do love to Blog. I’m just now realizing my limitations. I don’t know if it makes me brave or a quitter, but I’m admitting that I just cannot do it every single day.

Manic: Well, what do you plan to do?

Manic: I think I might try to do Monday’s Minute With Manic. That way I can give the featured Blogger the attention she or he deserves, and really put more energy into it. But for the rest of November, I am going to fulfill my promise to those who already have their Manic Minute questions, and for those of you (DREW!)! who would like to be a future feature, you can leave me an email at Put MINUTE WITH MANIC in the subject line, please. I’ll put them on a list, and in the meantime, I’ll start a document with fun questions that I’ll have on file already, so it won’t be as stressful to come up with questions and do the interview.

Manic: That sounds fair. I’m sure everyone will understand.

Manic: I really hope so. I’ve seriously been a wreck about this, and I know I shouldn’t be, but I think Bloggers are all in this little community and we look to one another on a daily basis. I love checking out everyone’s Blogs and learning what everyone’s been up to. And I would really feel a loss if I didn’t have the camaraderie I’ve gained through being a Blogger.

Manic: OMG. I feel the exact same way! We must be kindred spirits!

Manic: Or twins separated at birth!

Manic: So, Manic, now what’s on board that you’re dissin’ all of us?

Manic: Hey, don’t say that! You’ll make me cry!

Manic: Gawd. Can you not take a joke? Do you not know my sense of humor? How LONG have you been reading Manic Mommy? Get a clue!

Manic: Sorry. I’m just kinda emotional right now.

Manic: PMSing?

Manic: Yeah.

Manic: Hey! Me too! So, as I was saying, what’s the plan now?

Manic: Well, I’m actually heading over to the neighbor’s for a much-needed bottle glass of wine. And then the Manic Family is getting away for a short while this weekend. I’m going to regroup and have some quality family time, and hopefully be back Sunday or Monday, refreshed and ready to continue Blogging, with Minute With Manic still around, but just not daily. I want to live to see my children have children, and that was seriously going to be the death of me.

Manic: Well, take it easy, then. Don’t get too crazy over the weekend, but hey, if you do, I know you’ll have some crazy stories to share!

Manic: Don’t worry, Manic. I’ll be good.

Manic: Good girl, and now, what’s that little catch-phrase of yours?

Manic: "Are you not entertained?"

Manic: No, not that one, although that is pretty funny!

Manic: Oh, you mean…

Peace UP!