Monday, December 28, 2009


In a perfect world, these would be my resolutions:

I would sleep ONLY between the hours of 10:00 pm and 7 am. This basic 9 hour regimen would alleviate the need for my mid-day naps on my ever-so comfy couch, but considering Mr. Manic surprised me with a Westin Heavenly King-Sized bed for Christmas, maybe 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep on a Westin Heavenly is all I would need. However, I severely doubt it as I can take a 13-hour nap on the crappy Sam's Club Hellish Bed I have been sacrificed on for the past 10 years. YES, I HAVE been sacrificed on THAT bed. Many, many times.

I would go to the gym between 8 am and 9:30 am M through Friday. Sin Falta. That means, "without fail" buddy.

I would toss in a load of laundry daily, dry it, fold it and put it away, whittling down my laundry situation to one load a day.

I would eat breakfast daily, something healthy, which would stave off hunger to a mid-day healthy snack, then a healthy lunch, an afternoon snack, a healthy dinner, and then an after-dinner snack, (you know, the eat-five-small-healthy-meals-a-day plan) thus bringing us to bedtime at 10 pm.

I would spend the extra hours at home NOT on Facebook or Twitter and instead focus on the book I started three years ago, and finish that bastard of a novel FINALLY.

At 2:45 when the bus roared home, I would completely go into Mommy Mode and forget the internet ever existed. I would focus on homework, after-school activities, the joy my children bring into my life and into my heart.

I would cook a home-style meal. We would find time to sit around the table and explore each others' days and lives. It would be a JOYOUS and MOMENTOUS evening, EACH AND EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! The children would shower me with accolades! "Mommy! Where did you learn to make such delicious foods! How did you find the TIME?" Husband would look into my eyes with a love he had never known before. He would ask, "Where is the woman I married?"

I would say, "She was thrown out with the Sam's Club bed."

We would all laugh and know there was nothing of the sort and the next night, thankfully, there would be Hamburger Helper and bagged salad for dinner.

Yes, thank God there is no perfoct world, and no resolutions to be kept!

Friday, December 25, 2009

a MaNiC STyLe CHRiSTMaS ... aND yeS, LeT THeRe Be SuGaR

I sit here with my family on Christmas night and we’re all watching A Christmas Story and I wanted to watch Elf but find myself laughing anyway at the dumb lamp and the little brother Randy who eats the mashed potatoes like a pig. This is probably going to be my last post of the year and it’ll probably be a long one.

I have … oops, we’re getting to the Eff word part on the movie. The best part. First here's a random picture to prove what a Ziploc Whore I really am. This is my Ziploc cabinet, dedicated to only Ziplocs. Ziploc, I salute you. Thank you for being you!

Anyway, I’ll try not to digress too much.We had the 4th annual cookie exchange, and I’ll post pictures. I tested my sugar tolerance by eating three of my rolo pretzel pecan thingamagigs as I call them and in doing so, it was great because I found I didn’t crave them or find that I wanted more sugar after eating them. At the cookie exchange, I ate one or two of these luscious Oreo balls. They were totally worth it and a friend even shot video of me eating one, but I will not bore you with that explicit footage. I felt I did OK when it came to the sugar intake of the evening and was fine with returning back to my no-sugar routine.

(I just screamed when Ralphie’s dad tried to put the leg lamp together and it fell apart. I forgot that had happened! I’m not doing too well with this post while watching this show. I forgot how much I enjoyed it.)

So, right before Christmas, our family went on a Staycation to Chicago for two nights and we had a great time and did it all: Diva and I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art while the boys took in ESPN Zone, we all hit Lincoln Park Zoo, Gino’s East for pizza, The Bean at Millenium Park, John Hancock Building, the Water Tower, Garrett’s Popcorn, we went swimming and hot-tubbing and cheesecaking and apple-tini-ing. Yep, one night I did a bunch of overindulging in the sugar department and boy, did I feel the major effects. It HURT. An overdose of caramel popcorn, three appletinis, Cheesecake factory Oreo cheesecake and Stefanie’s 5-inch high red velvet cake (how could I resist a cake named after ME, although misspelled!)

I woke at midnight feeling like I had to puke AND you-know-what and that did not feel too good. It felt HORRIBLE. That’s how I used to feel all of the time when I would eat so much sugar. Just YUCK! And it further proved to me that I do not want to live that way. Not at all. Of course, it is Christmas today so I did have a piece of Christmas cake, but will be back on the No-Sugar-Track in no time at all. Like tomorrow!

As for future plans, the Virtual Blog for Blood Drive is soon approaching, and I do hope you’ll consider being a part of it this year! I’m desperately trying to get THE Ellen Degeneres on board to help with the event this year – wouldn’t THAT be amazing? If you have a contact to get in touch with her, PLEASE TELL HER MANIC MOMMY WANTS HER! Regardless, they’ll still be some great prizes because I believe if you build it, they will come! And if you want to donate a prize, whether it’s a pint of your blood or a Starbucks card, I’d love to have you participate! As in the past two years, the Blood Drive will run from January 1 through Feb. 28, so if you time it right, you can donate twice during the event, and all you have to do is send me a photo of you donating blood IN THE CHAIR. More details to follow next week!

I’ll also be video-blogging about some great books I’ve read which will be lots of fun, and will hopefully be giving away some fun reads as well!

Wishing you all a great New Year!
Peace UP!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

SuGaR iS THe RooT oF aLL eViL?

So it's been quite a while since I've had a sufficient amount of a real dessert, way back when I shoveled all those Halloween candies and cupcakes down my gullet on November 1. Like approximately 47 days. And about 43 days since I've had a can of diet coke. Have I lost any weight?


Why the eff-bomb am I still not eating sugar and not drinking my most favorite drink in the world aside from appletinis you may be asking if the pounds are just not melting off?

I guess because in some sickening way it does make me feel better. In a couple of sickening ways.

First of all, I really like having control over being able to HAVE control over it. Sounds pretty whacky, but if we don't know that I'm pretty whacky by now, well then, that's another problem. I guess the thing about willpower is once you've got control over something, it feels pretty, powerful. Like you can say, "It's been 47 days since I've had a donut." Or a piece of cake. A cookie. A TCBY's white chocolate mousse yogurt in one of those awesome waffle cones dipped in chocolate with sprinkles all stuck on it. You know what I mean?

But if I don't think about it too much, it really doesn't bother me. And if I eat something else instead, sometimes that even tastes like WAY better. Like today, I had some awesome hummus and pita chips and I was like going way crazy over how good it tasted.

But yesterday. Yesterday I was really craving a diet coke for some reason. But I knew if I had one I would just be nutso and then want more, more, more. So I didn't have one. And I got through it. I imagine this is pretty much like what it's got to feel like to want a cigarette so badly. But without the fear of getting lung cancer.

Anyway, the purpose of THIS post was to talk about the no sugar dealio. And I started about saying how not eating sugar is good in a couple of sickening ways, the first being the willpower way. The second is that I remember how crappy eating a bunch of sugary sweets would make me feel. Like all sluggish and run-down and hyped up at the same time, and out of control almost. And just BLAH. Not that I'm feeling like running marathons these days, and not that I'm feeling like I never need a nap these days, because that's another story - I CAN always SLEEP! I have some degenerative sleep disorder that when my head hits a pillow or I go horizontal, KABOOOM! I can fall asleep anywhere, and let me tell you, I do NOT MIND this disorder at all. I LOVE this habit of mine!

But, the sugar thing. I don't need to feel sluggish anymore. So I don't think I really want to go back to feeling that way.

Today was a big test in the sugar department and tomorrow ... well, today was actually a pop quiz. Thanksgiving was a mid-term exam, that's for sure. I passed that sucker with flying colors, probably cuz I had wine instead. Yes, I do not consider wine as sugar. When YOU decide to give up sugar, you can make up your OWN rules to your own sugar game, but this one is MINE and wine is not a part of my sugar busting game, OK? Thanks.

So, on Thanksgiving, I didn't have a single dessert, but yes, I did have wine, and yes, I did have the sweet potato casserole, which did have brown sugar and regular sugar in the recipe. And YES, I felt like SHIT afterward. And sluggishly shitty. I don't like that feeling. I remember that feeling. It was caused by the sugar. (And the tryptophan, and the wine, and yeah, I get it.)

So, my pop quiz today was this: Tomorrow is the big neighborhood cookie exchange we have every year and I made these Pretzel-Rolo-Pecan Thingamagiggies. That's what I'm calling 'em anyway. I wasn't sure if I was gonna eat any or not. I figured if I felt like it, I would try one or two, if I didn't feel like it I wouldn't.

I made a bunch of them without trying them for a while, and then like an hour or two later, I tried one. It tasted ... eh. Fine. I wasn't thrilled. I wasn't OH MY GOD THIS IS THE BEST THING IN MY ENTIRE LIFE AND HOW COULD I HAVE NOT BEEN EATING CHOCOLATE AND CARAMEL FOR THE PAST 47 DAYS!

So that made me think I needed to try another one because maybe I missed something with the first one. So, I tried another one. Same thing. Eh.


Which did a TON FOR ME!!!! I was SOOO happy to know that I wasn't going to go on a crazy binge and eat the whole cookie sheet of Pretzel-Rolo-Pecan Thingamagiggies!! That I wasn't going to shovel dozens of them down my throat and grab a case of diet coke to wash them down with. I had been so afraid to try anything remotely chocolatey for fear that I would freak and go back to my old ways of eating that I had been avoiding everything! I DIDN'T BINGE ON THE SUCKERS!

I did, however, want to drink some water immediately to get the taste out of my mouth in case my tastebuds decided to suddenly rebel against my brain and decide that they wanted more!

Let's see how tomorrow night goes when I am faced with 40 different types of homemade cookies and treats. At least there will be appetizers and wine there as beautiful distractions!

Joy to the World, my tastebuds are dead!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

aN oPeN LeTTeR To eLLeN DeGeNeReS CuZ SHe'S So GeNeRouS!

*update: If you want to share this with Ellen, you can tweet it to her by sending this: @theellenshow: MaNiC MoMMy wants your blood! or go to her website and send her a note telling her to come to this link:

Dear Ellen,

Remember that time you had a dream? It was a dream to be on Oprah magazine. You believed in yourself and set out with a strong campaign to overcome any naysayers and with hope and dedication you did what you dreamed of doing. (Although I was a bit miffed that Michelle Obama beat you to the punch.)

It was YOUR dream. You set out with a task, and you accomplished it.

Well, I have a dream too. And yeah, if you had your own magazine titled E, my dream would be to share the cover with you, and I’d wear pants too! But you don’t have a magazine titled E, so my dream is something else.

But this something else most definitely involves YOU.

I’m most CERTAIN you can help me obtain MY DREAM. And you’re the ONLY person out of the many millions of people in the world I could have chosen to ask because I know you’ve gone to great lengths to fight for a dream of your own so you know what it’s like to see that dream through. You know where I’m coming from first-hand. You know the pain and the anguish of fighting for your dream, of waiting on hold for Oprah, of going to sleep at night wondering if all your efforts were for naught, wondering if you were wasting your time, if you should have just tried to get on the cover of Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit issue instead.

I fully trust you know how I’m feeling when I make this request, which really is rather simple and beneficial to thousands of people!

I want your blood!

But I want more than that!

I want your viewers’ blood too!

And I’m not talking Edward Cullen blood, although I am most definitely Team Edward and if we have to get him involved in this plight to save thousands, I won’t be one to object! (Heck, I’ll even let him bite my neck!)

Beginning January, and running through February, I will be hosting the 3rd annual MaNiC MoMMy Virtual Blog for Blood Drive, which, to my knowledge is the ONLY virtual blood drive in the blogosphere.

In the past two years, we have saved hundreds of lives through the efforts of blood donors and I KNOW that with the help of The Ellen Show, we can reach MILLIONS!

Of course, if you can help, this teeny little grassroots effort of mine will SKYROCKET into a phenom! I know you help millions of people every year, but one person’s FREE pint of blood helps save THREE lives and donating blood is such an easy and generous gift for ALL people to give! (Plus, there are SNACKS!)

One of the motivational factors I would like to ask, aside from a pint of your blood is that perhaps at the end of this year’s contest, the grand prize winner could receive a trip to your show?


I would just love to offer the winner a trip to visit you! In the past, we have offered prizes to the donors, including Target gift cards, movie tickets, gift cards, t-shirts, and other small gifts of which I and some generous blog readers have donated, and last year a trip to Florida was given away. I would LOVE to up the ante and offer one random blood donor a grand prize trip to The Ellen Show!


So what do you think Ellen? Are you feeling it in your blood?

I bet your viewers would LOVE to watch you donate a pint of blood on your show. I bet they would LOVE for some of your guests to donate blood on your show! I bet some of my readers of my blog would love the opportunity for a chance to donate a pint of blood in the hopes of winning a trip to be on your show to share their inspirational blood-donating stories! We can spread the word between our efforts! And January is National Blood Donor Month so why not kick off the New Year with a Bloody Party! Bring on the vampires!

I’m sure we can collaborate on some great ways to make this a huge success and if you could help spread the word ANY way at all, I would be most appreciative! I know you probably get hundreds of requests for things like this all of the time, but THIS IS MY DREAM! You had one too! Your dream came true! Remember how it felt when Oprah called YOU! Can you please pay that feeling forward to me? And this dream of mine is only to help OTHERS!


Details on how I run the MaNiC MoMMy Virtual Blog for Blood Drive can be found here! Basically, anyone can enter – all that is needed is a photo taken while the person is donating blood while in the chair at their local blood bank from January 1 through February 28.

Thank you so much for even taking the time to read my letter! The 3rd annual Virtual Blog for Blood Drive will kick off on January 1 and run through February 28. I'd love the support of The Ellen Show! More details are below and if you would like to know more, we can set up a conference call! Ha, did I really just tell Ellen I can have a conference call with her. Oh yes I did! A girl can dream can't she!? Just ask Ellen! Who dreamed of being on Oprah's magazine AND MADE IT COME TRUE!


Stephanie Ellen (yes, that’s my REAL middle name!) Elliot aka MaNiC MoMMy

First Annual MaNiC MoMMy Virtual Blog for Blood Drive

Second Annual MaNiC MoMMy Virtual Blog for Blood Drive

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I have no idea where this blog post is going but thought I should blog. Am sitting in my living room wondering if the mouse that we spotted in our house on Friday (OK, Tukey and Mr. Manic spotted it on Friday a.m.) is anywhere near me, and wondering if the glue strips or the mouse traps will get it. I doubt seriously that it would have ventured back outside if given the option. Why would a mouse go back out in the cold if it could just stay in here in this nice 70/71 degree home even though there are NO crumbs to be found thanks to my Ziploc addiction and the fact that I secure all items of food. Now I am being interrupted by Diva and her friend asking if they can paint their nails. And oh yeah, Ajers has a girlfriend and I can no longer blog about that because it's too personal but she and Diva painted his toenails last night and after I dropped his girlfriend off, well, see, I can't even blog what he told me because it's just way too personal and I am going to respect his privacy but if you really want to know ... well, never mind. See, this sucks. The kids are too grown up. Drat. But ... oh well. Shit. Lost my train of thought. Is it really important anyway. Why do they have to grow up?

But I was thinking this a.m. that it's really cool that I can leave out all cleaning supplies and not worry about having to call poison control in the event of accidental swallowing. And I don't have to go through the aisle with all the formula and diapers anymore. So that's stuff to be grateful for.

But now we have to look forward to other stuff. Am I ready for all this tweener other stuff?

Oh my God, I am boring myself to tears.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

LiKe WHaT ya See?

Little changes.

I'm starting.

Not sure where I'm heading, but I kinda like the simple feel of the new template of MaNiC MoMMy. I played around with wordpress and thought about moving my blog to another blog 'handler' or whatever you call 'em, but I've been using BLOGGER for five years and I'm comfortable with it, so I'm staying. It's what I know. It's simple for this simple-minded gal. I know how to put the words on the screen and how to post pictures and youtube videos. That's all I need to know.

I've been thinking too, and Gosh, does that hurt. Every year, around this time I make myself the same promises. I will promise to write this book. I say it every flippin' year. And every flippin' year goes by and is that book written? Well, the first one is, but not the second one. And where is the first one? Well it's with my agent. It made it to some publishers, but timing wasn't right for that first book. The second one ... if I don't get a move on, the timing's not gonna be right on that one either. I need to kick it in gear. So, that's just another one of those things to think about for January.

Also, book related. We all know I love books. More than most women love make-up, shoes, hair products. So, I'm thinking of bringing back Booking With Manic. Maybe to a weekly (OK, let's not get too ambitious for 2010), or a bi-weekly feature on Manic.

Twice a month I will dish via video about some of the fave books I've read or will be reading. And I've got some great ones to kick off the new year with. Some books that some really off-the-wall MEN wrote. You know who you are you cock-sucking bastards. Yep. You guys. The two men who I would have loved to have known in college so I could have partied with who happen to be really great writers. More on that later. Now, if that's not tempting enough to get you back here in 2010, I don't know what is!?

Sunday, December 06, 2009


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Thursday, December 03, 2009


I just made up this joke and I expect that it's going to go viral and will get me the 15-minutes of fame I so very much deserve. Feel free to share it with the world, but please credit it to me:

Why would anyone want to marry the UPS guy?

Rumor has it he's got a huge PACKAGE!

I have so much free time it's just deliciously inexcusable!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NeW MooN ReVieW

Thoughts on New Moon:

First and most important, while I’m not Ga-Ga for the Twilight series, I was thrilled to be able to say at the end of the movie that I am STILL majorly TEAM EDWARD, and I don’t care that his little English white belly is scrawny and I could take him down and put him in a pretzel lock with my own thighs, I still would take him over Jacob Lautner and his terrible Navajo weave any old day.

Honestly, I would take Edward’s intensity, charm and intellect over Jacob’s 8-pack o’ abs any day.

Oh, and that glitter and shine in the sunlight intensifies his beauty.

I would lay with him in a field of purple daisies and trace his face with my fingertips all day long if I was a confused teenager in love. Oh yes I would. And yeah, I'd sure as hell let him bite me. Anywhere he'd want to.

The line Bella says to Jacob, “You’re sorta beautiful” had me choking on my popcorn. Dumb, weak, lame, corny movie stuff. But am sure the tweeners will be hugging their pillows pretending to make out with them over that line.

I love Vampire Alice and want her for my BFF, plus I want her haircut. And her eyes. In fact, I want all the vampire’s eyes, except for the Volturi’s red ones. Oh, and their skin. I don’t want the Volturi vampire’s skin. They are extra pallid and white. I’m not into the just-painted-my-face-with-jar-of-Noxema look. But am OK with glimmer-of-flour-brushed-across-skin accents the Cullens go with.

I’m kinda intrigued with Victoria; like she's cool in that evil vampire chick way.

Also, LOVE the Cullen family. They just seem so vampirishly nice.

Didn’t enjoy the guy getting mad at Bella so he turns into a wolf and then Jacob turning into a wolf to protect Bella and them fighting, but I guess you need to put some action in there to keep the boys interested in the movie.

Bothered me a bit that in the first movie Bella’s all like, “Edward, you’re so cold,” and in this one, it’s “Jacob, you’re so warm.” While I like Edward so much better, and I’m totally on the vampire side, I like warmth better than being cold, so that’s kind of, well, not a deal-breaker for me, but a point of contention for me.

Bella has to get over those nightmares.

I have never read any of the books in the Twilight saga series. And after viewing New Moon, my first thought was, “Damn. I’m gonna have to wait like a YEAR till I can find out what happens next.”

Then I’m like, DUH. There’s a book. You can read it. Stupid, stupid girl.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

yoGa aND JoHNNy DePP?

I went to yoga today. Didn't want to go really, have been lazy, but I ran into my lovely awesome instructor at the grocery store yesterday and so that was another one of those signs telling me that I should be there today. So I asked her yesterday, "If I go tomorrow, will you go easy on the planks?"

She said, "Well, I can't promise that."

I said, "Well, I can't promise I'll be there then."

Like that's any sweat off her back if I'm there or not.

So, I show up, and being the smart ass that I am, she starts the class by asking, "Before we start, are there any questions?"

I raise my hand.

"Yes, Stephanie?"

"Rumor has it that today is No Plank Day?"

Everyone laughed. Even my lovely yoga instructor.

Until she killed us through the hour with about a million planks.

Nah, just kidding. She wasn't that bad on us. I just can't move now.

But what does this have to do with Johnny Depp you ask? Well, we were doing some downward dogs and she suggested we lift our right leg during them and bend them back toward our left elbows.

I'll pause here why you do that imagine thing in your brain so you can envision that pose.


OK, so you get the picture?

She says, "Just imagine something like a hundred dollar bill is taped to your elbow and you're reaching with your toes to grab it." So we do and all is fine.

Then we move to do the other leg.

This time we bend our left leg and she says, "OK, imagine something taped to your right elbow that you want so badly and you're reaching ...

I pipe in ...

"Like Johnny Depp?"

Class bust outs.

Teacher says, "Eww, he needs a bath."

Me: "I'll give him a bath."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

GooD KaRMa CoaT

Diva and I went shopping tonight and I wasn't really looking for one, well, I kinda was, but not really searching for one but this really cute coat caught my eye at Macy's and I tried it on and well, they were having a really great sale so far be it for me not to help stimulate the economy you know? So, I went up to the cash register to see how much it was on sale for, along with a pair of jeans that are far to tight for my fat ass. But anyway, that's another blog post for another time.

The coat, which is pictured below, is black, not white, because I could never pull off an all-white coat, although, come to think of it, I do have an off-white or creamy-ish colored jacket in my closet, and that's where it mostly lives -- in the closet, because if it didn't live in the closet, well, it'd be really dirty by now.

So, this coat, pictured here, but in black, originally goes for $169.00. I don't think I would ever buy a clothing item for that much. Shit, my wedding dress barely cost that much. Okay, yes, it did cost a little bit more than that, but it was only a three digit number, SERIOUSLY! That's why I laugh when watching Say Yes to the Bitch Dress, because it cracks me up that some of those dresses these self-serving stuck-up snobs NEED cost more than my whole wedding WEEKEND!

So, I knew it wouldn't cost $169 cuz it was on sale, but I didn't think it was going to be the number she threw out to me, which was $69!

SOLD! I was gonna get me a new coat!

So, along with jeans too tight for my fatass, the nice lady rang up the coat as well and I was so happy with such an inexpensive charge. As I was walking out, I looked at my receipt and realized she accidentally charged me twice for the jeans which were $39.99 and did not charge me for the coat at all!

Yes, I could have walked out of there saving thirty bucks. But in good conscious (proper use of that word, I do not know?) I could not do that. Plus, I figured it would be a good teaching lesson for Diva. Plus, I'm all about the good karma.

I went back to the register and said, "I think you made a mistake and charged me twice for the jeans and not at all for the coat."

She checked it out and I was right.

"I couldn't leave here in good faith knowing I hadn't paid for the coat. Plus, I'd probably then get in a bad car accident or something!" I said and laughed.

She appreciated my honesty and I felt good about going back. Plus, if something was wrong with the coat, I wouldn't have been able to return it -- well, I probably could have cuz I would have had the tags, but still. I was glad to went back, and it was only a $30 difference, and I was saving a hundred bucks on the awesome coat anyway!

And yes, on the way home, on a dark winding road, no effing lie, Diva and I were in the car and a fricking HUGE ASS DEER came bolting out of the woods RIGHT FREAKING IN FRONT OF OUR CAR and we both screamed and I put on the brakes to slow down to let him leap across the street.

You can be your sweet ass had I left the store without paying my share for that coat that it would now be covered in deer blood and guts.

It's my good karma coat for sure. Yes, it is!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

GoiNG SuGaR-FRee

In my last post I was talking about change. One of the things I am working on to change in my life has been the amount of sugar I eat.

On November 1, the day after Halloween, I took all the Pay Days, Twix bars, 100 Grands, Baby Ruths, Take Fives (there were only a few of those suckers), and a couple other key candies and I ate them all. There were probably close to 18 or so. I took them because Diva doesn't like those kinds and throughout the day I ate all the types of candies I wanted. Each and every single one of them. And you betcha, I enjoyed them all.

We also had cupcakes. There were six of them. I had two the day before. I was planning on eating one on this night, which was a Sunday night. I finished off all the chocolate candy bars (none of them were full-sized - everyone was pretty stingy this year if you ask me!) And you know what, I just realized I already told you all of this shit on November 1, about how I ate all this crap already, and how I ate those two luscious cupcakes, and how I tossed the four remaining cupcakes. Man, it sooo sucks getting old. So, what's the point of this blog post?

Oh yeah.

I haven't had a dessert or a sugar treat since that night.

Not one.

And there have been plenty around here.

There is all the kids' candy still left over. There was a slice of birthday cake at lunch one afternoon. There were cookies at a luncheon the other day. There were cookies at a lunch today. We have ice cream in the house. We have snacky shit all over the place. There's junk everywhere. And I have said no. For 10 days I have not had chocolate or cake or ice cream or cookies or cupcakes or snack cakes or crappy sweety sugary donutty junky crappy stuff at all.

Have I missed it? Have I gone to bed like a crazed woman?


The second night I woke up with my mouth feeling like it was filled with a vanilla cream filled cake, and then the other night I woke up dreaming I was mid-way through a suicide Slurpee and was ordering cilantro-lemon sorbet but other than that, I haven't even wanted anything sweet. I have had TWO sugar-free pieces of chocolate since I stopped eating sweets, and I also bought sugar-free chocolate pudding in case I get a case of the crave attacks but so far it's been sooooo easy.

And another thing. Since I stopped the sugar bombs, I have not craved or wanted Diet Coke for almost a week now either. Before, I would have on average 3-5 Diet Cokes a day. Not one since last Thursday. That's pretty freaking amazing.

I don't know if I've lost any weight. I don't have a scale at home. My jeans fit better this morning. I feel a bit more comfortable putting on my clothes. I am not really feeling starving. I'm choosing better alternatives when I feel like I need to have a snack - a bowl of cereal (non-sugary), nuts, whole grain bread, an apple. I do know there is sugar in apples, and there are sugars in other types of foods. I am aware that I can't completely give up sugar because it is in many foods, but I'm being cautious. Like I wanted a PB&J the other day but when I noticed sugar was the second ingredient in both items, I chose something else to eat. And I know I can get natural PB and jelly, and maybe I will, but I'm taking this slow to see how my body reacts to it, and see how I feel later on down the road.

Seriously, if I can pass up the peppermint mocha lattes (it's pretty easy, if I want a coffee, I can just get a skinny cafe vanilla latte), and a seasonal cookie, really ANYONE can give up sugar. And I'm interested in seeing how this goes. I'm just looking at it as an experiment, not as a DIET. I'm just testing the sugarless waters to see where it takes me. So far, I'm swimming steady and not sinking!

Sunday, November 08, 2009



Every day I look out my living room window at the same tree. I love this one tree in front of my house. Every day I think the same thing.

What would it be like if I took a photograph of this picture every day from this same spot and then viewed the photos. I know what I would see. I would see a barren tree, as it is practically now, with only a few yellow leaves on brown branches.

Then I would watch as winter comes, and the branches become covered with snow and ice crystals while I lay on the couch and wonder when it will all change back.

I remember not very long ago, this tree was filled with green leaves and so full my children could hide in the branches above.

There was another tree in my old house, in Pennsylvania, and we moved there in September, so I didn’t know at the time what colors it would become. So, can you imagine what it felt like in May to discover it bloomed pink? And that I actually thought when I first saw a tree like that across the street, that the neighbors had decorated their tree in pink eggs in honor of Easter?

I love the mystery of how trees change.

It’s so simple yet so crazy. They didn’t sign up for change. Yet they just accept the change, and they go with the flow, and they accept that it will happen, and that things will turn out okay from each season.

Why can’t we live like that? To just go with the flow and to know that with each passing season, everything will be okay no matter what happens?

I’ve had awesome trees in every home I’ve lived in so far. I have been able to look out my front window and have experienced amazing things, and I’ve remembered the changes and the beauty in those changes. Why can’t I be open to change and know that with every season when something new comes along, it doesn’t have to be something to be feared, but it can be something to look forward to?

Thursday, November 05, 2009


So, Ajers and I had a date last night. Any time I can get him alone I like to offer a chance for us to talk, and I always ask, "Is there anything you need to know, anything at all you want to ask me?"

"Not really."

"OK," I said, and kept driving. We were going shoe shopping.

About five minutes later he decided he DID have a question.

"I do have a question!"

"OK, ask."

"Was Dad the only person you ever did it with."


I don't even think I thought about lying. I came right out and told the truth and said, "Nope."

He said, "So you did it with someone else?"


"When was it?"

"It wasn't until I was in college." I said. WHICH WAS TRUE BY THE WAY! Technically, it was after high school, the summer BEFORE COLLEGE, like actually TWO WEEKS BEFORE I WENT AWAY TO COLLEGE, so to me, that was COLLEGE, right!? RIGHT!

THANK GOD he didn't want to know more, like who was it, were there more than one, etc. He did however ask this:

"Was he better than Dad!?!?


Here's how I answered THAT ONE:

"NO HONEY! OF COURSE NOT! Daddy is your daddy! I married Daddy! He's the father to my children and I love him very much!"

Then he asked if Daddy ever did it with anyone else and then he answered his own question by saying, "Probably with Barbie!" (which is what everyone in our whole family calls Daddy's little blonde ex-girlfriend.)

I said, "Yeah, probably with Barbie and there's NO WAY SHE WAS BETTER THAN ME SON!"

Hahah. I didn't say that last part to Ajers, but you can damn well better believe I was thinking it!

See, it's important to be open with your children. It really is.

And, when we got home, I high-tailed it to where Mr. Manic was to fill him in on the conversation so if Ajers got to him, we would be on the same page with our info! And cool thing was, he said he would have answered Ajers exactly the same way I answered his questions.

Cool parenting 101!

[P.S. I've been on a blogging rampage lately, so if you missed the post from yesterday, please stop by and read it below - it's more tame - about the tooth fairy!]

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

PRooF THaT i STiLL KiNDa RoCK aS a MoM

So last night at 2 a.m. Tukey came running into our room and I just figured it was cuz of more aftershock of Halloween (he was in there that night too, saying he 'couldn't sleep, but I know some stuff still scares him).

But actually last night he said, "My tooth came out!"

I was like, "Cool, mfpahsshfsdlfjlsj, get in bed." And I tossed the tooth on the nightstand. Then I got smooshed in the middle of him and Mr. Manic. Then I felt like I had to pee. Then I felt like I had to play tooth fairy. Then I felt like a shitty mom cuz the night before, AJERs ripped out his own tooth which was like his 21st baby tooth and he woke up the next morning and bitched out dad cuz there was no money under his pillow. And yes, he's 12, and proof that I've been sucking lately is that he turned 12 eight days ago and I don't even think in the almost five years I've been blogging on here I have ever missed mentioning my babies' birthdays yet I did this year. So I've been sucking as a mom!

So even though AJERs doesn't believe in the tooth fairy, by golly (yes, I did just say BY GOLLY!) he still BELIEVES IN MONEY and he wanted some! And it was NOT delivered!

So, back to last night ...

I was squished in between two of the top six men I love most in the world, and I had to pee like really really bad. You know how even if you don't have to pee like really really bad but once it's in your head even a speck, and you're thinking about it, you might as well have to pee a gallon cuz you're not gonna fall back to sleep, then you might as well get back up.

OH, and I just remembered something ELSE!

I had ALREADY smuggled two bucks under AJERS pillow BEFORE Tukey's tooth fell out so if Tukey were to get up and discover his brother had a visit from the tooth fairy but HE DIDN'T well then, THAT WOULD JUST SUCK ROYAL DONKEY BALLS, DON'T YOU THINK SO?

So, I got up to pee, stole money from Mr. Manic, cuz I'm really, really, really good at that, and threw the tooth into my nightstand (which you can tell I'm getting tired of this too, because up until now, I have every single tooth in ziplocs with the date, year, child's name, and tooth number listed on it - now they are just discarded into a draw not even knowing which kid's mouth it came from!)

I went back to bed and when I woke up this morning, I'm like, "Tukey, why are you in bed with me? Did you have another bad dream?"

Yes, I am THAT good!



"NO! There is no money!"

"Are you sure? Did you look?"

So we looked, and WOWZERS! There is two bucks there!


Yes, I am THAT good!

And in case you missed Tukey's First Tooth Loss, I was THAT good back then too.

Here's a little video for you to enjoy:

Sunday, November 01, 2009

HeRe'S WHaT i JuST DiD

My heart is racing out of my chest but I figured it would. Last night I met a woman in our neighborhood who gave up sugar because she kept getting these uncomfortable sores in her mouth because of sugar. (I'm not getting sores) but because she stopped eating sugar, she lost 10 pounds. I'm like, "Hey I could probably give up sugar, I don't even like it all that much, I just eat it cuz it's there. And everyone knows I could stand to lose ten twenty pounds so why not. So, in preparation for giving up sugar, kind of like how runners prep for a marathon and carb up you know? Well, in prep for that and to honor Halloween, I just had my last taste of sugar.

And no, it wasn't a mini Snickers. In fact, I didn't have a Snickers all day yesterday or today. Does that make you proud?


In fact, I had every single Pay Day my kids brought home. But NOT every single Baby Ruth, almost though. I did have every single Take Five, cuz there weren't that many. I did have every single Heath bar, cuz there were not that many of those either. And I did snag every single Twix bar too. Man, the givers of treats were really stingy with the treats this year (says the lady who distributes Tootsie Roll pops and Air Heads).

But anyway, I am getting ready for bed and said THIS IS IT (ooh, don't forget to check out my last post about the movie, THIS IS IT, which was FAB!), and so I went into the kitchen and binged on a Baby Ruth, the last Heath and one two frosted vanilla cupcakes.

Yes TWO! Like you know how bingers just sit there and eat at the kitchen sink and think of NOTHING else but how the food tastes and how the sugar feels going down your throat and how nothing else in the world matters, and how you should so be on Oprah cuz you clearly have an eating disorder because you show all of the symptomatic psychomatic cyclical crazy obsessive signs? Right? RIGHT! You do that too? Oh.


You want to know the VERY VERY VERY BEST NEWS?

I threw out FOUR CUPCAKES! Just like that I tossed them into the garbage can. And NOOOOO, there was nothing wrong with them! In fact, if you must know, they were CHOCOLATE ONES! WITH CHOCOLATE FROSTING! Yes, I committed a cardinal chocolate food sin.

But, this was the first step to my own personal sugar busters plan. Will you join me?

And anyway, for some Halloween entertainment, here are a few photos from last night. While we don't live near my brother and sister in law, I have to share their costumes with you with a little back-story. Last year, they went to a bar in costume, and had no idea there was a big contest, they just love to dress up. My brother went as Michael Phelps. HE WON A TRIP TO GRAND CAYMAN! This year, he went again as Michael Phelps, but had the bong as an accessory.

Alas, he did not win this year and people were coming up to him and saying, "Dude, you SOOOO shoulda won!"

My brother pointed to the winner this year and said, "Man, no worries cuz you see that winner there? That GEICO MONEY winner? THAT'S MY WIFE!!!"

So, last year my brother won a trip to Grand Cayman for HIS COSTUME! This year, his wife won it for her costume! THey are like sooo cool!

And this year we went to our neighbor's for a party. These are our good friend's who we went to Yellowstone with. Now, if you've been reading Manic Mommy for a while, or at least since July, you may have read about our eventful trip and how I was terrified of running into a bear during the hikes and how I am not that much of a sporty person, and how my idea of a vacation is to be horizontal on a beach with a drink in hand. So, as a surprise to our friends, we showed up at their party dressed like Yellowstone campers! And I have to tell you, this is pretty much how I looked after our daily hikes in Yellowstone except for one thing ...

I wasn't smiling!

Happy Belated Halloween, and here's to safe healthy Novembers to you all!

Friday, October 30, 2009

THiS iS iT

If you've ever even liked a song or two from Michael Jackson, you will want to see this movie. Oh.My.God. The dude is AMAZING. AMAZING! What a freaking performer. We were only halfway through the movie and I was like, "I already want to see this movie again to see the dancing and performing and singing all over again."

I feel so badly for the guy. He didn't look sick. He didn't look malnourished. He didn't look like a freak. Heck, look at all those other performers out there. Look at Lady Guy Guy for crying out loud! Look at Marilyn Manson! Look at all those freak performers out there. Michael didn't even look weird in this movie. He looked like a gentle humble kinda guy just wanting to perform his best for an audience of people who love his music.

And he didn't get a chance to.

And Kenny Ortega, director. He did the High School Musical movies, and we all know how much I LOVED those. He's an amazing dude too, and you can tell in THIS IS IT that he and Michael had a great friendship. I'm sure he was devastated at the death of Michael.

In the beginning of the movie, they show the audition for dancers. These people traveled all over the world for a chance to dance behind Michael. What a dream. I think how they were given a life changing chance, and they didn't even get to see it through. What would it had been like to go on tour with Michael Jackson as a backup dancer, or a singer for Michael Jackson. To be hand-picked by the King of Pop?

And as I watched, I just kept wondering how Michael Jackson had changed these people's lives? There was a woman back-up singer who sang a ballad with Michael, and now I can't remember which one it was (I could google but am lazy), but I watched her and I'm thinking, "How could she not be DYING to be singing with Michael; how was she not so worried that she might miss a note and screw up?" Also an awesome blonde female guitarist rocked it when Michael sang Black or White. Did she ever think when she first picked up the guitar for the first time that she would one day be on stage playing an instrument so that Michael Jackson could sing to it? Just amazing!

And now the guy is dead.

And yeah, he was weird for a while. Why he was weird, we don't really know? Maybe he was weird cuz he was in the spotlight for his whole life. Maybe it was cuz his dad pimped him out to the paparazzi. Maybe he was abused and beaten down as a kid. Maybe he had strange relationships with young children. Who knows. We don't know for sure what happened. We will never know. All we do know is that he was an extremely talented gracious humble man who lent his talents to this world.

And that he inspired millions with his music.

Go see the movie. In memory of Michael. It's really worth it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This is the longest stretch I have gone in almost 5 years without blogging, and I don't really know why other than I'm trying to figure stuff out. What kind of stuff I don't know. I don't know if people even come here anymore to read or what the point is of this blog. I fear my kids are too old now to make them the focus of this blog, and the really deep thoughts are thoughts that are unsharable. Not bad thoughts, just introspective thoughts. I have said it a million times on here that I need to get working on my second novel and maybe if I put the blog aside and do that, then I'll be DOING THAT and not just blogging about doing that.

See, again, I still don't even know what I'm saying here. And things have happened where I'm like, "Oh, that would make for an interesting blog post" but then the moment passes and it's gone, and not that important anymore. I'm just thinking about being rather than doing, if that makes any sense. None of it makes any sense actually. I don't know what I'm trying to figure out. Nothing really. No need to comment. I'm just here. Trying to figure out the shit I'm not sure I need to figure out, and if there's really anything I do need to figure out.

Monday, October 19, 2009


You all know how much I love my 10-year-old daughter, Diva (Of course, I have to remind you all that I have a daughter, and that she's 10 since it's been forever and a day since I've blogged). So, like AJers did in fifth grade, today is Diva's day to go to outdoor education with her class for an overnight.


Now, it was a little emotional to send AJers off last year, and I wrote about that experience here.

With Diva, well, she's my girl, and while I don't think I play favorites, it just seemed weird to send her off. She was telling me she was anxious both ways - excited and nervous, and how she was going to miss me, and what if she woke up in the middle of the night wanting me. That kind of stuff - the stuff you don't get with boys. And yeah, I'm sure I coddle her more than the boys, but she's a different kind of person. She needs affirmation and attention (gee, wonder where she gets THOSE traits from?).

Anyway, she woke up this a.m. happy as could be, even saying, "I don't think I've ever gotten up on a Monday when I haven't been crabby." (Maybe we need Outdoor Ed EVERY Monday!)

She had her bags packed and I was taking her to the school for their trip (which is only about an hour away) and I had a good idea, which I think she and I had done before.

"Let's put hearts on our wrists so every time you see it, you know I'm thinking of you, and every time I see mine, I know you're thinking of me! (I just looked at mine again!)

So, we Sharpied on two red hearts (when did Sharpie become a verb?), and smooshed them together like a heart/wrist kiss. On our way to school I told her that when she's 18, if she still loves me like she does now, I will take her and we will get matching tattoo hearts on our wrists. That's just in 8 short years. I kinda hope she would want to do this with me. Just me and my daughter, two wrist-hearts to remind us how much we love each other.

And then I also told her that after she has the real tattoo, if she ever gets pissed at me, she can always Sharpie a black line through it for a couple days!

So, Diva's gone to Outdoor Ed until tomorrow afternoon, but she knows I'm thinking of her and that I love her so very much.

Because of this:

Have fun Diva Girl!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


The funk is back.

((Soul Brother))

Beckoning me from bed.

To live and breathe and think and do.

And be.

But I withdraw.

Back in my slumber.
Not wanting to grasp its meaning.

But it’s here again. Controlling me.
When all I want

Is to
do and
think and

And be.

What does it want from me?
To spew
these words, pull them from
the pen and .

Then it stops.

As quickly
as started.

At lost. It's lost.

The funk retreats.

Hides behind the covers of my lids.
So that I can only

see, what others cannot.

So that they do not know
That He exists,
Waiting to
plummet the pen
into these words.

10:54 p.m. 10-15-09

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

i WeNT SoMeWHeRe

So, I haven’t blogged in a while but I have a good excuse. I got whisked away to Florida for five days. It was lazy, relaxing and fun all rolled into one big HOT and HUMID time. Here are my FB updates which is kind of like a mini-blog post, and also my Tweets about my "Twip." Twy and cweate a short stowy about what you read here and post it in the comments!


is afraid that she might have killed the puffer fish.

is drinking a mudslide beachside.

is waiting for her toes to park after dark.

is glad the puffer fish is not dead.

is done eating. can she have another espresso martini? and is mom and dad watching the kids?

is pleased that waiter said hubby reminds him of vince vaughn. vince is first on my list of five!!

is freaked that out of all the bars in the world elevation, u2's chicago cover band is at the same bar in tampa that i'm in. macdinton's. conna can u meet me? leslie and rob come on out.

is shit. first time i dropped my new phone. not the last.

is wondering if anyone in this bar has real tits and why does it feel so good to pee right now?

is loving facebooking in public.

i cant say a 3 syllasble word but i could prolly dive home. my r letter sticks. drive i mean. you and me baby we aint nothin but mammals.

am home from dinner and U2 fake concert. Would go to sleep but I think expresso martinis might thwart that idea.

done for the night.

Saturday update: Puffer Fish - thriving. Me, not so much.

So, our family has often talked about pitching a reality TV show called "So I Married a Rhyne (not real maiden name)." We've got the theme song all figured out ... "I thought my life was going fine, until I found myself marrying a Rhyne!" Insert Country-White Trash Slang.

After purchasing super plus tampons at Walgreen's and ONLY that, the guy asks: "Do you want your receipt?" Me: "No thanks, I don't think I'll need to return these."

is going to stuff her face yet again. filet, baked potato, chopped salad, broc casserole,vino, chocolate cake. vacation sux.

is glad the puffer fish is not dead.

Can someone wire my mouth shut until the end of the year please. NO.MORE.FOOD.

is waiting for her plane to arrive and wishing for a nap.

thinks chicago is cold but florida is hot.

is exhausted.

And now the Tweets from the Twip:

1.Gotta finish packing. Au voir. Whatever the hell that means. Ha, I really know.

2.Heading to airport for an adventure2:42 PM Oct 7th from txt

3.Touchdown tampa.7:38 PM Oct 7th from txt

4.Now that I'm in Tampa, the first place I'm going to get food is CHICK FILA! Be jealous.8:33 AM Oct 8th from web

5.Am at chick fila getting ready to order! happy dance10:02 AM Oct 8th from txt

6.Just watched last night's #glee episode. HOw can that show not make you happy and dancy? Love every aspect of it!12:11 PM Oct 8th from web

7.Am on my second margarita-I make 'em with frozen limeade, sugar, triple sec, tequila, and a topper of amaretto. Vacation.5:28 PM Oct 8th from web

8.In the same state as Bono TWICE. Since I was puking at the 1st concert cuz of a migraine, think Bono will give me a ticket? Connections NE1?8:50 AM Oct 9th from web

9.Am drinking a mudslide beachside. Nice.11:52 AM Oct 9th from txt

10.Waiter just said hubby reminds him of vince vaughn. Vince is #1 on my list of five. How did he know?7:44 PM Oct 9th from txt

11.Am in a bar oin tampa listening 2 a chicago u2 covert band ive seen b4. What r the odds?9:49 PM Oct 9th from txt

12.Having a geat time getting effed up in a bar watching u2 cover banmd from chicago. Go elevation10:25 PM Oct 9th from txt

13.all the bars in the world, what's the odds that the U2 cover band Elevation from Chicago that I have seen is playing in this tampa bar?11:32 PM Oct 9th from web

14.You'll all be pleased to know I am done for the night. Too bad the night was yesterday.11:37 PM Oct 9th from web

15.So yeah, I'm here.12:46 PM Oct 10th from web

16.So it's drinking/tweeting time. Awesome margaritas -- limeade, triple sec, tequila, sugar, ice. Top it with a shot of amaretto. Here we go!5:34 PM Oct 10th from web takes a very special person to fit in with this effed up family.6:08 PM Oct 10th from web

19.In fact, there's going to be a new reality show called, "So I Married a Rhyne. (not real maiden name)" ... and there's a theme song already ...6:09 PM Oct 10th from web

20.This is the top laziest vacation I've ever been on and it ROCKS!5:41 PM Oct 10th from web

21.I could have just brought PJs and a swim suit and I woulda packed too much.5:41 PM Oct 10th from web

22.Now playing WAR with my daughter, and drinking my second margarita. What's everyone else doing this glorious Saturday night?5:44 PM Oct 10th from web

23.Theme song: "I thought my life was going fine, then I screwed up and married a Rhyne!"6:09 PM Oct 10th from web

24.U have to sing that theme song in a white-trashy twang sorta sound. "I thought mah life was goin' fine-then I ruined it, married a Rhyne.6:10 PM Oct 10th from web

25.Today when I bought tampons & ONLY that, the guy asks: "Do you want your receipt?" Me: "No thanks, I don't think I'll need to return these."2:23 PM Oct 11th from web excited that i figured out how 2 get twitter on my phone!2:41 PM Oct 12th from web

27.If I could get away with slipping into bed for the night to sleep, I would so do it right now.4:22 PM Oct 12th from web

28.going to bed at 8pm.about 23 hours ago from web

Tell me what I did on vacation? Cuz I don’t remember!

Friday, October 02, 2009


OK, so yeah, here I am. And am buzzed. I acutally cooked a dinner fot he family, and yeth, if there's bypo's oops, typos then that's how it's conng gonna be cause I am buzzed. but I have a story to tell you about my youngest son Tueky. Oops, Tukey. And yeah, I'm typing with one eye closed. The left one is closed ...

So, Tueky Tukey is in some smart kid math at school and they had a word problem to solve that said something like:

OK, so I'll just write the whole thing down here now:

Nora, Irene and I found 50 cents on the playground. We turned the money in to the office (at least they didn't use it to buy crack!). A week later, no one had claimed it, so we got to keep it. How much money do each of us get if we shared the 50 cents equally?

OK, so we all know the answer is 50 cents divided by 3, right? Well Tukey is in 2nd grade and he was supposed to figure this out. The instructions also said to draw a picture or use numbers to help explain how you figured out the answer.

Well, Tukey figured out the answer and he said each person would get 25 cents.

Wanna know why?

He drew a picture of three stick figures, one of Nora, one of Irene, and one stick figure of himself. And the one that he labeled as himself has a note in a thought balloon that says:

"I don't need any money."

Bwhahahahah! I am keeping this sheet of paper on my fridge forever! What a smart kid--cuz he couldn't figure out how much each of three would get, he decided to take himself out of the equation!

"I don't need any money."

OK, and yeah, I'm pretty buzzed rigth now.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

iT HaS CoMe To THiS

Aside from mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, wife, in-law, writer, blogger, yoga-enthusiast, you can now add another to the list of things that I am:


I didn't see the critter coming across the street. OK, that's a lie. Add liar to that list. I saw the chipmunk scrambling to get to the other side. I always see them crossing, whether it's a squirrel, a chipmunk, a goose, whatever. And I always break for 'em. In fact, if there was a bumper sticker that says, "I Break for Critters" it should be mine, cuz I do. Even if it means jeopardizing the children in the car. I break.

And hahaha, yes I just realized it should be BRAKE and not BREAK, but guess what? That poor little guy is certainly broken today. As in breaked.

Anyway, grammar lesson complete, I always brake for the little guys.

Because I know that little critter is crossing in a scurry to get to the other side, to perhaps bring a fallen acorn to his little chipmunk family, and I want him to get across. I do.

But today, the little guy didn't make it. I put on my brakes, and while slowed, I didn't stop, because, well, I don't know why I didn't stop. There wasn't another car behind me. It would have been OK for me to stop. But, I was in a hurry to get to Jimmy John's and get a JJBLT, some salt & vinegar chips and a big ole diet coke. Yes, I was solely thinking of myself.

And that's when it happened, although, I wasn't sure if I squashed him or not with my front right tire. I didn't FEEL anything, not a bump or a jump or anything to indicate that I had hit the critter.

Only did I realize my crime when I looked in the rearview mirror and saw his little body on the street. Except at that time, it looked plump as if I maybe just almost rolled over it and stunned the poor guy.

When I came back on my way home, I drove slowly and said this mantra: Please don't be dead little guy, please don't be dead ... over and over in my head.

But he was. Squished like a bug. Flatter than a pancake, and guts oozing from it's poor little chipmunk body.

How could this have happened? I love little critters. There's a couple even underneath my front walkway, and sometimes they peek out at me as if to say, "Hello kind lady. Thanks for letting us make our home at your home!"

That poor little dude will never see his family again. He will have not been able to deliver the goods to whomever he was taking acorns and nuts to. I have ended his life.

I take that road often, probably 10 times a week. And from now on, I will have to drive through the murder site, and remember that I ended a little critter's life. It makes me sad.

And only fitting, when I got home, I look at our Halloween decorations, and see one fake tombstone that says RIP, and the other, which sent chills up my spine:


Wednesday, September 30, 2009


In almost five years I've never gone a whole week without you. I'm not sure how I'm feeling. Maybe I'll write about it later.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Not lately.

I haven't felt much like I've got anything to say so I haven't been jumping to the blog lately. I'm not sure why, and I'm not sure what I'm going to write here, so I don't know.

See, I told you I was messed up.

I just wonder what am I doing blogging? What am I getting out of it? What is anyone getting out of it. And this is not my plea for those who read to say, "Don't stop blogging." I just don't know where it's taking me, or if I need to move to the next level. I've been blogging for almost 5 years. I guess that's a lot of words. I don't know that many of them have meant much to anyone but me, maybe that's ... Shit, I don't even know.

Why blog?

I don't have any grand insights to share with anyone. My kids are getting older and there's fewer and fewer hilarious things I can share about them. Yes, they're still funny, but when should I stop using them for my own expense/entertainment?

I don't know where I'm headed or where I want to go, in the literal sense, and the philosophical sense. I don't know what our family's future holds. Where will I be next year? Will it matter?

I'm sitting here in my room wondering. What am i thinking about. Deadlines that must be met. Laundry that must be done. Children that must be cared for. Books I'm dying to write. Where is this getting me. Is blogging getting me any closer to my dreams.

And what are my dreams anyway?

Do I have any?

See, I knew this wouldn't make sense ... it doesn't make sense to the person who's thinking all of this. It's just a big fat wonderment of mystery. What do I feel like doing and why? How will this make me a better person in the long run? Am I wasting my time? Am I wasting your time. I think I worry about those things too.

And why am I so good at sleeping. I swear, if sleeping were an Olympic Event, I would so take the gold. And on that note, bedtime.

Friday, September 18, 2009

a SToRy By TuKey: PuRPLe DuCK

I remember one time when my babbysitter Adrea [Andrea] was over and she said guy's it's time for bed.

Oh No! I whispered to myself.

Then she said Tukey it's time for bed. Then I said I want to wach more TV. Adrea siad no it's time for bed. Then I siad what I can't here you. Then she siad Tukey. Then I siad purple duck.


purple duck.


purple duck.

Then I siad I'm waching more TV. I'm not getting out of this chir. Then I hered the grode [garage] door open.

Oh No!

my mom and dad where here. Then I ran upstars clibed up in my bunkbed and whent to bed. Then afte two hours my mom and dad said good night.

The Next day I woke up and had a good day at school.

The End!

Monday, September 14, 2009

u2 GooD NeWS; BaD NeWS

So, the good news of this "U2 Good News; Bad News" post is that I went to the opening Chicago show of U2's new tour. The bad news, I didn't see any of it.

Now before your minds start awandering, NO, I was not drunk and passed out. I got a migraine. A stupid migraine prevented me from seeing ANY BIT OF BONO. I spent the evening in the last bathroom stall fighting a migraine and puking.

Who manages to go to a U2 concert and ends up in the bathroom the whole night? Me, that's who.

We had the whole day planned, 30 of us were tailgating and there were to be margaritas and awesome food, and music in preparation for the big show. Mr. Manic and I took the train downtown. On the train I said, "I'm scared I'm going to get a migraine."

"Don't psyche yourself up. You're going to jinx it into happening."

It happened.

I don't know what triggered it, but now this is the third migraine in a month, the second of which there was vomiting. I wondered if it was because I hadn't had any caffeine the whole morning/day, but I've gone without many days. I wonder if I have a reaction to popcorn, cuz I had popcorn that morning (Don't ask. OK, ask: we went to the Farmer's Market and they had awesome kettle corn there.) I recall getting migraines sometimes after eating movie popcorn and wonder if I have a reaction to certain oils? I have no idea.

But, the headache starts creeping up, and that's when I should take my preventative meds, but did I have any with me? Of course not! That would have been too sensible for Manic to actually pack her migraine medicine. (For the record, I didn't pack a comb, brush, toothbrush for that matter - I was going waaaay casual obviously.)

I power through, and keep saying, "I'll feel better, I can do this. It's Bono for crying out loud." Now, I'm not a huge U2 fan, but I like the band a lot, and to be in the vicinity of the band but not see the performance, well, that just sucked.

At tailgating, I tried to push through, tried to drink a 1/2 margarita, did eat some food thinking that would help, but kept cringing at the noise levels and the smells of the grills and sausages and people smoking, and that was really getting to me. I asked my friend if I could lie down in her van. I should have stayed there the whole time. But did I? Nooooo. Because I don't know my limitations. Had my limitations been with me that morning, I would have given my ticket to another neighbor so someone could have enjoyed the show.

Finally, we go in to the venue, which is Soldier Field, huge venue, the Bears play there, I've NEVER been inside Soldier Field. Let me tell you, they do a real nice job keeping those bathrooms clean. And I would know. Because I spent from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m IN THE BATHROOM!

Previous to camping out in the bathroom, I did go to First Aid at one point because I thought there would be a gurney I could lie on but the guy said I could sit there for a while but then they'd have to transfer me. Transfer me? Where to? The stage? Maybe then I'd feel better. I did manage to see 3 songs by Snow Patrol, one of them Open Your Eyes and it was great, but I knew, I just knew that with a light show and all the drums, I would never make it through the night.

The worst part, I could hear the band, could hear every single note from every song they were playing, but just enough to kill my ears and make me wish I wasn't sick so I could be out there with the whole crowd singing Sunday BLoody Sunday, and Streets Have No Name, and Vertigo ... and, and yeah, missed it. But I didn't miss the shaking of the buidling while locked in my bathroom stall. Nope, I felt all that motion, and felt it even more every time people would come in to pee. I got relief when there was a really good song playing because then the bathroom door wouldn't keep opening and closing and I wouldn't have to listen to all the drunk girls talk about how much they loved Bono and how great the show was, and and and ...

And while I sat there, I puked and then tried to clean up the mess, and it was one of those toilet paper holders where it takes FREAKING FOREVER to get a square out, and the whole time I'm telling myself, "Just get me through the night. At least I'm alive. It's only music. I can get through this."

And I could have gotten Mr. and begged him to take me home and he would have in a heartbeat, but I wanted him to at least experience the show. We paid a shitload of money to go, and he should have seen the show. I am such a martyr, aren't I? For the record, he did come out and look for me, and tried to call my cell, but there wasn't coverage, and I was in the bathroom on the level above us because that's where I landed after visiting First Aid.

Finally, when I felt like I could stand and walk and function (which I had tried two or three times before and failed), I got out of the bathroom and ran to get him, and said, "We have to go."

And he followed. Hey! I WILL FOLLOW! That's a U2 song, and yep, they played that one too, and yep, I missed that one too.

We left ...

MAJOR SIDENOTE HERE: We got into the first cab we found and when he was about to pull away, we see police lights. The cab was parked in a no park zone and the cop was letting him have it. This poor cabbie was just trying to make a measley buck. I even rolled down the window and said, "Officer, I'm really sick, can we please just leave?" But the cop was an ass and told the cabbie to wait there because he was getting a $150 ticket. I felt so bad for the guy but we got out of the cab to find another. The next cab we found was the SWEETEST cab driver. I told him I was sick and he said, "Do you want me to go slow or fast?" I said fast. I had the window rolled all the way down and I know he was going SHITLOAD FAST, but I didn't care if I died or not I felt so horrible, but at the same time, that was the best I felt, feeling that cool air whip through me. He even asked if I wanted a Tylenol! I hope Mr. Manic tipped that guy good, cuz he got me back to our friends's place, and I crashed hard, not even peeing or brushing my teeth (I know, ewwww. Believe me, I had been puking ... definite EWWWW). But all I wanted was to be in that bed with a cool pillow over my head and be unconscious. That was relief.

Got up the next morning feeling like only a huge boulder was on my head instead of all of Mount Rushmore, and we got home via the train and I slept some more. The thing about migraines this bad is that it takes another day and a half to recover. They're violent and they suck. And when they start preventing you from doing things in your life that you enjoy, well, that becomes a big problem.

I had a follow-up ENT appointment today from when I busted my eardrum about six weeks ago and mentioned the migraines to my doc. He did a nose-scope all the way down through my nostrils into my throat and vocal chords, and yeah, I watched that on the monitor and GROOOOOSSSSSSSS! But cool. It was gross in a cool way. I could see my nose hairs and he showed me my vocal chords and throat (which very oddly look practically just like a vagina!) Everything was good in that department, and next we're going to do an MRI, which I'm not worried about because I've had a couple before on my head for headaches, and we're also going to do allergy testing. He thinks they're allergy-related. So do I. That or hormonal, or food triggers. We'll figure it out.

When the doc removed the tube from my nose, I made a comment about it and he said, "Up your nose with a rubber hose."

My reply: "Twice as far with a chocolate bar."

He and his assistant cracked up and I was laughing feeling like a complete idiot, like this ENT must think I'm a total nutcase, and that I should really get out more if I'm having THIS much fun going to see the ENT.

So, bottom line, no Bono for moi. And my friends we went to the concert with have sworn to me that I didn't miss much. I told them they can tell me how great the show was in a week or two.

And I keep telling myself things could have been much worse there, and that it's just music. It's only music ...

Friday, September 11, 2009


This is what I wrote in my journal on September 11, 2001, when Tukey was just nine days old.

September 11, 2001
Today is an extremely sad day for our country. An unbelievable thing happened killing thousands and thousands of people. Terrorist hijackers crashed airplanes into the two World Trade Center buildings in NY and they exploded and collapsed killing thousands. Then, two more planes went down, one crashing into the Pentagon in DC and one near Pittsburgh. It has been a surreal day and I can’t even explain my feelings. The images on TV have left me crying and confused. What kind of crazy people could want to do this? Our country is really under attack – all airlines in the US closed down, schools, gov’t buildings, amusement parks, monuments, everything has been closed down. It is so scary to think what could happen next. Are we safe in our own home? Should I worry about sending Ajers to preschool or going to the grocery store or to a park? Where is the next target?

I get scared and sad mostly for my babies. I want more than anything in the world to keep them safe from the dangers of the world. I cried a little today and explained what I could to Ajers. That bad people crashed a plane into a building and hurt a lot of people. I think he thinks a crash is cool cuz he plays with Rescue Heroes and was asking if firemen and policemen were there and did they call 911?

This is the most tragic and devastating thing to ever happen to the United States of America and I hope it is over and that nothing like this ever happens again. I am sure we are going to go to war with Afganistan and whoever else did this. When you kids are older and read these journals, this stuff will be written in your history books. I can’t even believe our country is going through this right now.

I just called my mommy and daddy. We are all safe and sound. Dear God, please keep us safe from the dangers of the world and continue to let us be a loving, kind, caring, close family. Please spare us from any harm and pain and danger. Keep my babies safe so I can raise them to experience the good the world has to offer. Amen, and thank you for what you have given to us so far. Just keep my family in your loving arms. They are the most important thing to me. Nothing else matters but my family. Amen and please help the families of all the victims survive this horror. Amen.

Sept. 13, 2001
Two days after the hijacking attack and things are still very strange, obviously. There are a ton of American flags being hung at halfmast, I don’t even know how to write about what’s been going on. There are some horrific photos – people jumping from the Towers. They chose to die by fire or by jumping. I do not know what I would do in that situation. I keep thinking if the hijackers only had boxcutters and knives for weapons, couldn’t 10 or 20 or 30 passengers attack them or were they holding knives at a flight attendant threatening to kill? Couldn’t someone bash them over the head with a laptop? I think from now on, cockpits should be completely inaccessible even to flight attendants and huge metal locked doors should keep the pilots safe. I wondered what would it have been like had they crashed the statue of liberty? They wouldn’t have gotten so many victims which is why they aimed for the Towers. It’s like a war zone in NYC. Ash everywhere, people in masks. I think they found some survivors today but they also have 30,000 body bags of dead people. Each of those persons has a story behind their lives. It’s completely unbelievable. Many things have been canceled or postponed – sporting events, concerts, etc. Mr. and I went out to dinner tonight and there was a weird guy there and I wondered, “Could he be there to do something bad to us?” I wondered how safe were we at that restaurant? I’m going to think this way for a long time. Last night I cried a lot. Today, the kids and I went to the mall and we put $ in a can to help the Red Cross. Ajers was concerned that I was going to start crying again. It’s been tough to think about all of this stuff. I just want my babies to be safe.

Tukey has been an angel so far. No trouble at all. His brother and sister adore him and are adjusting pretty well. We’ll see if things change when their grandparents leave Saturday. That’s when reality hits.

All for now, God Bless America and please keep us safe. Keep the victim’s families in your arms.