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Kids & Family

Manic Rambling Spiral

Updated about 1 month ago

Kids & Family
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Manic Rambling Spiral (MRS) is a podcast about single parenting, but it's not a parenting podcast. Rather, MRS is a podcast about living life - having a life, a career, and a self - in a setting that is constantly dictated by, built around and sabotaged by our children.

Read more

Manic Rambling Spiral (MRS) is a podcast about single parenting, but it's not a parenting podcast. Rather, MRS is a podcast about living life - having a life, a career, and a self - in a setting that is constantly dictated by, built around and sabotaged by our children.

iTunes Ratings

178 Ratings
Average Ratings
103
14
9
10
42

Disrespectful.

By Drunkitty McDrunk - Sep 29 2019
Read more
It’s sad to listen and know that John has no idea how little Heather thinks of him - how disinterested she is, how little she cares about his life, his child, his family or his interests. It’s clear how much he respects and admires her. It’s equally clear that he is simply not anywhere near her radar.

My Zen

By lisa n m p - Aug 19 2019
Read more
I find you both so soothing to listen to, always puts me in a good mood to hear you two.

iTunes Ratings

178 Ratings
Average Ratings
103
14
9
10
42

Disrespectful.

By Drunkitty McDrunk - Sep 29 2019
Read more
It’s sad to listen and know that John has no idea how little Heather thinks of him - how disinterested she is, how little she cares about his life, his child, his family or his interests. It’s clear how much he respects and admires her. It’s equally clear that he is simply not anywhere near her radar.

My Zen

By lisa n m p - Aug 19 2019
Read more
I find you both so soothing to listen to, always puts me in a good mood to hear you two.
Cover image of Manic Rambling Spiral

Manic Rambling Spiral

Latest release on Apr 23, 2020

Read more

Manic Rambling Spiral (MRS) is a podcast about single parenting, but it's not a parenting podcast. Rather, MRS is a podcast about living life - having a life, a career, and a self - in a setting that is constantly dictated by, built around and sabotaged by our children.

Rank #1: 158: Fun with Fur and Feet

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We never know where we’re going or how we get there, but maybe that’s part of the charm? Anyway, Heather’s getting some answers, John’s a Furminator convert, and Marlo is Marlo (which is somehow also very Lexton). Also: Dog socks. 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Nov 07 2019

58mins

Play

Rank #2: 107: A BIG Move

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Wait. Heather’s moving again? Hell yes she is! She loves to move! She loves to pack! She loves to unpack! She loves boxes! The only minor difference this time around is that you could probably also say she’s moving for love. As for John, he’s pretty excited for her.

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Aug 16 2018

53mins

Play

Rank #3: 001: That Crazy River

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Becoming a Single Parent When the Other Parent Relocates What is 'Manic Rambling Spiral?' How did Heather B. Armstrong, queen of the mommy bloggers, become a full-time single parent? That wasn't supposed to be a part of the script. And who the hell is John Bray?  

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Mar 17 2016

54mins

Play

Rank #4: 080: Happy New News!

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It's a new year! That means resolutions, goals, fresh starts and whoa, Heather, it's time to address the elephants in the room. One at a time, of course, because everything in moderation.

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Jan 11 2018

50mins

Play

Rank #5: 156: Reddit for Relationships

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We talk about more than Bumble (you know you want an update), but John’s text to Heather is probably the best description for this episode. “Without fail, the women on this app are in three distinct categories: 1. Want kids, 2. Don’t want a relationship, 3. Way out of my league. However, even if nothing in their bio is a fit, I always swipe right on the women who look like they could kick my a$$.”


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Oct 17 2019

51mins

Play

Rank #6: 002: She Eloped Without Me

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Becoming a Single Parent When the Other Parent Remarries Without Warning  

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Mar 24 2016

58mins

Play

Rank #7: 012: Divorce is Forever

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We separated because we just wanted to be friends with our exes. Okay, that's not entirely true, but we both think that staying on the best possible terms with them is in the best interest of our kids. So how do we make it work? Well, it's gotten better, but we're still figuring that out (one glass of bourbon at a time).  

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Jun 02 2016

1hr 1min

Play

Rank #8: 095: Fair Isn't Equal

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Inclusion is critical to education, but Heather and John aren't experts in that area, so John's friend Emily is joining the spiral. Emily is a specialist in early childhood inclusion and a single parent to a son with special needs, and all parents and educators are going to want to hear what she has to say.

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Apr 26 2018

1hr

Play

Rank #9: 094: Here for the Cheesecake

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Who knew Beyoncé was so amazing? And what about The Cheesecake Factory? Most people, probably, but not us. Until now. Yeah, it's a big week on MRS. And Heather is DONE with her book.

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Apr 19 2018

55mins

Play

Rank #10: 151: Injury and Insult

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It’s been a busy week without any travel or big changes. How so? Well, Heather’s foot is still an issue, her GI tract is making waves, and John’s battling school policy. Oh yeah, there was also an incident with a gun at Leta’s school. Don't worry, it’s not all somber and sad.

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Sep 05 2019

55mins

Play

Rank #11: 081: It Sucked and then I Died

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Heather is writing a book! It's not out until February 2019, but it's about depression, a clinical trial that changed her life, and dying. Because, oh yeah, Heather died a few times to get to get better. Turns out there's a way to do that! And John has kept it a secret this whole time. A keeper, that one.

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Jan 18 2018

48mins

Play

Rank #12: 039: Committing to a Promise: Easier said than done

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It's easier to make promises than it is to keep them. Especially when parenting. It's helpful to realize that the only promises you can guarantee are those that are completely in your control. It's even more helpful to not overuse the word "promise." Or maybe just never use it at all.  

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Jan 19 2017

50mins

Play

Rank #13: 043: The Upside to Downsizing: Ugh, moving

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Heather's moving and all hell is breaking loose. Though a smaller space can be a great thing, actually getting to that point is miserable. Here's to a fresh start, a great new neighborhood and some semblance of sanity in the aftermath.  

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Mar 02 2017

51mins

Play

Rank #14: 150: Boots and Bowels

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Somehow this episode came full circle. From boots and bus stops to pets and school routines, we cover a lot and bookend the whole thing with bowels. Sometimes we even surprise ourselves, but not as much as Leta will surprise herself when she finally understands that a car does not steer itself.


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Aug 29 2019

54mins

Play

Rank #15: 068: Fall Risk

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Health care, independence and, on yeah, John's brief hospital stay are all part of this week. We also talk about peeing with an audience and international travel because we like variety.  

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Oct 12 2017

52mins

Play

Rank #16: 059: Well This Is New

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Heather is back from Paris, John has some news, summer break is almost over (What the hell?). Funny how life can be beautiful and maddening at the same time.  

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Aug 10 2017

52mins

Play

Rank #17: 025: Evaluating the Replacement

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Talking to kids about your ex's new relationship. Introducing a new relationship is one thing, talking to your kids about this new person is something else entirely. From the high road and the cheap seats, we're talking about what to say and not say when kids ask questions, apply labels, and hurl insults (that make you laugh).  

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Sep 15 2016

58mins

Play

Rank #18: 067: Staying Level

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Sometimes it's tough to stay level-headed. Sometimes it feels damn near impossible when you have to do so while also trying to keep your kids relatively level. Hormones, parenting, life. Awesome.  

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Oct 05 2017

49mins

Play

Rank #19: 122: "A Single Man"

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It's official. John is a homeowner! And his relationship status? That's permanently established via legal documents. Super awesome. Regardless, this is a big step. And Heather? Well, she's helping her mom move, nursing a stubbornness injury, and contemplating mortality. Life is wild.

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Dec 13 2018

58mins

Play

Rank #20: 079: The Other Side

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Christmas is over. Everyone is exhausted. The New Year is days away. We'd love to say it's a sprint to the finish, but it's a bit of a limp. Survival isn't always glamorous.

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Dec 28 2017

55mins

Play

164: School Comes Home

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In addition to everything else happening as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, kids around the world are suddenly at home for school. But despite some of the smug homeschool memes and comments floating around, this isn’t homeschool. And it’s not easy. So take it from John (a homeschooling parent): you’re not crazy for being completely overwhelmed.

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Apr 23 2020

58mins

Play

163: Come On Eileen

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We didn't plan for this to be about COVID-19, but most of the world didn't plan for anything that's happening right now. As everyone scrambles to understand social distancing and isolation while grappling with the unknown, Heather and John talk about school closure and the state of the country before spiraling into a more serious conversation related to teenage emotions.

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Mar 19 2020

59mins

Play

162: MRS Turns 4

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Our first episode landed on St. Patrick's day 2016 and, four years later, we're still kicking. Admittedly, we've been kicking a lot less lately, but we're back to explain why, talk about Heather's weight (have you noticed?), provide an update compared to where we were four years ago, and tease some exciting changes coming to MRS (for real this time; they're going to be amazing).

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Mar 12 2020

58mins

Play

161: In Memory of Coco

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After more than 12 happy years of squawking, barking, and being herded by her favorite business partner, Heather and her family said their final goodbyes to Dame Eleanor Ritzford-Fitzsimons "Coco" Puffs. Heather shares some of those final moments as we discuss the significance of dogs and their place in our homes.

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Jan 30 2020

1hr 4mins

Play

160: Out With the Old

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Wrapping up the year with our first monthly episode.Wondering about John, Lexton, and Lilly? We covered that. Curious about Heather's gut? We covered that, too. We also talk a bit about mail, resolutions, teens (ugh teens), organization, and meditation. Like we said before: Same MRS, just a little less often.

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Dec 19 2019

58mins

Play

159: Change is Afoot

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Get it? A FOOT? Because Heather's foot? Perfect. Now that you're smiling about that we can let you know that you're going to be hearing from us less often. A lot less often. As in only once a month. Why? There are a lot of reasons, but "Life" is probably the best summary.

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Nov 14 2019

24mins

Play

158: Fun with Fur and Feet

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We never know where we’re going or how we get there, but maybe that’s part of the charm? Anyway, Heather’s getting some answers, John’s a Furminator convert, and Marlo is Marlo (which is somehow also very Lexton). Also: Dog socks. 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Nov 07 2019

58mins

Play

157: We Call it Hygge

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What does laundry share in common with cold, leftover nachos? Comfort. Yes, cold nachos provide comfort and we’re ready to die on this hill. Sure, we are open to other opinions, but you know what they say: it’s not a difference of opinion, you’re just ill-informed.

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Oct 24 2019

58mins

Play

156: Reddit for Relationships

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We talk about more than Bumble (you know you want an update), but John’s text to Heather is probably the best description for this episode. “Without fail, the women on this app are in three distinct categories: 1. Want kids, 2. Don’t want a relationship, 3. Way out of my league. However, even if nothing in their bio is a fit, I always swipe right on the women who look like they could kick my a$$.”


See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Oct 17 2019

51mins

Play

155: A Dating App Newcomer

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It finally happened. John joined the online dating scene and it’s as confusing and empty as he’s always imagined. It has, however, made him realize how many people are terrible at taking selfies. But don’t worry, MRS’s resident optimist is staying hopeful. Just kidding! All is lost.

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Oct 10 2019

55mins

Play

154: The Price of a Pet

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An update on Coco (a pupdate?), some commentary on Halloween, and a discussion on how much our pets are worth. What's that? We're heartless and evil? Yeah, okay, probably, but that should have been clear years ago. And don't worry, we take a softer approach when discussing orthodontics and swimming.

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Oct 03 2019

53mins

Play

153: Canines and Curriculum

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We moved right from Elizabethan collars into pop punk- and it wasn’t a smooth transition. That’s John’s fault. But somehow we still managed to cover homeschool curriculum, the climate, and a bit about vaccinations. If this seems chaotic, you should see our texts.

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Sep 26 2019

53mins

Play

152: Fitted and Folded

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Sure, we took a week off due to both of us being sick, but we didn’t actually get a week off. There were endoscopies to be had, sheets to be folded, and puppies to be chased. And this weed won’t just eat itself.

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Sep 19 2019

54mins

Play

151: Injury and Insult

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It’s been a busy week without any travel or big changes. How so? Well, Heather’s foot is still an issue, her GI tract is making waves, and John’s battling school policy. Oh yeah, there was also an incident with a gun at Leta’s school. Don't worry, it’s not all somber and sad.

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Sep 05 2019

55mins

Play

150: Boots and Bowels

Podcast cover
Read more

Somehow this episode came full circle. From boots and bus stops to pets and school routines, we cover a lot and bookend the whole thing with bowels. Sometimes we even surprise ourselves, but not as much as Leta will surprise herself when she finally understands that a car does not steer itself.


See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Aug 29 2019

54mins

Play

149: Don't Forget to Steer

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Another week, another couple dozen lessons in stress management. But we’re still taking our own advice and letting things slide. Invasive dogs, oversleeping teens, and even the thought of complete obliviousness behind the wheel of a large metal box hurtling at other objects. One of these days the dogs are definitely going to make us snap, though.

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Aug 22 2019

57mins

Play

148: Slow Down

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Weird title for a show called "Manic Rambling Spiral," but here we are. Heather ditched her FitBit and her Apple Watch and, as a result, a whole lot of anxiety; so this week is focused (eventually) on slowing down, taking things in stride, and some very relevant advice from an Englishman in a Dutch bar. And yes, MRS is back from break.

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Aug 15 2019

49mins

Play

147: From Paris to Puppies

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Socialized medicine doesn’t disappoint, especially when the phenomenon of “hot doctor” clearly exists in all countries. But John’s doctor? Nah. He prefers the shotgun approach. And yes, we also talk about Lilly.

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Jul 04 2019

56mins

Play

146: Friends and Fashion

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John and Heather are both facing some child-free time, and it’s going to be glorious. We bask in that notion, discuss friendships as an adult, and even touch on Heather’s questionable fashion decisions. We’d say everything is related, but that probably isn’t true.

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Jun 27 2019

56mins

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145: No Topic Needed

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We had a meetup last week! It was great. To say "thank you!" to everyone who joined us, we spent most of this episode talking about healthcare. That wasn't really the plan, but that's how things go around here. We also touched on John's dog, the woes of air travel, and a couple apologies related to Ep 144.

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Jun 20 2019

54mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

178 Ratings
Average Ratings
103
14
9
10
42

Disrespectful.

By Drunkitty McDrunk - Sep 29 2019
Read more
It’s sad to listen and know that John has no idea how little Heather thinks of him - how disinterested she is, how little she cares about his life, his child, his family or his interests. It’s clear how much he respects and admires her. It’s equally clear that he is simply not anywhere near her radar.

My Zen

By lisa n m p - Aug 19 2019
Read more
I find you both so soothing to listen to, always puts me in a good mood to hear you two.