Archive | December, 2008

Lucky Seven

29 Dec

They say every good story has to have a conflict.  I guess that would explain why out of all that I’ve written about my children on this blog, I’ve had the most to say about Goose.  I hardly know what more I can say. 

The last seven years have been a roller coaster ride with squeals of delight and screams of terror, arms raised high in joy and victory, and eyes covered waiting for it to be over.  I sometimes worry that I’m spending too much of this ride covering my eyes and waiting for the end.  The thing with rides is, the end always comes before you know it, sometimes before you’re ready for it, and ultimately almost always before you want it. 

Some days I feel like I should know this ride well enough by now to anticipate the twists and turns, to look forward to them or at least ready myself for them.  And some days I do.  But there are always those other days where I’m thrown for an extra loop or maybe I just ate one too many churros before hopping through the turnstile.  That’s not the ride’s fault.  I love this ride.  In my right mind, I know no matter what I never want to get off.

Goose is seven today, and I’m determined that seven is the year I’ll figure out how to be her mom.  Or maybe she’ll figure out how to be my daughter.  Yep, seven is the year.  Lucky seven.


I promise that even when I push you away, I’ll always be standing right here, waiting.  Promise me you’ll always come back.

Happy Birthday, Goose!  I love you!

Wacky Search Term Wednesday—special holiday edition

17 Dec

This post title may be a tad misleading, as there is nothing especially holidayish about this WSTW other than the fact that it will have been written during the holiday season.  I’m just trying to get in the spirit of the season.  Plus doesn’t “special holiday edition” sound more intriguing and/or festive than “nuthin special edition”?

is a unibrow park of puberty—Originally I thought this was a typo.  Surely “park” was meant to be “part”.  Except seeing how the “k” is, in fact, nowhere near the “t” on the keyboard, I can only assume that some poor adolescent googler did indeed mean “park”.  And that being the case, methinks some poor adolescent googler’s parents might be taking the whole “birds and bees, flowers and trees” analogy a wee bit far.  But who am I to tell anyone how to raise their child?  This is a very sensitive issue for most, so I’ll play along to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes or popping anyone’s protective bubble of euphemismia.  Yes, young one, I believe in the park of puberty grass begins to grow in places where grass has not heretofore grown, including the area betwixt the eyebrows, or rather, the area that should be betwixt the eyebrows, which is to say that there should be a betwixt, which would require two of something for there to be something else in between.  So if there is no longer any betwixting in the eyebrowal region, then I might suggest mowing the lawn, so to speak, as I’m afraid that there is but one who can pull off the unibrow, and that one, of course, would be Bert.  Just be careful as you’re manicuring your lawn that you don’t go overboard.  Gentle landscaping, young one.  Gentle landscaping.

impressive sock monkey—Is there any other kind?

sock monkey cool’—Word.

hot sock monkey—Oh, come now.  Don’t go trying to pervify innocence in its purest form.

monkey out of crack—Are you trying to make a monkey out of crack?  Or is your monkey stuck in a crack and you need advice on how to extract him?  What kind of crack?  Sidewalk?  Cocaine?  Bum?  We can’t proceed without further details.

doctor sock monkey—Are you looking for a doctor for your sock monkey or a sock monkey who practices medicine?  Again, details people, details.  Kind of important.  Or perhaps this is a pet name for someone?  I’m hearing Barry White, “You can call me Dr. Sock Monkey, baby.  Yeah.”   

unicorn picter—Hmmm.  No unicorn “picters” here, but if unicorns are really your thing, may I direct you here?  (Thanks for the link, Mad.  Pure awesome.)

“pond scene” austen—You mean this pond scene?  In that case, it should really be “pond scene” awesome.  (Also, you have to check this out:)


grils pees—Grills peas?  Girls pees?  Girls please?  I’m stumped.

sorry poems i called you someone else’s—Pulling a Ross there?  I’m not certain a poem is going to make up for calling your significant other the wrong name.  It might depend on the context.  Were you asking for her to please pass the grilled peas or were you in a more romantical situation, if you know what I mean?  Or wait, are you apologizing to the poems?

“cause I’m a winner no not a loser”—Self-affirmation can be a very helpful tool in the quest for a healthy self image.  Try saying it in front of a mirror.  You will never find your true sense of self worth on the internets, my friend.  It must come from within.  And you are a winner, no not a loser.  Unless you’re that joker who called his girlfriend by the wrong name.  Pretty weenie.

ginger + burning sensation— = a sorry excuse for a snap.

help me oh load to live and see the offs—I think I know where you’re coming from.  When my washing machine was on the fritz I oft found myself saying “help me oh load” or “Load, have mercy!”  If you need any washer repair tips, come on back.  I’m pretty much an expert.

my womb card—Is this some kind of license?  Not a bad idea, actually—a license to reproduce.  Or maybe it’s some kind of fetus networking tool?  If a womb card is drawn out of the jar, can the fetus collect on the free IHOP meal postpartum or in utero?  Mmmm…rutti tutti fresh and fruity.

later suckahs—Right back atchya.  Actually, I’m thinking of closing up shop for a little while so I can spend more time with my children and focus on my fami… *snort*  Sorry, I just knew I wouldn’t be able to pull that one off with a straight face.  But really, it’s that hustly bustly time of year so I may not be around a whole lot the next couple weeks.  I’m sure I’ll be stopping by to bring you good tidings of great Christmas and New Year’s joy.  Until then, later suckahs!

Blah Humbug

16 Dec

I love Christmas.  I really, really do.  But so far this year I’m just not feelin’ it.  I spent all of yesterday running Christmas related errands, some of which were completely unsuccessful, which was incredibly frustrating and borderline depressing, and holy frick it’s like only nine more days until Christmas!

My sister (not Mad) is also feeling a little blah this Christmas.  I mentioned to her how I was still trying to figure out what to give a few people and she asked couldn’t we all just agree to not give each other anything because by the time you exchange money and gifts and gift cards it’s all pretty much a wash anyway and so what’s the point?  I actually really enjoy the gift-giving part.  A lot more than the gift-receiving part even.  I don’t give gifts out of obligation or so that I’ll be sure to get one in return.  What can I say, I’m a giver.  And a lover.  I give to show the people I love that I’m thinking of them and that they’re important to me.  I don’t expect my friends and loved ones to show their deep and abiding affection for me in the same way—I know they love me, what’s not to love?  And I don’t even think that they expect it of me.  I just like to do it.

I think the blah this year might be coming from not really knowing what I want to give.  Aside from my kids, I’m not superly-overly-excited about some of the gifts I’ve picked out for people this year.  It’s not for lack of caring or trying.  I care!  I tried!  I just didn’t have any good ideas this year.  No inspirations.  In years past, I’ve made several gifts, but I’m not feeling very homey/crafty this year.  A lot of people are getting gift cards.  I know that seems like kind of a cop out gift, and it is sort of, I guess.  It’s certainly not very exciting.  And not being excited about the gifts I give kind of takes some of the fun and magic out of Christmas.  I hope those who are on the receiving end of my impersonal gift cards know that when I say, “Here’s $25 for Jamba Juice.” what I really mean is “I love you.”

So what about you?  What gets you into the Christmas spirit?  Where do you stand on gift cards?  Impersonal and lame?  Or woo-hoo, I get to pick out my own crap!  What have been some of your favorite gifts?

Celebrity sighting!

12 Dec

Tuesday was Mr. T’s winter band concert.  Happy birthday to me!  As I’m sure you know or can at least imagine, middle school band concerts are a very special treat.  One might even say an almost indescribable experience.  I won’t get into too many details now because I’m determined to figure out how to convert my video files so that I can let you see for yourself.  After all, hearing is believing.

But until then, check this out—Tim Gunn was at my son’s band concert!


He was a little cazshed out in jeans and a fleece pullover.  This picture doesn’t really do him justice.  Several times during the performance, I caught him making his signature face:


But I was never able to get the shot.  I was trying to be discreet so as not to disturb him.  I mean, the poor guy probably can’t go anywhere without being recognized.  That kid he was with seemed to be getting suspicious, so I gave up. 

The guy behind Mr. Gunn was making me a little nervous, though, looking like he was ready to karate chop him or something.  I briefly considered trying to call out a word of warning, but I didn’t want to interrupt the concert, and I was afraid if I attempted to communicate the possible danger through hand gestures, my intentions might be misconstrued as a threat themselves.

I haven’t had a lot of celebrity encounters.  In my sophomore year of high school, I saw Rick and Josh (I always though Josh was the cuter one even if his nose is too small—that’s always been my slight hang-up with Donny Osmond, too) from Guiding Light at Disneyland.  They were getting on the Matterhorn (Paramense Sentados, Por Favor!) and my friend and I were a couple rows behind them in line.  She called out to them, which was extremely embarrassing for me since she used their character names from the show.  Neither one of us knew their real names, and isn’t it really just kind of lame to be a “fan” of someone if you don’t know his real name?  They sort of glanced confusedly in our general direction and then got on the ride.  I thought it was cool that they just got on there with everyone else.  Some celebrities would have insisted on a private run, but not Rick and Josh.  Class acts, I tell you.

My senior year I was down in San Diego with my BFF celebrating graduation when we ran into The Popcorn King himself at Hotel Del Coronado.  I kid you not.  It was Orville Freaking Redenbacher.  Seriously.  I have the picture to prove it.


Unfortunately, I seem to have momentarily misplaced the pictures we took of him with my friend and me (frick–you know what I’ll be doing as soon as this post is done).  But see how he’s reaching in his pocket?  He was reaching for this:


Further proof of our encounter.  Obviously, that is a day that will be forever inkernelled in my memory.

And I think that’s about the extent of my brushes with celebrity.  What about you?  Ever meet anyone famous?

This morning

11 Dec

Getting dressed.

Me:  How ’bout you change your underwear today.

Goose:  But I like this underwear.

Me:  But here’s another pair of white ones right here.  See, now doesn’t it feel better to have fresh pannies?

Goose:  Stop saying fresh.  And pannies together.  It sounds so weird.

I’m sorry, but it’s hard to top a pair of fresh pannies.


At the breakfast table.

DynaGirl:  Can you cut all of my nails except this one?

Me:  Why?

DynaGirl:  Because I need it to hook stuff.

Me:  You mean to pick your nose.

DynaGirl:  Not just that.  The other day it came in handy at school and it wasn’t even for picking my nose.

Hook stuff.  Sigh.

Ghosts of Christmas letters past

10 Dec

Still feeling like le crap (pardon my French), so I’m going to share with you a few family newsletters from past years in case you’re a procrastinator like me and haven’t sent out your Christmas cards yet and are still looking for an idea.

My only personal rule for writing family newsletters is to try not to make it sound like we’re more perfect than we actually are.  Now, trying to sound like we’re funnier or more clever than we actually are is totally OK in my book.

All We Really Need To Know We Learned From Our Family:


Our Family’s Priceless (Mastercard) Moments:



Kids Say the Darndest Things (notice this one was sent out in January—I still think New Year’s letters are the way to go):


Our Family’s (insert year) by the Numbers (notice I totally blew off 2004—I was still in my first trimester with BigHugs):


I’ll most likely be recycling the “Bythelbs Kids Say the Darndest Things” this year as I already have a decent stock to choose from right here on the blog.  Plus there are limits to my creativity.  Plus there’s that whole feeling like le crap thing.  Plus I’m just lazy like that. 

I typically print out the letter on some kind of decorative paper and then insert it with a family photo into a regular ol’ Christmas card.  I’m having trouble finding a regular ol’ Christmas card that isn’t a totally lame ol’ Christmas card.  Seriously, who comes up with this Christmas card art anyways?  Le crap.

Oh, and Madhousewife has a tried and true Christmas letter format that is very fun and original.  Maybe if you ask her real nice, she’ll share.

I’m off to wait for my head to explode or implode or whatever kind of pressure you imagine to be the most miserable.  Happy Wednesday!

In which I ill-advisedly post whilst hopped up on cold meds

9 Dec

You know, I tell people I’m a writer and that I blog to get back into the writing habit—to hone my “skillz” so that eventually I might make real, measurable strides toward that goal I supposedly have of becoming a serious (in the hopefully humorous sense), published writer.

Being now on the brink of middle-age-hood, I have taken a moment to reflect upon my life’s work here at By the lbs, and have regretfully found that much of the time it has come up lacking.  Have I any hope of turning my dreams into reality, it is high time I got down to business.  Plus, you, my dear readers and faithful friends, deserve better.  So I am here today to formally rededicate myself to the task with a brief address.

One and a half score and five years ago, my mother and father brought forth on this continent, a new person, conceived in Oregon, and dedicated to the proposition that all persons eventually grow up, move out of the house and maybe even make something of themselves.

Now I am engaged in the great blogging world, testing whether this person, or any person so conceived and so dedicated, can long entertain.  We are met on a fair to middling blog of that world.  I have come to dedicate a portion of this blog as a final resting place for those random thoughts, ramblings and pontifications on the sock monkey and cowbell that gave their lives that this blog might live.  It is debatably fitting and proper that I should do this.

But in a larger sense, I can not dedicate, can not consecrate, can not hallow this blog.  The brave women, bloggers and nonbloggers, who read and comment here have consecrated it far above my power to add or detract.  The world will little note nor long remember what brand of crazy I try to sell here, but I will never forget what they did here.  It is for me, the writer, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work they who read and comment here have thus far so nobly and enablingly advanced.  It is rather for me to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before me—that from these honored readers I take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that these readers and commenters shall not have read and commented in vain—that this blog, By the lbs, shall have a new birth of awesomeness, and that posts of the lbs, by the lbs, for the readers of the lbs, shall not suck and perish from the blogosphere.


Uh, starting tomorrow.  Or maybe next week.  But then, New Year’s is right around the corner and is a more traditional time for lofty ideals of self-improvement to be ceremoniously proclaimed and then discarded like a bad box of ginger snaps.  Hey, what’s that over there?!

If I had Abe’s love child: