Army of Mom

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


SPF: Behind

Kristine from Random and Odd was being vague, but I'm thinking she pulled a butt muscle when she gave us the topic: behind.

Hmmmm. Lessee how I can illustrate this thought: ok, I had this snapshot of my No. 22 husband and my No. 1 Hot Rod. I think it qualifies. Lame? Maybe, sorry, but I've had a helluva week and didn't have many brain cells left.


My husband's crush

Seems that my husband would like to find this in his Easter basket this year.

Can't say that I blame him. She's smokin' hot. *sigh*

Sexy Back

Something a little amusing about sitting at the computer and listening to some music while the boys play BMX bikes on the Xbox.

AoM: *typing and listening to Groove is in the Heart*
Hot Rod: Play some more music mom.
AoM: *putting on
Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake*
Hot Rod: *two beats into the song* Sexy Back?
AoM: *giggling*
Hot Rod: Yeah, I've heard this song 1,000 times at the skating rink.

Whoops, just heard the F bomb dropped. I hope they play a censored version at the skating rink.

Is it just me?

I received our monthly church newsletter and it had an announcement of the purchase of a new rectory. We had been getting our priests from the Marianists and they had their own house. Well, once we lost our Marianist priece, the diocese appointed a priest from within the diocese. So, now, our priest was homeless until we bought a rectory.

So, the particulars on the rectory:
$175,990 price
four-bedroom, 1,939-square-foot home

Is it just me or is this a little extravagant for a man who took a vow of poverty? I'm sure we're furnishing it, too. I just don't see why the church needed to spend this much money on a four-bedroom home for a single priest. I could see a nice two-bedroom, but this seems like overkill.

I'm sure I'll be struck down by lightning from the storms going on right now, but gees louise.


Bears 7 Xtreme 2

First game tonight and Wowee, the other team stunk even worse than our team tonight! Woo hoo. We actually won 7-2. We were convinced that we'd be trounced, so it was a sweet victory. The kids didn't do too badly and I wound up pitching pretty well. I was pretty pleased with myself. Here is Hot Rod playing shortstop.
Here is Hot Rod post-game getting a "game sticker." We give out a game ball and then a few helmet stickers, too. Hot Rod got one for his outstanding offense. Maybe this season won't be as bad as I feared it would be. We'll see.

This was actually post-game, but I didn't get it in the right order and didn't want to fix it all. Sue me. AoD is the head coach and we have assistant coach Stud Boy there with him.

Pickle took the camera during the game and it was really fun to see what he came up with. He took this picture of the boys getting ready to bat. I thought this was precious.

Photo by Pickle.

Probably the funniest picture that Pickle took. This one was taken after Hot Rod scored a run. He went three for three and scored three of our seven runs.

Fried Green Tomatoes

You know you're getting older when you value good insurance. We pay higher rates, but we get absolutely better service for them. I'll give some props to State Farm and our agent. He is in Fort Worth even though we're 40 miles north of him, but he and his staff have taken such good care of us for the past nine years, that we don't switch.

Recap: Old bitty (she has lost her status as sweet old lady) fails to yield, I hit her, she drives off in her old tank with nothing but some scratches and broken tail lights. Me: I am screwed. My front passenger headlight aims at the ground, the turn signal doesn't work and when I pull a Nascar (turning left), my tire scrapes the car. Oh yeah, and the car is making some godforsaken noise when I start it now.

Ok, her insurance *boo, hiss* is Allstate. I called my insurance at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. I called Allstate about 9 a.m. same day. My claims adjustor called me back at 10 a.m. Their claims adjustor *cricket chirping* nothing. So, my Ms. Nice Gal attitude is now all spent. My goodwill from celebrating my anniversary is over. I call them this morning to tell them that I'm ruining my tire while driving the hoopty around town and that I need a rental. Well, Ms. AoM, our insured hasn't called us back, so we can't go forward. Well, I'm sorry if your insured doesn't want to call back and admit fault, it isn't MY fault and in the meantime I'm ruining my tire and potentially my car by trying to do the right thing. Well, Ms. AoM, here is the number for the adjustor assigned to your case. Guess what? I called and the woman *using restraint here* is out of the office for the day. What a surprise. So, I'm in full-blown meltdown crying rage at this point. I leave her a message and then call my insurance back. My claims adjustor said he'd make sure that both State Farm and I will get our money back on this. The police report wasn't ready yesterday, but he'll try again today, and with that, they'll know that she was at fault.

Within 20 minutes of talking to my claims guy, I get a phone call from the rental car folks to know where and when to pick me up. Last big wreck I had back in 95, me and the other gal both had State Farm and even with the other lady making up crap, the issue was settled really quickly. You get what you pay for sometimes. In this case, I'm really happy that we didn't compromise on cheaper service.

And, Chris - that threat of a lawsuit is looking better all the time to me. Mental distress on top of the car. But, I have to say, it was good to have a big old cry this morning. Usually, I have to watch Steel Magnolias to cry like that.


Dr. McDreamy

I don't watch Grey's Anatomy, but I see at least one good reason to: Patrick Dempsey. It is hard to believe this is the same goober from "Can't Buy Me Love" when I was in college. But, he grew up well.

Hot Spam Kabobs

I am so disturbed that the little ad that popped up on my gmail page (which is usually something related to the email topics - for instance, if I'm talking about soccer in the email, I'll get soccer ads or links on the top of the page or on the side) ... but this one was a link to a recipe for "hot spam kabobs." Swear to God. I can't make this shit up.

Speaking of spearing something, I am in a Momzilla kind of mood today. Was balancing my checkbook online - which is sort of like tightroping walking while playing eeney-meeney-miney-mo - and saw that my dear *note the sarcasm* brother cashed his birthday check from me yesterday. His birthday is Thursday. He'll be 48. He doesn't remember my children or my husband on their birthdays with even a card or a call. He hits my folks up for money on a regular basis. He cashes the check and can't even bother to send me an email or pick up a phone to say Thanks, Sis for the funds. No, because that would be the nice thing to do. I'm just his crappy baby sister. I'm not worth five minutes of his time. I had to learn from my former sister-in-law (his ex-wife) that he isn't planning on attending my parents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration scheduled for June. He told her that he can't get off of work, even though I've been planning this since early January. No, it would be too much trouble to put in notice six months early at work that he needs ONE lousy day off to wish his parents (whom he is milking their retirement money from) well for putting up with each other and not killing us or themselves in all that time.


I spent about an hour and a half this morning talking to insurance people trying to get things sorted out to get my car in the shop and get a rental. Instead, I have an appointment tomorrow morning for the insurance adjuster to look at my car while the claims folks determine if the sweet little old lady named Penny was 100 percent at fault. I'm not sure how it would take them 24 hours to figure this out. I was westbound on the road, she was eastbound. We both had a plain old green light and she wanted to turn left (north) on the cross street. She didn't yield (and there is no green arrow at this intersection) and I couldn't avoid hitting her. Badabing, badaboom. Cut and dry. Old bag didn't yield. She was sweet, mind you, but she was still at fault. And, while, God bless her, she was a sweet old gal, I just want her Allstate policy to give me a rental car that is equivalent to mine so I don't have to drive around in a car with no right turn signal in the front that makes a crappy noise when I hit a bump cuz shit is scraping the pavement. Is that too much to ask for? Just put them damn car in the shop and fix it. Plain and simple. Instead I get to drive around looking like white trash (no comments from the peanut gallery, I prefer to be called a redneck over trailer trash - we never owned or lived in a mobile home, but I did go to dirt-track races and yell Jumburrito!!! while drinking a wine cooler.) AoD said I "mommed my ride" with this wreck. My response was Ha ha. Very funny.

On the upside, I am going to have Hot Spam Kabobs for dinner tonight. *kidding* AoD is taking me to my favorite BBQ restaurant, Red, Hot and Blue for dinner tonight. Of course, we have to go in the white-trash-mobile. So, if you see a Kia Sedona that makes an awful noise when it hits a pothole, make sure and wave at me.

Has it been nine years already?

I still find it hard to believe that nine years ago, that fresh-faced Army JAG Corps specialist made me his wife. It was just about a month earlier that we decided to get married. We were at Luby's (the infamous one in Killeen where the psycho drove his car in and started shooting people several years before) when we discussed it and decided to do it pretty much on the spur of the moment.

I vividly remember us breaking up about two weeks before we were married. Ok, I broke up with him. He was younger than I, and I was convinced when he "grew up" that he wouldn't want me anymore and I didn't want to ruin his life. I tried to talk him out of marrying me because I loved him THAT much. I feared that five to 10 years down the line that he would feel like he made the biggest mistake of his life and I told him so. He was really mad at me for that. But, I couldn't stay away.
I knew I loved this man more than anything. From the moment I laid eyes on him, I thought he was the most handsome man I'd ever seen. I never felt safer before than I did with him. It didn't matter what the circumstances, I knew if he was there, I was safe. I loved that feeling. We were secure with one another. That security allowed us to have our own friends and our own interests independent of one another. We were able to continue growing and keeping each other interested.

I never thought it could be possible, but I love him more today than I did nine years ago. We understand each other better. I know when to leave him alone (for the most part) and he knows when to give me space and when to wrap his arms around me and reassure me that everything is going to be ok.

While he rags on my Cowboys, I cheer for his Vikings. I have become a Gators fan, too. I look at my beloved Hot Rod and see his daddy is everything he does. I love to watch my children and how much they love their dad and I can see his love for them in his eyes. There is something amazingly appealing to me in a man who loves his children. More than anything I think I love how responsible he is. Unfailing. Tireless. He can be romantic at the damnedest times. I'll use his car for some outing with a girlfriend and he'll put a CD in with a special song on for me and I'm usually in tears before I even reach my destination because I know he had to think about it. My favorite was Garth Brook's "She's Every Woman."

She's sun and rain, she's fire and ice
A little crazy but it's nice
And when she gets mad,
you best leave her alone
'Cause she'll rage just like a river
Then she'll beg you to forgive her
She's every woman that I've ever known
She's so New York and then L.A. (ok, changes these words to Kennedale and Fort Worth)
And every town along the way
She's every place that I've never been
She's makin love on rainy nights
She's a stroll through Christmas lights
And she's everything I want to do again
It needs no explanation
'Cause it all makes perfect sense
For when it comes down to temptation
She's on both sides of the fence
No it needs no explanation
'Cause it all makes perfect sense
When it comes down to temptation
She's on both sides of the fence
She's anything but typical
She's so unpredictable
Oh but even at her worst it ain't that bad
She's as real as real can be
And she's every fantasy
Lord she's every lover that I've ever had
And she's every lover that I've never had

He demonstrates his love in his actions: digging out the drains in the backyard in 40-degree rain that is two inches deep already; staying up late to spray the kitchen for termites when he is dead on his feet after working an eight-hour day and then reffing two consecutive soccer games for more than three hours of running back and forth; driving me and a week-old baby to the children's hospital in Fort Worth at 4 a.m. in a rain storm to make sure the baby's circumcision isn't getting infected; driving 45 minutes to and from a job he doesn't care for and putting up with stupid crap, so we can have a decent life; and many many more ways.

I don't think I can adequately put into words how much I love him. As much as he drives me crazy, the passion and love are even more intense. His family wasn't thrilled about me when he announced our engagement, not that I blame them, I wouldn't have been the choice for him either had he been my son. That made this song one that often reminds me of our limited courtship. I often felt if his family had any idea who much I loved him, then they would know I was the right one for him. His mom knew and I loved her fromt the start because of her support from the beginning. He had surgery the January after I met him and I took care of him through it all and kept her updated on everything. She told me later that she knew I was the right girl for him at that point - I took care of her baby when she couldn't. How could I not love the family that brought this wonderful man into the world. I hope he knows how much I love him. I think he does.

Happy anniversary, sweetheart. I treasure you more than anything in the world.

Newlywed game

This is sort of appropriate on my anniversary. On my cruise earlier this month, I went to the Carnival version of the Newlywed Game. They took someone who had been married on the cruise, someone who had been married about 25 years and the couple in attendance who had been married the longest (which was 52 years.) Then, they asked each partner the following questions:
1. When and where did you first meet? For us, it was Sam's. One of the finest honky-tonk cheapass country western bars with "loose women" in the fine town of Killeen. It was Friday, March 28, 1997.
2. Once you met and felt the sparks, what was the first kiss like on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being a dud and 10 being out of this world? It was definitely a 10 with goosebumps and everything.
3. What was the name of the groom's last girlfriend and what are two words you would use to describe her? Well, I didn't know his last girlfriend, but I knew she was some high school girl. So, I'd say Jane Doe and young and inexperienced for a description.
4. (this was on the ship, but we can apply it to today) Last night in the cabin, would you say it was like the Fourth of July with fireworks, like Halloween full of tricks and treats or like Memorial Day to honor the dead? Unfortunately, Monday night was like Memorial Day. Something about talking to the exterminator about $1,000 termite treatments and plowing into some old lady's car just didn't have me in the mood.
5. Men: You haven't seen ugly till you've seen my wife's ________. driving abilities
6. Women: What is your husband's worst habit? Men: What will she say is your worst habit? I would have to say it is his know-it-all attitude.
7. Women: When your hubby steps out of the shower, is he a stretch limousine, a dump truck or a VW with two flats? Limo all the way, baby.
8. If there was a parrot in the bedroom, what would be the first thing it would say? Get that Kleenex off my side of the bed.


When it rains, it pours

Well, we discovered termites in the kitchen Friday night.

Then, today on my way to get Little Bit from preschool, an old woman pulled out in front of me and I hit her.


I don't want to know what the third thing is going to be, cuz we all know bad things happen in threes.

You'll laugh so hard, your sides will ache

Your heart will go pitter-pat, watching Felix. Felix the Cat.

Ok, enough of that, I'm sorry for the little diversion. But, for those of your out there in the mommy jetset, you'll love "Mom my Ride". If you've ever stumbled upon Pimp my Ride, this is like that, except the minivan is getting "fixed up" to show that it is a No. 1 prime grade Mom-Mobile.

I seriously laughed so hard that I had tears coming out of my eyes. It takes a little more than three minutes to watch, but you'll laugh because it is like just about every mom out there.

Hat tip to my sister-in-law who goes by Blessed With 3 in the comments.


SPF: Two

Sadly, Kristine from Random and Odd is suffering from some sort of crud this week and posted our Stuff Portrait Friday assignment sometime on Thursday. But, that's ok. I have a really good one for this week.

The assignment: TWO.

I have the perfect two. It is from Stinkerbelle's second birthday.
Hard to believe she was ever that little.


When moms attack, next on the Discovery Channel

Ok, Momzilla here. I'm tired of being really nice to people and tired of being that person who acts like she doesn't hear people ragging about her.

So, what set me off? No one would step up and coach the boy's baseball team, so Army of Dad (who said he'd be an assistant coach) was drafted into coaching. So, when he got dragged in, naturally - instead of throwing me the life preserver or bravely telling me to go on without him - he pulled me in, too. So, I'm an assistant coach. My job, in addition to helping teach these kids how to field, hit, throw, etc. is to pitch. That is my main job on the team. I'm not great, but we've seen worse. Lots worse.

But, of course, every parent sitting in the bleachers believes he/she can do it better. I hear the grumbling. I hear some big brother yell for the batter to wait for a "pitch slow enough that you can hit." That was when I knew I wasn't being paranoid. They were sitting over there bellyaching about it. So, here I am with a sore shoulder from throwing pitch after pitch to a kid who either won't get his bat off his shoulder or swings like a crippled grandma with rheumatoid arthritis, and I get to listen to these people grumble.

So, after practice, we realized Hot Rod got shortchanged on batting because he was hitting really well on his first turn. So, he got cheated out of his second turn. We decided to stick around and I was going to pitch to him some more and the dad of one of the other boys comes out to pitch to his kid. I casually ask him if he can pitch and he says yes. So, I ask him if he does a better job than me (because it isn't a job I really want if someone is better) and he responds very condescendingly "probably." Ok bub, the job's yours. Well, well, he stammers, I can't be here for all the games. Yeah, that's what I thought. You want to simply bitch about the way someone else will do it, but you don't want to take the responsibility on yourself. Then, my favorite part, he didn't do any better than me. I took great pleasure in that. Yep, it is harder than it looks, isn't it, buddy?

I just get frustrated because I don't think people realize what goes into coaching. It just eats up so much time that I could spend doing other things, but I enjoy it and want to help kids. It isn't even the kids (99 percent of the time) that get me in a tizzy. I expect them to be goofy. It is the parents. They can make or break a coaching experience.

*putting away soapbox and going to soak my shoulder*

You can never go home

*tap, tap, tap* Housekeeping? The last of our towel critters. We got shortchanged one night because we went to bed around 8 p.m. on the day of our excursion. Tired, we were.

On the way home, I made LaLa stop to visit the gigantic Sam Houston statue in Huntsville. So, I had to demonstrate my innate classiness by picking his nose.
And, way down at the bottom of the giant statue, you can see a tiny little LaLa. Last of the cruise blogging. Thankfully.


Army of Dad and I will mark our 9th anniversary a week from today, but with kids and a chaotic calendar, we will be celebrating Thursday night (since that is when we can get someone to watch children and we have a night with no activities.) So, we plan to see the 300. I figure it will have death and Spartans and whatever for him. For me, I get the testosterone rush that only a war/action movie can provide with big buff men killing one another. It is a win/win situation. So, the hunk is Gerard Butler from 300.


Ruined forever

The Mayan ruins at Tulum were among the most incredible things I have ever seen in my life and I've been very fortunate to see some incredible sites from the castles of Germany to the pyramid outside Mexico City.

We enjoyed a wonderful view of the gorgeous blue water along the beach at Tulum. We saw the beautiful foliage and the really cool iguanas every where.

We also saw the poster boy for "what not to wear" at the beach. Baldy here was modeling the latest in speedo swimsuits in floral print. Dude, little tip, uh, don't do it. Then, we have my homage to SpongeBob ... I named this gal "Sandy Cheeks." If you watch SpongeBob, you just laughed. If not, it is the name of one of the characters. Trust me, it's funny.

Then, there is me doing my best to attract Kenny Chesney, since he likes lounging on the beach in his wife beater and straw hat. Alas, all I got was man-handled by the Mexican merchants.

LaLa thought she'd get out in the water to get a better picture. What she REALLY got was an ass full of sand and whatever water-bound bacteria was floating in the waters. A big tide came up and she was wet almost up to her boobs.
But, the waters and the beach were gorgeous. No one told us that we'd be able to get to the water or we would have worn our swimsuits under our clothes and jumped it. It was a gorgeous 88 degrees in Tulum.
This was our tour guide, Manuel. He had gorgeous blue eyes. He nicknamed the two of us "Texas" because of our hats and our accents. I have no idea how he could tell ahm from Texas.
This was the view as we were exiting the ruins. Incredible.

Me and one of my iguana friends at the ruins.

More incredible sites.

The skies were so pretty, too. Manuel said winter in the Yucatan is in the 80s. In the summer, it is 115. I'm glad we went in March. I have to get back. The Yucatan peninsula was so incredibly beautiful. I highly recommend making the trip.

Mayan birth

This was one of the weirder parts of my Mexican vacation. When we arrived at Tulum's ruins, we had to go through a little market (anywhere tourists may show up in Mexico - you can guarantee there are some natives trying to sell you a giant stupid sombrero or do something to entertain you for that all powerful tip). Tulum was no different. We arrived and waited for the tram (a loose term for this vehicle) to take us to the ruins and we encountered this.

I asked our tour guide what the deal was. He said the performers were honoring birth. Apparently, the Mayans thought birth was precious and they held few things in as high regard as birth. The men are representing a baby in the womb and then coming down the birth canal and ultimately out into the world. Personally, it was just some scary shit to me. Brave dudes, but totally scary. You can see something equally scary (the little tram thing at the bottom of the first picture.) I hesitate to call it much of anything because the chairs were falling apart, the part carrying the passengers would swing to and fro as the tractor up front dodged potholes. I'm sure someone would think it was great at Six Flags. In Mexico, simply scary.

Funny little things

Just some random thoughts for the day.

I'm about 30 pages from completing my re-read of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in anticipation of book 7 this coming July. I still cried when Dumbledore died. I sat in Chuck E. Cheese today crying when Fleur demonstrated her true love for Bill Weasley after he was attacked by the werewolf, too. I knew both things were coming, but they still made me cry. I think that is an indication of what an incredible writer that J.K. Rowling really is. Her words do that to me. What a storyteller.

And, this passage particularly jumped out at me today as Albus Dumbledore was tell Harry not to be afraid of some dead bodies that were floating in some water.
"There is nothing to be feared from a body, Harry, any more than there is anything to be feared from the darkness ... it is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more."

Terribly true.

While at Chuck E. Cheese, I saw a lost girl. She was probably 3, maybe 4. I told two different employees and when they did nothing, I finally went to the girl to help her find her mother.
Me: Can't find your mommy? (Bill Engvall would have handed me a sign because this was obvious from her wandering and calling "mommy? mommy?")
Little girl: No.
Me: Well, maybe I can help you find her. Where was she sitting?
Little girl: *guiding me to empty table*
Me: Ok, well tell me what she looks like.
Little girl: Her's fat. Her's got curly hair.
Me: *stifling giggle* Ok, what's her name?
Little girl: Her name's Megan.
Me: *getting ready to start yelling Megan's name when Megan the curly-headed fat mom finds her baby.

Little girl gave a good description of her mom. It made me wonder how my kids would describe me to someone else. Now, I'm curious. This child's first word to describe her mom was fat. I certainly hope it isn't how my kids think of me. Food for thought. *notice the irony in that cliche*

I was dubbed the "redneck consultant" today as I assisted a friend of ours who is a referree assignor for an academy soccer league. He was told the Nascar race was April 1 and was concerned about assigning soccer refs as this particular field is located near Texas Motor Speedway. I told him that April 1 is not the race weekend and that next time, he should consult a redneck before he started spreading early April Fools' jokes like that. So, voila, I'm now the redneck consultant.

Along those lines, here is a toast a former sorority girl taught me about 10 years ago. It is only for you girls. Well, ok, and gay guys, too, I suppose.

*raising your glass in the air*

We drink to the boys who are big.
We drink to the boys who are small.
We drink to the boys who say they're big, but really aren't at all.

But, the ones we raise our glasses to in the middle of the night,
Are the ones that go from small to big and slide it in just right.

*bottoms up*


The Magical Mystery Tour

On the cruise, we docked in Cozumel, but instead of hitting the tourist destinations there, we hopped on a ferry and went to Playa del Carmen where we saw the most beautiful water and gorgeous beachfront resorts. We took a long walk through town to get to our bus to take us to the coastal town of Tulum. We saw this glass do-not-enter barrier beside where our bus was parked.

Along the bus ride, our tour guide - Manuel - stopped us off at a roadside Mayan gift shop for the use of the free restrooms (he said the market at the ruins at Tulum charge for the use of los banos there). So, we got to potty AND we got some free Mexican moonshine Tequila. The shots were in little cups like you use to down Nyquil. This was some of the smoothest tequila I have ever had. I didn't even need to suck on the lime. I stopped at two shots. LaLa? Nope, she had six. That she can remember.

Yep, she was feeling good. Our bus driver -disturbingly enough - was selling cerveza for $2 a bottle. There he is selling while we were stopped. I don't think he was drinking it, though, so that was good.

After we toured the ruins (pics to come later) we made our way to Senor Frog's. I ordered beef fajitas, but they were most certainly not beef. One of the Mexican guys in the area said to me in a heavily Mexican accent: "Do you see any cows around here?" To that thought, I fed my fajitas to a stray cat that was begging. Then, we had the party girls. They drank way too much and were pretty loud and obnoxious asking about how to say the following: almost free, almost free sex and almost free sex with the natives.
Here are some of the merchants from Senor Frog's. The guy's apron says: I'm shy, but I have a big dick. Then, he showed me!

One of the most common phrases we heard while at the market at Tulum was "almost free!" The vendors would follow us around - getting a little too friendly and handsy for my liking - and tell us that "business is slow. I sell to you real cheap. Almost free. Linda like you needs pretty dress!"

Then, we saw the nutria-looking critter at a resort on the way back. This thing was as big as a small dog. Totally disgusting. But, hey, he didn't say "almost free" so that was good.