Archive | November, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

26 Nov

I have just a moment, dear readers, as Madhousewife is on her way and I’m still in the midst of Thanksgiving/houseguest preparations.  Just wanted to wish you a very happy Turkey Day and let you all know how thankful I am for my dear bloggy friends!

And also for youtube.  And people who have too much time on their hands.  And no shame.


Happy Thanksgiving!

They’ve all got Daddy’s nose

25 Nov

Last night I made a startling discovery.  The family was gathered together for a rousing game of spoons when I just casually happened to mention that I never was able to do that whole hang a spoon from your nose trick. Mr. T picked up a spoon, placed it on his nose and said, “You mean this?”—like it was nothing!  Then DynaGirl said, “I wanna try”, picked up a spoon and placed it on her nose.  Not to be outdone, Goose picked up another spoon and followed suit.  And then so did Chuck!

I was surrounded.  As I looked around at these people I hold most dear, all with spoons hanging from their noses as if it was the most natural thing in the world, I felt like a freak in my own family.  Kind of like the Twilight Zone episode where the woman is in the dimly lit hospital with her face all bandaged up and the nurses and doctors are all talking about how they hope the surgery worked this time and then they take off the bandages to reveal the woman’s face and there are audible gasps and screams and they show you the face of the extremely attractive woman and then pull back to reveal the distorted faces with the pig-like snouts of the medical personnel.  And yes, in this story I am the extremely attractive woman, but also the freak.

I attempted to master this skill for several minutes, even trying different spoons of varying sizes, shapes and weights.  I could not do it.  My children were baffled.  They kept trying to give me tips: breathe on it first, don’t breathe on it first, place it at the top of your nose near the bridge and let it drop, just stick it on and let go.  Nothing worked.  And then Mr. T started hopping up and down, whilst keeping the spoon affixed to his nose, and DynaGirl moved her spoon to the side of her nose without touching it, and Goose start swinging her spoon back and forth like a pendulum.  I expressed my astonishment and wonder at how such a thing was possible.  Goose said, “It’s just a talent, Mom.”  Salt in my wound.

dscn05180001BigHugs was not successful either, but she’s still young.  Maybe this is some kind of genetic ability passed down to my children through their father’s superior DNA.  Perhaps we need only wait for BigHugs’ power to manifest itself.  But what if it doesn’t?  Will BigHugs resent me for my average genes and curse the non-specialness of her nose?  Will she feel like a freak in her own family—an ordinary in a family of extraordinaries?

My only consolation is that all of my children can roll their tongues, and they get that from me.  Chuck’s tongue is completely unrollable.  I suppose it’s comforting to know that our children are getting the best of what we both have to offer.

Remember, I’m the freakishly attractive one.

Do you have any special abilities?

More conversational tidbits

24 Nov

Decorating for Mr. T’s birthday.  (Yeah, this one’s old, but I just found the little scrap of paper I’d written it on.)

BigHugs: You put a person on Mr. T’s birthday paper?

Me:  Yes.  That’s Chuck Norris.  Can you say Chuck Norris?

BigHugs:  Chuck Norris.  I don’t like Chuck Norris.  I like pigs the best.  I don’t like horses or chickens or cows…

Me: Or Chuck Norrises?

BigHugs: No.

To each her own, I guess.


Overheard between Goose and DynaGirl.

Goose: You’re the weirdest person in the world.

DynaGirl: I’m not the weirdest person.  I’m exciting.  And funny.  And awesome.

Later that day.

Goose, to me (for some reason I can no longer recall):  You’re the creepiest person in the world.

Me:  I’m not creepy.  I’m exciting.  And funny.  And awesome.

DynaGirl:  Hey, you stole that from me!

Gees—everything’s proprietary material around here!


Around the house.

Mr. T, narrating:  I’m opening the fridge.  Now I’m pulling out the juice.  Now I’m pouring the juice.  Now I’m drinking my juice.  Now I’m opening the fridge again.  Now I’m putting away the juice.  Now I’m closing the fridge.  I like narrating everything I do.  It’s fun.

Goose:  Everything you do is extra weird.

Mr. T, ironicallyThat makes me feel warm inside.

Goose is like the freak police around here lately.


Overheard between Mr. T and Goose.

Mr. T, shaking his head at something goofy Goose is doing:  You’re just trying to get on mom’s blog.  Fame corrupts people.

Mr. T’s wisdom knows no bounds.

Let him eat cookies (hands off the $*%! cake!)

21 Nov

I don’t really have much of anything for you today, but I did find this in my pantry this morning (I think it’s been there for some time now, but just resurfaced as I was rummaging around):


And on the flipside (just in case the message wasn’t perfectly clear before):


Strangely, I have no recollection of a conversation/incident that would have precipitated this kind of response from DynaGirl.  (Hey, cookies and leftover birthday cake are too very different things.)  I imagine Chuck might know.

Some parting thoughts as I wish you the loveliest of weekends:

Be nice to your husband.  Give him permission to eat a cookie.

I was wrong!

20 Nov

We survived the pictures!  I can hardly believe it.  If anything, they went too well as I had a most difficult time deciding which poses not to buy.  She just looked so darn cute in all of them that I could hardly bear the thought of them not being admired by someone.  Anyone.  Well, not some creepy person.  Do you ever have guilt over allowing a perfectly delightful image of your precious child to be thrown away?  I almost feel like I’m abandoning them.  And the sales girls totally know it and use it against me.  Manipulative benches.

But the pictures are done!  And now I can breathe easy.  Well, not quite yet, I guess.  There is still the possibility they will get lost.  That happened to me once before with Mr. T.  We had had the most perfect photo session in the history of cheesy department store photo sessions, and two days before I was to pick up the finished prints, they called to tell me they had lost them and I would need to come in to have them retaken.  I cannot even begin to describe the trauma of that event.  It. Was. Ugly.  Given that experience, I guess I won’t claim the victory until I have the pictures in my hot little hands.  It’s going to be a long, anxiety-riddled 10 days.

But enough about me.  Anything stressing you out lately?

Prove me wrong, Universe! and a special comment

19 Nov

Yesterday I made an appointment to have BigHugs’ picture taken.  So you know what that means—some time in the next 24 hours she will either come down with a cold, a raging case of pinkeye or have some other kind of face-maiming accident.  She hasn’t had a professional picture taken in over 2 years.  Can you guess why?  It seems almost irresponsible of me to risk my child’s health and safety this way with an actual scheduled appointment, but for some reason I felt it must be done.  I’m hoping this time the universe will prove me wrong.  Prove me wrong, Universe!  Prove me wrong!

And now, on a more serious note: a Bythelbs special comment. 

Yesterday something else happened that turned my world upside down.  Black is no longer black.  White is no longer white.  Everything is just a big fat puddle of muddled gray.  And just when I was thinking that things might be starting to calm down—that maybe we’re getting ready to move past all of this election drama and settle into our new reality.  But now I’m not so sure we’re ready to move on together.  It seems that we’re as divided as ever. 

I consider myself to be a very open-minded, reasonably non-judgmental person.  I like to think of our little blogging community here at Bythelbsia as a safe place for people of all persuasions, walks of life, values and ideas, but even I’m having difficulty reconciling my affection for dear friends with their individual beliefs and opinions.  No, I am confident I can get past this.  It may not be today or even tomorrow.  But the day will come again when I can see you all as the good, good people that you truly are regardless of your Cheetos-density preference.  It will come.  I must believe it.

Is that burning sensation normal?

18 Nov

Do you ever go to the store in the afternoon without having eaten lunch yet and find that you suddenly need all kinds of crud that you don’t really need but winds up in your cart anyway?  And then when loading your groceries into the trunk, do you pull out a couple of things to tide you over during the 10 minute car ride home until you can eat an actual lunch?  Yeah, me neither.


I certainly did not pretend to be talked into buying Cheetos by my 3 year-old and then randomly pick up a box of ginger snaps because I had a sudden craving for something gingery and molassesy.  And I definitely did not pull those two things out of my bags before closing the trunk and put them in the passenger seat of the car.  And I surely did not, after filling a small bag with Cheetos for BigHugs, proceed to eat through nearly half of the bag myself.  And there is no way that I then, while driving, opened up the box and inner plastic bag of ginger snaps and inhale 3 or 4 of those, too.  And after all that stuff that didn’t happen, I didn’t spend the next several minutes wondering if it was normal to experience a burning sensation in my mouth, tongue and throat after eating a couple servings worth of snaps.  Nor did I wonder since when did ginger snaps become so snappy that I feared breaking my teeth in the effort of eating them.

So, if this is you, let that be a lesson to you.

Oh, and if this is you, do not spend the rest of the day snacking on potato chips, candy corn and almonds in addition to eating a full lunch and dinner.  You’ll regret it.  Trust me.  Not that I would know from personal experience, but it’s just common sense, now, isn’t it?

Adventures in birthday-partying

17 Nov

Have you ever been offered hard liquor at two in the afternoon at a 7 year-old’s birthday party?  Yeah, me neither.  Until Saturday.

So Friday Goose comes home all excited because she’s been invited to her not-so-secret crush’s (we’ll call him B) birthday party the next day.  She hands me the invitation.  It’s a scrap of notebook paper with an address, date and time.  She says B’s mother handed it to her personally, so I figure it’s probably legit.  She adores the birthday boy, so I don’t see how I can get out of taking her to this one.  On Saturday we go to B’s house.  It’s in a decent neighborhood, the house is well-kept, and the parents seem like normal, responsible adults, so I’m not too worried. 

There’s only one other guest–another little boy from Goose’s class.  It’s a pretty low-key party.  They just expected the kids to play.  I’m a little surprised at the number of birthday parties that do not include any sort of organized games or activities.  I’m beginning to think I’m kind of a freak about the birthday parties as the ones I throw always have something going on.  But I think that’s mostly because I’m afraid to just let the kids run loose or get bored.  In my experience, bored kids can be dangerous.

Anyway, every 20 minutes or so B’s mom says to your husband “Where’s Crazy Grandma?  Why isn’t she here yet?”  Crazy Grandma?  They explain it’s the nickname they’ve given his mom.  I’m thinking this must be a fun lady—the life of the party—to have earned such a name.  Finally about an hour and a half into the party, Crazy Grandma shows up.  She drives up in a big ol’ truck and comes to a near shrieking halt at the end of the driveway.  And she’s brought a “friend” who I suspect is actually a “life partner”.  Though no-one specifically spells that out, it’s seems pretty obvious.  But hey, that’s cool.  Crazy Grandma has a girlfriend–no big deal.

Crazy Grandma comes bearing gifts–grocery sacks filled with all kinds of packages wrapped in Christmas wrap and newspaper.  She chucks most of them on the floor of the garage (that’s where the party was), and then takes the last bag filled with cylindrical newspaper wrapped items into the house.  She comes back out with a tall glass of somekind of non-carbonated brown liquid on ice and proceeds to introduce herself.  I tell her I’m Goose’s mother and she says, “Oh, the girlfriend!”  Pardon?  Apparently, B’s family gets even more of an earful about Goose than we do about B.  I knew that there was a mutual affection there, but it was still a little disconcerting to have my 6 year-old be referred to as the “girlfriend” by Crazy Grandma.

Crazy Grandma is a lovely woman.  Very lively.  Very friendly.  A very gracious and attentive hostess even at someone else’s home.  About 2 minutes into our conversation she says, “Can I get you a drink?  I have some vodka in the house.”  I politely decline and then instantly feel like I’ve been transported into some kind of alternate reality.  Is this normal?  The service of hard liquor at 1st graders’ birthday parties?  I don’t have a lot of friends who drink, so I’m wondering is it just me or is being offered vodka at a kid’s birthday party at 2 pm not totally whacked?

I don’t think I see much of a long-term future for this Goose and B romance.

What did you do this weekend?

Friday Funnies, my friends

14 Nov



You know, I didn’t start this little blogging venture with the intention of making money.  Which is good.  Because I haven’t.  At all.  That’s not to say it hasn’t been a profitable experience.  I’ve become rich in friends, dear readers.  Rich.  In.  Friends.  Yeah, I’m talking about you, people.  So thank you.

Have an awesome weekend!

(Insert cheesy musical tribute here.)


12 Nov

First off, remember this?  I had the biggest crush on Johnny Gage.  He made me weak in my six-year-old knees.


And check out how well he’s aged.


Randolph Mantooth—Rrrowrr!  (OK, I totally just weirded myself out with the rrrowrring.)

So you know how I occasionally get misdirected e-mails?  Well, the latest have been from a gal who is in charge of emergency preparedness for her church congregation.  I’ve gotten information on some great deals on bulk candles and wheat.  I haven’t bothered to tell her her mail has gone astray because frankly, this is helpful information.  And amusing.  I got this one the other day that was actually a forward from another guy.  And don’t worry, I’ve changed the name to protect the innocent.

I learned something new I wish to share with everyone.  Rolls of Toilet Tissue are available through contacting a janitorial supply company, you can get the super large rolls of toilet paper for substantially less money by the case.  I intend to buy 3 to 10 cases for personal use.

 Reg McDougall

I love how he felt the need to capitalize “Toilet Tissue”. I can only assume he intended to catch the reader’s attention. There are a lot of e-mail skimmers out there, you know, and had he not gone with the capitals, they may have missed this potentially life-saving information completely.

I wish I had Reg’s contact information as I have a number of follow-up questions.

1.  How would you define “super large”?  Are we talking a double-double roll?  A wheel?

2.  Three to 10 cases, Reg?  That’s quite a range there to be considering.  I’ll either buy three of these or ten of these or some number in between.  How will you decide?

3.  You’ll be using 3 to 10 cases personally?  Like all by yourself?  Maybe he’s awaiting some test results, and depending on the outcome, he’ll be buying 3 to 10 cases.  It would be foolish to buy 10 now without knowing what the chances are he’ll be around long enough to use them.  Or maybe you mean personal as in:

Concerned friend:  What are you going to do with 3 to 10 cases of super large rolls of toilet paper, Reg? 

Reg:  I’d rather not talk about it.  It’s personal.

Or maybe:

Reg:  I’d like to order 3 to 10 cases of super large rolls of toilet paper.

Janitorial supply company sales rep:  And what will you be doing with the Toilet Tissue, sir?

Reg:  Um, it’s personal.

Janitorial supply company sales rep:  I’m sorry, sir, but I’m going to need that information for my form before I can complete the transaction.

Reg:  Click.

4.  Just how big is the toilet paper holder in your bathroom?  Do you have your own personal stall at home complete with metal toilet paper lockbox?  Ooh, do you have a toilet seat cover dispenser?  Where might I find one of those?  Can the toilet seat covers be purchased by the case as well?  I’d like 3 to 10 cases for personal use.

Did anyone else watch Emergency!?  Johnny Gage.  Swooning sigh.