Archive | June, 2009


20 Jun

I’m off!  See you in three weeks!  Happy Independence Day!

P.S.  Try not to have too much fun without me!

That’s what little girls’ dreams are made of

17 Jun

DynaGirl woke up the other morning with new baby names to record in her journal.  Goose thought that sounded like fun, too, so they sat down at the breakfast table with their journals and started talking about the future.

Goose:  I wanna have a baby at 20.

Me:  Why 20?  That’s so young.

DynaGirl:  I wanna have a baby at 25 because I have an almost impossible dream, and that would give me five years to live it.  I want to have a #1 hit single, be a famous artist, and have my own cafe called DynaGirl’s Cafe.

Goose:  I want a cafe.

DynaGirl:  You can’t steal my dreams! You can have a diner.

Goose:  No, that’s disgusting.

So apparently, life begins at 20 and ends when you start having children.  And you only have five years to try to accomplish all of your dreams.  After that you may as well give up and become a mom.  Also, cafes are awesome and diners are disgusting.


New baby names:

Fuschia – for a girl, of course

Parsley – for a boy, of course

So she says

15 Jun

Do you know what I LOVE about the end of the year?  Elementary school yearbooks.  There is seriously NO better use for my $17 x 2. 

For some insane reason, seven years ago I felt the need to purchase my eldest child a yearbook.  He was in first grade.  You can’t possibly leave first grade without a yearbook, right?  It seemed silly not to buy one the next year too.  I mean, it would be like collecting only one saucer in a place setting, right?  Totally pointless.  And incomplete.  We all know how I am about incompleteness.  So I set a precedent for this child and all the Bythelbs children that were yet to come.

A couple of months ago my girls brought home a “last chance to order your yearbooks” notice.  I had never seen a “first chance” notice, but thought I’d better get my sweet fanny down to that school and order those yearbooks before it was too late.  I asked the lady in the office for some order forms.  She said they didn’t have any, but I could just write the check and include a note that said it was for a yearbook.  No official forms, huh?  Just include a note, eh?  The whole thing sounded sketchy and more than a little unadvisable, but what was I to do?  It was my last chance!  So I wrote out the checks (one for each child) for $17.  (When on earth did elementary yearbooks start costing $17?  They were always $8-10 at the other school.  You’d think the ridiculous price would be enough for me to refuse to purchase on principle, but we’ve already started the set, see, so there’s just no going back now.)  I was sure to make a note in the memo on the check with my child’s name and that it was for a “yearbook”, and then I wrote another note on a full size sheet of paper with my child’s name, teacher, grade and FOR YEARBOOK.  I stapled the checks to the notes and then hand delivered them to the office.  (This is what you call foreshadowing.)

Well, last Friday Goose comes home from school and wants to know why she didn’t get a yearbook.  They’d handed them out in class that day and she didn’t get one.  Of course she didn’t.  So I looked at our checking account online to make sure that the checks had cleared, which they had, and printed out copies of the canceled checks to present to the school office on Monday.  I went into the office and told the lady (the same “just put a note with your check” lady) that my daughter did not receive her yearbook.  “Did you check with her teacher?” she asked with more than a little hint of the “You’re kind of an idiot, aren’t you?” tone.  I told her that no, I hadn’t.  She told me to check with her teacher.  So I traipsed down to the end of the school with BigHugs in tow and checked with the teacher.  She consulted her list and surprise, surprise, Goose wasn’t on it.  I went back to the office and explained that my daughter wasn’t on the list.  The lady consulted her own list, which coincidentally looked IDENTICAL to the one the teacher had.  (I might also add that the lady picked up the list from the counter right in front of her.)  Sure enough, Goose was missing from that list too. 

“And you paid?” she asked.  I told her I had paid and had copies of the canceled checks with me.  She waved me off and said she didn’t need to see those and proceeded to hand me two yearbooks.  She was perfectly happy to take my word for it.  Coolio.  And then she added Goose’s and DynaGirl’s names to the list with the special notation “says she paid”.  Um, excuse me.  I didn’t “say” anything.  I didn’t “pay”.  I paid.  It was all I could do to keep my mouth shut.  I just kept thinking that now I would be That Woman.  That Woman who “pays” for things.  Next year I’ll walk into a room of PTA moms, introduce myself and then watch as they exchange knowing glances and under-the-breath, behind-the-hand mutterings.  “Says she paid.” My reputation will forever be suspect. 

And for what?  The yearbooks suck.  Worse than usual and at twice the price.  I am such a chump.

Signs of the end

12 Jun

Some signs of the end of the school year:

– Your kids are going to bed at 10 pm.  (It’s not even dark until 9:55 pm!)

– You’re getting kids out of bed 30 minutes before it’s time to leave for school.

– Your son is eating dry cup o’ noodles for lunch.  (We were out of lunch stuff, so I sent cup o’ noodles with Mr. T.  Apparently, they are no longer offering hot water in the middle school cafeteria, so Mr. T peeled back the styrofoam cup and gnawed on the dry noodles.  Um, ew.)

– The hot lunch options are Cook’s Choice and tuna fish sandwich.

– Your daughter comes home complaining that the special fun project time her teacher promised the class if they would finish their work quickly and quietly was sorting the classroom books.

– Your children go from students to day laborers.

– Your kids start coming home with grocery sacks (multiple sacks) full of junk school work and projects.  (Goose came home with a 3’x4′ poster of a diagram of a leaf cutter ant nursery, including 3D renderings of the eggs, larvae and fungus sections made with macaroni, pompoms and other assorted crap.  She won it in a class raffle.  Yay.  She wants to hang it in our house.  Double yay.)

School is out Tuesday.  I predict boredom and the accompanying whining and fighting sets in sometime mid-Thursday.  I’m not sure I’m ready for this.  At least I’ll be able to say, “See ya, suckahs!” on Saturday when I hop the plane for Hawaii.

Are y’all ready for this?  Any big summer plans?

Made of Honor my butt

11 Jun

So last night I watched Made of Honor.  Have any of you seen this movie?  It’s one of the stupidest movies I’ve seen in a long time.  Of course, I did manage to watch the whole thing.  But what bugged me most about it was that Tom, the Patrick Dempsey character, who plays the romantic lead and who you are supposed to be rooting for to get the girl, is really just a big fat jerk.  He’s like a total man ho who doesn’t realize his dream girl is his best friend until she’s ready to marry someone else.  And even then, he doesn’t really want to marry her himself, he just wants to keep her from marrying the other guy so he can still have her to hang out with.  I understand that stories need flawed characters to make them more real and relatable and all that junk, but it really bugs when movies expect you to root for the jerks (spoiler alert!) and then be happy when they get their way.  So lame.  And I don’t know what they did to try to make Patrick Dempsey look younger in the college flashback, but it was really creeping me out.   And don’t even get me started on the sophomoric humor.  Plus Kevin McKidd didn’t get nearly enough screen time, and when he was there he was kind of a dork.  Kevin McKidd is no dork.  This movie was just wrong on so many levels.

And now I don’t have anything else to say.  I guess all I really wanted to do was vent some frustration over the stupidity of this movie.  And you know it’s bad when I’m complaining because when it comes to entertainment, I don’t have particularly high standards or expectations.   Have you seen any good movies lately?  Or stupid ones the rest of us should avoid?  Can you spare us some of the “That was two hours of my life I’ll never get back!”s?

Oh Dear

10 Jun

Dear Mr. T’s Social Studies Teacher,

I would just like to thank you for giving Mr. T the opportunity of repeating a homework assignment you somehow misplaced.  It was totally cool of you to give him a chance to make up that assignment he had already completed.  Unfortunately, Mr. T was so busy working on the major project you assigned for the last week of school, that he didn’t have time to do that other assignment.  AGAIN.  So I did it.  So there.  Pppbbbtt.


Bythelbs (aka Big Fat Cheater Pants Mom)


Dear Yellow YMCA Shirt Lady,

No offense, but what kind of inconsiderate idiot chooses the elementary school drop-off lane to put sunscreen on her child and then spends the next several moments rubbing the excess sunscreen all over herself before getting back in her car and finally, mercifully driving away?  It’s the fracking drop-off lane!  Watch the hail!*


Bythelbs (aka Big Fat Raging Pants Mom)


Dear BigHugs,

OK, I get that you find the image of me in my underwear disgustin’.  You really don’t need to say so every time you see me in such a state of undress.  I get it.  Disgustin’.  Totawee disgustin’.  Message received.  And noted.


Mom (aka Big Fat Under Pants Mom)


Dear Gerard Butler,

I had the pleasure of watching your film P.S. I Love You last night, in which you were magically delicious.  Thank you.  For being delicious.  Magically.  So magically.


Bythelbs (aka Not-so-very-Big-or-Fat Smokin’ Hot Mom…with pants.  Hot pants.  Well, not literally hot pants.  Never mind.)



*Told you, Tawnya.

You can skip this one, Susan

8 Jun

So awhile back I posted one of those lame “How well do you know me?” Facebook quizzes.  One of the questions was:

My biggest fears in order from greatest to least are ____________.
a) spiders, public restrooms, dirty dishes.
b) public restrooms, dirty dishes, spiders.
c) dirty dishes, spiders, public restrooms.

Most people got this question wrong.

This morning as I was folding laundry on the couch, I picked up a towel—a big, white, fluffy, beautiful towel—only to find that a spider—a big, black, creepy, ugly spider—was lurking within its folds. I dropped the towel like it had a spider on it (because it did!) and screamed. But I dropped the towel on the couch. No way was I going to live with the idea that a big, black, creepy, ugly eight-legged beastie was inhabiting the inner recesses of my loveseat, so I picked up a corner of the towel and flung it on the ground away from the couch.  I thought maybe it would crawl out of the towel so I (actually, I was hoping I could talk Mr. T into doing the dirty work) could properly attack it with the business end of my husband’s hiking boot, but it didn’t.  The towel was silent.  Eerily silent.  And still.  Eerily still.

The towel and spider were now in the middle of my floor, trapping Mr. T in the kitchen and preventing me from carrying out the rest of my morning motherly duties of lunch making and laundry folding and floor sweeping and all that other crap.  I bravely walked up to the towel and lifted up one corner.

Me, to Mr. T:  Is it there?

Mr. T:  I don’t see it.

Me, trying to flip around another corner of the towel:  Do you see it?

Mr. T:  No.

Me:  Did you see it when I flung it onto the floor.  It’s in the towel, right?  It’s not still on the couch, right?!  Please don’t let it still be on the couch!

I thought about just smashing the crap out of that towel in such a way as to ensure that nothing could have survived, but it was one of my good white bath towels.  I haven’t had them very long and they were kind of pricey.  I went into the kitchen and started digging around in the drawers.

Mr. T:  What are you looking for?

Me:  The tongs.  The good ones.

I couldn’t find the good ones.  I could only find the flimsy ones that were a good 1 1/2 inches shorter than the good ones, but I was desperate.  I went over to the vicinity of the towel and leaned over as far as my arm would stretch and tried to pick up the towel with the tongs.  I couldn’t.  They weren’t strong enough to hold 30×56″ of fine loop Egyptian cotton goodness.  Darn those flimsy tongs! 

Mr. T, searching the kitchen in earnest:  Where are those good tongs?!

He couldn’t find them, but worked up the courage to spread the towel out the rest of the way.  There was nothing there.  There was nothing there!  Do you know what’s worse than having a spider on one of your best bath towels?  Having a spider on one of your best bath towels and then not having a spider on one of your best bath towels with no earthly idea of what happened to the damn thing in between those two states of being!  It could be anywhere!

Mr. T:  You probably flung it off the towel when you threw it off the couch.

Me:  But where?  Where would I have flung it to?

We looked around and then Mr. T spotted it on the dining room wall, a good twelve feet away.

Mr. T:  That thing’s huge!

I searched for a weapon.  Mr. T brought out the big, rubber mallet from the kitchen.

Me:  We can’t use that, we’ll put a hole in the wall.

The spider dropped to the floor, so I knew I had to act fast—any further delay and I’d risk losing him in my house.  In my house!  I finally settled on some rolled up newspapers, covered my eyes with one hand and brought down my other with the full force of all my fear and fury.  I got him. 

Me, handing Mr. T a stack of napkins:  Could you get rid of him please?

Mr. T:  With napkins?!

Me:  Well, what do you want to use?

Mr. T:  Something stiffer?

We debated for a few minutes until finally I took matters into my own hands—well, not my hands (shudder, shudder, shudder!)—and scooped it up with the cardboard wrapping from the last of the pineapple snack cups.  I carried it across the dining room and tossed it out the back slider door, all the while hoping that spiders didn’t play possum and chanting, “Please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up.”

Needless to say, it was a most traumatic and distressing way to start my day.  It’s like when you narrowly miss getting in a car accident and your heart is palpitating for several minutes following the near death experience.

So here is my rationale behind the biggest fears:

I’d rather do dishes than take care of any kind of business in a public restroom.  And I’d certainly much rather take care of all kinds of business in a public restroom than have to deal with a spider.

I’m not sure how long it will be before I can use that towel again, let alone hang it up in my bathroom.  Or put it in the linen closet.  Or fold it.  Or pick it up off the floor.