Army of Mom

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


I got your stimulus right here, buddy!

I have to say that the timing of the economic stimulus package couldn't come at a better time for the Army of Mom household. We stimulated the economy PLENTY right before office politics ended up with Army of Dad being thrown under the bus.

Let's see what we've done in the last two months:
*a subcontractor $200
*the mechanic $157
*new clothes for me $131
*new Oakleys $144
*new vacuum cleaner $98
*new AC/furnace system $5775
*new water heater $900
*new gun $375
*set of four new tires $342

This isn't mentioning the liquor store, kids' activities, gas, hairdresser, class pictures, sports pictures, dance recital outfit and Hot Rod's new sneakers.

I think we could stand the money to help us get through June if Army of Dad isn't gainfully employed again by then.


Stress is really bad for me. I can't seem to sleep without some sort of bad dream. At least they're getting a little less intense. They started off with people trying to steal Stinkerbelle, now they're just about people wrecking my car. *shaking my car* I hate stress.


Repeat after me: I am a ghetto

I have fallen in love with soccer. I admit it. But, the love runs deeper now that we have the Fox Soccer Channel. Now, I can watch some REALLY good soccer with the English Premier League. But, I'll be damned if I can understand anything these men are saying. English, Scottish ... it doesn't matter, I can't comprehend about half of what they're saying. It is almost as bad as watching soccer on Telemundo where I pick up about a quarter of what they're saying in Spanish.

Every summer, our local soccer association hosts hunky young guys, er, soccer coaches from across the United Kingdom. Host families take these guys in and give them room and board for the week they're in town. Our first year, we had a Scottish guy. We couldn't understand much of what he was saying. The best part was when he kept asking where the ghettos in town were. Huh? Finally, from the context of his sentence, we figured out he was asking where the girls are. Ghettos=girls (not really the word, but the way it sounds with his accent). If I was smart, I'd tell him that Army of Dad should NOT know where all the girls are in town. :)

Now, excuse me, I've got to get back to EPL action with Everton and Aston Villa and the commentators who are speaking some foreign version of English.


For the dork who has everything

The Star Trek Enterprise bottle opener. I like this.

Of course, today, I'm wearing my "Seduced by the Dork Side" t-shirt, too. So ....

Hat tip to Chad for sending it to me.


Bad choices

There are times when I want to kick myself for bad choices. Today, I thought it would be fun to participate in the dads vs. kids soccer game. It rained overnight and apparently our game was cancelled and no one bothered to tell our team or post it on the league website. *shrug* So, we all showed up and with no other team or refs, we had our pictures taken (that was planned a few weeks back) and then had the dads vs. kids match. I always enjoy playing in these games, so I got out there.

I thought about the bone spur in my left foot - for which surgery is scheduled on May 28 - and decided that I could suck it up and play. I was fine during the game. Adrenaline pumping and all. I even helped the kids' team win. Yeah. That was me who, while trying to clear the ball from in front of the goal, accidentally kicked it in the goal. Yep, kids won 3-2 (the parents' two goals were both scored by Army of Dad). The boys actually came over and thanked me after the game. One particular boy said "Thanks Ms. AoM. We couldn't have done it without you!" Ha ha. Smartassy kids. :) Too clever for their own good. LOL.

But, I was paying for it about 10 minutes after the adrenaline stopped rushing. My foot started throbbing and it hasn't stopped yet. *sigh* I should learn that I'm 39 going on 40 and live as such. I just can't seem to let go of the fact that I was a pretty good athlete many years ago.


Gettin' the game ball

Hot Rod finally got the game ball last night. He played well. The whole team played well, which was nice. They won 15-10. Hot Rod went 3 for 3 at the plate, but a couple of those he got pretty lucky. One was a genuine hard hit that went right through the second baseman's legs, but he played great in the field like this good stetch at first. If you look closely, you can see the ball in the pocket of his glove.
And, with his coach after the game with the gameball. Look at that goofy grin. He's really happy. It was nice for him, too, that his grandparents and brother and sister were all this game, too.

My very own little Swedish chefs

Little Bit's preschool had a Little Chefs' Day last week and the whole family could come and participate in a number of food-related activities. Little Bit and Hot Rod both really enjoyed painting the toast and then toasting it and adding their own butter and cinnamon-sugar. Fun stuff. They even had their own chef hats.
Hot Rod liked using the marshmallow stuff and Fruity Pebbles on graham crackers, too.
Pickle enjoyed making up the dry fixings, but didn't like writing down the recipes too much. :) No salad shooter action, though.


While taking Pickle to get a haircut on Friday afternoon, we were watching some ESPN show at the barber shop and they were talking about the odds of Randy Johnson's pitch that hit the bird a few years back. Pickle hadn't seen it, so I wanted to find it for him. Dadgum. The odds of this were 18 billion to one that this would happen.


SPF: Towels

It seems to happen to me each week that I forget about Stuff Portrait Friday at Random and Odd until it is late Thursday night. This week's assignment: towels. I scanned through all my pics on my computer and came up with the towel animals from my cruise in March 2007. If you can guess them, you're better than me.
So, did you play?


Will write for food

Sometimes, I feel like I have a little storm cloud that follows me around. Then, I can remember my mother's words of wisdom: don't pray for patience because God will give you ways of testing it to teach you.

So, I'm not sure what God is trying to teach me. Maybe this is in response to all those prayers about being a good steward of our finances? On Tuesday, Army of Dad called me around 11:30 asking me if I'd like to have lunch. Well, of course, I would. Wait a minute ... why would you want to have lunch when you're at work and I packed you a lunch?

Yeah. He wasn't at work. He no longer has a job.

We'll be fine. We always land on our feet and God always takes care of us and whatever other cliche is appropriate. Hell, we're pretty lucky. On Monday, AoD's dad was in a traffic accident in which a big rig ran a red light and totalled his rental car. He's working in Canada right now. I have all kinds of stories about Canada now. For one, even in an accident this bad, the cops don't come. Weird, huh? But, he is ok. So, in the grand scheme of life, I think AoD would trade a job for his dad's safety. So, we can be grateful for that.

Anyone know of a warehouse supervisor/logistics/supply chain management job in the DFW area? I'm digging out my "will write for food" sign.


I smell something

I thought HillRod and McCain's were better than Obama's. But, hey, I may be biased.

Now, what I really have to say is do we want WWE fans voting in November? I mean, really?

Cleaning the pipes

Oddly enough, my husband has been telling me for years that the more a man ejaculates, the less his chance for prostate cancer. Apparently, there is some truth to that claim.

This is Why I'm HOT!

Every time I get a text message now, this song plays. I crack up because I have no idea how the ring tone even got on my phone. But, when I found it, I had to put it on there because it is hilarious. Yep, the soccer mom with the rap of "this is why I'm hot ... I'm hot cuz I'm fly, you ain't cuz you not."

Yeah, Holmes. Shawty got it going on. *falling on the floor laughing* I'm so white, it isn't even funny. My dear husband will likely share the story about just how white I am in the comments. I tried real hard to have some street cred. LOL. I failed miserably. But, this is why I'm hot. *hee hee*


Hee Haw: The Next Generation

I laughed out loud for probably 10 minutes after I saw this. I'm sure the plumber in my garage thinks I'm nuts. (ok, yes, I just keep a plumber in my garage for emergencies. He is kinda cute and all.)

But, wait till the end ... that was what made me laugh so hard. Gotta love klingons.

Gloom, despair and agony on me

This has not been my weekend, to say the least.

Yesterday I finally tackled the girl's room to try and sort through stuff like old toys, outgrown clothes while going on a hunt for her actual floor. So, I spent several hours in her room matching socks and pajamas, finding dirty clothes in the toy box, picking her brother's toys out, etc. All the while I figure I'm making good time.

Nope. I wrote down the time for Hot Rod's soccer game wrong, so we showed up at half-time. Bless his heart. He was a good sport about it, though.

Army of Dad shows up for his first game in a set of three to ref and there was a miscommunication between the league and the referree assignor and there were no teams when he arrived. So, he drove over to watch part of Hot Rod's half-game.

Then, once at home, we're trying to settle back down for the evening when we figure out the hot water heater died and expelled its water into the garage, coat closet and part of the front room floor. *sigh* Needless to say, my honey told me two years ago to budget the money and get it replaced. I explored it, got some bids and then promptly spent the money on another bill. Occasionally, I would think that I needed to get it done, but we have plenty of time, I'd tell myself.


Cute plumber is gone now and the hot water is back. *the heavens open up with an angelic chorus*

And, one more bill has been added to the mix for good measure. *sighing again*

As River Tam would say "Bullet in the brain pan. Squish."


SPF: Hero

Photo by Uzz.

The lovely Kristine at Random and Odd created the Stuff Portrait Friday assignment this week: hero. It was up to us how we wanted to deal with this topic. I picked Little Bit as my hero. And, really, it isn't Little Bit so much as what her name embodies. I knew two incredibly strong women way back when Pickle was a baby. One was the mother of a murdered 10-year-old girl. The other was one of my brother's friends. The friend of my brother was dying with cancer and she was the mother of two children; if I remember right, one was 2 and the other 14 or 15. When I found out that Pickle was diagnosed with CAH, she called to comfort me and ask me what she could do to help. She offered me parenting advice and was there for me to call when I didn't know what to do. The mother of the murder victim is still one of the strongest women I've ever met. I promised her that if I ever had a daughter, she'd be named after the little girl who was killed. That little girl visited me in my dreams for months and it was a scary yet haunting comfort to get to know her, if only in my dreams. Now, I feel like both of her namesakes are there to give her fire and spirit beyond her 5 years of life. Every day, this little gift from God brightens my life. This morning, we walked out to get the mail and I was sighing as little weeds burst forth in the yard producing those nuisance yellow flower weeds. As I looked at the yard in disgust, she looked at with wonder and awe.

"Look Mommy! Isn't it beautiful? The little yellow flowers are everywhere!"

And, you know what? It was pretty incredible when you look at it from her point of view.

Wednesday morning, we were wrapping up her pre-K homework in front of her preschool. She took off her headphones and said "I need to focus on my work." What 5-year-old says that?

And, another good one tonight. Little Bit sparred in karate for the first time. She was the only 5-year-old and had to spar 6- and 7-year-olds. After doing it the first time, she learned that you just had to pop the other kid in the head first to get the point. She proceeded to win each sparring match after the first. It was so bad that as we were leaving, some little boy walked over and said "I'm going to beat you next time!" Yeah, get used to it, kid. Little Bit is a spitfire with a soul that is wise beyond her years.

Yeah, I think she's my hero. She's got the name and spirit of two incredible fighters and they're going to watch over her and help her fight the good fight and pick up where they left off in making this world a better place.

So, did you play?


Hey batter, batter

I think this could be a great baseball card picture. I can only imagine how good the picture from the "official" photographer is going to be if my shot from off-center is this cute. That Rangers blue is a great color on my All-American poster child with blond hair and blue eyes. Of course, he'd rather be in Twins navy blue and red.
The team picture is a hoot. I really like the dude coaching the team. He's a riot. I also like the fact that he has chick assistant coaches. It is good for boys this age to have that influence in sports (IMHO and from being a coach, too, LOL). But, these women DO NOT run the bases aggressively enough. All the parents fuss about it. I think the head coach has finally started fussing at them about it, too.
This was cute - the boys watching the other game while waiting for their team picture. My son has a cute little backside. The girls are going to love him in high school! Especially if he keeps playing soccer and baseball.
And, I thought this was just adorable. The little boy right beside Hot Rod played with us last spring on the Bears. The little fella in front is a damn good ball player despite his size. It is just funny to see the difference in size of some of these boys.

Freaky Friday; A Day Early

I'm going to probably lose one of my writing jobs. I'm hoping not, but I won't be surprised if I do. I tend to bite the bullet when it comes to agreeing with editors, publications, sources, etc. because money is money and mama's gotta pay the bills. But, on this one, I had to weigh in.

This particular publishing company has several blogs and one of the top editors (who is childless) wrote about his feelings on colleagues who are parents and how they use children as an entitlement for missing work, arriving late or leaving work early. He mentioned - specifically - missing work for teacher-parent conferences, coming in late for the first day of school, and leaving early for Halloween as some of the major offenses in his eyes.

Swear to God. But, the one that totally killed me was that he was pissed that these people take paid days off to care for sick children.

WTF are we supposed to do when our children are sick? Leave them with Carl the Rottweiler? How dare us breeders take the benefits we're entitled to care for a sick child. ARRRGGHH!

I'm really so mad that I'm shaking.


I'm too old for this

I was downloading ring tones for Pickle's cell phone yesterday and thought I would treat myself to a new ring tone : Forever by Papa Roach (the 'new' song of me and AoD - yes, everyone let out a collective 'awwwww' and then stop retching). Anyway ...

It rang today for the first time.

It is really loud and I jumped about three inches off my seat.

Then I started laughing and had a hard time stopping to talk to the real estate developer on the other end of the line.

Yep, I'm still a dork.


Low, low, low

Trying to download some ringtone for Pickle's cell phone and this song pops up on the popular list. Hot Rod said this would be his ring tone. Where did my son get his taste for this music? Could it be mom dancing around to it? Maybe, but I don't think so. The blond, blue-eyed boy listening to hip-hop or whatever this is just cracks me up. He can get low when he dances though. Pretty impressive.

My favorite line of the song:
She turned around and gave that big booty a smack
She hit the flo [She hit the flo]
Next thing you know
Shawty got low low low low low low low low

LOL. Just call me Shawty. *snort* I can't even type it with a straight face.

Maybe we do it too much

Get your mind out of the gutter. THAT is not what I'm talking about.

Army of Dad is in a training session today. As he was yesterday and will be Wednesday and Thursday. *sigh* It really makes my day drag by when I can't text or email him at least a few times and get back a response.

Makes me really miss him. Last night, I found out that the husband of one of Hot Rod's baseball coaches died last year about this time of year. That sort of explains why her daughter is rotten to Little Bit - at least a little - she is acting out and angry at the world, I think. You can see it in the little girl's eyes. At least, now I understand. I might be a little more patient with her. It has to be hard to be both mom and dad to two kids under the age of 8. That makes me appreciate Army of Dad a little more, too.

I'll be glad when his schedule is back to normal.

Hobos, Hippies and Fluffers

What is it with my kids?

My 13-year-old calls everyone a hobo.
My 8-year-old calls everyone a hippie
My 5-year-old calls everyone a fluffer.

I don't even want to know where they get this stuff. No. Really. I don't. Ok, maybe sometimes. Especially the fluffer thing. Ok, maybe some things are better left unknown.

Note to self: look up chastity belts on Ebay. She is MY daughter after all.

Stop Me

I used to have these same glasses. I had the tortoise shell pair like Morrissey's and a clear pair. Man, I was cool.

And, so I drank one
It became four
and when I fell on the floor...
...I drank more

Stop me, stop me if you think that you've heard this one before

I.LOVE.MORRISSEY. I can't listen to Morrissey or The Smiths without feeling like I'm back at Baylor and the 25th Street Theatre (dancing by myself with the wall and a rail). Good times.


I feel like a naughty girl right now. I just consumed a lunch-sized package of Fritos (which is a big no-no on my new eating better campaign.). Worst part is that my dear husband has dropped 20 pounds and is looking hotter and hunkier than ever - even if his great legs are getting a little on the skinny side now. So, I better keep the pace.

More motivation came from Stinkerbelle. I like to make up little songs for her to the tune of Sesame Street's Rubber Ducky song. This exchange happenend this morning:

AoM: Stinker Winker, you're the one. I like to smack you on your buns! Oh, Stinker Winker, you've got a cute little tusch!
Little Bit: Mommy, Mommy. You've got a big butt! *breaks out in giggles*
AoM: *a little sterner, but not mad* Don't say that. You're going to hurt my feelings.
Little Bit: Well, I didn't say you got a giant butt!

Ok, touche, sweetheart. You didn't and for that I'm grateful. I think we need to take a walk to work off the 320-calorie Fritos AND keep me from having a giant butt to sing about. I guess I will always have Sir Mix-A-Lot to fall back on (in addition to my ample ass.)

Blooms courtesy of a blog buddy

I love my yard in the spring. The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing and sporting events begin to be more comfortable weather-wise. This lovely iris came to me a few years ago as a bulb from ArmyWife ToddlerMom. Yesterday, I was excited to get my mail and she sent me some more bulbs. Now, I have to find where I want to put them. I had Army of Dad cut down this ugly shrub thing that was in one garden in the back yard, so that might be the perfect place. I just really like these irises because they are so different from the rest in my yard. My other irises are solid colors of mostly white, lavendar and purple. So, this adds a new twist on one of my favorite (low-maintenance) flowers to grow. Now, I just wish I could get all my work done, so I can go play in the yard. I have bulbs to plant. Thanks AWTM!



Yet another comedy skit show pokes fun at Project Runway.

Your a tranny who looks like a hot mess, but not in a good way. Your a tickety tack tranny hotmess outta control super tranny from transylvania who's not apologizing for it.


I think I would prefer to be a tickety tack tranny than a smelly pirate hooker.

Veronica Corningstone: Excuse me.
Ron Burgundy: What are you doing?
Veronica Corningstone: I need this machine so I can watch a tape for a story.
Ron Burgundy: I'm using the tape. I'm showing Jeffrey my Emmy tape. We are watching history.
Veronica Corningstone: Mr. Burgundy, I'm a professional, and I would like to be able to do my job.
Ron Burgundy: Big deal. I am very professional.
Veronica Corningstone: Mr. Burgundy, you are acting like a baby.
Ron Burgundy: I'm not a baby, I am a man. I am an anchorman.
Veronica Corningstone: You are not a man. You are a big fat joke.
Ron Burgundy: I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. That's what kind of man I am. You're just a woman with a small brain. With a brain a third the size of us. It's science.
Veronica Corningstone: I will have you know that I have more talent and more intelligence in my little finger than you do in your entire body, sir.
Ron Burgundy: You are a smelly pirate hooker.
Veronica Corningstone: You look like a blueberry.
Ron Burgundy: Why don't you go back to your home on Whore Island?
Veronica Corningstone: Well, you have bad hair.
Ron Burgundy: [insulted] What did you say?
Veronica Corningstone: I said... your hair... looks stupid.

It's My Life

I can't listen to this song without getting all worked up. Of course, this song came out when I was in high school and had *those* feelings that a good girl couldn't act on. So, now all those tingles can actually be channeled in the proper fashion and not taken out on a softball with an aluminum bat or with a big old smacking serve on a volleyball. *wink* As Austin Powers would say: am I making you horny?


Be quiet and eat your baby seals!

Because nothing says tasty breakfast treat to me like baby seals. What marketing genius came up with this name? Wild Animal Crunch? Seriously. I laughed so hard in the cereal aisle at Albertson's that we had to buy a box. The Kelloggs website doesn't shed much light on this idea other than to say something about showing your support for animals. The list of ingredients tells the real story: blubber is the first item. Ok, I'm kidding, it really isn't. Regardless, it was worth the $3.49 to bring a box home. We chose the mmm mmm good baby seals over the pandas and meerkats. Apparently, polar bears were a choice, too, but not on our local store's shelves.

But, wait, there's more: Send in four UPC codes and $4.95 for shipping and handling for your own club, with which to beat the seals.

*shaking my head*

Without saying anything or laughing (which was hard) I showed the cereal box to my boys and said "what do you think this cereal tastes like?" Hot Rod got an evil smile and said "baby seals?" Then, he and Pickle just started cracking up and agreeing. So, once the 'Trix are for kids' surgary goodness is gone, I'll treat my kids to some yummy baby seals.

DISCLAIMER: No baby seals were harmed during the production of this blog post.


SPF: Bad

I had planned to blog about the Sci-Fi/Comic Con anyway. But, when I saw the topic at this week's Stuff Portrait Friday at Random and Odd, I knew I had my winner. The theme this week: bad. Yeah, this is bad. Look at my poor photography skills, i.e. bad. My son is positioned in front of some picture on the wall and makes it look like his hair is sticking up even worse than it usually does. :) Anyway. This is his favorite guy: Ben Dunn. He has several graphic novels that he has created, a line of comic books and several how to draw Manga books, too. He is a giant in his industry and I don't just mean sizewise. He is also very nice and patient with Pickle, too. We love it when he goes to the comic cons because he sells his books for much cheaper than we can buy them at the bookstore, too.
Then, Pickle was loving this chick Boba Fett or whatever she is. Of course, she looks like the girls he draws, too. (pssst, he likes drawing girls with big cans.) Anime style and all. Yeah right, that's why he does it. :)
Then, he found the new Smash Brothers with Sonic in it. He and these fellas had a ball. Pickle was kicking their butts, too, in the first time he has played this game. He even voluntarily stopped playing. I assumed I'd have to pull him away.
Then, there was Saffron from Firefly. There was also some hot chick from Battlestar Gallactica, but I didn't snap her pic.
Then, there was me. This guy is a comedian from the local Improv. Apparently, they have a show making fun of dorks. I had to buy the shirt: Seduced by the Dork Side. I can't wait to wear it. LOL. Now, he totally freaked out my 13-year-old son. After Pickle snapped this pic, the comedian backed up, looked down my shirt and snapped his light saber to a fully erect, er, extended angle from, oh, yeah, just about his crotch. It was very funny, but ... I reached over to shield Pickle's eyes from this gesture. But, alas, it was too late. He had seen it and turned about 18 shades of red. I gave the comedian my half-amused cross face and he apologized and said he did something equally bad earlier to another kid about that age, too. "I keep forgetting there are kids in here," he quipped. Then, he leaned over to Pickle and said, "You've got a cool mom!" Of course, Pickle wrinkled his nose and went on to look at the Speed Racer collectibles in the next booth.

Put me in coach

Hot Rod loves to run the bases almost as much as he loves to hit the ball. He's a solid kid and put on some chunk last summer. He has lost most of that and is picking up his speed again. He used to be pretty quick.
He is a great first baseman. Here, he demonstrates some of that great skill. But, I have to say, his dad has some mad skillz at first base, too. One of his many talents. To be a big hairy guy, he can stretch at first.
This was a good play, too. The little bitty fella throwing the ball is a pretty good ball player despite his size. Hot Rod got some good props from the coach the other day. He pulled me aside to tell me that Hot Rod is one of his most solid players. That was nice to hear and just reinforces that I'm not one of those moms who thinks her son is the best one out there, but is really stinking it up. He's a good little ball player. He told me the other day that he wants to get a major league contract. He'll even sign with the Yankees if they paid him enough. :)

Flower Power

On our way back from Houston last week, we had to make another stop for more flowers. This time, the yellow ones *anyone know what they are?* and buttercups joined the collection with the Indian Paintbrush and Bluebonnets.
Just seems funny to me as rough and tumble as Hot Rod is, he loves flowers and nature.
I had to take lots of pictures of them. They're too cute not to and soon enough, they won't let me. Pickle has hit that stage with so many things.

And, one of my favorite shots is the kids walking away. They are just growing so fast. This is my mom with Little Bit. Mom is doing so much better since her open heart surgery last November. She would have never made the long walk from the rest stop to this field before the surgery.

Eat your heart out Hank Blalock

The Texas Rangers have nothing on my little studboy baseball player. Here is his single to centerfield last week. This was a single to centerfield. Coach really likes him at third base because he has a good arm. I think he does better at shortstop. But, he's also great at first base.This one is a double to left center field, which is unusual for him to pull it. He almost always goes to the center or right side of the field. I think we have harped on him about pitch selection to the point that he waits till the last second to swing the bat.

Sonic the Egghog

If you look closely, you can make out Sonic the Hedgehog on the Easter egg. Of course, my son the artist can't just color eggs. He has to create works of art. He had several from his latest music fave, Daft Punk, and a Baylor Bears egg and more.

And, gees, there are the Ipod ear buds on his shoulder. I swear the Ipod is like an extra limb on this child.


She's a beautiful girl

Hanging out with my best friend today is a bit intimidating sometimes. She turns heads in ways she never did in school. She is so incredibly beautiful, but she doesn't even realize it. Seriously. She is oblivious to all the head-turning. Me? I notice it. I have to admit I was a bit jealous. Then, I went to get AoD's watch band replaced at the local jeweler. Poor fella. He was mesmerized by "the girls." I have to admit it is a good shirt, but it was sort of amusing. He cut me a deal on the watchband and was chatting me up to try to find out whose watchband it was. As soon as I mentioned the husband, he mentioned a fiance. It was sort of funny. But, I was flattered, nonetheless. Maybe I still got it. :)


Second Eagle Scout in the Family

Following in his dad's footsteps, my nephew is the latest Eagle Scout in the family. We were very happy to drive down and be a part of the festivities. I don't guess I had realized that all three of my nephews are in the scouts. I can't get over how big all the boys are.
Looking proud and happy to get his Eagle Scout.
Nothing says family celebration like cake!
Youngest nephew.
Middle nephew and his cake. He cracks me up. He wants to be a writer, so I feel a weird kinship toward him.
And, Hot Rod. He couldn't wait to dig into that cake. I think I took about 100 pictures of the Eagle Scout ceremony. My former sister-in-law deemed me the family photographer, so I had a job. :) I think I did ok with it, too.

Tiptoe through the tulips

On the way to Houston last week, we enjoyed the beauty of the wildflowers along I-45. It was incredibly gorgeous. We had time, so we stopped to let my hyper children romp through the flowers. Hot Rod read some books about Indian Paintbrush (the red flower he's holding) and bluebonnets, too. So, he was excited to see the flowers up close. Pickle missed out on the fun because he didn't want to get behind at school by missing two days. Pretty mature choice for the seventh-grader.
Little Bit loves flowers and loves to have her picture made, so it was a perfect combination.
Then, there is the giant statue of Texas hero, Sam Houston. You can see the little bitty Hot Rod, Stinkerbelle and Granny under his feet. Little Bit kept running around back and saying she saw his underwear. *shaking my head*
And, of course, my little nose miners. Or is it nose minors? LOL. I mean, come on ... what child can resist? More pictures to come on other parts of the trip.

Who's on first?

Today is the Rangers' home opener and I'm sure - if you listen hard - the sound of suck will be hovering over the region. *sigh* Army of Dad tried to get tickets from a vendor again this year, but, alas, did not have the good fortune we've had in previous years. So, today, I will be stuck home working (which I need to do anyway) instead of sucking down Diet Cokes, eating hot dogs and watching baseball. I hope to see another set of Rangers play tonight - and that is Hot Rod's team. *doing the anti-rain dance*

In the meantime, I was wondering ... Who's on first?


More than you ever wanted to know

Sometimes, I really feel like my goofy old blog is worth reading. Most days, I feel like it is a waste of time and no one even reads the damn thing except my friends and family. Then, every now and then, someone stumbles upon this thing and actually finds something useful from it.

The best example of that is blogging about my panniculectomy in May 2005. I truly consider it one of the best things to happen to me as an adult. My self-confidence has skyrocketed since having that surgery. If you're not familiar with the procedure, it is like a tummy tuck without having to cut through the muscles of the stomach. Essentially, my skin stretched with each pregnancy and never went back (I have no elasticity in my skin at all). So, I had this big kangaroo pouch (the technical term is pannus). I had problems because of it and finally found a doctor who was able to get insurance to cover it because the skin was causing an infection around my c-section incision.

Well, blogging about it was therapeutic. It also has turned out to be helpful to others having the procedure, too.

Honestly, I get about one or two emails per month from people having the procedure and asking me questions about my experience. Just now, I got a very sweet email from a lady who had emailed asking me questions. Here is her email:

Thanks for your replies to all my questions. I'm starting my second week back to work, and my fourth post-surgery. I took your constipation warning to heart and between prunes and all bran - I didn't have any problems - thank you thank you!
I'm very pleased with the results, I get the last of my staples out on Friday, but already I'm so much flatter - it's like a miracle. And the self esteem boost is even better, knowing that I look good again in clothes. I had three moments that were tied for happiest - 1) waking up from surgery and feeling the area flat, 2) getting those awful drains out and 3) finding that my pants size went down 3 sizes!!!
Now I'm mismatched one size on the top and one size on the bottom - but that's ok with me.
Anyway kiddo, thanks for sharing with me (and everyone) I enjoyed reading your blog and your kids are adorable!

How nice is that? I wish someone had warned me about the constipation issue. That was pretty bad.

Here are two emails I had sent to her:
Good luck. I was only off work for about a week to 10 days and I was alright. Just be prepared that you won't be doing any lifting for a week or two after that. You'll be tired, but you can do it. You may have drains, but it isn't that big of a deal. I found that wearing some spandex bicycle shorts under my clothes allowed me to keep the drains close to my body - that helps for comfort anyway. You will be swollen for up to six weeks and you'll not see the improvement for a while. Be ready for back pain. You'll want to sleep in a recliner for about a week or so because you'll need to be sort of folded up like a taco. :) I actually had back pain more than stomach pain because of having to walk all bent over. I just used vicodin for about a week or so and then went to tylenol. For showering, I took a long ribbon and hung it around my neck and tied up each drain (on each side) and that allowed me to shower without having to hold them. You DO NOT want them to hang or it will hurt. I actually caught one of my on something and ripped a stitch holding them in and that hurt like a big dog! It will be three years this May since I had my surgery and I LOVE it. I'm so much more confident without my "apron" hanging down. I recently ran across my pre-op pictures and I was grossed out. My body looks so much better now. It will just take a while for the improvement to show. I had to replace a lot of nice clothes because they had been stretched out for my stomach and then didn't look right later ... but that was ok with me.

let me know if you have any more questions ....
Also, if you want to check my archives for May and June. I have a lot of individual posts in there. Beware of post-op bowel movements. Gross, I know, but no one told me that the surgery could, essentially, stop me up. I was afraid to take anything and went six days without a BM ... I finally took a laxative and ate a box of bran flakes ... things got moving again after that. :) But, it is important to know. No one warned me.
There are things in the posts about recovery that I had forgotten. Just scroll down until you find the right ones.

Start at the bottom of June and work your way up ... I have photos on both months of what things looked like ... stitches, the drains (which I called grenades). :)

So, see ... I'm like a PSA and I don't mean the prostate cancer screening test although I've been told about this one little trick you can do with an index finger on your guy to make him .... well, if you really want to know, email me and I'll tell you. *wink* See, I couldn't disappoint the legions (ha) of readers who come here for grossness from the suburban minivan driving soccer mom.

What a weekend

So much to write about and I'm dog tired. So, suffice it to say that when I have a need for a break during the work day on Monday, I'll be writing all about it.

The Houston trip for my nephew's Eagle Scout ceremony was a nice distraction from the day-to-day grind. We had a nice visit with family - shorter always makes it more enjoyable.

Hot Rod had baseball, which is almost always enjoyable. Army of Dad and I went out for a while. Saturday, I took Pickle to the sci-fi/comic con and we had a great time. That evening, I took the kids to Disney's High School Musical on Ice. Afterwards, I went to a kicker bar out in the sticks to watch a band. A boy I went to the fifth grade with was the drummer. They were a fun little cover band and we loved the people watching.

Today, the kids had Sunday School and Hot Rod had a soccer game. His team is getting much better. They tied 1-1. Army of Dad reffed soccer games tonight, so I took the time to catch up on laundry and a little bit of housework and dishes. *sigh* Lots more to do and LOTS of stories to write. Yuck.

I have many great photos to post ... will try to get some up this week.



Ewww. I'm still shuddering.

The termites we had the house treated for last summer are back. *sigh* And, they're swarming.

Nothing like sitting at the baseball game when my eldest calls to tell me that bugs are flying out of the wall and going everywhere. Gorrammit! Pickle was up to the task and zapped the effers with bug spray and took great pleasure in whacking the others with the fly swatter.

When I arrived home, it looked like a cheesey teen horror flick you catch on the Sci Fi channel at 1 a.m. on Sunday morning (not that I've ever seen the one about the giant mosquitos or anything). *sighing again* So, instead of basking in my son's baseball glory (and it never dawned on me that he is wearing Hank Blalock's number, I feel like a dumbass), I came home and let the scrubbing commence.

I think I must have used an entire container of Comet. I scrubbed this house in ways that it hasn't been scrubbed in years. Then, I swept, mopped and continued on the rampage. I tossed some stuff out, washed others and trudged on. I figured after about four hours into, I might as well start cleaning out the pantry. Then, I decided to fold laundry. I put on my latest obsession - the Game Show Network - and watched some old game show from the 50s and got sucked in. I loved it and found myself laughing out loud.

Anyway. Termite guy had been here Sunday to do some more spraying and such after I noticed the termites were back. He came by tonight to talk to AoD about what was going on. I don't think it was much consolation when he said if he can't knock the monsters out in the next month or two that he'd give us our money back. *may I sigh again?* So, we're thinking we may need to pull out the kitchen cabinets (because that is where they were before and now they've moved a bit and are worse). AoD figures if we're going to spend the money anyway, let's do it up right and maybe convert the back porch into a dining area and expand the kitchen and make it a really nice one. The idea sounds good, but I do love my back porch.

Me and the two little kids are driving down to H-town tomorrow for my nephew's Eagle Scout ceremony.

I finally decided what to get my nephew for his Eagle Scout gift: luggage. This four-piece set is a good beginner set for a kid who doesn't have any luggage and is leaving home in the fall for some engineering college in Colorado. It was only $32 on sale, so I figured it was a good deal. I thought about buying a set for me. I love the expanding handle and the wheels on the two bigger bags. Gees that makes life so much nicer in an airport and these bags are compact enough to be carry-ons. Woo hoo.

No SPF for me, I guess. I kept checking to see if an assignment would go up. :( Oh well ... I'll have LOTS of work waiting for me when I get back next week, but it will be nice to get away for a few days, even if I'm PMSing and trapped in a minivan with my two youngest and my parents. Add to that being stuck with my brother and his family for the evening Thursday. Ok, pray for me. :) AoD already threatened to take away my knife and my gun before I leave.

The tink of the bats

Yes. yes. YES! It is baseball season. And, I don't know that it could be much better than to see my baby in a Rangers uniform. Of course, the girl in me is thinking how fabulous he looks in that blue with his blue eyes. :) But, it is cool. How is THAT for ready position? That was him at first base. He had a 3U and a 6-3 put out that inning. Fielded every opportunity he had cleanly, no errors. He went three for three with three singles (one an infield hit that he legged out); three RBIs and two runs scored (he didn't get to run the bases on his third hit because he knocked in the fifth run and they have a 5-run rule in the first five innings).

Here is his single to center field. He seldom pulls the ball for whatever reason. Always up the middle or to the right. That's AoD telling him to run hard, by the way. :) He can turn on the speed when he needs to. His coach gave him big praise at the end of it for making the turn on the base path.

*bringing a tear to my eye* I love baseball.

First Time

A friend sent me this joke and I laughed out loud.

A girl asks her boyfriend to come over Friday night to meet, and have dinner with her parents. Since this is such a big event, the girl announces to her boyfriend that after dinner, she would like to go out and make love for the first time .

The boy is ecstatic, but he has never had sex before, so he takes a trip to the pharmacist to get some condoms. He tells the pharmacist it's his first time and the pharmacist helps the boy for about an hour. He tells the boy everything there is to know about condoms and sex. At the register, the pharmacist asks the boy how many condoms he'd like to buy, a 3-pack, 10-pack, or family pack. The boy insists on the family pack because he thinks he will be rather busy, it being his first time and all.

That night, the boy shows up at the girl's parents house and meets his girlfriend at the door. 'Oh, I'm so excited for you to meet my parents, come on in! '

The boy goes inside and is taken to the dinner table where the girl's parents are seated. The boy quickly offers to say grace and bows his head. A minute passes, and the boy is still deep in prayer, with his head down. 10 minutes pass, and still no movement from the boy.

Finally, after 20 minutes with his head down, the girlfriend leans over and whispers to the boyfriend, 'I had no idea you were this religious.' The boy turns, and whispers back, 'I had no idea your father was a pharmacist.


Gotta love the Duke

Hat tip to my father-in-law.

One of my biggest pet peeves on the planet is having to select English as an option when I'm doing anything from operating an ATM to calling my credit card. I can almost understand if they want to say, select 2 for Spanish, but dammit, English should be the main language.