Sunday, August 30, 2009


My friend's husband lost his 3-1/2 year battle with brain cancer over the weekend. I'm at a loss. I have a friend who is now a widow at the age of 44. She has three beautiful daughters, ages 12, 10 and 8, and their fourth child is the boy they had always hoped for who would carry on the family name. He is almost 5, and was named after his father.

We are going to Philadelphia for the wake and funeral, a quick 36-hour trip, but I need to be there. I can't even put into words what I'm feeling for my friend.

GReaT BooKS 2 CHeCK ouT!

Here are some great books to check out, and don't forget to enter to win a copy of Julie Buxbaum's After You HERE.


I love sharing new reads with you all and recently had the chance to read The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf, which is a fast-paced suspenseful book. The book starts out with a mute 7-year-old and an alcoholic abusive father and the mystery erupts. Calie and her friend Petra unexpectedly disappear in the early morning and there’s no logical reason for their disappearance. Author Gudenkauf takes the reader on a surprising trip through the minds of most of the characters in this book. In each chapter, the story unfolds with the telling of the circumstances of the disappearance of the girls through different characters. From the father of Petra, Callie’s mom, her brother, and even a second-string deputy character, you’ll not want to put the book down till you find out what has happened to Calie and her friend. Written in a way that you NEED to turn the page, this book is part mystery, part suspense, part love story, and all adrenaline inducing!

His Other Lover by Lucy Dawson arrived unexpectedly on my doorstep and man, I plowed through this one! It’s the story of Mia, who discovers a text on her live-in boyfriend’s cell phone that causes her to believe he’s been unfaithful. Rather than confront Pete, Mia turns the tables and becomes the Glenn Close of the love triangle, doing everything in her power to break up the suspected affair. The reader won’t believe the lengths Mia goes to in order to confirm the affair and stop it – she’s absolutely brilliant, and I could see myself doing the same devious things if Mr. Manic was being unfaithful, but of course, that would never happen – he barely knows how to text! This book has a satisfying ending and asks the question of who was more at fault – the man who cheated, or the woman who cheated, lied, stole, deceived in order to keep her man? But does she keep him in the end? Well, that’s for me to know and YOU to find out!

What I Thought I Knew – Alice Eve Cohen
A 44-year-old woman is diagnosed with a stomach tumor only to discover she is pregnant after a lifetime of infertility. This memoir is a fascinating example of how the medical industry can screw up a person's life by a misdiagnosis. When Alice finally comes out of the shock of discovering she's six months pregnant, she then has very difficult choices to make - whether or not to abort her child, whether she should give the baby up for adoption. This book has so many Oh-My-God moments, I seriously could not put it down and flew through the book. And it was well worth it for the happy ending!

Rage Against the Meshugenah
What a great book written by a MAN! Not that a man can’t write a book, but I do know their focus isn’t what a woman’s is! Anyway, Rage is about Danny Evan’s downward spiral into depression after he is hit with becoming a father, losing his job and 9/11. Read how Danny first deals with his depression through alcohol and porn (sounds like an answer to me!), then goes through therapy to face his demons. A new daughter on the way brings him out of his longtime depression and he realizes his place in the world. This one will make you feel good and be thankful for what you have!

What are some good books you've read lately?

Monday, August 24, 2009

aFTeR You BY JuLie BuXBaum

A MUST READ!! Win Julie Buxbaum's AFTER YOU!

I met Julie Buxbaum when her first book, The Opposite of Love, came out and she agreed to have dinner with me and some friends after her reading. Not only is she an incredible writer, she is so deserving of the success she has had, and just a really kind and fun person.

The Opposite of Love is being made into a movie starring Anne Hathaway, and her next book, After You, debuts this week, and if you don’t win a copy here, you MUST go out and buy it! It’s a book on love and loss, and of figuring out your place in the world, and who you most want to have as a part of that world of yours.

After You is about Ellie and Lucy’s friendship and the lengths one will go to take care when tragedy strikes. It’s about Lucy’s precocious 8-year-old daughter and it’s about marriage, a murder and the lengths one will go to take care of a friend, putting all things aside that used to be important. It’s about stepping away from everything you’ve ever known to find out what it is you’re most meant to need.

Here’s what Amazon says of the book:
The complexities of a friendship. The unexplored doubts of a marriage. And the redemptive power of literature ... Julie Buxbaum, the acclaimed author of The Opposite of Love, delivers a haunting, gloriously written novel about love, family, and the secrets we hide from each other--and ourselves.

Julie and I chatted about her new book, After You, her love of reading and writing, and a new baby on the way!

Stephanie: There are so many questions I want to ask you but they would give away some of the plotlines so, we'll go cryptic here! After You begins with a murder, but to me it was really a love story. What do you think are some of the themes in the book?

Julie: I was really interested in looking at the question of how well we truly know the people we love, and also who we become when we lose those who most defined us. I'm also constantly intrigued by the concept of home: what does it mean? Is it a place, a person, a feeling?

Stephanie: Good concept. So, where or what, is home for you, Julie?

Julie: Interesting question. I dedicate After You to my husband, "my home spot." So for me, personally, home has so much more to do with people than place.

Stephanie: Was it hard for you to create a character who would drop everything she had to help the daughter of her best friend? I don't know that I would be that kind!

Julie: What an interesting question. It wasn't difficult for me to imagine, because as the novel progresses it becomes clear that Ellie does not necessarily have pure motives, or to put it a better way, she is not dropping everything just out of kindness. No doubt she feels a responsibility to Sophie as her godmother, and to Lucy too, but she is also finding a convenient excuse to run away from her own life. I think that impulse, combined with her genuine love for Sophie, make her actions much more understandable.

Stephanie: Tell us about Ellie and her husband's relationship? What do you think was wrong for them to be so disconnected?

Julie: Sometimes the saddest part about a loss, is not just the loss itself, but the wedge it can create between people, especially when they grieve in different ways. I think this is what happened with Ellie and Phillip. After the traumatic experience of losing a baby, they have trouble turning to the other for comfort, and let distance creep between them. Marriage is always work, but during the worst of times, I think we sometimes forget what we need to do to stay connected, and tragedy only gets compounded.

Stephanie: The Secret Garden plays a huge role in After You, and I think it's your favorite childhood book? How did The Secret Garden affect you the first time you read it, and how old were you? How many times have you read it?

Julie: I must have been about seven or eight, about the same age as Sophie is in After You. I just remember sitting on my mother's lap and begging her to let us read another chapter before bed. I can't tell you how many times I've actually read The Secret Garden since, but it must be an obscene number. I read it at least once a year, and turn to it pretty much whenever I'm going through a tough time. It's just magical and comforting. As close to a perfect book as one can hope to encounter.

Stephanie: Sophie is a very mature and complex little girl. Did you base her on someone you know? Did you have to spend time with any little girls to create Sophie? What was that like?

Julie: I didn't base her on anyone I know, but the more her character developed, the more I found that she reminded me of myself at that age. I too was a bit annoyingly precocious, and like Sophie, I remember being aware that much more was going on than I actually understood, and finding myself frustrated by what I didn't know. (I too always had a book in my hand, and loved Nancy Drew.) As for actual research, I did observe at an elementary school, just to get a sense of how kids interact at that age, of their conversations, speech patterns, that sort of thing. And from time to time, I'd check in with a close friend who is a teacher to gut check about whether Sophie's thoughts and actions were age appropriate.

Stephanie: I know your husband's name is Indy, so I wondered if Sophie's best friend, Inderpal, was based on him? Did you plan that, and why? What did he think?

Julie: I did! As a writer, it's lots of fun to put the occasional shout-outs in a book, but this was the first time I based a character on an actual person. My husband has always said that he wishes we had known each other when we were little, so as Sophie started to resemble me, I thought it would interesting to create a little boy version of him, and see how they interacted. (I should mention that little Inderpal, or "Indy", serves the plot in other ways too. I didn't only write him in for my amusement!) There are some differences between my Indy and fictional Indy, but I hope my husband enjoyed the rendering. I have to admit that I love the character; he's just so dorky and cute.

Stephanie: I adored Indy in the book as well! I know your first book, The Opposite of Love is optioned for a movie with Anne Hathaway - what's the scoop on that? Is there a movie deal in the works for After You? Who would you want to play Ellie?

Julie: I'm beyond excited that The Opposite of Love is being made into a film. And the fact that Anne Hathaway is set to star is absolutely amazing. I don't think I could have picked a better person to play Emily. No movie in the works for After You yet, but I'll keep you posted on that front. As for who I want to play Ellie, I don't know. I need to think more about that one. Since the Hollywood powers that be did such a great job in casting Emily, maybe I should leave it to them to pick someone for Ellie?

Stephanie: There are characters in both of your books who have lost their mothers. I know your own mom passed away when you were young. So you must have personal feelings that you know how to weave into your stories, but it must also be very hard to bring this to the surface. How do you do it? Is it sad to write what you write?

Julie: Sometimes I get sad when I write, if only because I am putting my characters, whom I've grown to love, through heart wrenching things. But unfortunately, as a writer you don't have a much a choice about doing this. We need to torture our characters for plot! One thing that has helped is that both Ellie and Emily, the main characters of After You and The Opposite of Love, are both very different people from me in so many ways, and so I was able to keep my distance from their grief. Even though Sophie in many way resembles me as a kid, she loses her mother at 8, while I lost mine at 14, an age gap which I think renders the experiences very distinct. (Though come to think of it, I may have had a tough time if I had chosen to write the book from Sophie's perspective, because it may have hit too close to home.) Since the book is more Ellie's story (and even Lucy's) than Sophie, After You, I think, is more a meditation on loss more generally--not just of a mother, but of a best friend, a baby, a marriage.

Stephanie: When I had the ultimate pleasure of meeting you and having dinner with you, it was just after The Opposite of Love came out. I had asked what your next book was going to be about. All you said was there was a character in Opposite who will show up in After You. What's the connection?

Julie: Ahh, great question. I'm not going to say, because I'm curious whether readers of The Opposite of Love will spot the very small cross-over. (I very much hope they do, but it may be too subtle.) If a reader has read both, though, and wants to know the connection, please feel free to email me and I'm happy to fill you in. But here's a hint: In The Opposite of Love, the character only appears in an entirely professional context; in After You, she appears in an entirely personal one.

Stephanie: And for the record, I caught that cross-over connection IMMEDIATELY! ... So, off-topic, you're pregnant with your first baby, a girl! What's the most important lesson you want to teach your daughter?

Julie: This may sound silly, but I think I learned one my most valuable life lessons from reading Nancy Drew as a kid: Life is much more fun if you are curious. I very much hope to pass that on.

Stephanie: I completely got goosebumps from this concept of yours on lessons! I hope that’s the case too! What do you want your daughter to know about the author in you?

Julie: I am not sure that it's important for my daughter to know the author in me, but I do hope to show her what a blessing it is to pursue something you love. I have no idea what my daughter will one day be passionate about, but whatever that is, I hope she is not afraid to pursue it. I do hope I pass on my love of reading, though, not only because it will be something we can share, but because books have been such a reliable companion for me over the years. I would be happy for her if she could have that too.

Stephanie: Are you working on your next book yet? I hope so! Any initial ideas on the story?

Julie: I am, but it's still in the very early stages. Not yet ready to talk about it. I am a little superstitious, and I feel like I could jinx it.

Stephanie: Now, fun questions, not that the above questions were not fun, but let's learn a little bit more about you!

Your daily go-to websites?

JB: New York Times, first and foremost. Daily Mail (embarrassing I know) for the gossip column, and because I think it's fun to get a sense of the British gossip since I live in London. Jezebel. Slate. Double Ex. The Daily Beast. The Huffington Post. Of course, Facebook and Twitter. Oh man, I'd get so much more done if there wasn't a thing called the internet.

Octomom or Kate (and you CAN'T say NEITHER!)

JB: I'm going with Octomom. As a woman pregnant with a single baby, I simply cannot fathom being pregnant with eight babies at once. Putting aside for a moment the morality questions involved, the sheer physical act of it is pure lunacy. Eight babies. Ouch, I hurt just thinking about it.

Angelina or Jen?

JB: I'd rather be friends with Jen, but think Angelina sure does a hell of a lot of good in the world. So personally Jen. Professionally, Angelina.

Steph: Ooh, Julie, you are perfectly politically correct with this answer! Now THEY both will want starring roles in After You!

Kate Perry or Lady GaGa?

JB: Neither? Uhoh, I'm officially old.

Favorite band?

JB: Counting Crows. Fell in love with them in high school, and never quite got over it.

Steph: Oh, I think Adam Duritz is dirty hot! One of my favorite songs in the world is Murder of One by Counting Crows! I love the line: I walk along these hillsides in the summer ’neath the sunshine, I am feathered by the moonlight falling down on me.

Favorite food?

JB: Anything with avocado in it.

Steph: Ha - we are SOULMATES! I had an amazing lunch today of diced tomatoes, avocado and feta cheese on baked pita chips. It’s awesome!

Favorite TV pleasure?

JB: I am embarrassingly addicted to Big Brother UK. I can't help it. I love it. There I said it. First step is admitting you have a problem.

Dessert you cannot live without?

JB: Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.

Favorite Disney character?

JB: Belle from Beauty and the Beast. No idea why.

Favorite memoir?

JB: Martin Amis: Experience. He spends a ridiculously large portion of the book obsessing over his British teeth. Hilarious and brilliant.

Steph: And now, my good readers, you will have a chance to win one of two books Julie and I are giving away on Manic Mommy! Just leave a comment and make sure you leave a way for me to contact you, and you'll be entered! And if you don't win a copy, do yourself an incredible favor and by it as a gift for you!

And, if you'd like to read the Q&A I did with Julie when Opposite came out, it's here.

Friday, August 21, 2009


You read that right: Seven-Point-Eight pounds. I'm 7.8 pounds LESS than I was last Saturday.

That’s how much the scale was down when I weighed in this a.m. I about freaked out. I know I have a lot to lose, and that most of that is water, and that having a migraine Sunday night and puking my guts out all through the night and not being able to eat all day Monday has something to do with it, BUT STILL!!!!

It’s the motivation I needed to keep up with Weight Watchers. Because I have to. And I wasn’t going to look at the number today, wasn’t ready yet, but the lady said something that had me curious so I looked.

And, it’s still higher than I thought it would have been when I weighed in last week.


I am keeping up with it.

And for those of you skeptics out there. Let me tell you what I ate this week. I had chocolate, peanut butter and jelly, Fritos, a Happy meal hamburger AND French fries, and frozen yogurt (TWICE, with SPRINKLES!) I had chips and salsa with avocado and sour cream, tortillas, tomato soup, grilled cheese, a baked potato with low-fat broccoli and cheddar sauce (which is what I barfed up Sunday night, along with asparagus – might be a while till I eat those foods again.) I ate bread with butter, MOVIE popcorn (loads of it!), cake bites, pasta/bean salad, watermelon, grapes, SUBWAY 6-inch turkey sandwich.

Aren’t all those things SOOOOO good to eat? I ate, I wasn’t hungry, and I lost weight. I am so happy now. What a difference a slap in the face and a week makes.

So, here’s what else. I cannot for the life of me – Oh no, I take that back – I remember now. This guy, Bill Stubbs, who is on a PBS show said in an interview something really that struck me. About how you can go through life either being the guest or the host. You can sit back and watch everything going on, and wait for someone to come to your rescue, as the guest. OR, you can choose to be the host, and make everyone feel comfortable, fill their cups (which, are already HALF-FULL, mind you!), and make sure everyone is well and good and happy. I want to be the host. Maybe that’s why I chit-chat with anyone who will listen, why I talk to people on the elevator (because awkward convo is much better than dead silence when you’re two feet away from a stranger). Maybe this is why when I ride my bike, I say hello to every single person I pass, or I thank them for moving out of my way, and I explain to them that I’m new at this bike riding stuff. And I smile. A little smile and a hello can go a long way to someone. And a “have a nice day” never, ever sucks.

I have told Ajers time and time again that he should never ignore anyone, even if he doesn’t like that person (and in 6th grade, some kids don’t like others, it’s just natural.) He says, “Why should I say hello to someone who doesn’t even talk to me?” Because it’s the nice thing to do; it’s the kind thing to do, and it comes back full circle, good karma man, good karma.

And can you tell I just downed a non-fat sugar-free vanilla iced latte? I think the caffeine hit and I’m just typing away like a fiend. It’s either that or the fact that the words are just coming out of my brain into my fingertips faster than I can think.

And I went to yoga this morning, which just seeing Toni, my instructor sent a wave of relief through me. It was just what I needed. She said some very interesting things today that brought some great visuals to my mind:

“Let the sand settle and clear your waters.”

That’s what I’m trying to do here. I need to clear my waters: my body, my mind, my soul, my outlook on life. I need some calm waters in my life.

And phew. I think I’m done. Thanks for listening. These words came out faster than I could type them. And now, in staying with the theme of taking care of myself and feeling good about myself, I am treating myself to a movie today and going to see The Ugly Truth. And yes, I will have movie popcorn!

Peace UP!

NOTE: Please check out Pocket Doodles For Kids for a chance to win a fun book for your kids (And OK, it’s fun for YOU too!)

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Want to win a cute book for you oops, I mean the kids? Pocket Doodles For Kids is a “playful guide for doodling, imagining, and coloring outside of the lines.” This fun book is 227 pages of inspiration and imagination and is the ULTIMATE cure for boredom!

Diva had a crack at it and let me tell you, she got pretty creative! The book includes pages of partially drawn pictures that you your child can finish. Add to pictures such as:

An empty computer screen
Half-drawn faces
Empty sidewalks
A random cap
The bottom of the ocean
And tons, tons more!

You your child can also write stories to accompany already-drawn pictures, and there are lists to create such as:

Five Foods That Make Me Gag (Diva wrote in: rice, meat, mustard, pasta, potatoes – have I mentioned here that she is EXTREMELY PICKY?)
Five Things I Like to Eat (Diva wrote: chocolate, bread, pizza, fries, chips)
Five of My Favorite Things (Diva has left this blank, although she could have written: chocolate, bread, pizza, fries, chips)
Five Things Other People Probably Know about Me (Diva should have written I AM A PICKY EATER for one of her answers, but she didn’t fill out this page yet)
Five Things Other People Probably Don’t Know about Me (Diva left this one blank)

This is a great little book to keep in your purse for when you your kids get bored waiting at the doctor’s office, the bank, or to keep them entertained while you’re out shopping! Just a bunch of fun in a cute little book, and the publisher and me would like to give three away to you! So have at it – tell me why you want this book, and we’ll choose three random winners next week!

Check out sample pages and more info at Pocket Doodles For Kids. Another great idea - order a bunch of these cute little creative books for birthday and holiday presents! Great stocking stuffers!

Coming soon: a Weight Watcher’s update and also a book review about the book The Weight of Silence, both of which have NOTHING in common, but the word WEIGHT.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

THe FaT Me

The Fat Me is back.

She's been back for a few months now, hanging around, making me depressed, urging me to just get a supersize order of fries or some Cold Stone Creamery (cake batter with sprinkles). She tries to be my friend, makes it fun to eat crap all the time. She says, "It's summertime! Keep eating all this good stuff. It's fun to go out with your friends and family and eat and drink and be merry. That's what summer is all about!"

I hate her. She's evil, and she's back. She's been here quite a few times honestly. I think she sneaks up when I'm emotional, maybe depressed. Maybe subconsciously, she jumps on board when I turned 40, or when Mr. Manic lost his job, then got his new gig that requires a ton of travel. Maybe the Fat Me suggests that going out for pizza with the kids will make me feel better, and why not get some ice cream afterward? They'll love you if you get them a treat, and hey, you might as well get a treat for yourself too. Cuz you're just not fat enough!

I am now. I can feel it. I know it. My fingers are puffy, everything is puffy. And when I gain weight, it's like a layer begins to cover me. Kind of the opposite of a snake shedding its skin; I grow a new skin all over. And it's got to be a protective layer. A layer to keep me from thinking of the things I don't want to think about. a layer to do what? I'm not sure -- maybe make me miserable? It's there, and it covers everything. I gain it everywhere, and i guess because I do, it's a slow process but then when I realize I have my fat suit back on, I think, Oh shit, The Fat Me is back.

How did she get here? And so quickly? Because she wasn't here at the end of March, when I was still relaxing in my Lifetime Weight Watcher status. She snuck in as I turned 4o in April. And she must have said, "I'll just stick around and see where things go." Things went. As in the scale. It went up.

Today, I woke up and got dressed and drove to Weight Watchers. I haven't been there in four and a half months. The Fat Me was still sleeping, so I took the opportunity to get out of bed and face the music. I wanted to get there early, so I would have some time to speak to the leaders, and so no one from before would see me and say, "Hey, she got fat again."

I went, and I cried. Not hard hot tears, but embarrassed tears. "I can't believe I let myself get this way again," I said to the two leaders. They were kind. They said it happens to everyone, but how is that a good thing if they admit that everyone fails? I know this is like the third time I've failed. I asked her not to tell me what the number on the scale was. I didn't look. I shut my eyes really tight as if I were anticipating a shot from the doctor.

"Tell me when you're done," I said.

It is 15 hours later and I still don't know what number she wrote down, but I know it's not a good number. And I counted points today and was extremely crabby, and I took my new bike out this morning and rode and listened to music, and the first song on my ipod was by Poi Dog Pondering ... This is the day, your life will surely change ... those were the words to the song as I got on my bike and rode.

I hope this is the day, and I hope that I will stay motivated. Because I do not want The Fat Me back in my life.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

We HaVe a SWaG WiNNeR!

Well everyone, we have a winner! First though, I'd like to say I LOVED everyone's comments, so much in fact, that I had to do a totally random drawing because there was no way I could just pick one of you well deserving people to win the BlogHer Swag Prize Package.

3 Carnations was the random winner, and you can thank my son Tukey for this, as he chose the random winner! Congrats, and hope you enjoy your prize, and really, sorry I couldn't send every one of you a tiara, boa and a wiener shirt, because how fun would THAT be for us all to get together rockin' that outfit?! Maybe someday we can have a Manic Mommypalooza? Something to work for, heh?

Also, wanted to give a special shout out to new blogger, Rebel With A Diaper Bag. She was inspired to start a blog because of the contest.

Some not so happy news: Please pray for my first cousin's little boy who was just diagnosed with brain cancer. Seth is not even two yet, and just underwent brain surgery. The day AFTER his surgery, his mother, my cousin, gave birth to a baby girl. The family is in need of prayers and any monetary support you can offer. They don't have much and are heading to St. Jude's for treatments for their baby son. If nothing else, please keep them in your prayers. Pray hard. For more info, you can go to Hope For Seth.

And prayers are needed for my close friend Kelly, who's husband has been battling brain cancer and is not doing well. And pray for my neighbor who will undergo a double masectomy next week.

Sorry for sounding like the church prayer page, but every little prayer helps. God bless you all, and thanks for always taking the time out to read what's on my mind.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

iT'S TiMe

It’s Time.

I need some space and some quiet and some really deep breathing exercises. These kids are officially off their rockers and driving me INSANE. Is it OK that I’m admitting this? It’s just time for them to go back to school so I can get my house and my quiet and my routine back. I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I want to do for ME when they go back. And call me selfish if you must, but there’s a ME here that deserves some ME time. Some time to focus on me to get me back to where I am happier. And happier means sane, quiet, thinner, calmer, more rested and smiling. That’s what I need to be the happier ME I can be.

So, here’s a list of some of the things I’m going to do as soon as school starts. Which is in 8 days:

Stop eating crap. Because really, I haven’t stopped eating crap since April. And this is what I do – I eat crap until I’m back to not being happy with my body. Then I start over again. It’s like I love the challenge of going back to WW, getting my life back on track. I must be insane. Why don’t I just stick to it? How freaking hard is it to concentrate on what I eat, and still eat the things I enjoy? How difficult is it to drink more water? I wake up each morning and go to the mirror and see the puffy-faced ME that I don’t want to be. I look at my fingers every morning and see that they’re swollen because I’ve got too much sodium in my diet. And yeah, don’t get me started on the fact that my cholesterol is kind of up there, which I knew would be not too good, and I do know that when I FOCUS on ME and start eating better again, then that number will go down, and my fingers and face (and the rest of me) won’t be all oompa loompa-ish.

Bike ride. Because Diva and I went for a 10-mile ride the other day which was amazing. Someone said just the other day that the quickest way to feel like a kid again is to get on a bike and ride through the wind. It is so true. So guess what I bought for myself last weekend? A bike. A cute ‘hybrid’ bike that’s a fun green color. It’s hybrid because you can ride on the street or trails on it. I am getting used to it and finding that it’s a fun activity. I don’t know if biking will aid in any weight-loss program, but it sure does make me feel happy and good, and remember, this is all about ME right now! So, biking. I’m going to do it.

Exercise. Yoga on Tuesdays and Fridays. Spinning on Wednesday. Those are my goals. And biking on my new fun bike when the urge strikes, and I hope it strikes often.

Write AND finish this damn second novel I have been dreaming up of and have ½ of it done already.

See movies. Anytime I want. And eat popcorn while I’m there. And a big old Diet Coke.

Be there for my kids when they get home from school. Physically and mentally.

Work. I love my freelance work and want to continue to do it. I’m at a point now where I’m happy with what I’m doing, with the amount of time I spend doing it, and the outcome of most of what I write and do. See for yourself and check out – a great fun women’s website!

Read. As you all know, I FREAKIN’ LOVE books and stories and to read a lot! I never just sit and read. I always grab my book at bedtime and read a bit while my eyes close. That’s not real good reading. That’s reading to fall asleep. And while I do love it, I think I need to read when I’m not falling asleep. So often I’ll read a book and the following week I swear I cannot remember the title or the story or the characters’ names even though I loved the book. So I guess that means I need to concentrate on my reading. RIght now I am reading a FABULOUS suspenseful great book called The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf. It's one of those books that I DEFINITELY cannot put down and one that keeps you wondering the whole time what is going to happen!

And great, now Diva just whacked me in the thigh and stepped on my foot, part of it was accident, part on purpose (OK, I was telling her she needed some deodorant, so that’s why this happened, and now I can’t concentrate on what I wanted to say …

Which means I need to start CONCENTRATING! Oh boy. I am just a jumble of everything and I want some NORMAL!!!

So, thanks for letting me rant for a bit. There’s still time to enter to win the Bunch-O-Swag giveaway. I think I’ll do the drawing on Thursday!

Bye for now. And let the countdown begin of only 8 days till school, although my Ajers is going to Junior High so I might be crying a little.

What are YOU going to do with your time to help you find YOU?

Peace UP!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

iT'S aBouT TiMe: MaNiC MoMMy BLoGHeR GiVeaWay!

The Loot!

I received a lot of stuff when I attended BlogHer '09 from all of their terrific sponsors! So much stuff in fact, that I want to pay it forward and share some of it with you!

More Loot

This awesome prize package contains all of the following --

~A Go Girl for all your traveling peeing needs

~My Tiara

~My personal Boa

~Mouse Pad

~Mary Kay case

~Paula Deen signed Walmart bag - yes, she TOUCHED it!

~$20 Starbucks gift card, thanks to Maris at Edelman

~Nintendo DS Guitar Hero - ONLY because at the time I wasn't aware that my kids owned one and the fabulous Jessica Gottlieb GAVE it to me because she is just so sweet and nice!

~Baby Food

~2 pairs of baby girl leggings - they're really cute!

~Laundry detergent samples

~Lotion samples from Nature's Baby Organics

~Pop Rocks - YES the candy!

~M&Ms from Mamarazzi, and the fabuloso "menoblogger" Poppy!




~SpiderMan activity book

~Power bars from Starbucks

~Rubby Ducky (cuz you're the one!)

~Water Bottle

~Mr. Potoato Head

~Sock Grippers

~Disney Pins

~Coupon for Angus Burger at McD's

~Coupon for Free spaghetti sauce from Ragu

~Skin Care products

~Two Precious Girls Club book

~Apple sauce

~Hanes Socks

~Official Wiener Mobile t-shirt



~Sprouts Wiggles CD

~Hanes T-Shirt Bag

~Cute pedometer

~Recyclable cute bags

~Handy little purse hanger

~Individual coffee samples

~Individual water beverage mixes

~A wine basin to hold everything!

In order to qualify to win, please leave a comment, (with an identifying name, no anonymous please! - just make sure I have your name and a way to reach you) and tell me why you think you should get the goods? Also, if you win, you HAVE to promise to put on the wiener t-shirt, the boa and tiara and send me a picture.

Sorry, if you don't live in the U.S. you can't play - it would cost me a shitload to send it all to you (special sorry to Amanda who is so awesome she sent me English biscuits that ROCKED!). Also, my family members can't play either. Nanny nanny boo boo.

Have at it. I'll choose a winner next week. Not sure if I'll go random or if one of your answers particularly strikes me, or if I'll have a guest blogger choose a winner, so stay tuned!

Sunday, August 02, 2009


I haven't had af un buzzed post ina while but I think i'm there so i felt like writer. Oops, wriging. Oops, again ... writing. There that's it. So anyway, it's Sunday and I TOTALLY DECLUTTERED like I said I would on Friday. First I went for a long bike ride (I DON"T RIDE BIKEWS!) then came home, calend . that spells cleaned ... my closet and my bedroom, then yesterday we moeved yeah, that says MOVED the boys' bunkbeds back togerther and yeap I am seeing all thse typoes but don't care. Then we cleaned out all the crap i nth e boys bedroom and it's amazing how good things can feel when there's LESS CLUTTER AND LESS CRAP IN YOUR HOUSE!! So, that was Friday and Saturday, then today, we all went to church. We're really needing family time with Mr. Nanic... ha, Manic traveling so much, so we went to church and then came home and scarfed PGB * Js' ... yep that's PB and Js... and fritos. The boys actually put fritios INTO their PB&J sandwiches. The.. then we weent to the pool and lounged in the lavzy .... that's lzya ... oops, that's LAY... HOLY CRAP CAN I SPELL LAZY PLEASE!?!?!? tHE LAZY RIVER ... we were in the lazy river for like 45 minutes and it was sooo lazy and relaxing. Then we went to the grocery store and I decided i HAD TO HAVE MOJITOS. Not the cucumber kinds cuz I'm not that talented yet, but incttead instead I made pineapple mojitos and eseriously, I've had two and look where it got me! Get 'er done! it got me done.

So basically, the point of this post is that when Mr. Manic is here, I am so glad and I miss him when he's gone but I'm sure by Tuesday I'll be ready for him to get the heck out for a cluple couple of days, But anyway, now that he's traveling so much, I need to embrace the time we are totgerther together as a family and ENJOY each other!!

So, I guess that means, that yeah, I have to go upstairs anf idfix and fix a shelt la... holy shit ... let's try this again. I guess I'll have to go upstairs and fix a shelf a little later, know what I mean!

And yeah, the mojitos are really easy to make -- just mush a bunch of lime, pineapple, simple syrpurp syrup, barcadri ... bacardi LIMON and some sods water or seltzer water, and throw in mint too, and you got yoruself a kick ass fdrrink drink, if you couldn't already tell!

This wee I promise to do the giveaway of all the gra .. great stuff I got at BlogHer! OK, time for us to eat shrip, ... that's shrimp, moz/tomato salad, asparagus, sald ... salad and bread ... YUM! Peace UP!