Archive | August, 2008

Friday unFunnies

29 Aug

I woke up at like 6 am this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I just got up.  At 6:30.  In the morning.  I’m so tired.  I got up and watched the end of Masterpiece’s A Room With a View that I had started last night at 12:30 am.  I really don’t know what possesses me to stay up so late.  A Room With a View has been on my DVR for months, and I just now watched it.  It was sad.  I know I’ve seen another version before, but I had no recollection of the story.  I must have been blocking it out.  Because it’s sad.

Last night was DynaGirl and Goose’s back to school BBQ.  We had been looking forward to it because it’s a brand new school and this would be our first glimpse inside.  Plus the girls are always excited to meet their new teachers and see their classrooms.  Well, the school is beautiful.  Everything’s so shiny and new.  But the dumb thing was they didn’t have the class lists ready—some nonsense about having 100 new students register in the past few days and not having placed them all yet.  So they invited us to meet every teacher from the grade our children would be attending.  What is the point of this?  So when you finally find out who you’re getting you can breathe a sigh of relief that you didn’t get Ms. Wackadoodle or be disappointed that you did?  I met one teacher for DynaGirl’s age group that had been hired that morning.  She just graduated a year ago, and her only classroom experience has been substituting for this past year.  She’s teaching a 2nd/3rd grade split class with a 2 to 1 ration of 2nd to 3rd graders.  I asked her how she felt about split classes and she said that she thought they were fine except generally it’s the younger students that benefit.  Not that she would really know, she’s never taught before!  (And why are they putting a completely inexperienced teacher in a split class?)  But it does make sense—the younger students benefitting thing.  DynaGirl’s going into 3rd grade.  If they put her in that class I think I’ll have to raise a stink.  Only last night they said class lists would hopefully be posted by 3 pm today and I’m supposed to be leaving by 2:30 pm today and won’t be back until Sunday night and Monday is Labor Day and Tuesday school starts, so when am I supposed to be raising this stink?  Sigh. 

I’m going to see my sick uncle.  My mom’s baby brother.  I think this is the first trip I’ve ever made for the express reason of saying goodbye.  Kind of puts a damper on things.  But better to go than not.  Sigh.  It’s such bad timing, though, being the weekend before school starts, which I am not totally prepared for.  And I have these responsibilities at church that I’m trying to pawn off last minute on others because I’d volunteered for them completely forgetting that I was going on this trip and not even going to be there.  Probably because I was blocking it out.  Because it’s sad.  Better to go than not.

Sorry to be all gloom and doom.  Here are a few gems from Mr. T this week to end on a happy note.


Mr. T:  Double-O Seven!  Dive-rolls out of the family room.

Mr. T, walking towards his bedroom:  One time I OO7’d it into the bathroom, only I missed the door and hit the wall.

Me:  That was last night.  I was there.

Mr. T:  Oh yeah.

I’m not sure where this “OO7’d it” phrase came from, but I’m kind of liking it.

Just random conversation.

Mr. T:  If they had an invention that would permanently take out wedgies, I would totally buy it.

Me:  What?

Mr. T:  I’m serious.  I’ve been getting a lot of wedgies lately.  I don’t know what’s going on.

I don’t know what to say.


28 Aug

One of our new favorite spots to hit during our Seaside vacations is Indian Beach.  We’ve been going to Ecola Park for years for its beautiful views of Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock, and other points along the coast. 


On our way to Ecola Park, we always passed by the turnoff to Indian Beach.  We decided to check it out two years ago, and now it is one of our favorite places.  It’s beautiful—you walk through a little forested area and come out to breaking waves and interesting rock formations.  The waves break further out, making it ideal for wading with our small children.

It seems to be a pretty popular spot for surfers, too.  This past trip I noticed a pair of surfer chicks.  They were young—maybe very early 20s—and seemed to be in their own little world, talking and laughing and looking like they were having the time of their lives.  They were camped out just a few yards away from us, and I glanced over and saw this:

They had made a rock sculpture surfer, complete with driftwood surfboard.  When they left to hit the waves, DynaGirl and I snuck over to take some pictures.  When we got a closer look, we saw they had signed their work.

I have such fond memories of my BFFs—the ones who I could laugh and cry and be absolutely ridiculous with and know that it was always safe to just be myself.  We were inseparable until time and distance separated us.  The distance is only geographical, though, physical.  No matter how long we go between visits and phone calls or e-mails or letters, when we finally make the contact it’s as if it has only been a day or two—we can always just pick up where we left off and never feel awkward about the passing time.  Other friendships have come and gone, conveniences of our stage in life or situation or location.  But these friendships are a very comforting constant in my life.

I wish the same for Lauren and Emma.  They’re out there somewhere in the waves.

Wacky Search Term Wednesday

27 Aug

It’s that time again folks.


1.  vainiac meaning—I think I used “vainiac” in one of my eyebrow posts (which, by the way, have recovered fully and beautifully, if I do say so myself).  At the risk of sounding like a complete vainiac, I thought I had coined the phrase, but perhaps other people are out there saying it, too.  Or maybe one of you read “vainiac” in my post and was unsure of its meaning so you looked it up?  There’s no need to google, dear readers.  If you need me to clarify or further explain my ramblings, you need only ask.  I’m here for you.

2.  panckek—Bigger than your heeed!  (read the comments with the link for the full story)

3.  “great aunt fanny”—I’ve often wondered about the origin of this phrase.  Do you suppose there is an actual Great Aunt Fanny or is everyone just using this phrase as a more polite substitute for @$$, as I do?

4.  stories for lkg kids—What’s an “lkg” kid?  When I first saw this I immediately thought large, like “large kilograms” or something.  I can assure you there are no fat kid stories on this blog.  I may be many things, but a mocker of tubby tots I am not.  Does anyone know what “lkg” means?  If it’s some kind of terrible, debilitating disease, I’ll feel like a total great aunt fanny.

5.  shortalls fad cute—Thank you, I think so too!  Or thought so, like twenty years ago.  I feel somewhat obligated to warn you, though, of the dangers of trying to promote a comeback for this little fashion trend.

6.  “dr. milton daniels”—Dude, is this guy still alive?  I hope this wasn’t a loved one, as I was less than generous in my reference to him.  Perhaps it was someone else who had been traumatized.  How many of us are there?  Hmmm… Can you say class action law$uit?

7.  sean astin look alikes—Harumph!  OK, so I’ve been mistaken for a man before (more than once), but never a hobbit.  I am no hobbit, sir!  Although, I suppose if I had to be a hobbit, I would want to be Sam—dear Sam, so loyal and brave and true.  And I do love me some taters.  Mmmmm…

8.  wet t-shirt contest rockaway beach—The past just never stays in the past, does it?  Sigh.

9.  how to confirm ignored friends on facebo—Well, maybe in the future you won’t be so hasty to ignore potential friends.  Better to confirm first even if you have no earthly idea who they are.  After all, you wouldn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.  Even a total stranger.

10.  cheat me but rather take me as your own—I’m thinking song lyrics?  Maybe?

11.  i’ve been walking these streets scarin my—More song lyrics?  Scarin your what?  What?!

12.  click click bum I can see it in my mind—Misheard song lyrics?  I hope.

13.  can u bye 100 percent socks?—Hmmm…I don’t exactly know what you mean.  Aren’t all socks 100 percent socks?  Or are you somewhere where only strange hybrid socks are available?  Like 60% sock/40% slipper or 25% sock/75% shoe or 20% sock/80% floor skates or 50% sock/50%monkey?  Or maybe 10% sock/33% of Tom Cruise’s Risky Business wardrobe?


What have you got?  Come on, Madhousewife, I know you must have a few gems over there.

Fruit of my womb

25 Aug

Emphasis on fruit.


I can’t remember the context for this even though it just happened tonight.

BigHugs, to a sibling:  Sucks to be you!

I must be trying to block it out.

In the car.

Goose:  I wish I was borned cross-eyed.

Me:  Why?

Goose:  Because it’s not normal and I don’t like to be normal.

I don’t think you need to worry about that.

One of those so-excited-to-tell-you-I-can-hardly-stand-it stories.

DynaGirl:  I told my friends about how we saw a real live hobo on our vacation with the long hair and the beard and the shorts and the crazy shoes and socks (or was he barefoot?) and he was like digging through the garbage can, and they said, “You’re sooo lucky!”

Me:  Why?

DynaGirl:  Because hobos are awesome!

Am I just old or something?


Mr. T:  I’m going to go to the bathroom James Bond style!

Does a diving roll towards the bathroom and hits the wall.

Mr. T, laying on the floor in the middle of the hall:  Ow.

I just walked away.

Vacation—the aftermath

25 Aug

It’s been a week now.  BigHugs’ spilling last Monday spilled into Goose on Wednesday and DynaGirl on Saturday.  Mr. T threatened to spill on a few occasions, but thankfully never made good on that threat.

I think I’m on my 23rd load of laundry.  Don’t let me forget to put the towels in the dryer.  I hate it when I have to rewash a load because I’ve forgotten to promptly put it in the dryer, thus causing my load to lose its freshness.

I managed to unpack my suitcase.  And BigHugs’.  And it’s only been a week!  It’s some kind of record, I think.  Of course, Mr. T’s and the girls’ are still floating around their rooms somewhere in some stage of unpackedness.  Can’t they just hurry up and wear those clothes already?  Isn’t that the fastest way to empty luggage—the necessity of covering your nakedness?

The whole Bythelbs family managed to get burned the first day of our trip, which was now two weeks ago.  I’m usually pretty vigilant with the sunscreen, but that first day managed to miss more than a few spots.  We’re still peeling.  Well, somehow BigHugs and Goose managed to escape, but the rest of us…  We’re molting everywhere.  It’s like living in a snow globe.  With skin.

You know the worst place to get burned?  Your scalp.  Because the peeling scalp just looks like you’ve got dandruff on steroids.  And you can tell people (like everyone you run into who you think gave your head a second kind of funny and lingering look), “Don’t you just hate it when your scalp gets sunburned and you have like these super huge dandruffy looking flakes that aren’t really dandruff at all but just peeling skin because I’ve totally had the dandruff thing under control for like forever, but I forgot to wear a hat at the beach because well, actually, I don’t even own a hat…”  And they’ll totally nod with you like they get it, but something’s off in their eyes, and you realize they don’t believe a word coming out of your mouth.  Their heads are nodding “yes” while their minds are shaking “flaked out freak”.  Sigh.  Not that that’s ever happened to me.

Well, I’m off like a dirty shirt to do more laundry and bathe and loofah with a vengeance.  Can you loofah a scalp?  That still has a luxuriously full head of hair?  I’m wondering if that’s wise.  Hmmm…

Bonus awesome

22 Aug

In my last post, I completely forgot to mention the very best part of the Stardust experience—the end credit music!  When it started playing, Chuck, Mr. T and I almost immediately looked at each other and started busting up.  I had to play it again, so I could sing along—it’s that kind of awesome.  (To give you a hint, I could totally hear Styx or say Air Supply having a major hit with this song 25-30 years ago.)

I looked it up on youtube and was torn between the video of movie clips set to the music or the official music video.  Ultimately, I had to go with the official music video.  It has superior cheese quality.  I love watching artists sing their music—the facial expressions, gestures, etc. add considerably to the experience.

So, for your listening/viewing pleasure, I give thee “Rule the World” by Take That (anyone ever heard of Take That before?):

Darn it!  They disabled the embedding on this one.

Here’s the other instead:



It’s actually really growing on me.  For some reason it reminds me of this one:



Although, with Queen it’s not really a fair comparison.  Because, after all, it’s Queen.

Friday Funnies and Fanciful Flicks

22 Aug

Just a  few reasons why I heart Pearls Before Swine.


I could use me one of them chairs.  And a brick.


This one gave me a whole new perspective on Goose’s “mean compliments“.


I think this was Chuck’s greatest fear when I first started this blog, but obviously he had nothing to worry about.  Apparently, I missed the memo on not writing every embarrassing detail about your own life.  Man!

While we were at the coast, we picked up a few previously viewed DVDs from the local Hollywood Video.  They had a special deal going on, which made it cheaper to buy the movies than to rent them.  One of the movies we picked up was Stardust.  It’s a fairy tale/adventure type flick with Claire Danes and fun supporting roles from Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer and a bunch of other people I can’t think of off the top of my head.  It’s quirky and a bit dark at times with some offbeat humor and sexual innuendo that warrants the PG-13 rating, but all in all it was a fun time.  I really enjoyed it. 

Oh, and Cheryl, Mark Strong is in it, so that might be enough to recommend it for you.

Last night I went to see Mamma Mia with my oldest sister and another friend.  My sister’s been raving about this movie for a couple of weeks.  The first time she saw it with a big group of friends, and a bunch of them enjoyed it so much they decided to stay for a second showing.  I knew it was a musical and I’m familiar with a lot of the ABBA songs, but I still wasn’t quite sure what to expect except that my sister had been singing its praises so long and loud that I guess I really expected greatness.

Well, it was great.  I loved it.  Laugh out loud funny on more than a few occasions, cover your mouth (or your eyes—oh my goodness) funny on others, and also sweet and sincere.  Having actors who aren’t necessarily singers sing their parts full gusto only added to the charm.  I think it’s safe to say Pierce Brosnan won’t be releasing a solo album any time soon.

The premise of the movie (in case you’ve been in a closet somewhere) is a young woman raised by her single mother (played by Meryl Streep) is getting married and wants her father there to give her away.  She discovers her mother’s old diary, and after deducing that there are three possible candidates for her father (played by Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan and Stellan Skarsgard), she invites them all to the wedding in hopes of figuring it all out in time for the big day. I love Meryl Streep, and she was great in this.  Christine Boranski and Julie Walters are her sidekicks and they almost steal the show at times.

It’s not perfect—the plot and premise are kind of hokey and the ending is convenient—but it’s a lot of fun.  I can recommend it.  And I will.

Oh, and it’s got Colin Firth and Dominic Cooper!  Between these two movies, it’s like the trifecta of Jane Austen leading men—bonus!

Unleash the power!

21 Aug

So in the aftermath of BigHugs’ little “spilling” incident on Monday, I forgot to toss her clothes into the wash.  I had rinsed them out so as to dispose of the bulk of the spill, but then put them on the washer while I was running the ginormous load that included a comforter and several towels I had used to clean up the mess.  The washer was full, so I thought her outfit (one of my favorites) had a better chance of making a full recovery if it wasn’t crammed in with all the other stuff.  That was Monday.

On Wednesday, I walked into the laundry room and realized I had never finished Monday’s wash.  I quickly inspected the contents of my washing machine to make sure no unpleasantness had occurred while it sat neglected for two days.  After a few thorough sniffs, I determined it was safe to put them in the dryer.  What are those ocean breeze dryer sheets for anyway, if not to freshen my load?

I gathered up some other items to throw in with the outfit, but when I finally got around to BigHugs’ thoroughly rinsed (read wet and dirty) outfit, I noticed the ultimate in laundry horrors.  Little pink speckles, my friends.  Mildew!  And did I mention it was my favorite outfit?

My first line of attack was my usual stain-remover spray and an old toothbrush I keep in my laundry room.  Nothing.  Nuh-theen-guh.  Sigh.  I thought to myself, “It’s mildew, you idiot.  It’s too late.  This outfit has given up the ghost.  Move on.”  And then, I saw it.  My bucket of OxiClean I had originally purchased to brighten up my kitchen rug.  It had not been the miracle cure I’d seen in the infomercials, but it had worked decently well.  After a few hours of soaking, my rug had looked considerably less dingy.  So I tossed the clothes in a large bowl with a half gallon or so of warm water and a scoop of OxiClean and walked away.

I’m pretty sure by now that those of you who know me know how I am about lost items.  Of course, I knew where this outfit physically was, but once rendered unwearable it was as good as lost to me, so the grieving process had begun.  I tried to comfort myself with the idea that BigHugs is a growing child and would not have been able to wear the outfit much longer anyway and it was really more of a summer outfit and summer was almost over and surely there were equally cute if not cuter ensembles in her future.  I almost had myself fooled into thinking that I it would be OK.

Two hours later, I was able to bring myself to check on the progress of the OxiClean.  I prepared myself for the worst.  But when I pulled up the clothes and brushed away the combined power of water and oxygen suds, there was narry a pink spot in sight!  Halle-frickin-lujah!  It had worked!  It had actually worked!  The damn spots were out!  It was nothing short of a laundry miracle.

I floated over to my washing machine and threw the outfit in with full confidence it had been restored to its former glory.  True story.  Thank you OxiClean!

But that’s not all!  Not 15 minutes after discovering the magical powers of this blessed versatile household stain remover, I spattered microwave popcorn “butter” all over my favorite t-shirt whilst tearing open the steaming bag of naturally and artificially flavored buttered goodness.  I was sure it was too much to ask or hope for a second laundry miracle.  What had I done to expect or deserve such a fount of laundry blessings?  But sweet heavenly hosts, with the help of OxiClean, the greasy butter spots came out, too!

Undoubtedly, some other catastrophe lurks around the corner in the bythelbs household.  The universe has a way of evening things up, after all.  But for now, my laundry is safe and all is right with the world.


Thanks, Julie, for your correct spelling of OxiClean!  With all it’s done to contribute to my wellbeingness, the least I can do is spell it right!

My kids are weird

20 Aug

Some more random conversations.


Goose getting ready for gymnastics.

Goose, in her pink leotard with black legging capris on top:  Mom, do my clothes look French?

Me:  Why would your clothes look French?

Goose:  Because people wear black pants in France.

Me:  They do?  Why do they wear black pants in France?

Goose:  I dunno.  Because it’s Francey-ish?



At the dinner table.  Yes, the dinner table.

DynaGirl:  I always get goosebumps when I use the bathroom.

Me:  Goosebumps?  Why would you get goosebumps?

DynaGirl:  I don’t know.  Because I’m cold when I go to the bathroom?

Me:  Uh-huh.

DynaGirl:  But sometimes I get goosebumps and it’s not cold when I go to the bathroom.  I don’t know.  It’s weird!  And true!



Watching the Olympics.

Mr. T:  Can I sell my kidney?

Me:  No.

Mr. T:  How much do you think I’d get for it?

Me:  I don’t know.  What would you do with the money?

Mr. T:  I don’t know.


What I did the day after my summer vacation, part II

19 Aug

So apparently, when BigHugs comes to me and says, “I spilled chocolate milk on the floor, Mom” what she really means is “I threw up chocolate milk all over the floor, Mom.”  Only I didn’t figure that out until I was in the middle of cleaning up the other throw up that occurred just moments after the whole “spilling” confession.  Nothing like heading down to the laundry room with an armful of wash only to discover a second crime scene.  It just. keeps. getting. better.

BigHugs had a runny nose and cough most of our vacation, and it seems as though yesterday her tummy had finally had enough of all that gunk she was coughing up, but not out.  At least it didn’t happen on vacation.  See, I can count my blessings, look on the bright side, see the half-full cup and all that schlock.

I had such big plans for yesterday.  I was going to think about unpacking and perhaps go to the grocery store and maybe even take the girls school shopping.  But instead, I used the whole sick toddler thing as an excuse for total slacktitude.  Of course.  Of course, I did.  Did you expect anything less?  Or is it more?

But today I’m making up for it.  I’ve already showered and fed two of the four kids lunch and taken Mr. T to the orthodontist and it’s only 12:35 pm.  Is there no end to my productivity?  I was going to start unpacking, but I’m thinking I should pace myself.  This thing called motherhood is a long distance race, after all, and I don’t want to be using up all my juice in the first couple legs.  Right?

Yesterday afternoon, while laying leisurely on the couch in front of Thomas & Jerry (BigHugs always calls Tom Thomas), BigHugs coughed and said in her most pitiful voice, “I’m sick, Mom.  I have the fruit.”  Yeah, I’ve been there, kid.  I’ve so been there.

And not to worry, it looks like it was just a 24 fruit.  She’s back to her happy-go-lucky, non-spewing (or as she puts it, spilling) self.