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Put a lid on me

4 Feb

So, um, it’s February.  I woke up with a backache two weeks ago and promptly used it as an excuse to do basically nothing.  It’s still sore, but improved.  What started out feeling like labor pains is now just a dull ache.  Sometimes I don’t even notice, other times not so much.  Nothing like a few aches and pains to make me feel every day of my 39 years.

But I’ve decided I  can’t carry on this way.  My back is dead to me–time to move on.  (It’s really not that bad.)

I still have to put some finishing touches  on The Rules (like, write them).  Hopefully that will be up tomorrow and this week I will begin this little experiment.  Thank you for the contributions and suggestions.  (That is a sincere statement to those who actually contributed and a little bit of sarcasm to the rest of you slackers.)  I will need to double check everyone’s address. I’ll be sending out an e-mail to the account you use to make comments, so keep an eye out for that in the next couple days.  And it’s not too late to join in if anyone else is interested.

I had a mental list of things to talk about, but I’m currently unable to locate it.

I could tell you about my mini-breakdown over my dad’s announcement that he’s moving.  I guess I didn’t really expect them to live in our old house forever, but it was still upsetting. I’m pretending to be over it, though, since a) it’s not like I can do anything about it anyway and 2) it’s not like I can do anything about it anyway.  Have I ever told you how sentimentally (and irrationally) I get attached to things?  No?

It didn’t help that the day before my dad’s big announcement an acquaintance (the mother of one of my daughter’s friends) lost her mother.  There were things already stirred and stewing, and my dad’s call kind of made it all bubble over.  I guess some things you just never get over.

On a related note, I’ve discovered that even the deepest empathy does not give you the words to comfort someone in the midst of sorrow.  While there are definitely wrong things to say, I’m not convinced that there is any right thing to say.

Man, I hadn’t intended to be such a bummer.

On a lighter note…

Me, to whichever child was eating the Pringles: Put the lid back on so they don’t get old.

Mr T:  If only you could do that with people.

If only.

Who does that??

19 Sep

So one of those dear newly-befriendeds sent me a thank you note for accepting her friend request. I’m thinking she might notice if I suddenly drop her–will have to go with the hide/block for now.

But seriously, a thank you note? I’m trying to decide if that’s incredibly sweet or incredibly creepy. I think I know which direction I’m leaning.


18 Sep

I’ve had about 20 friend requests sitting in my little FB friend request box for months now. I finally decided to accept three of them and almost instantaneously regretted it. Is it just coincidence that these three now constitute 95% of my news feed?

Your child drank two whole cups of ice water after playing outside in 90 degree weather? Really? Stop the presses!

A link to a “nice article” about Days of Our Lives? And you want to know if I have “any thoughts”? Really?

Watching the CMA’s last night with your kids was a memory that will last forever? FOR-EVER? Really?? Either way, I don’t care! Stop posting, people!

What is the proper etiquette for unfriending someone? Is there a minimum time you must try them out before you pull the plug? Or can I just call it now?


I guess I’ve had worse, but still

29 Feb

First, an update on Mr. T.  We saw the guy at Children’s.  Since Mr. T hasn’t had any pain or discomfort lately, he said we will wait and see.  It’s likely it will continue to grow as he’s growing, so it’s very possible that his discomfort could come more frequently in the future.  Or he could develop bursitis or something with the superfluous bone rubbing against the muscle the way it is.  So basically, if he has increasing discomfort or it becomes so large that it interferes with his clothing, we should bring him in and they will most likely surgically remove it.  Otherwise, we will go back in a year for an xray to see how it’s progressing.  Did anyone else find that “becomes so large that it interferes with his clothing” a little alarming?  We had a good laugh over that in the car on the way home.  How big could this thing possibly get??  Anyway, for now he is fine, so that is good.

Yesterday was not so good.  Actually, it all started Monday afternoon with Chuck getting some not so exciting test results back.  On his birthday.  (Happy birthday, Chuck!)  Monday was also a mother of a PMS day for me. (Again, happy birthday, Chuck!)  The highlight of the day was having Goose come home from school and tell me that her teacher did not need me to come in the next morning.  So yesterday I did not bother to shower or get dressed before or after dropping the kids off at school, and instead lounged around all morning.  Just as I was drifting off on the couch in front of the television, I got a call from the school nurse that Goose had a headache.  “Does she need to be picked up?” I asked.  The nurse replied with a bit more than a hint of that “duh” tone that yes, she did seem to be pretty uncomfortable and would need to be picked up.  Why couldn’t she have just said that in the first place?  I mean, if she had said your daughter threw up or something then naturally I would have assumed I should come get her right away.  But when you say something like your daughter has a headache  or your daughter fell off the monkey bars or your daugher got smacked in the face with a volleyball, I’m going to need a little bit more information about your expectations.

So I pulled myself together as best I could in five minutes and picked her up.  I got her all settled in bed and went back downstairs to try to finish the show that had nearly put me to sleep earlier.  I don’t think I got to the end of it before getting a call from Mr. T’s principal.  The principal.  My first thoughts were he has either won some kind of major award or he is dead.  It never occurred to me that he might be in trouble.  Mr. T does not get in trouble.  Or at least Mr. T did not get in trouble.  Until yesterday.

He sent a prank email to a friend of his posing as a teacher.  It was a fairly innocuous email, but apparently using the school system for prank emails and impersonating teachers is a no-no.  Thankfully, his principal was cool about it.  She said Mr. T came forward and owned up to it when he heard they were trying to figure out who had sent it, that he was very humble and apologetic and she felt confident that he had learned his lesson and would not repeat the mistake.  She said she knew he was a great kid and a stellar student, but mistakes need to have consequences so he would be suspended from the school computers for three days and would need to write letters of apology to his friend and the teacher he pretended to be.  So not a huge deal, but still.

I am tempted to go on a small tirade here about how I received very little help in trying to impress upon Mr. T the seriousness of compromising his reputation and losing trust with his teacher and school administrators, but I’m tired of being the one who seems to make a big deal out of everything.  Yes, it was a relatively small thing.  And yes, we all make mistakes.  And yes, in the grand scheme of things and the world we live in today, this is nothing to get the panties bunching.  But still.  Whatever.  Moving on.

As some of you may have heard from Madhousewife, we are going to California this weekend to celebrate my Dad’s 65th birthday.  I am traveling with my sister who lives here in town, and my brother, who is flying out from Maryland, is going to fly back with us and stay a few days before returning home.  Yesterday afternoon I received my helpful little trip reminder email from the airline, and realized that I had booked the wrong flight.  My sister, brother and I were all supposed to be returning late next Tuesday night.  This is important, not only for the convenience of whoever is dropping us off or picking us up, but also because Chuck has to take time off Monday and Tuesday to take care of the kids and he really needs to get back to work on Wednesday because he only has so many vacation days in a year and we’ve already planned to use most of those with family trips this summer and his mom is coming to visit over the kids’ spring break and these not-so-exciting test results he got back Monday will probably require using up some additional time (hopefully he has enough sick days for that) so he really doesn’t need to be taking an extra day off work for his bonehead wife who somehow managed to schedule her return flight for Wednesday night.  Same exact time, same exact flight number, but on Wednesday instead of Tuesday.  How did I do that?  And what’s up with having the same flight numbers for flights that are on different days? (Yes, I understand that’s SOP for airlines, but they really need to consider the poor, over-scheduled, distracted, brain-addled mother and housewife when making these kinds of decisions.)  Luckily, I was able to reschedule the return flight for only $33 extra.  But it was a pretty stressful 30 minutes there until I got it straightened out.

Oh, and to top it all off, when Chuck got home from his meetings last night, I very thoughtfully reminded him that there was still some cheesecake left from his birthday.  I had waited until he came home to have some, but before I had a chance to get my piece one of the kids commented that Dad had finished off the cheesecake.  He claimed he thought I meant that I had already had my piece and the last piece was for him, but it was a quarter of a cheesecake!  It was the birthday cake incident all over again.  Never mind that it was his birthday cheesecake.  Never mind that!

Now that I’ve laid it all out for you, I feel a little silly about making such a big deal about so many relatively minor bumps in my day.  But yesterday it did not feel silly at all.  Yesterday, I felt picked on by the world and I kind of wanted to cry a little.  Just think of all the stress and drama I could have avoided if only I’d started my day with a nice glass of orange juice.

I think I’ll make a snappy new day

14 Oct

I’ve spent the morning talking like a cross between Baljeet from Phineas and Ferb and Gloria from Modern Family.  It is great fun.  You should try it.

I just dropped off my youngest girls at school, and now I have 20 minutes until it’s time to get Mr. T.  It’s a furlough Friday, some crazy new addition to this year’s school calendar to help compensate for the paycut they gave to teachers.  The kids are in school about two hours, but with the way the start and stop times are staggered at the three schools, I’m basically getting kids up and ready for school and picking them up for like 5 hours. Can I hear a good frick?

Another crazy new addition to this year’s school calendar is “Professional Growth Wednesday” where the kids all get out of school 1 1/2 hours early.  Three out of four Wednesdays are “Professional Growth Wednesday”.  For some reason this name really ooks me out.  I’m thinking it’s the word “growth”.  Growth.  Growth.  Growth.  Eech!

You would think with as much time as I’ve spent away from the blog, I would have all kinds of glorious accomplishments to report, but we’re talking about me here.  I have been in full avoidance mode, still trying waiting to recover from operation make my house less crappy with the new paint and carpet, which thus far has not been the resounding success I was led by myself to believe.  It’s pretty much gone from Bythelbs’s House of Crap to Bythelbs’s House of Crap, now with new carpet and paint!  Perhaps we’ll talk more about this next week.

Well, hopefully I’ll be back when the week is new and I’ll have more ideas for you.  And you’ll have things you’ll want to talk about.  I will too.

Remember, people can like you exactly as you are.

We so excited

6 May

Because, you know, it’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday.  Everybody’s looking forward to the weekend.

TGIF.  I had such high hopes for this week, but then Monday was a disaster, so I just gave up.

On Monday I had an accident, and unfortunately not the kind that has the school secretary calling your mom to have her bring you a change of clothes.  Now before you get too concerned, no one was injured, except for my pride and some random lady’s fender and quite possibly my bank account.  I hit a parked car, people.  A parked car.  It happened in the parking lot of BigHugs’s dance class, not that you can really call it a parking lot.  There’s really just an alley with a few narrow parking spots up against the building, and then everyone else parks along the fence directly behind the regular parking spots.  My minivan was in a regular parking spot parked next to a large SUV.  As I was backing out, keeping my eyes on  another large SUV and another minivan parked along the fence, I suddenly struck something.  I was confused at first, wondering how my bumper could possibly be stretching all the way to that other minivan when I realized there was a third car sitting inbetween the minivan and SUV like Wonder Woman’s invisible jet.  Luckily there was no one in it, though I suppose had there been someone inside, I might have noticed it was there, like Wonder Woman’s invisible jet.

I got out of my car hoping that by some miracle the cars had magically bounced off each other damage-free, but it was not to be.  There was a noticeable dent on the front fender near the driver’s side door.  Of course my car only had a scratch on the bumper.  Sigh.  This had never happened to me before.  It was really quite distressing.

I went back inside and asked at the front desk if they knew who owned the car.  At first they just suggested I leave my information with them, but I didn’t feel good about doing that when I could talk to the owner right then.  She was very nice about it, at first telling me not to worry about it, she had done the same thing twice before in her church parking lot.  Well, that was reassuring.  But I told her the damage was noticeable and she should take a look.  She was still very nice about it, but took my information and said she’d get back to me after she had it looked at. 

I was so flustered I forgot to get her  name or any of her information, so I’m still waiting to hear back from her.  Of course, I’ll be running into her again next Monday anyway since her daughter takes dance from the same studio as BigHugs.  I mean, seeing her.  I’ll be seeing her again next Monday.

When I told Chuck, who is still in Italy, he said not to worry about it, that it was no big deal and that in 20+ years of driving I was entitled to one minor accident (aside from that whole freezer business in my parents’ garage).  Still.  Sigh.  Darn those moving vehicles.  And, uh, non-moving vehicles.  Darn them to heck.

P.S.  Remember, tomorrow is Saturday.  And Sunday comes after…wards.

Sometimes you have to things like this in the world, so that you can have this or this.

How to host a telephone service guy

11 Mar

In 12 easy steps.

1.  Spend the morning tidying potential repair site areas.  There’s no phone outlet in the master closet or bath, so go ahead and cram all that folded/unfolded, clean/dirty laundry in there.  Don’t forget to do a quick dust job behind the television where the colony of dust bunnies large enough to cast a made for television production of Watership Down stands watch over the jack that was causing all the trouble the last time the service guy was out.

2.  If you’re set on showering before your service appointment, better leave yourself more than a 20 minute window in case they call an hour and a half before your appointment to tell you they’ll be there in 30 minutes and you’re in the middle of making school lunches and minutes away from heading out the door to run the kids to school (too few minutes for even a quickie rinse off and too many minutes to leave you enough time on the backside of that carpool run).

3.  Should you find yourself in the predicament described in step 2, don’t worry about not showering.  A few passes with the deoderant, a bra, and a little mascara will make you semi-presentable.

4.  When the service guy arrives, be sure to give him a detailed account of the last service call, pointing out the source of the trouble and explaining that the last service guy said it was possible his repair job might end up being a temporary fix.

5.  When the service guy tells you thirty minutes later that he thinks he’s found the source of the problem in that jack/wires/faceplate that’s hanging out of the wall in the upstairs family room, don’t argue with him.  When he’s done fixing the jack/wires/faceplate and figures out that wasn’t the problem, you’re still ahead one fixed jack/wires/faceplate.

6.  Avoid saying “I told you so” when he decides fifteen minutes later that the jack/outlet you told him about in the first place turns out to be the source of the trouble.

7.  During this time, you should establish some kind of contact with a third party off the premises that you trust.  Sample text conversation:

You: I have a service guy in my house & I never know what to do with myself.  Plus it’s always wise to have contact with someone on the outside in case he turns out to be a murdering rapist or something.

Trustworthy off the premises third party: You should text me a detailed description of the guy, just in case.

You: He’s an attractive young Asian man.  Maybe early 20s.  Tall–6’1″ or 6’2″.  His name is Phil, or so he says.  He has bright blue plastic booties over work boots.

TOTPTP: Wow, that’s tall for an Asian guy.

You: I know, right?  Perhaps he’s of mixed decent.  Would it be rude to ask?

TOTPTP: Hey, when a guy is in your house wearing bright blue plastic booties he has already checked his pride at the door.

You: Well, at least it gives me a distinguishing characteristic to report to the police.  Oh, he’s also driving a white Comcast van, or so it says…

TOTPTP: Or so it says…u crack me up 🙂

You: You won’t be laughing when I’m dead. … He’s in my backyard now.  Do you think he’s casing the joint for possible re-entry routes???

TOTPTP: Better lock up your windows tonight…just in case…

8. When he informs you he needs access to the crawl space, keep a smile on your face as you unload the contents of your 3×4 hall closet into your entryway.  At least you’re not the one who has to go into the crawl space.

9. After you’ve unloaded the contents of your hall closet and you remember that the crawl space access has been covered by your snap together/non-glued-down laminate flooring, pull up the flooring yourself.  Don’t leave the service guy to his own devices, and don’t under any circumstances give him a pry bar unless you want two pry-bar shaped holes in your wall.

10. If you ignore the warnings in step 9 and leave the guy grunting in your hall closet for 15 minutes and then check on him only to discover no progress other than the two holes in the back of your closet, go ahead and offer to take care of the flooring yourself and then get his card to reschedule the appointment for the next day.

11. When you’ve popped the flooring up yourself without the aid of pry bar and/or grunting two minutes after he pulls out of your driveway, wait a few minutes before calling him to see if he has time to come back later that day.  You don’t want to completely emasculate and/or offend him, you still need him to get down in that crawl space and fix your friggin’ phone line.

12.  When all is said and done, don’t be too disgusted with yourself for apologizing for all the trouble and pretending not to notice the holes in your closet wall.  Your phone is fixed, all the crap you pulled out of your closet will cover up the holes when you get around to putting it back in, and you haven’t antagonized the “service guy”/murdering rapist.

Hours later…

TOTPTP: R u still alive? The tall Asian really was just a cable guy?

Hours later…

TOTPTP: Bythelbs? You?

You: Yes, I’m alive.  Phone is fixed. Tall Asian guy has disappeared…for now…

TOTPTP: Or so he says…

Day 1

16 Feb

I’ve made dental appointments.  It’s been over a year.  I know, I know.  I honestly don’t know how these things happen.  That’s a lie.  I do know.  Last year we went on a Saturday because that’s the only day they could get all  my kids in at once without me having to pull them all out of school.  I like to schedule them all at once because the dentist is a good 25-30 minutes away and in traffic it’s even worse and who wants to make five special trips to the dentist?  Not me.  So we went on a Saturday, and on Saturdays there is no reception staff.  No reception staff means no scheduling of the next appointment immediately after the just finished appointment.  And no scheduling of the next appointment immediately after the just finished appointment means no scheduled appointment at all until you notice that one of your children’s teeth are literally turning brown and if you wait much longer people will start to accuse you of neglect and not caring about your children’s oral wellness.  (Anyone else just not like the word “oral”?)

So I scheduled the appointments, and I’m first.  March 17.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day to me!  And I decided, as I do, that I would spend the next month flossing the living crap out of my teeth so as to keep up appearances.  Or put on appearances.  Or something.  Did you know that when you don’t regularly floss, that the first time out you’re likely to need a boxer’s bloody spit bucket?  Good frick.  I mean I brush regularly and I floss O-ccasionally, but man.  Oh, and to add insult to injury, as I was flossing I noticed the upper arm jiggle.  Now you might think I must have been flossing with undue vigor to have produced such a scene of unholy arm motion, but let me assure you, my friends, I can count on my big toes the number of activities I perform vigorously, and flossing is not one of them.  So if the most delicate of movements results in the violent to and fro tossing of my once upon a time tight and tidy upper arms, I can only conclude that next flossing session must be done under cover of bulky sweater or some such.  I bet you thought I was going to say that I can only conclude that I must cease and desist the flossing altogether, but I am committed this time.  Committed!  One day down, 29 to go.

It’s a half-empty kind of day

10 Feb

I’ve been staying up way too late lately.  I don’t even have a good excuse like a compelling book or finishing up my Buffy/Angel dvd’s.  I just don’t want to go to bed.  Last night as I was watching one of my third-string DVR’d shows, wondering why I was fighting to stay up at 12:45 am, it hit me: I don’t want to go to bed because then morning will come that much faster.  And do you know what happens in the morning?  Everything.  Everything I didn’t want to deal with the day before.  It’s all there, either waiting to be done or waiting to be done again.  The bogeyman is not under the bed waiting to pounce on you in your sleep, people.  He waits for a new day.  The bogeyman is in the dishes and the six loads of laundry and the school lunches to be made and the homework to be signed and the bickering children and the grocery shopping and the floors to be swept and the dinners to be cooked and the 24 kids in the classroom who can’t tell the difference between clockwise and counterclockwise no matter how many times you personally demonstrate it for them.  And you can battle the beast all day until you finally dust him, but he only ever gets an overnight stay in Tartarus before he’s reformed and you’re fighting him all over again.


So, it’s much safer to be up in the wee hours of the morning when the house is quiet and the lights are out so you can’t see the disaster or potential disaster that is your house and no one expects you to be doing anything productive anyway.  Right?

Double sigh.

Thought on Thursday

20 Jan

The problem with low calorie snack food options is that when you eat multiple servings, they cease to be low calorie snack food options.  That just seems wrong to me somehow.

What seems wrong to you?