Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


Crummy ISP

I lost three different blog entries in the past 18 hours and don't feel compelled to try to rewrite them. I played hooky from work today and took the kids to the museum. They were very good and had a ball. Now, I have to cook dinner and get everyone ready for swim lessons. The oldest is going to do mommy and me with the baby, so he is excited about that. Don't know how excited he'll be when he gets there and realizes all we do is bee-bop around the water for 30 minutes playing with bath toys and trying to get the child to blow bubbles in the water.


Golf wussies

Army of Dad and I have had this conversation before and while we both like golf, we've come to the conclusion that golfers are coddled little babies. Watching the Match Play 36-hole finals this morning on ESPN and a caddy for one of the players chewed out some fan whose camera shutter disturbed the golfer.


Major League Baseball players have to stand in a little batter's box a few feet long and a couple of feet wide and they have to face a baseball hurled at them at around 90+mph with wicked movement on the ball before they swing their bats to hit it. In addition to having to hit a moving ball that is curving or dropping, they have asshole fans behind them yelling questionable things about their wives' or mothers' chastity or throwing things at them while they're batting. Golfers simply have to hit a little ball off a stationary tee or maybe the rough if they made a bad shot earlier. They have to have complete silence to hit a stationary ball. And, add to that the fact that there aren't nine people out there trying to deter your ball from its intended goal. There is no Torii Hunter climbing a fence to rob you of a homerun. No. The destiny of your shot is in your hands. Maybe you have to contend with the rain or the wind. But, you know the layout of the course before you arrive. You can study the slopes, the angles, the water hazards or whatever. But, noooooo, you pansies have to have complete silence. No super-loud camera shutters which could distract you and God forbid a cell phone rings. We may have chaos on the golf course. *shaking my head*

Give me a steroid-infested man with a 36-ounce piece of ash in his hands wearing tight little sliding pants and a baseball hat. Now THAT is what I'm talking about. Not some dude in plaid pants, a polo shirt, sweater vest and a visor who can't handle a shutter click.


What breed of dog are you?

Check out What breed of dog are you? and go click on "game" on the left side. It takes a couple of minutes, but it is funny.

I'm a Miniature Pinscher. "It makes an ideal companion thanks to its intelligence and clean domestic habits."

Not sure Army of Dad would say I'm clean. Not anymore. I have a stack of clean laundry in the floor that needs to be put away. Its been there for three days now.

Hat Tip to Sworn Enemy for the game.

Oh yeah, our little kids soccer team lost 4-2. Not too bad.

Soccer Saturday

One game down, one to go.

The big boys' team won their game 5-1 after a slow start. We were tied 1-1 at halftime, but the boys FINALLY perked up and pulled it o9ut. They're a good team, but slow starters. After Army of Dad almost went hoarse yelling at them during the first half, they settled in to play much better and give AoD's voice a rest.

We head back to the soccer fields in a few minutes for our little boys' team. We have a bunch of new kids, so we'll see how it goes. We have one kid who DOES not listen and whines a bunch. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully Hot Rod will step up and lead the way, but he's 5. You know? We'll see how it goes.


Talk about a drug problem

I'm not sure who Tom Sizemore is even after looking at his filmography. But, this dude has a serious drug addiction. According to the news story, he "failed court-imposed drug testing seven times this month alone, despite living in a drug treatment center. In one case, he was caught trying to use a prosthetic penis sewn into his boxer shorts and filled with a clean urine sample to fake the results."

Wow. That is some dedication to getting your next fix - a prosthetic penis filled with urine. Obviously, it was someone else's pee he collected and was carrying around in some sort of dildo or strap-on type thing. Eww.

Here is Sizemore in Saving Private Ryan. He is the dude standing in the middle back. I remember him now.


Sochaux's Moroccan striker Jaouad Zairi(R) and Olympiakos' captain Predrag Djordjevic fight for the ball during their UEFA cup football match at the Bonal stadium in Sochaux. All I can say is ouch.

Preparedness and Prevention

This little memo was sent out to the airport staff this morning. It is a little foreboding and scary (to me, at least) because it is one of those warnings that something bad is going to happen, but we don't know to who or where. Yikes.

In the latest wide-ranging assessment of threats to American security, intelligence officials indicated that terrorist organizations remained intent on obtaining and using devastating weapons against the U.S.

"It may only be a matter of time before al Qaeda or another group attempts to use chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons," said Porter Goss, new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. An attack from covert al Qaeda operatives inside the U.S. is "the top threat" according to recent information gleaned from investigations and detentions.

Similarly, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned last week that terrorist are "regrouping, recalibrating, and reorganizing for another strike." His remarks follow those of Ronald Noble, the head of Interpol, who said that the danger of another al Qaeda attack in America "has not diminished since 11 September 2001."

The leaders, owners, and operators of the Emergency Services Sector (ESS) understand that the next terrorist attack will directly affect their resources and capabilities in the general target area. In the past three years, countless ESS departments and agencies proactively revised plans, altered training, and upgraded equipment as time and money permitted. Several communities and their ESS leadership logically entered regional arrangements to synergize and bolster assets and capabilities.

However, there are concerns about localities where little preparedness and prevention has been accomplished. Some of these municipalities have severely restrained budgets and resources, but others perceive they are immune to attack because of their small size or remote location. Therefore, the EMR-ISAC recommends reconsideration by communities possessing such perceptions.

Accepting that there are no impervious places in the nation, the EMR-ISAC suggests: "A couple ounces of preparedness and prevention are worth a couple pounds of response and recovery."

Don't look

We don't want to look. The worst we have to fear is the random violence like the asshole at the Smith County Courthouse in Tyler. Occasionally, innocents are killed because they found themselves in bad circumstances.

But, it is deaths like these of people whose only violation was to be African or non-Arab. These people - women and children included - are being massacred for being different. It is another ethnic cleansing going on.

But, don't look. We don't want to see it. But, wait, I can't help but look. There, but for the grace of God go I. I thank God that I'm American and born where we don't have to worry about such massacres. But, what can we do? Maybe nothing, maybe alot. I don't know what to do right this minute. I'm torn between caring about the Iraqi people and hoping for a better life for them and throwing my hands in the air in frustration and screaming to bring our men and women home and saying 'screw 'em! let 'em kill each other for all I care' but, I don't really feel that way. I just hate to see sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives killed in senseless bombings simply for trying to do their jobs and help people. Those are the times when I don't want to send help to countries like Sudan. More of our people will die - but then I'm torn. Did the little boy in the pictures here deserve to die. No? Did his brother? His mother? No, but they did and they died horrible deaths. Why? Because they're different. That was their offense. They're different. That is so sad. I may cast judgments out about masses. I may stereotype, but I judge each person individually. I have muslim friends. I have Arab friends. I have atheist friends and friends with every color of skin. I may make characterizations about the ethnicities, nationalities and races overall, but never do I cast aspersions upon individuals. I wish more of us were like that. It is easy for people in Texas to say nasty things about Mexicans. Hell, when I was a kid, I thought the word "Mexican" was a bad word because of the way it came out of my mother's mouth with such distaste that she sounded like she'd spit every time she said it. But, I learned that the Mexican culture is one I admire. They have a hard work ethic, family values and an undying love for children. I think I got off on a tangent here. Anyway. What I'm trying to say is that I don't have an answer for saving these people. I just wish more of the world could learn to love and not hate so easily.

Another example

So much sad news.

Read that the sorry excuse for a human who apparently killed the pregnant Fort Worth woman and her son was a reserve cop about 10 years ago. To be such a law-abiding citizen, I really have a disdain for law enforcement after being acquainted with many of them. Many of them are no more law-abiding than the bad guys they arrest and that saddens me. (this may require email registration) But, here is the latest about the bad guy.

In another sad story, another psycho asshole decided he'd rather shoot and kill his ex-wife than pay her more child support. There is a loving father. He also shot his adult son in his shooting spree. I'm truly saddened by the death of an innocent bystander who took heroic measures to try to save lives. He was a CHL (concealed handgun license) holder and tried to step in and protect the victims. He was gunned down by this fucker. Army of Dad has a CHL and carries everywhere he legally can. It makes me feel safer and I know him well enough to know that he'd willingly give his life to save others, but times like this it scares the hell out of me.

I'm just so disturbed by people who have no respect for human life. It is so sad. I think I have a sad theme going these days. I feel so blessed not to have tragedy like this in my life. I guess it makes me feel a little guilty for having things so good when so many people have it so badly.


Too gross not to mention

Ok, my menstrual cycle has got to be one of the weirdest topics for my blog, but hey, it is what is on my mind. Ok, wait, that doesn't sound right. As a writer, I have been taught to read things VERY literally my menstrual cycle is most definitely not ON my mind unless you say that my mind is in my pants, which it very often is. But, I digress. With me and then Army of Dad getting sick one right after the other, very little has been going on in my pants for the past two weeks and it is of grave concern. I hope Army of Dad gets LOTS of rest tonight because I have plans for him for Friday night. *meow*

But, that isn't what I was going to write about. In one of my comment threads down a ways now was a comment about The Diva Cup. *Hat tip to Mrs. DOF for pointing this product out to me.* It sounds relatively harmless, right? Wrong. This is so disgusting that you have to check it out. It is an environmentally friendly feminine hygiene product. I.AM.SO.NOT.MAKING.THIS.UP. I swear to God. You shove this little cup up in your cooch and it catches your blood in a cup. Then, you dump the cup in the toilet, rinse this baby off and re-insert it. How many different ways can I say EWWWWWWW??? I guess it isn't any worse than using a tampon (which I did for the first time this week, thank you very much!)

I love this testimonial from the website:
"I received my DivaCup on my 3rd day of my cycle, and decided to go ahead and try it out since it was my heaviest day anyway. The DivaCup is WONDERFUL! It was easy to put in, and take out, there was no odor, and no bulky "I'm wearing a diaper" feeling, and nothing to have to go through wrapping up and tossing away like with pad and tampon products. I was able to go to work which normally due to the heaviness of my flow I am not able to do usually on my 3rd and 4th days. I didn't have to worry about changing until AFTER work when I got home, and there was NO leaking, mess, etc. on my underwear. Though I was nervous about insertion and removal, it turned out to be fast and easy. I am extremely glad I purchased the DivaCup, and will be talking to other women about it, and recommending it to them also. It was the best purchase I have made for myself!"-Debbie in Ohio

Well, Debbie in Ohio, more power to you girl. But, how sad that her heaviest days are Nos. 3 and 4? Maybe she should see her OB/GYN about that. Fortunately, I only last about four days since having all of my babies and my tubes tied. But, I just don't think I could trust a little dixie cup in my cooch. I'll walk around with that brick between my legs till God feels the need to replace my bleeding one week a month with hot flashes.

More of my favorite things

Sometime in March, I will get to see two of my favorite things combined - CSI and Wil Wheaton. I am SOOOOO excited. Wil is going to be on CSI as Troubled Joe or something like that. But, who the hell cares? He is going to be on the best show on TV. I may pee my pants at any moment now.

But, even better than that. This is so exciting that I'm downright giddy. I'm getting a new mattress and box springs. Army of Dad and I have been sleeping on the same mattress and box springs that I got as a graduation gift from college back in 1991!!! The coils on the mattress, I fear, are going to rip through the stained and sagging cushiony top of the mattress and impale me in the ass. I read a column in our local paper - the local cop reporter's teenaged daughter had to have the EMTs remove a coil from her ass that got stuck there. I have a few guesses what she was doing that she got a coil in her ass and I have worried that it could happen to me. *Adult relatives and my ex-husband should turn away and not read this next part* But, I did marry a younger man and there are many benefits to this *purring* but he and I have broken no less than four bed frames in our seven years together. I didn't want to add that we busted out the coils in the bed to the list of casualties in the bedroom.

$68 worth of freon later and now my air conditioner in my minivan works again. Of course, it was repaired just in time for a cold snap, but hey, when it is 80 again in a few days, I'll have cold air dammit. Of course, they couldn't find why the freon was all gone and put some dye in there and told me to let them know when it starts acting funky or not blowing cold air again so they can go in there and see from whence the leak is coming so they can fix it. Great. I'm sure that will cost more money, too. *sigh*

Ok, I need to drag my Ego Girl ass to bed. I have work to do Friday and I informed my eldest that he is not allowed to puke at school again because Friday I have real work to do and can't come home so he has the privilege of doing his school work at the dinner table with a Sunny Delight and not the weird chick who sits behind him singing soul music at school. She bugs the hell out of him, but I think we have finally gotten him to stop being mean to her about it. At least the teacher hasn't sent home any notes about that in a while. So, that is a good sign. He made the A/B honor roll missing the A honor roll by a crummy two points because Stinkpants isn't turning in all his work. Dufus. That is my son, though. Ever the procrastinater. Maybe there will be a writer in him yet. We can't stand to work ahead of time. Has to be with that deadline pressure to make sure we do a good job.

Feeling pretty good

It is pretty cool to feel good about myself. My children are doing well and staying healthy despite all the germs in our home. I think those flu shots must have been beneficial for them.

But, that isn't what I'm talking about. Right now, I'm feeling pretty damn good about me. I'm doing public affairs support for the largest construction project in the state right - a $2.7 billion project. There are four of us on the communications team. That is pretty significant. Also, I've been asked back to write the text for the chamber of commerce's annual publications for the nation's 20th largest city. That is pretty damned impressive if I may say so myself. It just sort of dawned on me today that I must REALLY be pretty good at this whole writing thing for people to want me back on their projects. The airport job is the result of a former boss asking me to come to work for him. He and I were talking yesterday and I was updating him on the status of my projects and where I was at in accomplishing them.

Boss: I'm sorry for not being able to sit down with you more and really work on this with you.
Me: *shrug* But, this is why you hired me, isn't it? So you didn't have to babysit me?
Boss: Yeah. I was telling the EVP (that's lingo for executive vice president, i.e. big wig) that was the very reason I wanted you on this project. I could tell you what I needed and let you loose.
Me: yeah, I like that, too.

It is pretty cool to have my work respected enough that this same boss has rehired me now for the third time. He's handed me off on a very large project and given me lots of wiggle room to do it as I please and he has the faith that I can do it well. That is satisfying because I genuinely respect him. He was one of the city's "40 under 40" movers and shakers a year or two ago. He was in some very hoity-toity company, too.

So, Ego Girl has returned and she is very proud of herself. It is just really hard to pat yourself on the back. My shoulder is sore now.

Honeymoon's almost over

LabKat and JS should arrive home late this evening from their honeymoon in lovely and romantic Las Vegas. I know she was planning on surprising him with some tickets to the Blue Man Group performance while they were there. I just hope she took in the Star Trek: The Experience while she's there. I can't wait to make it to Vegas and go there sometime. She could have exchanged her vows on the bridge with a Klingon officiating or something equally cool. Maybe this fall I can get AoD to take me for my birthday. That's my goal, at least. We'll see.

Congrats to LabKat and JS. May the force be with you.

NFL news

Well, I don't know what to think about Drew Bledsoe coming to the Cowboys. I am beginning to think Parcells isn't the football genius I thought he was.

I'm also sad that punk boy has gone to the Raiders. He will fit in fine there, but I don't think the Vikes stand a chance of winning games without him. I hope I'm wrong.

In the name of fashion

This creation had the following photo caption:
Debora Bello models an outfit by Argentine designer Roberto Giordano during a fashion show in Vina del Mar, February 23, 2005. The show was organized to mark the end of the summer season in the Chilean coastal city and beach resort.

Where exactly do you wear an outfit like this? To the beach? Seems stupid with the long jacket-like thing. To go out on the town? Oh, okay. I guess that explains the rhinestone-studded panties. Huh?

And, where exactly, do you where the nipply dress below? I'm guessing church is not the right answer.

Mommy madness

Another superwoman friend of mine sent me this article that I've been hearing a lot about. It is all about the need for women my age (20s, 30s and 40s) who feel compelled to be Wonder Women and SuperMoms. But, this article is a bit over the top, although I do know whomen like this.

The article talks about how we women want it all - families and careers. I grew up in the 70s with t-shirts that had "girls can do anything boys can do" emblazoned on them. I was told by BOTH of my parents that I could grow up to be the first female president if I wanted to. I was told NEVER to expect a man to take care of me (but, then that was contradicted by my dad when I got older, but that is another story) and that I was self-sufficient. They sent me to college - not to meet a husband, but to get an education so I could support myself.
I feel like I am that woman. I have had the best of both worlds - I've been a career woman and I've been a stay-at-home-mom. I love both. Right now, I'm doing the work thing AND still managing the soccer teams, doing my freelance, shuttling my kids to swim lessons and karate and making time for myself between it all.

This story, in my opinion, is true for the most part. I have friends that fit this description to a tee. They are supermoms who don't miss a PTA meeting and they plan the most detailed and creative parties for their children. They live for their children while sacrificing their own lives and that of their marriages. They are moms before anything else. I also know women who pay other people to raise their children for them or women who do nothing in the way of extra activities for their children. There is no perfect way to raise your children. All you can do is your best. I have given up long ago being that over-achieving mom. When my kids did Mother's Day Out while I was at home, there were always these moms that made gift bags for every holiday for the children or they baked homemade goodies to pass out. I laughed and gave them a pat on the back for going above and beyond the call of duty. Me, I'm usually up at 11 p.m. making cupcakes to take to these kinds of parties, etc. Yeah, I'll sacrifice some sleep now and then to make sure that my kids know that I think they're special enough to make my terrific cupcakes, but I don't think my kids are deprived of anything because I'm not singing The Wheels on the Bus with them 24/7 or exposing them to Mozart (ok, so Hot Rod likes Mozart, but that is up his alley).

This article has the following conclusion:
"Women today mother in the excessive, control-freakish way that they do in part because they are psychologically conditioned to do so. But they also do it because, to a large extent, they have to. Because they are unsupported, because their children are not taken care of, in any meaningful way, by society at large. Because there is right now no widespread feeling of social responsibility—for children, for families, for anyone, really—and so they must take everything onto themselves. And because they can't, humanly, take everything onto themselves, they simply go nuts. "

Ok, she is on to something here. I agree that we are excessive and we are conditioned to be that way. Take me, for instance, I feel compelled NOT to rely on anyone for anything. This sometimes includes Army of Dad and it makes him nuts. But, I do NOT expect society to take care of my children for me. I do not see a need to "subsidize" much of anything. That is what families are for. That is what friends are for. I can't count how many times that I've been able to turn to my family and friends to step in and lend a helping hand when I've needed it. Hillary Clinton's "it takes a village" quote can be construed in different ways. For me, I choose to believe it means that we need to lean on each other and help one another out - not with government hand-outs, but with love and compassion and care for one another. This writer goes into a diatribe, essentially, about how government should step up and relieve the stresses of society, blah blah blah. Whatever. We are responsible for ourselves. Someone might need to slap these women and tell them to relax a little bit. Your 6-month-old isn't going to get into Harvard simply because you went to Baby Gymboree or because she had the right ballet instructor when she's 4. I think all those extras are beneficial to most children, but do what you can and don't sweat the small stuff.

My children actually seem happier since I've gone back to work. And, guess what? Overall, I'm happier, too. I'm not waking up at night in a cold sweat because I don't know how I'm going to pay the bills this next week. I think they're also enjoying the interaction with other kids and other adults, as well. We all also know that this is not forever. So, maybe when I am back at home I won't be such a nutcase longing for adult conversation and some time to myself. I can see how many moms get in a rut when they're home with kids all day. It gets old taking care of everyone but yourself.

Another reason I feel like I have it all together (and I don't feel this way all the time, but I do today) is that I know my limits. When I'm about to break apart, I know to stop and reach out - whether it is to my mom, my next door neighbor or Army of Dad. I know how to tell people no and most of all, I know how crucial it is to make time to nurture my marriage. I want to still have that relationship long after my children are out of the house. So many parents ignore that part of their lives and then have nothing in common any more. I refuse to let that happen. We have our own hobbies and pleasures, but we also make time for one another and that is so good for us.

Suffice it to say that I can sympathize with the article's main points. I've most definitely been there and done that. I just disagree with some of her notions for our to "fix" it. I think fixing the problem lies with accepting our lives as they are and maybe chilling out a bit on unrealistic expectations before we decide that government needs to step in and take care of everything.

*shaking my head*

I just don't get it.

This woman is defending her husband as the "sweetest man" in the world. This is the guy who ADMITTED that he suffocated the life out of a woman carrying HIS own child and then killed a child so he wouldn't be found out.

If Army of Dad fooled around and knocked some chick up, that would be bad enough. But, if he then killed her (and his unborn child) and an innocent child who got in his way ... I would NOT be defending him. I might stand by him simply because he is my husband and I love him, but there is no way in hell that I'd publicly support him and proclaim to the world about what a sweetie he is. Please. I think just about any of us is capable of horrific things in particular circumstances, but I'd like to think that AoD and I are above killing people to keep ourselves out of trouble.

This case is just one of those car wrecks that you just gotta look at. You can't drive past it. It is compelling and it is so sad.



Another story of death and tragedy. I didn't know these people, but as a mother, I can't help but be saddened by the loss of a baby and a little boy. The fact that it all happened in proximity of home just makes it hit even harder. I can't imagine how someone could suffocate the life out of a pregnant woman and a 7-year-old. I just can't understand it. We used to live down the street from the bagel shop this woman owned. I just love my children so much, I can't imagine someone hurting them. Bad choices always come back to haunt us, it seems. From what I can gather, this woman's affair with a married man led to the murders. That is so awful, too. I feel bad for the alleged killer's wife, too. God, she must feel betrayed on so many levels. First off, he betrayed her and knocked some woman up, then to know that the man you sleep with every night was capable of (allegedly) killing his own unborn child, a woman he slept with and an innocent little boy who unfortunately walked in on the guy killing his mommy. Geesus. Very bad things are going to happen to this guy, I have a feeling. That special place in hell will be reserved for him, too.

Poor celebrities

You know, after battling whatever the hell it was that knocked me on my ass last week and watching Army of Dad suffer through it this week, I just don't have a lot of sympathy for celebrities who are hospitalized for the stuff. I'm just guessing they could suffer through it like the rest of us or are they so important that their health warrants them being hospitalized?

Last week, it was Michael Jackson and this week, it is Jessica Simpson, although I guess in both their cases, they are so skinny that they may not have the strength to recuperate on their own. I dunno. Just know that it kind of bugs me that these people stub their toes and the world gasps.


Feel like I'm on a ride

My seat - ok, my entire work area - is bouncing as planes take off.

This is like working in an amusement park.

Saddest thing I've ever seen

I genuinely think this is one of the saddest things I've ever seen and I need to get it together because I have to go talk to someone in a couple of minutes about an article I'm writing.

This poor baby was supposed to be part of a set of twins, but one of the twins did not develop fully and was only a head. The second head was capable of smiling and blinking, but could not live on its own without the full twin. But, that breaks my heart because I have to believe that baby was capable of feeling and thinking and now her life is over, not that she really would have had much of a life. I know the separation was the right thing to do, but this just breaks my heart beyond belief. I do not envy those parents. How awful all the way around.


A breast road map

I met a lady at work today who is finishing up chemotherapy for breast cancer. She was an attractive lady, about 50ish. We were talking about all she had to go through and I felt a kinship with her. My supervisor was there and teasing her for not getting out and trying to date, get busy, etc. But, I sense how she feels - she has little or no desire because she doesn't feel desirable. She described her breasts as looking like they had road maps on them from the chemo, radiation and surgeries. She is tired, she has lost her hair and no matter what you think - if you have not been faced with losing your breasts, you have no idea how it impacts who you are as a woman. Our breasts are central to who we are - they epitomize our femininity. It is how we feed our offspring, it is one of the things (ok two of the things) that make men want us ... anyway. I know my lump is still in there in my left breast and I wanted to cry for her and for me. It scared the hell out of me to think about what may lie ahead for me if I have to have the lump removed this summer. Just reminded me that it is still there - hopefully not growing.

Sometimes I get that not so fresh feeling

Remember those nasty commercials? Some teenaged girl would be talking to her mom about having a "not so fresh feeling?" Like moms and daughters have conversations like that. I certainly never did. But, then again, I saw the contraptions my mom used to douche with and I thought that I'd grow scabs down there before I used that shit on me.

Ok, as if that wasn't offensive enough - turn back now if you have a weak stomach because it is only going to get worse from here.

I signed up my two youngest for swim lessons, which started tonight. Coincidently, I started tonight, too. Fun. I'm 36 years old and I've never used a tampon. Army of Dad is still sick as a dog, so the option of having him do a 'daddy and me' swim class with Stinkerbelle was really not there. So, off to the Drug Emporium to try and find some tampons without applicators. Every time I've ever tried to use these devices of torture in the past, I wound up injuring myself with the applicator. So, I figure, other things have gone in that orifice before, why couldn't a tampon? I found that OB has ones with no applicator. Of course, it is just my luck that there is only one cashier working in the store and it has to be a 17-year-old boy. Gees Louise. Apple juice, Kool-Aid, Frosted Flakes, tampons. Lovely. At least he didn't have to do a price check and call for it over the PA system.

I get home and I got the damn thing to work. Of course, I felt like I had something shoved up in me - which I did, but it worked. We had our swim lessons and they were great fun. Now, I have to get these two hyped up little fishies into bed. We will do this every Monday and Wednesday for the next three weeks. I'll try and get AoD to take some pictures one day, if possible.

Groovy tunes

I found a way to make the work day even better - music! I have been listening to Buzz.FM from Columbia, Missouri. It is awesome rock. But, their streaming music has been down since Friday. I finally emailed them today and they emailed back that they'd put an engineer on it. Army of Dad suggested checking out The Edge, our local alternative rock, and I found that they have an Edge Old School streaming music that has NO commercials and plays the best of the music from the late 80s, 90s and today. Right now I'm listening to Morrissey. Lots of Pearl Jam, REM, U2, Stone Roses. Good stuff. I even heard "Insane in the Membrane" this morning. Loving it.

Losing my lunch

Something about eating naked would make me NOT want to eat at all. I guess that could be my new diet plan.


Wow! Didja see that?

I'm not a giant NASCAR fan, but I enjoy watching the end of races. The Daytona 500 proved it is exciting today. Still watching the end and we saw the big wreck complete with a car flipping, losing a tire and another catching on fire. Best part: no one was hurt. I like that.

Another note, Jamie McMurray is hot.

Our own little Hot Rod has his tribute to race cars on the wall of his room. He isn't picky though. He has NASCAR, Busch series, whatever. He likes them all.

Soccer Saturday and airplanes

It was overcast all day during the tournament, but it could have been worse. The rains stayed away, which was nice. The boys didn't play great, but this is one reason we wanted them to play in the tournament before our regular season. They are VERY slow starters. They have a problem, too, when they get behind. They will get down on themselves and not play to their potential. So, it was good to get them out there and playing.

We had a big window of time between the second and third games, so a few of the boys followed us out to the airport, which was nearby and we went to a little viewing park and watched the airplanes taxi by, take off and land. It was a lot of fun. The boys were waving at the pilots and and the pilots were waving back. They had a ball.

Hot Rod didn't want to pose for a picture with the airplane coming. He wanted to be turned around and waving. So, here are the kids waving at the pilots.

The park has a couple of viewer-thingees (don't you love my technical terms?) that the kids could use to watch the planes. There is also a spot where you can hear the pilots talking to the air traffic controllers. Below is my eldest checking out the planes. A couple of the other boys decided they wanted to be pilots while we were there.

Making mama proud

My sweet little Hot Rod sang with the kindergarten classes Thursday night at his school. In true sappy mama fashion, I wept. The assistant principal's daughter is in Hot Rod's class and she is a bright, beautiful little girl. She sang a little solo when the children sang "This little light of mine" and I cried for her mom. It was so sweet. My baby looked very handsome in his navy blue slacks and yellow and blue plaid button down shirt. I took him to get a haircut that afternoon, too, so he'd look extra sharp. He was very excited about singing, too.

Pre-program while lining up with his class.

Here he is singing with the other kindergarteners.

Here is Army of Dad with the kids after the performance. We treated the kids to ice cream afterwards for behaving so well during the little concert.


That just describes how I feel today. I feel better sick-wise. Just tired, wiped out. Blah.

We had our soccer tournament yesterday. That was fine. We lost all three games, but it got the kids playing, which we haven't done since early December. We've only been able to have two practices for the older team because of the weather. Today, I'm doing practice for our little team because Army of Dad now has the crud. He has had a fever over 100 for three days now. He coached the games and was a trooper Saturday. Very impressive. Me, I'm doing better. Still only about 70 percent, but way better than last week.


Rainy day soccer

Saturday, our eldest's team will be playing in a soccer tournament and it is supposed to rain all day off and on. Yuck. It is going to be a crummy kind of day. I suppose tonight I'll get everything packed up including some towels and dry clothes for in between games. I just keep wondering what we'll do if a uniform gets soaked because we won't be able to run home and toss it in the dryer between games because we're playing about 45 to 50 miles from home. Hmm. I may have to find a laundromat or something nearby. My mom is coming to stay at the house with the baby, so I don't have to get her out in the weather and worry about her getting cranky in between games. All we have to worry about being cranky is me and Army of Dad. The boys should be fine.

Going to make for a long day, though.

Testosterone gone bad

Dude I told you we should have waxed.


Snot monster returns

Copay for doctor's visit: $25
Medication: $45
Cost of being able to sleep, breathe and stop coughing: Priceless

I created a character as a kid that has returned today: Snot Monster.

I turned into Snot Monster whenever I had a really bad cold and the snot was just running out of my nose. I'd take tissues and just shove them in my nose and leave them there. Then, I'd chase the girls around and growl and proclaim my status as Snot Monster. It was great fun made out of being snot-filled. Not so much fun today.

Thought for the day

If snot were money, I'd be a millionaire.

I'm Lois

Which Family Guy character are you?

Thanks to it comes in pints for finding this quiz.


Oklahoma has just added Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia to its newborn screening program. This is the way we found out about Pickle's birth defect and how we've been able to greatly improve his quality of life and even prevented a premature death. Because he has a version of the disease where he is not a salt-waster, we may not have known that he suffered from CAH until he became very ill and had an adrenal crises. Being armed with this diagnosis allowed us to treat his birth defect and act proactively whenever he became ill. It was a roller coaster as he was an infant and toddler, but now he is doing great.

The Magic Foundation has a great explanation of CAH and how it effects the body. Untreated, patients with CAH can die, like this young man. According to Save Babies Through Screening, early detection of disorders and conditions detectable through comprehensive newborn screening (CNBS) is vital. Although the newborn screening test detects disorders that cannot be cured, early invention and treatment is beneficial in most cases. I wholeheartedly agree. Pickle could have died without treatment, additionally his quality of life has been greatly improved through treatment early on.

The March of Dimes has a long list of metabolic disorders that all newborns should be screened for, unfortunately not all states offer the screening for all of these disorders. CAH is not screened for in many states. Thank God, it is screened for in Texas, where my precious son was born. There are still 13 states that aren't testing for CAH in their routine newborn screening and that is unacceptable. If you are having a baby and want to know what your state tests for, you can check here. Save Babies Through Screening has a pamphlet here with good information about screening. The screening is relatively inexpensive from what I've been told. I highly recommend that you ask your OB/GYN and pediatrician about newborn screening and what your state routinely offers and then ask for a comprehensive screening. I have talked to parents who lost babies with CAH when they were just a week old because they didn't know. A heel prick before leaving the hospital could have saved their babies' lives.


Praise the Lord

It had been a while since I checked on his progress, but thank God, I went to Jonathan Cooper's site and saw pictures of him sitting up and eating. What a blessing. Doctors said he would be a vegetable if he survived. He has a long way to go toward returning to his pre-comatose self, but what a trooper. Please continue to keep this boy in your prayers.

The truth hurts

My two youngest children - Stinkerbelle, age 2, and Hot Rod, age 5 - like to take off their shirts and run around the house playing Super Boy and Super Girl.

The other day, my 5-year-old comes to me with quite the discovery.

*pointing to his boy nipples on his chest*
HR: Hey mom! Guess what? Boys and girls both have these.
AoM: Why yes they do.
HR:Yeah, boys have them and girls have them and moms have them. Only the mom ones point toward the ground.
AoM: *sigh* Unfortunately, they sometimes do.

Out of the mouths of babes ... comes the most hurtful comments in the world. My boobs were perky before I nursed three children. Thank God for miracle bras.

Bachelorette fun

Well, since I'm home sick, I thought I'd try to catch up with my blogging and post a bit about LabKat's bachelorette party.

WORD OF CAUTION: Turn away now if you have a weak stomach, have children nearby or are easily offended.

Army of Dad generously made a large pot of homemade spaghetti sauce and we had a potluck supper for the girls before we left. We had a "girls only" party with adult items *I'll let your imagination run wild on the adult items part* After that, we headed out to a male review.

We got LabKat sufficiently tipsy before we even left the house. Since I was the designated driver, LabKat was doing double shots much of the night. We'd buy a round for the table and I'd give her my shot, too. She was slurring her speech and dancing wildly before the night was over. It was too funny.

Here we are as the night began. We all wore our grubbies before changing clothes to go out. And, yes, that is a lei on LabKat's neck.

Here we are as we were heading out to LaBare. I emailed the more risque pics to LabKat and suggest you go check her blog for the good pictures. I've been informed that too many family type folks frequent my blog for me to post those kinds of pics *rolling my eyes*.

One of my favorite parts of the night was when Elvin came out on the main stage dressed as The Crow, but dancing to a Phil Collins song. I pull LabKat back, I was supporting her, and say "the dude is dancing to Phil Collins. Don't you think that's cheesey?" She looks at me in horror and says "It doesn't matter what HE's dancing to" turns back around and waves her dollar bill in the air.

Pet-lover or kinky person?

Here is a quiz testing your knowledge of "marital aids" or dog toys.

I got 13 of 14 right. Guess I'm safe with either the marital aids or your dog. I promise not to use the previous with the latter. Eww.

More scares regarding ADHD meds

Having a challenging child with many issues left us experimenting with all kinds of things to help him struggle less with school and his behavior. We took him to a behavioral psychologist and the first thing she did was prescribe an ADHD medicine. I told her I didn't want to do that, but she was adamant. We went without it and after a while with no improvement despite play therapy, reward charts, restrictions for punishment and various other interventions, we gave it a try and really didn't see any difference except in the side effects he now had to deal with.

Stories like this one just reinforce my gut feelings that he didn't need these meds. I'm glad I stopped them. I think we finally found the best learning situation for him, too. That makes a world of difference.

Capt. David Rozelle

I'm a big whiner.

This soldier is a big stud. Had his leg blown off in combat and is now heading back to Iraq with his prosthetic leg to command his troops again.


More blogging at work stories

Seems to be a big trend in doing these stories about blogging at work. But, they're pretty interesting, though.

Here's another. This one features a blogger that I love, Sarcastic Journalist who lost her job for blogging at work.

I dunno. Maybe I should be more worried about it. But, I think I work for a pretty cool boss and he isn't going to throw me under the bus unless I breach security or don't get my work done. Won't be an issue today since I'm home sick, although I did bring some work home with me to try and do. My head feels like it might explode soon and I have a cough that rivals a two-pack-a-day-habit, so I dunno. I may crawl back in bed with Harry Potter (the book, that is).

*scratching chin* Although I do prefer younger men and I wonder what he could do with that wand. Hmm...

Headaches, coughs and the poops, Oh my!

Well, it has finally caught up to me and I have the ickies. I started feeling sick on Thursday evening and it has gotten progressively worse and worse. I went to work Tuesday morning and the entire time I'm interviewing this lady, I am thinking "please don't pull a Hillary Clinton and pass out mid-sentence." I felt so dizzy. I was just praying that I wouldn't puke or pass out. I went to my boss and asked to go home and he sent me as he pulled out the anti-bacterial cleanser to wash his hands.

I was dozing off on the drive home at 10:30 in the morning, it was that bad WITHOUT drugs! I came home and climbed into bed with all of my clothes still on. I didn't move until about 1:30 when the diarrhea *cha cha cha* kicked in. At that point, I soaked in a bathtub to relieve my sore ass, and then decided to put on my comfy lounge around the house clothes. Then, I climbed back in bed. I didn't puke till about 4:30. Breakfast taquitos are really gross coming back up, by the way. Went back to bed and pretty much stayed there all night. Fortunately, Army of Dad came home early for me and picked up the kids and took care of them. Uzz got Pickle and kept him, so he would be away from the germs. Puked again after trying to eat some dinner last night. Finally curled up and crashed for the night at 8:30.

Feel better today, but not near well enough to go to work. Plus, I hate to expose my co-workers to this crap either. I missed out on a big tour and a chi-chi lunch today, but I was in no shape to work and walk around the construction site. So, hopefully, a day's rest will get me well enough to return tomorrow. I'm going to the dermatologist in the morning to see about having a mole removed from my face. I have had it watched over the years and been told that it is harmless, but it is growing and I hate it, so harmless or not, I'm having it removed at this point.

Off to rest some more.


It's the thought that counts

Poor Army of Dad. He was feeling very proud of himself. He figured out the physical address to my work without my help and then he went to pay for the flowers on Friday. Only hitch: they didn't show up while I was at work.

He finally called me when he realized I had left work and hadn't called or emailed to tell him thank you. He asked me if I had a good day. I said yep, then he finally asked me outright if I got any flowers. He hated to ruin the surprise, but it is hardly much of a surprise if I'm not there. He called the florist to fuss at them and then the receptionist at my office called me at 5:05 to tell me that my flowers had arrived. I'm sure they're lovely.

I'll find out tomorrow. I'm also sure that AoD probably ripped some florist a new one for delivering flowers that damned late on Valentine's Day.

Still a sweet gesture. But, shhh, AoD never wants to be referred to as sweet. It is my own personal secret.

Happy Valentine's Day

My honey brought me some beautiful tulips Friday evening. They're yellow with a touch of red on the tops of the blooms. Very pretty.

Was flipping through the paper this morning and found that Valentine's Day is banned in Saudi Arabia by the religious police. I am not making that up - they are called the religious police. How sad.

Going solo & Kathleen Turner

Well, I am being throw in the deep end this afternoon. I'm doing my first solo tour of our new terminal and apparently it is with a VP who is known to be a hard-ass. Great.

To add insult to injury, I barely have a voice - I sound a bit like Kathleen Turner after a smoking binget - and would rather be in bed than here. I thought I was assisting with the tour. I didn't realize I was leading it. Ahh, another case of the communications specialists not communicating. ;) That has happened throughout my career as a journalist and writer. We never know what is going on. Gotta love it. It will be fine though. Just have very little voice. Guess I'll review my notes. I'm not sure of how to get where ... maybe I can corral my boss into walking be through it in a few minutes.



It has been a VERY long weekend. Fun, but long.

LabKat's bachelorette party was great fun. I'll blog about it later. Today, Army of Dad and I had our Valentine's Day celebration. I'll blog more about it later. I'm about to bathe and crash. I'm SOOOOOOOO very tired.

We went to the Omni theater and saw the James Cameron Imax movie "Aliens of the Deep." I slept through it, so I have no idea if it was any good or not. We went to a gun show and that was pretty fun. I got some sweet beef jerky, jewelry cleaner and a personal defense knife. AoD bought some ammo. We ate lunch at Red, Hot and Blue and that was mighty tasty, then we hit the mall. The rest of my Valentine's gift was some new undies from Frederick's of Hollywood . Woo hoo. Now I can throw away my church-going panties.

Off to bed now before I collapse.


Bachelorette party

I'm about to head out the door to LabKat's bachelorette party. Should be great fun.

I have plenty of these:

And, I hope to see lots of these at LaBare:

My pre-Valentine night out

Army of Dad and I got a late start Friday night to go out because we had very don't-want-to-go-to-bed children. We had to wait till after Pickle's karate class ended, then we had to put the little kids in bed. So, we FINALLY get out the door and go eat at our favorite local Italian place. (It was a safe option for a meat-free Friday - manicotti and cheese ravioli). Then, we grabbed a cup of coffee. Ok ,we grabbed one cup of coffee - I bumped into AoD on the way out and his dropped and exploded, so then we grabbed a second cup. We headed out to Fort Worth at that point. By the time we parked and walked over to the theater, it was about 10 minutes till curtain.

We saw Four Day Weekend and their improvisational comedy stylings. They were great. The show is very similar to Drew Carrey's Whose Line is it Anyway show. We had a ball. I had a few drinks and got a little toasty, which AoD loves because I get amorous and affectionate with him.

We only got about six hours of sleep before we had to get up and have soccer practice for both teams. We got five of the six kids on the little team, which was good. The sixth was sick. The big team was 11 for 13 and we knew not to expect the two that were missing, so that was good. Once AoD got home, I tucked Stinkerbelle down for a nap and went to get my hair done. I really like the color repair the stylist made and I like the cut, not sure what I think about the style. He brushed my bangs back instead of having bangs. So, I don't know. I will let the ladies tell me tonight what they think. If my hair was longer, I would definitely like it, but since their bangs and are short, I'm not sure what I think.

For those bad hair days

A model for designer Anna Sui wears a creation from the Anna Sui Fall 2005 Collection during their fashion show in New York, February 9.

I'll never understand high fashion.

Chair or womb?

Does this really look like something you'd want to buy?
The caption reads:
Ambient chair: Model Carolin presents an easy chair displayed at the 'Ambiente' consumer goods trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany.

Those wacky Germans. First, David Hasselhof and now this.


Answers to those burning questions

Of course, I was late and didn't follow directions, but Kathleen at baggage and blathering encouraged readers to ask a few questions and she'd answer. So, I posted a few and after reading her amusing (and truthful) responses. I thought it is only fair to subject myself to the same.

What do you like in a man?
Physically, I like nice eyes, good smile, strong shoulders, nice biceps and I fancy bigger guys. I guess the word would be stocky. I don't like guys that are body-builders, but I like those that are big. Skinny is a big no-no for me. I can't outweigh a potential date. Not that it matters anymore, but we all have things we like.

What did you think when you lost your virginity?
"Is that all there is to it?"
Seriously. That was the first thing that ran through my mind. I was so disappointed. About the time I started to think this was worthwhile, he was done. It was over and I was left thinking "that sucked. I don't see any reason to ever do that again." And, we didn't for a long time. I didn't see any reason to do it. It didn't last long enough to be worth the risk to me of getting pregnant, even though I was on the pill. I could probably count on my hands how many times I had sex in the first year after I lost my virginity.

How old were you when you lost your virginity?
I was 18 and a senior in high school. It was the end of March 1987. I almost made it till graduation. I hadn't intended on doing the deed either. It was a fluke. We were doing the "everything but" sort of thing and it happened. I was shocked at first and happy that it didn't hurt because I was a wreck that it would hurt real bad. No chance of that. This poor guy, it was his first time, too. He was very attractive, but God didn't bless him with an appendage that matched his 6-foot-4 frame. Either that or it stopped growing when he was 10. I'm not sure which. I did find a guy the next year that introduced me to what good sex could be. He was a bad boy, so that didn't last. Probably a good thing.

Ok, too much information, I'm sure. Just felt compelled to share. Must be the Alleve kicking in and relaxing me.

Note to cops

If you're going to knock violators around, don't record it on the camera in your squad car. Here's your sign.

Also, don't fondle teenaged girls in your car. Don't carry on a torrid affair with a teenaged girl either.

And, lastly, do your best not to let your violator die while in your custody. (Just an extra guffaw, gotta love this reporter who noted that the suspect "died after he stopped breathing." I'm no medical professional, but I have heard rumors that people die when they stop breathing.)

To serve and protect my ass. Well, they might want to serve and protect my ass. That isn't what I meant. Hmm, to serve and protect the public ... I'm calling bull shit. Ok, I take that back. I know a few cops who are honest and do a good job, but I know as many or more who don't. All they care about is their good ole boy club and maintaining the status quo. If you question their authority, you're screwed.

Special place in hell

For some people, there will be an eternal waiting room where everyone else's appointments are before yours. The only magazine to read will be about urology or crocheting and there will a hateful kid behind them kicking their chairs. On each side will be an really overweight sweaty person with body odor and on the other side will be someone with open oozing sores and a yippy little annoying dog that keeps barking and growling.

This psycho will have a spot reserved for her after starving her three children to death. I don't think there is anything horrible enough that can be done to this couple for what they did to their baby. Police say the 6-month-old baby girl was sexually assaulted, suffered broken bones from head to toe, and had her tongue nearly severed. Donna Marie Norman and her common-law husband, Ivan Castaneda, are being held without bail on charges of causing injury to a child.
The infant is in critical condition at a hospital. She was transferred there last week after her parents brought her to another hospital, saying she was suffering from congestion.

SIX.MONTHS.OLD. THEY RAPED AND TORTURED THEIR OWN BABY!!! There is nothing I wouldn't do to protect my baby girl. I cannot imagine the pain they inflicted on that baby and I can't even begin to comprehend why. I hope these sick fuckers get tortured in every way imaginable in jail.

This woman is a nutter, too. She concocted the story about the newborn baby in thrown out of a moving car. Evidently, said nutbag gave birth to the baby, didn't want it and decided to fabricate this story. What is the deal with all the crazies in the world?

Ah dink ah hab a colb

I'm not sure, but it is either an icky cold or I'm getting the flu. Either way, it royally sucks.

I have all sorts of fun festivities this weekend. Tonight, Army of Dad and I are going out to eat and to a comedy show. Tomorrow, we have soccer practice for the big kids and maybe the little kids if I can get them all there. Then, I'm getting my hair done and going to LabKat's for her bachelorette party. Sunday, my parents are taking the children, so Army of Dad and I can have another adult meal, see an Omni show and go to the gun show.

All in all, a fabulous weekend. Now, only if I can get some sleep at some point. I made the mistake of taking some Tylenol flu stuff last night without reading the ingredients. It has pseudoephedrine in it and that stuff acts just like speed for me. I woke up at 1:30 and didn't get back to sleep till 3:30 and then woke up at 5:30 a.m. Funsies.

Scary stuff

Thanks to Uzz for sending me this story. It is some scary stuff. Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time has listened to me go on about the challenges of raising my beautiful, bright 10-year-old son. He is a truly gifted artist, but he struggles with so many things. He has a speech impediment, he is dyslexic, he has Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (birth defect also called CAH) and we feel that he probably has Sensory Integration Disorder (meaning certain forms of stimulation freak him out. He can't stand people making little noises, tapping on their desks, etc. That will drive him into a frenzy.) So, we've had many difficulties in helping to find just the right educational environment for him.

We've tried ADHD medications to see if they helped him. We never really saw any benefits and the longest we tried anything was five months. Some may say we didn't give it long enough, but it was plenty of time for me. Concerta wasn't awful for him, but he only took Adderall for two days before he started having facial tics and chewed his lips so badly that they were on the verge of bleeding. I said no more.

Plus, with his CAH, you never know how his body is going to respond to anything. The medical profession will reassure you that all is well, there are only a few side effects like insomnia, loss of appetite, etc. But,
this article cites a U.S. drug safety reports linking an attention deficit drug to 20 deaths.

Canada has pulled Adderall from circulation, however the FDA in the US says it isn't enough to take it off the market. After seeing what it did to my child in two days, I can't imagine giving it to a child. I'm sure everyone responds differently to medication and perhaps it works wonderfully for others, but not my kiddo. We have and will continue to focus on changing the behaviors and responses to stimuli.

From the story:
Health Canada ordered the withdrawal yesterday of Adderall XR, made by Shire Pharmaceuticals Group Plc, based on its review of adverse-event reports previously given to the U.S. agency by the Basingstoke, England-based company. The drug is prescribed for children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Both agencies' decisions were based on information the company gave the FDA through the agency's adverse-event reporting system. The reports linked the drug to the deaths of 14 children and six adults from 1999 to 2003. Among the deaths, five patients had structural heart abnormalities, one was a child with Type-1 diabetes, another was a child who had exercised to the point of severe dehydration and heat exhaustion, and an eighth showed toxic levels of amphetamine, according to a public health advisory posted in the FDA Web site. The rate of deaths may not be significantly higher than among those who don't use Adderall, Temple said. There have been seven reports to the FDA of sudden deaths among patients using Ritalin or Concerta, he said.


Caption creation closed

And, then I said, listen Lance. If your nuts are this big, you need to see the doctor. Look at what happened to that dumbass Tom Green from Mtv.

Ed Note: It is my blog and I changed my mind. I'm a chick, I can do that.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is today. It serves as a reminder to the faithful that our bodies are like the ash and the dust and will return to the earth when our days here are done, but our souls are immortal.

No meat today. That pretty much ruins what I was going to eat for breakfast, so now I have to figure out an alternative. Maybe I have time to make a pitstop by the donut shop on the way out of town this morning. If not, I'll have to make do on some iced tea this morning.

Today also marks the beginning of the Lenten season. It is 40 days preceeding Easter and is designed to remind us of the sacrifices Jesus made for us. We don't eat meat today and on each Friday throughout Lent and we also are asked to give up something that we love for the entire 40 days. It is just a reminder, in a miniscule way obviously, of the sacrifices Jesus made. I'm giving up cookies and sodas - in particular, Dr Pepper. This will be so hard, but I know that it is a very good sacrifice since it will improve my eating habits. I'm going to try and maintain the soda ban after Easter, too. Cookies, however, will be back on the menu. I think Army of Dad is going to give up chocolate. At first, it doesn't seem like that big of a sacrifice to me since he hardly eats candy - but then we see all the various things that have chocolate in them as we go throughout the day. He did this last year and we were shocked at all the various ways a person can have chocolate.

Yesterday was the end of the Mardi Gras and it made me remember when I first learned of Mardi Gras. I grew up Southern Baptist in small-town Texas and had heard of Mardi Gras, but didn't know what happened or what went on. I just knew people tossed beads, wore masks, drank alot and it was in New Orleans. When I was 26 and living in West Texas, the local Jaycees hosted a Mardi Gras parade and had colorful floats and tossed out beads to the crowds. The community was in a tizzy. I had no idea why until one of our sports writers - who had been to Mardi Gras - explained how exactly people got the beads. Then, a wave of understanding came over me about why this largely uptight crowd. Just one of those weird ways I was sheltered in my youth. I'm still pretty naive about a lot of things. Army of Dad, LabKat and others tend to roll their eyes when they have to explain things to me. *shrug* I guess that is good.


Flowers, candy, knives and ammo

We don't celebrate a traditional kind of Valentine's Day in the Army household. No sirree.

I asked Army of Dad what he'd like for Valentine's Day. Ammo was his reply. Ammo for Valentine's? Nothing says love like being well armed, I suppose.

For me, I think I'm pretty easy to buy for. Sexy underwear are always a good choice. Flowers are good. A personal defense knife would be appreciated. Yeah, you read that right. I want a blade. A fila. A filero. (just in case you want to be on the low down and get some street creds, you can bone up - oops wrong term - on the gang slang here. )

I don't know what kind of knife I want, but something that would hurt any asshole who thought he might make me a victim. I don't think I'd have any qualms about shoving a knife up some jerk's guts or in his eye-socket, maybe his throat if he was coming at me with ill intents. *shrug* I don't know that I'll get a knife, but I know there are some gifts that are highly unlikely.

Jewelry - I already have more than I can ever wear.

No candy - trying to get rid of some of this lard ass and he can't (honestly with a straight face) tell me that my ass isn't fat.

Flowers being delivered are highly unlikely because I'm not real sure the make-shift airplane hanger/office complex at the airport actually has a physical mailing address where a florist could figure out how to get there, although EVERY woman wants flowers delivered to work. It is comparable to comparing dick size, I think. Just imagine this little exchange.

Woman No. 1: Wow. Did you see the size of the arrangement Sue's husband sent to her?
Woman No. 2: Yeah. Makes my husband look like a total loser with the crappy little coffee cup with flowers he sent me.
Woman No. 1: Yeah, all I got was a stupid mylar balloon attached to a cheesey stuffed animal in a striped trusty uniform that says "prisoner of love."
Woman No. 2: How gay! And you married this guy?
Woman No. 1: Yeah, I was over 30 and lonely. He was there.
Woman No. 2: How sad is that? The new girl in the cubicle on the end. She doesn't even have a faggoty little stuffed animal with a balloon.
Woman No. 1: Yeah. I don't guess she'll be doling out any loving tonight. Poor schmuck.
Woman No. 2: Poor schmuck? She's the only woman here without flowers. Ok, except the fat chicks and the lesbos.
Woman No. 1: Nope, you're wrong there. That one lez has flowers from her life partner. Ok, not really flowers, but a potted plant.
Woman No. 2: My bad. *shaking her head*
Woman No. 1: It is so sad.

Hint to the men: Don't be THAT guy who doesn't get his girl flowers. Kroger and most grocery stores set up tents out in the parking lot where you can just drive up and buy your dozen roses for $19.99. Dude. Suck it up. Do it. Army of Dad is always good about getting me some flowers. This will be the first Valentine's that I've worked outside of the house since 1998. So, he may be rusty on digging out the debit card and calling the florist. Plus, like I said, delivery is pretty iffy. I can see him giving the same directions I gave him to get there. Ha.

Ok, so jewelry and candy is out. Flowers picked up on the way home from work Monday night are likely. Stuffed animals are out. I have more than I could ever need.

Some new panties may be a possibility. I don't have a black g-string or thong and could use one to go with my black bra. I like this one (and only wish my ass looked that good in one! Wow!).

Hmm. Oh yeah, a new CD would be good, too. I would REALLY like to have the John Mayer one. That is music to sex by. But, that is another blog entry. I'm supposed to be writing some press releases for a media kit. I need to do that. Army of Dad is at a soccer coaches' meeting and should be home any minute now.

Blogging at work - a big no-no

One of my buddies sent me this link - at home, of course - regarding the trend of employers firing bloggers who do it at work and who talk about work on the blog.

One of the bloggers featured in there is one of my favorite blogs, Sarcastic Journalist. She talks about how she got fired as a reporter for blogging on the job and about her coworkers.

While she didn't say it, I think my friend was sending this to me as a giant flag with a cross and bones complete with smoke flares all around it and those neon signs that Wile E. Coyote always surrounded the birdseed for the Roadrunner with ... do you think, um, er, could it be a warning?

Maybe I shouldn't blog about the sexual harassment - whether it is me dishing it out or it is directed at me? Maybe I shouldn't blog about the fact that I met a man named Jeff Stewart yesterday (didn't look like a NASCAR kind of guy) and we have a contractor named the Birden Brothers working on the site? That cracked me up. (for those of you who are un-hip, that is a band, too). I have, honestly, used much restraint. There are so many characters I work with, but I like them. So, I won't go there.

Soon, I will be relocating cubes to get away from the bean-counters and over by the people that I work with. So, I'll be down the aisle from Michael Meyers. I guess I'll learn if he is the psycho kind of MM or the Shrek kind of MM. I'm hoping its more of the Shrek than pyscho. I have enough psychos in my life.


20,000 hits

It looks like sometime this evening, I will have had hit No. 20,000 since putting my site meter up soon after getting the blog.

In the infamous words of Sally Fields: You like me! You really like me!

Or else, you're a troll who loves to come and torment me. Or perhaps, your my son's fourth-grade teacher or one of my best friends from elementary school, my babysitter, one of the vendors Army of Dad works with .... the list goes on and on.

Just need to let my Schwan's lady know about it, too. Makes me think that we need some more onion swirls, quik taters, steak fingers ....

As if there aren't enough reasons

For hating PETA, Dennis Rodman is their latest poster-boy. Oh yeah, that is going to persuade me.

I still like the anti-PETA meaning behind the acronym: People Eating Tasty Animals.

It's not the Pina Colada song

There was a song in the 1970s called Escape, The Pina Colada Song by Rupert Holmes. You all know it if you're 35 or older. Remember it? The song is sung from a guy's perspective. He was bored in his marriage and answered a personal ad in the paper that read:
If you like Pina Coladas, getting caught in the rain, if you're not into yoga ...
You get the idea. Well, this goes on and he responds to the ad and they plan to meet. He gets there and it is his wife. They laugh and realize how much they love each other. Yeah right. Whatever. It makes for a great song and we all like Pina Coladas, right?

Well, in Jordan, a cyber-romance ended up the same way. A separated husband and wife meet unknowingly in a chat room, decide to meet and hubby was none too excited about seeing his wife there. I'm guessing she is probably going to get stoned or set on fire or something for daring to step foot in public. *sigh* Not a happy ending.

Along with this sad story was this picture of two Jordanian women surfing the Internet in a cafe. What do you suppose they look up?

Potty training

I'm having a hell of a time potty training my 2-year-old Stinkerbelle, yet, Diew, a 5-year-old Thai elephant, demonstrates how to use and flush a toilet at an elephant camp in Chiang Mai province, in northern Thailand. Having taught Thailand's elephants to paint, dance and play musical instruments, their Thai handlers are now toilet-training the beasts, media reported.

That's it. I'm calling these Thai handlers to come over and train the defiant albeit artistic toddler how to poop on the potty.

Michael Jackson sighting

Check it out. I think I saw Michael Jackson. Nice hat, too.

Manly fishing trip

I laughed till I almost peed my pants. Bad News Hughes has to be one of the funniest individuals on the face of the planet.

If you've ever made fun of someone who enjoys fishing. Go check out the blog today. Ohmigod. I laughed till my sides ache. That sounds like Felix the Cat. Sorry. It is late and I'm tired. Ok, so it is only 8:30, but I'm tired.

Anyway. Bad News Hughes makes me laugh so hard I almost cry every post. Swear to God. The next post after the fishing trip one is about a Hispanic roommate he had. This guy is as irreverant as I am and I wish I was only half as funny as he is.

My first whistles

I conducted my first tour of the construction site today with a very nice artist from Savannah, Georgia.

I got my first two whistles from construction workers. Thank you very much boys. Felt my first bicep. Very handsome young man with a chiseled face, great eyes ... nice ass, too. I had to ask him a favor for the artist - he needed to get up on a lift to check the lighting and I walked up to him and grabbed his arm to get his attention. I had to make myself let go.

These are the moments when I understand how men can separate sex from love. Lust has nothing to do with love, unless you're really lucky. I have that in my life. There are just times when, as Jimmy Carter would say, "I lusted in my heart."

I may bring my hardhat home tonight and do some role-playing after the kids are in bed.

Super Bowl ads

I thought the Super Bowl commercials were pretty lame this year, over all.

You can vote here for your favorite. I thought the McDonalds' commercials were pretty stupid. I liked the Bud Light ones with the pilot jumping out of the airplane and the one with Cedric the Entertainer rethinking his fantasy of two women on a deserted island. But, my favorite was the AmeriQuest ad about "don't judge too quickly" where the guy was cooking dinner and the cat spilled the spaghetti sauce, his girl walks in and he has a big red pool on the ground, the cat in one hand and a knife in the other. I cracked up at that one.

Army of Dad and I would have liked the beer one (where the soldiers get a standing ovation) had the soldiers actually had some patches on them. There was nothing and that seemed really weird to see. No rank, no name, nothing. Strange.

I was disappointed that the commericals weren't better. I saw one that was going to air, but was nixed. It showed some guy backstage last year and he is using Janet Jackson's blouse to open his beer and he rips the cup on her shirt, so that is why her boob flopped out. I saw that on some other show. Now THAT would have been funny.

Whew, what a whirlwind day!

Caught a couple of minutes during my lunch break to FINALLY blog a bit. I knew as I learned the ropes at work that I wouldn't have time to blog during the day. Well, it has happened.

I'm no longer a hapless minion.

I now have a badge and access to company vehicles. BWWAAHHAHAHAAHA!!!! Be afraid. I'm going solo today escorting an artist to the new Grand Hyatt, where his work of art will be. He will be able to examine where his artwork will be. We also have a media relations person going with us to shoot him (on video, not bang shoot) while he does this. So, that should be interesting. Tomorrow, I'm escorting the the publisher/owner of the former newspaper I worked for, along with some others, on a tour. Then, Wednesday, I'm escorting vendors into a terminal to check out the site for a big shindig we're having this spring when our new train opens. The party planner is from L.A. and asked me to do that. Wow. Feels weird to have authority.

This could go to my head.



We filled out our taxes and I've been checking on the IRS website for the status of my refund. FINALLY, the website gave me an estimated date to expect my refund to be deposited in my account. Feb. 15. Now, THAT would be a great Valentine's gift. AoD needs about $500 in car repairs, we both need some new jeans and a few other things like new pots and pans, etc. But, the bulk of it will go toward eliminating debt. That is the main reason I chose to go back to work - to eliminate debt and make life a little more fun for all of us. We'll see how it goes.

I also get to see my first paycheck this coming Friday. I can't wait.

Still procrastinating over this homeland security story. Probably why I checked the IRS page again. Blech. Back to writing. We may go get ice cream for a little treat after Stinkerbelle gets up from her nap. Gotta be back by 5ish.

Patriots will will by 14. My predicted score: Patriots 38 Eagles 24

Deadlines, fried chicken and the SuperBowl

Well, I've successfully procrastinated writing my homeland security story and go put it off no longer. It is due in the morning, so I've got to write it today. I want to be done before game time, too. Made a quick trip to Kroger this morning to pick up a few snacks and was successfully lured into buying one of their Super Bowl promotions: $7.99 for 16 pieces of fried chicken, a big box of potato wedges and a 2-liter of Dr Pepper. We'll be eating fried chicken for lunch for the rest of the week. That was a lot of chicken!

Back to writing. AoD is playing Halo 2 online, Stinkerbelle is napping and Hot Rod is grounded from the TV for being a stinker at school this week. So, he is flitting around and playing. Pickle went with his dad for the day.

You know, I think it is sort of appropriate that that I'm listening to shooting (even if it is just Halo 2 on Xbox live) in the background while I write about homeland security.


*big exhale*


I can talk about it openly and not have to be all secretive. Tonight, my friend, KN, and I hosted a surprise wedding shower/party for LabKat and JS. We have been planning it for more than a month. We got JS in on it. Several friends and family were in on it, but she was in the dark. We lured her to the clubhouse at KN's apartment complex under the pretense that KN was going to have a professional photographer take a formal portrait for them as a wedding gift. She bought it hook, line and sinker.

We loved it.
Here is Kat and JS with their Star Wars cake. LabKat is a Star Wars fan, so I got them a cake that said "May the force be with you." What better way to christen their impending nuptials?

Here is me, LabKat and KN. KN had a baby on Dec. 22.

Happily opening gifts with KN's eldest son.

Sealed with a kiss.

Best wishes JS and LabKat.

My daughter, the artist

Well, I had talked about repainting various rooms in our house since we've moved in, but now I have a really good reason to do it in the dining room.

While cooking supper tonight, Stinkbelle was sitting at her table in the dining room coloring in her Sesame Street coloring book. Or so I thought. Seems she was creating a lovely mural on the dining room wall. We had black, orange, brown and blue. Ahh, quite the work of art.

After I started cleaning up, I thought that I really needed a picture of this. Here she is sitting back at the table pouting for being told that the "walls are not for coloring."

Music meme

When I got back from lunch with Army of Dad, Joan from Seven Inches of Sense passed this along the latest meme to go around and asked me to blog about it. So, here we go.

Random 10 Albums Semi-Sorta Randomly pulled from my collection:--
These are the CDs I brought to work to listen to when I'm not listening to Buzz 100 FM from Columbia, Mo. (this station rocks!) It is pretty eclectic. Everything from old music to alternative and country to pop.

A Decade of Steely Dan - Steely Dan
Greatest Hits Volume 1 -Toby Keith
Raoul and the Kings of Spain - Tears for Fears
A Boy Named Goo - Goo Goo Dolls
Here for the Party - Gretchen Wilson
The Dream of the Blue Turtles - Sting
Greatest Hits - Daryl Hall and John Oates
The Eminem Show - Eminem
As Good as Dead - Local H
Justified - Justin Timberlake

What is the total amount of music files on your computer? No idea, probably none.

The last CD you bought is: Chevelle's newest for Army of Dad for Christmas

What is the song you last listened to before this message?
The Toadies - Possum Kingdom

Five songs that you often listen to or that mean a lot to you:

Brad Paisley's "He didn't have to be" is a song that is guaranteed to make me cry every time I hear it. On New Year's Eve 1999, Army of Dad and I went to a friend's to ring in 2000 and they had a book of things we hoped to accomplish in the coming years or something to that effect. Each of us was asked to write in it and I remember reading AoD's hopes that he could be a good dad to his step-son, my eldest, and that song was how he hoped my son would look at him as he grew up. Still brings tears to my eyes and makes me love him even more to know that he wants to be a good father to him.

Tim McGraw's "Don't Take the Girl" is another with memories tied to AoD. I knew he loved me when he said he could understand the feelings conveyed in that song.

Ben Folds Five' "Brick" doesn't have any special meaning to me. I just think it is one of the best songs ever written. I can feel the lyrics and empathize. Just a beautiful song.

Live's "Lightning Crashes" was out when I was pregnant with my eldest son and I just felt so closely tied with the song. I thought about the lyrics to it and it just really hit me hard. I still love this song.

Godsmack's "Whatever" is just one of my favorite songs EVER. I think it may be one of AoD's, too. It is a great anger anthem with a chorus like "I'm doing the best I ever did. Now go away." Just a little note: Godsmack makes for great sex music. Not that I'd know or anything.

Who are you gonna pass this stick to? (5 persons and why)
LabKat because she is so opinionated, she'll have something to say about it.
Uzz because he is lives for music and will most definitely have some interesting things in his list.
I'll ask Gadfly to do it because I think his music taste is pretty eclectic, too.
Doug at Bogus Gold will get an invite to participate because I've seen where he has blogged about music he is listening to and it is as broad as my list.
And, finally, I'll ask Ken at it comes in pints for his opinions, too. I don't think I've ever seen him mention music, so that should be interesting.


Valentine's tips for the guys

MSN just makes me crack up. Do they really think guys are reading this? Guys, will you admit that you really read this? I promise not to have your man card revoked. I'm just curious if guys look at this stuff. Women love it, but most of us have given up on it. Occasionally, Army of Dad shocks me with something romantic, but I don't hold my breath because that shade of blue really isn't a good color for me.

Today, MSN has Love Letters 101 for guys. They also have one for women on Little Ways to Make Him Swoon. I come closer to believing that women would read that than to believe men read about how to write a love letter.

This will be the eighth Valentine's Day with Army of Dad. We don't have plans for Feb. 14, but we're trying to get out on that weekend to a comedy show in Fort Worth. That would be fun. It is sort of hard to get romantic when you have to plan around karate classes, soccer practice, meetings and commuting. We'll see how it goes.

Introductory meeting

This morning, I had to get out of the house early for a meeting at the airport. It was a bunch of different people from the contractors and subs. I had to go this once just to introduce myself and do the little questionnaire thing at the end of it. Relatively painless. I don't mind speaking to people for the most part.

The meeting, itself, was relatively brief, which was nice. It was just funny to watch people, though. Better looking guys in this meeting. Younger guys among them, too. Lots of mustaches. Macho construction type guys typically sport mustaches or beards. Some of the younger guys had goatees. Lots of testosterone around me. But, I digress. One dude was cleaning his fingernails with his pocketknife. A few others were cracking their knuckles. One poor old gal has an enternal scowl on her face. It was sort of sad. Her face wrinkled that way. Most people have a sort of flat line to their mouths, but hers was a frown until she made an effort to smile. So sad. Made me wonder if she is bitter all the time or if she wrinkled in an unfortunate way.

I'm getting more responsibility now and my minion days are over. I will likely not have as much time to blog because I can no longer feign that I don't know what to do or where to go. I'll have all my badges to get to where I need to be and I'm on my way to being important. Wow. Maybe I will fulfill that Most Likely to Succeed thing after all.


A lib reconsiders the war

I just thought this column was very interesting. Liberal columnist Mark Brown with the Chicago Sun-Times is actually pondering the idea What if President Bush was right about the war all along?

Worth a read for people on both sides of the war.

Medal of Honor recipient

Hat tip to Mike at Sworn Enemy for this reminder. I heard about this on the drive to work this morning and was intent to blog about it until I saw the stack of papers on my desk to be addressed. While trying to surf to an occasional blog in between work, I found it again.

Sworn Enemy has blogged about the first Medal of Honor recipient since 1993. Great post, I can't top it. God bless this soldier for his actions and sacrifice.

ED NOTE: Corrected factual error I made here. Thanks to Army of Dad for correcting me.

NFL round-up

Ok, first off, I found it completely hilarious that the main headline at was TO is irrelevant . Hee hee

Emmitt Smith is going to be retiring after all if you believe SI.

I have always liked Daunte Culpepper, but I hate it when people pretend to be something they're not. Evidently, he put on a show giving his bling-bling to a disabled kid, but as soon as the cameras were off, he took it back. However, in his defense, he apparently got the kid's address to send him something else, but why didn't he just do THAT in the first place? Man. And, maybe I'm being a little too judgmental because he doesn't owe this kid anything, but he could have just laughed off the kid without handing over his jewelry. *shrug*

I heard rumors on the sports talk radio that Emmitt and some investors were looking into buying the Vikings. Hmm.

Astrology, Starbucks and a hot date

Saturday night, LabKat and I went out. We are party animals, too. We went to Chili's and then to Barnes and Noble. We usually grab a coffee at Starbuck's, then peruse the books.

At Chili's, the stupid waitress rubbed gravy all over my boobs. It wasn't even in a good way either. She just wasn't paying attention that my large breasts sometimes overlap the table and she just wiped the plate across my sweater. Lovely.

While sitting at Starbuck's sipping our coffee, LabKat noticed that the couple next to us were reading a book by Athena Starwoman called "Discover your one true love." As if the title alone wasn't sickening enough, the couple, in their late 40s or early 50s, were sipping their coffee and looking interested in what the book had to say. The woman was avidly reading this book to this man. She looked fairly intent on the it. The guy was acting interested and appeared to be listening. We figured he was playing along in hopes of getting laid.

As soon as they left, I got up and grabbed the book. LabKat and I howled with laughter at this crap. It was so funny. It is supposed to describe your lover to you by his/her astological sign. LabKat was described as feminine, alluring, affectionate, enchanting and very generous. I'll give her the generous part. Not so sure about the rest. The fact that I fear she may kick my ass one day sort of kills three of the first four. I can see where she'd be alluring at times. She does have beautiful skin. The book also describes her weakpoints as being petty, vain, unbelievably jealous and a tendency to be lazy. One, three and four maybe, not too vain, I don't think.
My description was equally amusing. I was described as mystical, sensitive, perceptive and relatively independent. Ok, I'm not really sure that I'm any of those except sensitive. (Hey, stop laughing. I can be.) My weakpoints include being obstinate, manipulative, highly critical of others and when in a sensitive mood, can be offended easily. *really now, I don't know WHO they could be thinking of* It also says that my anger can be explosive, not above alienating others when I don't get my way and I have a tendency to pout. Ok, so maybe she isn't too offbase on me with my weaknesses.

Now, LabKat and I couldn't let it go there. We had to look at our significant others. Hers: dependable, punctual, sincere, practical, deliberate, very sexy in a serious way, lots of self-discipline and will support you in self-improvement. His weaknesses: quick to notice fault, insensitive, critical, worries a lot, great deal of tension but won't admit it and a perfectionist. I'm not sure I know JS enough to judge these yet, but I'm sure LabKat will expand on this. ;)
For Army of Dad: romantic (yeah, right), passionate (absolutely - about everything), charming (he has his moments), very exciting (depends on what we're doing *wink*), fast track way of life(we never slow down, so maybe this counts), lots of creative energy (when cooking, absolutely), battle of wits (Ohmigod, he loves to debate), pushes emotional buttons (uh, yeah), mischievious (at times), irresponsible (seldom), narrow minded (at times), wasteful with money (I don't think so, this guy is so tight that he squeaks) and lies (he better not!).

After this little exercise in the giggles and the conclusion that LabKat is a supermodel and I'm a unicorn, we wandered back to the New Age section of Barnes and Noble and had even more laughs reading about what our names meant and more BS about astrology. It was quite the exciting evening. Before we knew it, the manager was on the loud speaker telling everyone to make their way to the checkout counter as the store was closing. Aw, shucks. The end of our hot date. We're such party animals.


I'm not sure why this bothers me so much, but every time I look at these so-called fashion shows, I just wonder what kind of crack someone was smoking when they designed these things and what the models must be thinking (other than I wish I could eat a Twinkie.)

It looks like an alien from some low-budget sci-fi network show.