Army of Mom

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


The Royals treatment

We went to the Rangers-Royals game Sunday night and witnessed the Rangers pounding of the Royals 15-2. Back on July 5, we saw the Twins play the Royals in Kaufman Stadium in KC. Pretty cool.

Here we are pregame.

The fountains were really pretty.

Stinkerbelle fell in love with the Royals because everything looked like a princess to her.

She really wanted to wear that crown, so we had to get a picture.

Only 12,000 in attendance. So sad. The weather was gorgeous, though.

The stdium was pretty nice to be so old. Stinkerbelle wanted the "S' for Stinkkerbelle in a picture with her new pink Royals princess bat. It had a crown on it for their logo, so, it was a princess bat as far as she was concerned.

And, my Twins fans. They were happy tonight as the Twins spanked my Rangers. *sigh*

Twins and Rangers

Always a strange time in the Army of Mom household.




Baby face

What is it about a baby that just makes a person smile? They can even be an ugly baby, but you can't help but smile.

I went to Panera to work and for an I.C. Mocha (Ohmigod, heaven on earth) and there was a baby that just brightened my day by his mere existence.

A few more cute baby faces:

My niece at the family reunion in Minnesota.

Little Bit, when she was 1 back in 2003. She has always loved shoes. These were Pickle's. Notice the lack of hair on 1-year-old girls in our family. Yikes.

But, you smiled, didn't you?

It's Monday morning

It is one of those days.

I didn't get to sleep till 2:30 a.m. My parents agreed to take Hot Rod for a few days since I have a business meeting this afternoon, but I wanted to drop him off at my dad's work today. Mom told me he didn't work today, but got off around O Dark Thirty. So, I thought he was working overnight or something. Nope, turns out he was working today and I could have dropped him off at 1 p.m. rather than driving an hour south of my house after we went to the Rangers game last night.

Stinkerbelle was furious that Hot Rod was getting to stay, but not her. She had preschool today and mom said she could stay with her later in the week - just one kid at a time. So, she cried for a half hour last night. Then, this morning, she told me she was mad at me because Hot Rod was at Granny's and she didn't like me and she wanted her dad.

I tried to cancel the exterminator's visit to save that money for another week, but he came anyway. Said I could send him the check, which was nice.

Dropped stinkbug off at the preschool and went to the post office. I'm supposed to be getting some free breakfast bars to try out and review on the blog. They weren't there. But, while I was in the post office, someone apparently backed into my car, which I just got out of the shop on Friday for body repairs where someone keyed it and for multiple car door dings, etc.

So, the tears just flowed. I have one of those post-crying headaches now. Blogger won't let me post the gif of how I feel right now, so it will come later. To make myself smile, I went to The Dancing Banana singing Peanut Butter-Jelly song and pictured Pickle singing and dancing to it. He is a hoot.


Green-eyed monster

I love "What Not to Wear" on TLC, but I really wish I could get a makeover like that from the hair to the make-up and clothes. That $5,000 budget for new clothes would be awesome, too.


Baby Stewie

More good shirts. This dude reminds me of the way my babies always acted.

I'm an AC/DC song

"Shoot to Thrill" is my song for this post.

Ok, maybe I could be "Shook Me All Night Long," too. *wink*

About a week ago, Army of Dad took me shooting. My .38 that AoD bought for me from Kim DuToit last October is currently in use by Kim for an episode of The Shooting Trail on good handguns for women. So, Kim let us borrow his Llama Mini-Max in .45ACP.

I like it better than my .38, but I honestly prefer AoD's Smith and Wesson 40-caliber the best. We found a gun I liked once and I should have let him buy it for me, then, but such is life. We may find another again.

Shooting Kim's gun was good. It has a pretty good pop, since it is a .45 and I shot pretty well with it, too. It was my first time in an indoor shooting range and that was strange to me. I felt very CSI for some reason. I kept picturing Grissom in the stall next to us.

And, my target from about 10 feet away.

Not too bad for an unfamiliar gun. Bad guys beware. Don't eff with me.

An oldie, but a goodie

For some reason, people keep sending me this joke. I have no idea why.

A store that sells husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates. You may visit the store ONLY ONCE ! There are six floors and the attributes of the men increase as the shopper ascends the flights. There is, however, a catch . . .. you may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband . .
On the first floor the sign on the door reads:
Floor 1 - These men have jobs and love the Lord.
The second floor sign reads:
Floor 2 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, and love kids.
The third floor sign reads:
Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, and are extremely good looking.

"Wow," she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and sign reads:
Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop-dead good looking and help with the housework.

"Oh, mercy me!"she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!"

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and sign reads:
Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop-dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor and the sign reads:
Floor 6 - You are visitor 4,363,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store. Watch your step as you exit the building, and have a nice day! Please send this to all men for a good laugh and to all the women who can handle the truth!

Hat tip to KR.

A T-shirt I want

Hat tip to Chad.

Will there be a weight limit?

I like to watch poker on TV, but I'm thinking this might be on pay-per-view, but there will be the World Strip Poker Championship coming up in Ireland.

I'm hoping they have some age and weight requirements, no one wants to see some folks in the buff.


The Mall of America

On July 1, the one place my Pickle wanted to go in Minnesota was to the Mall of America. He could think of nothing else. Just as fierce as Hot Rod's desire for the Twins was Pickle's wish to see the giant mall.

The Lego store was something to see. Giant Lego creations were everywhere - displayed hanging from the ceilings, too. The Lego Boba Fett was a fave.

The boys loved racing Lego cars they created.

Little Bit just loved building with yellow and pink Legos.

She picked out the Little Mermaid visor in the Disney store. I wishe we had more time - everything was on clearance in there. My girl loved the Diasy head/chair, too.

We didn't get to go to the Underwater Aquarium, but we did see the Shark guy.

The Minnesota Viking logo guy was on the floor of the Vikings Store. I thought Hot Rod had died and gone to Heaven.

If he could have that goalpost in his home, I think he would.

The Vikings hats were too funny. I wish we had unlimited funds, I would have bought these three. Little Bit looks so cute.

Me, Army of Dad and Hot Rod are going to the Cowboys-Vikings preseason game. It is going to be ugly. Only one other game between these two teams since we've been together - Thanksgiving 2000. I was with the inlaws, too. Not good. Psst, the Vikes won. *sigh* Dear Husband gets to go to the Sept. 11 Monday night game of the Redskins and Vikes with one of his friends. Fifth anniversary of 9/11 in D.C. Ick.


My Big Fat Independent Movie

Way back in January, I was asked to review My Big Fat Independent Movie on DVD. It was right after I saw Brokeback Mountain, so I think the movie promoters thought I might be a good choice for doing that.

Little did they know that I'm not near as cool as they thought I am. Fortunately, I had LabKat around to explain all the vague references to me. I got some of them. I even spotted one she missed. I identified the Lanky Man as a Christopher Walken-type.

It was amusing. If I had seen all these movies, it would have been friggin hilarious. LabKat has seen many them thanks to her Netflix membership. If you like indy movies and have seen lots of them in the 90s, you would enjoy this film. As it was, it wasn't the worst two hours of my life and I would recommend it. Even if you don't get all the references, it can be entertaining just for the way it mocks the indy genre. If you've seen nothing but Pulp Fiction, you'll get a kick out of it.

Best movie quote:
Lanky Man: You know what they say. Lesbians: better than e-mail.


SPF: Say allo to my lil friend

I think Kristine was mad at her ISP and made this week's Stuff Portrait Friday at Random and Odd focused on violence and subjugation.

This mission:
1. Something mean looking
2. Your weapons
3. Your hiding place

My Mean-Looking Something consists of two things from the museum today.

The acrocanthosaurus who stands guard outside the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Today, some douchebag dude decided he wanted to go stand by it (even though it is behind a fence) and a motion sensor caused a water sprinkler to go off. He almost peed his pants. My dad asked him if he thought the dinosaur "wee wee'd" on him.

Another mean looking item from the museum: the bed of nails.

Not so scary with the 3-year-old laughing hysterically, though.

My weapon: .38 Smith and Wesson

Purchased in October from Kim DuToit. He has it right now for a Shooting Trail episide for good handguns for women.

My hiding place:

Behind my Fujifilm Finepix 3800.

Did you play?


Poor babies

I can't help but be choked up at the news this morning when hearing that a day care owner has been charged with the death of a 4-year-old boy after she left him in the heat to go run an errand.

And, a jury found Andrea Yates not guilty by reason of insanity for the drowning deaths of her five children. God help us. I hope she doesn't get out of the mental hospital EVER. While I feel like she had to be out of her mind to do what she did, she should never be allowed to get out and get anywhere near another child.


Hunks of the week

Soccer camp ended Friday and I'm SOOO glad. Only bad thing is that I'm still stuck with some of the menial chores. The regional director was supposed to send balls and shirts for the kids who didn't get them and they still haven't arrived. That is sort of frustrating. Anyway.

My hunks of the week. Here is the British Soccer Camp coaches team for our annual game versus the local coaches. Only bad thing was that both teams were playing a little too rough for a "friendly" game and one of the players got a red card (local coach). The back row are the British soccer coaches, the front row is some local soccer players.



Bad manners

I'm often shocked at the lack of manners people show. As a Southern girl, I was raised to say Yes Maam, No Sir, thank you, etc.

I was taught to put a napkin in my lap at dinner, sit up straight, don't talk with your mouth full and to be respectful of others.

Tonight, I'm sitting in Panera and writing. My dear husband took over the child-rearing for the evening so I could get some work done without refereeing arguments or grabbing juiceboxes. But, I'm so disgusted that I wrapped up my work and was ready to leave before I decided to get out the soapbox.

Three college students (presumably) are sitting across from me. They are talking so loudly (another no-no in the rules I was taught) in the restaurant that I have heard every word they said. They are about 10 feet away from me, too, to give you an idea of how loud they are. One Napolean Dynamite dork got a speeding ticket. I can understand being irritated and bummed and while I am known to spew forth some obscenities from time to time, I try to keep them muted from the general public. That whole manners thing and all.

So, after he continued to issue forth one curse word after another, then he let out a loud belch. Now, let me add that his girlfriend is sitting next to him. She didn't even flinch when he belched and didn't pardon himself. Let me also add that shese students are well dressed enough not to be trailer trash either.

Eww. Just looked up and the dude sitting across from the ticket-getting geek and his girlfriend just stuck his finger into the girl's bowl of soup to taste it. Again, no one flinched except me.

To quote the maitre'd in Ferris Bueller's Day Off : I weep for the future.

The mighty Mississippi

July 1 in Minneapolis, Minn. We had some time to kill between going to the Mall of America and heading to the Metrodome for a Twins game and we went down to the Mississippi River for a visit. It was one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen.

Apparently, at the turn of the century, many flour mills used the power of the river to operate the mills. Now, these same mills are located in the vicinity, but the relics of what was once there still remain. They are really pretty.

And, we actually got a family shot while we were there, too.

It was one of those neat little out-of-the way destinations that we likely wouldn't have targeted without some downtime and being in the vicinity, but I'm glad we did it. The kids really enjoyed it, too.

Red alert

Star Trek dorks rejoice. Another Trek movie is in the works for a 2008 release.

Let's just hope they don't go overboard again with another stupid Super Data move. But, even if they do cheese out, I'll be there. *sigh* The allure of Starfleet is just too much for me. Maybe they'll bring back Wesley for this one.

Some amusing Trek shirts to demonstrate your degree of dorkiness are available, too. I may have to get one of those. My favorites:
Sometimes I feel like a Red Shirt in the Star Trek episode of life.
Mornings are futile (featuring a half-asleep woman turning into a Borg).

Yes, yes, I know. I'm a goober.

Army of Mom Blog Anniversary

Almost a half-million hits later, my little corner of the blogosphere started two years ago today with the little Deadlines Suck post.

Hard to believe.

Rub down the goosebumps on your arm. I know it is exciting and all, but you mustn't get in a tizzy.

All wet

This looks like a great idea for post-soccer camp activities, don't you think? Makes me wish I was a little kid again enjoying the simple pleasures in life.

This is Hot Rod with Coach Charlie (left), who worked with the 7-year-olds and Coach James, who stayed with us.

That is some intensity, there.

And, then, goofing off with his best buddy.

Eat your heart out Gene Simmons!


I'll never get it

I don't think I'll ever understand how someone can mistreat a child. I mean, there are moments when I'd love to have some solitude and silence.

But, to starve your stepchildren when their father traveled is beyond comprehension. What must her own children be thinking? Did they wonder if they were next if they told someone? Will they treat their own children and/or stepchildren that way? I tis really tragic all the way around.

She'll be in that special place in hell one day.

Shiner: black eye, not bock

If you're not from Texas, you probably won't get the post title. We have the greatest beer around: Shiner Bock. But, that is another blog entry.

My son got his first shiner Sunday. The black eye kind, not the beer.

This was last night. It happened around noon Sunday. It is more purpley today.

Dropping Stinkerbelle off at preschool this morning and a teacher and Hot Rod had the following exchange:
Teacher: Hey, who blacked your eye?
Hot Rod: My dad.

I was in between that nervous *I need to explain this quickly and embarrassed" laugh. We were playing baseball with Hot Rod yesterday at the ball fields. Coach (dear husband) and I were trying to instruct him on the proper technique for catching a pop up or line drive.

He kept on turning his back and giving us that "I know it already" attitude and heading for home plate to do some hitting.

His failure to listen came back to bite him on the ass. Or more accurately, his eye.

While hitting him pop ups in right field, he finally got the timing part of catching one down. However, he failed to pay attention to the proper way to hold your glove for catching balls chest level and higher. Instead of fingers up, he did the cupped hand thing. So, he actually caught the ball and then it continued rolling down the glove and popped him in the eye.

I was convinced we had shattered his orbital bone and wanted to take him to the hospital. Fortunately, Coach calmed me down and assured me it was just a damn fine shiner. Lots of ice, a little nap and a magic birthday party at his buddy's house did the trick. He is fine today. He even asked me which eye it was he blacked because he can't feel it anymore.

Now, if I can teach him not to tell people that his dad did it to him.


Do I smell vinegar?

Come on people. Don't be douchebags.

First off, we have the douchebag who carjacked three people before leading cops on a slow speed OJ style chase across the entire Metroplex (starting in a suburb outside of McKinney and then heading through Dallas before ending in the boonies west of Fort Worth.)

But, the douchebags of which I speak are all the dumbasses who lined the streets waving at the carjacker as he drove by. First off, they are putting themselves in danger. Secondly, they are just encouraging the asshole. Finally, they could potentially impede police intervention. Most people who know me know that I'm not a giant fan of cops either. But, damn.

Fortunately, all ended well. We got to watch some of it on the local channels. Thankfully, the Pocono race was over by then. You can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can't take the trailer park out of the girl. Of course, at least I wasn't lining I-20 to watch the police pursuit.


SPF: Takin' Names and Makin' Wishes

Random and Odd's Stuff Portrait Friday is Takin’ Names and Makin’ wishes.

This is how this week works. Your ’stuff unnoticed’ is something you have that goes unnoticed even though it’s right there for the world to see. Or is it? Maybe it’s unnoticed because it’s a secret. You decide.
Stuff Unnoticed
Your Wish
Stuff Under your sink

Stuff Unnoticed

This corner of the dining area is one that I forget to dust when I clean. That plant is one we got from my in-laws for our first anniversary. It probably represents my marriage - it grows despite ignoring it every now and then and then it flourishes once again when it is nurtured.

My wish

My wish is that "Rob, Rob the Heart-throb" - Army of Dad's best friend (wearing the sunglasses) - makes it home quickly and safely. He leaves today for a 12-month tour of duty in Tikrit, Iraq.

Stuff under the sink

This is the sink in the bathroom. Those are the toys that I rotate out of the tub. The kids get tired of something after a while, so we try something else. It works out well. Then, that is their towles and washcloths.

Did you play?


They can always have more

I know most parents don't have the luxury I do to stay at the soccer fields during camp, but I'm always surprised at those who leave little kids - like 6 and under - there for three hours by themselves. Or those who simply forget to pick up their children.

Yeah, you read that right. Today, a parent totally forgot to pick up his kid. Called the mom and she is in Frisco (45 minutes away with all the traffic figured in). So, I took him to the library for her. He is 12 or 13 and pretty capable of handling himself. But, not to be left at the fields.

Monday, some mom was 45 minutes late to pick up her 10- and 6-year-old children. Her son had a cell phone and called her and she told me to leave them there because the older kid is pretty responsible. No way lady. I'm not going to have it on my head to leave those kids at the soccer fields alone. She didn't even say thank you or wave at me when she finally arrived. Her little kid was running around spitting on his teammates and cursing yesterday. Lovely.

Just floors me. I'm terrified of pedophiles in our midst. Apparently I'm not alone. Another parent, who also coaches locally, came to me Tuesday because he was highly offended that a mom lit into him for taking a group of 4- and 5-year-old girls around the corner of the concession stand (and out of eyesight of the parents) have have them help him count personalized bricks on the office. Yes, his daughter was with him, but that wouldn't make me feel any better if a man I didn't know encouraged my daughter to walk away with him and out of my line of vision. I told him he was lucky it was her and not me because I get the "mama bear" syndrome even worse than this mom. He couldn't seem to understand, despite my best efforts at explaining it.

These are just the little headaches that come with coordinating the camp. It hasn't been that bad and Friday is always fun. So, it will get better. Only a few more days.

10 Days

Another 100-degree day.

But, we may get a cold front arriving Saturday. A chance for rain and only 94 for the high.

Ooooh, rubbing down the goosebumps and digging out my parka.


Reduce heat, let simmer

Only around 102 today. Woo hoo! May not get over triple digits Friday or Saturday. We can hope. As long as we get a breeze, it isn't THAT bad.

Just about every kid has a cooler of water there. Those who just have a water bottle wind up drinking warm water between sessions. I don't know why, but I just thought this was a neat shot.

Then, my boy dribbling past defenders.

The kid is quick.

I didn't see that coming

WARNING: If you Tivo'ed Project Runway, run, don't walk. Spoiler included.

Project Runway tonight left me shocked. I think they booted a talented designer tonight when they voted off Malano. Although I laughed when the one guy felt up Miss America. Is that guy straight? He seems like it. For one thing, I think he enjoyed feeling her boobs way too much.

I am so digging this season already. I love, love, love this show.

Fees, fees and more fees

I am so sick and tired of fees. Fees on everything. We have taxes on everything, now we can tack on some fees, too. Just for good measure.

I know the natural gas folks have some BS fees for having gas on at our house. We're not using any, but by God, I'm paying about $10 a month for the privilege of not using any.

Just got a bill from the pediatric endocrinologist's office in Fort Worth. It is housed at the children's hospital. Apparently this is the first time my insurance hasn't paid this BS "fee" since we've been going there. Instead of my $35 copay for the luxury of sitting in a waiting room for an hour and a half with some of the smegma of society (who we all know will pay nothing for their services, but that is another blog entry), now I have to pay some concocted $31.88 for the "clinic fee."


So, for the benefit of our asses sitting in their seats and I guess for that three feet of paper that my son scrunches up when he crawls on the examination table (does that paper really keep him any more sanitary than without it anyway?).

I am so mad, I can't see straight. $31.88. I called the billing office at the hospital and her explanation was that the doctor is a private contractor and the $35 copay goes to him and the "clinic fee" is what the hospital gets. *shaking my head*

Maybe I should start tacking on fees to my writing contracts.

$38.95 fee for dealing with assholes
$12.87 fee for putting up with editor's stupid directions
$42.56 fee for having to wait till the article publishes before I get paid

I'm just thinking people wouldn't' go for it. So, how is it we get screwed with these fees? Because we're stuck with nowhere else to go. There are only a few doctors like this in the area and this is a good hospital. So, I get the happy task of paying these BS fees to cover those people who don't pay the hospital squat for their services.


Ball juggling

My Wednesday feature on the menu: British soccer coaches from soccer camp.

Charlie juggling.

The other Charlie, James and Chris during the coaches' challenge Monday.

Chris in the chipping contest challenge today.

James, in the forefront, announces the chipping challenge.

Charlie uses his right foot to kick behind his left in the chipping challenge. The goal was to kick the ball into a square of cones or into a trashcan.

So, there you go. A few more reasons to love soccer: nice legs.


Heating up the pitch

My son was outstanding today. He is fearless and motivated and it is a great combination. This little guy he is challenging is probably some of his strongest competition. They have played together a few times on the same team and this guy (who the coach was calling Giovanni today) is really good.

Hot Rod was playing keeper in this scrimmage.

Denied by Hot Rod. Coach Charlie looks on.

For a bit of humor, my son is the one dribbling around the pack. Check out his right hand. :)

Then, my son is up front for poor Coach James, who took the kneel of shame today for losing the coaches' challenge in chipping. The losing coach gets the L hand sign and LOSER yelled at him by the campers.