Army of Mom

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



Went to the UNT Mean Green game tonight. My crush's parents (hee hee, feel like I'm in junior high) were going to be there and know where I was. (red faced and all)

Anyway. I had to giggle out loud when I opened the player poster in the Mean Green program.

Yep, Collin Mangrum.

*shaking my head*

Bad Jokes for a Grumpy Day


She's sitting at the table with her gourmet coffee.
Her son is on the cover of the Wheaties box.
Her daughter is on the cover of Business Week.
Her boyfriend is on the cover of Playgirl.
And her husband is on the back of the milk carton.

Why I have grey hair

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of grey hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head.

She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, "Why are some of your hairs grey, Mom? "

Her mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns grey."

The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, "Momma, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are grey?"


'Cash, check or charge?' I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet , I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse.
'So, do you always carry your TV remote?' I asked.
'No,' she replied, 'but my husband refused to comeshopping with me, and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.'

Icy Fun

I just thought this picture was hilarious. The kids were having all kinds of fun in the ice Wednesday. Where is Pickle, you ask? He was warm and toasty playing the Wii all by himself in the house. It was probably quite pleasant for him, too! (No idea where she gets the big mouth from.)

I Feel Partially Responsible

After Army of Dad lost his job last year, I had to give up one of my regular bad habits: Starbuck's coffee. In those months that followed, we gave up many luxuries including my once or twice weekly visits to the coffee shop.

So, now I feel a little responsible (ok, really just a miniscule bit of guilt) that Starbuck's is closing 300 stores and cutting jobs. Although, I'm guessing there are many people like me who had to give up that little luxury when their pocketbooks were thinned out.

I had planned on trying to make a light post about the bad news, but I'm just blue this morning. I got a wake-up call at 5:45 from a teacher wanting me to sub for her today. I just can't because of deadlines I have to meet. But, the teacher's voice was shaky as she told me that she has suffered from anxiety since her husband died last year and has never had this many absences before. But, once she takes her anti-anxiety meds, she can't work. It just made me so incredibly sad for her. I can't imagine what it would be like to have to get up and go through life without Army of Dad. I asked her if I could have a lay minister call her. I have a friend I made through the Stephen ministry who may be able to help her out. They're not counselors or ministers, but people who go through a special training to just be there as a friend to listen without judging. I've found it a big comfort to have this lady and the teacher said she'd like that. But, this is going to weigh on my heart all day. God love her. What life must be like for her without her life's partner. Made me terribly sad to send Army of Dad out in the freezing fog this morning to drive to work.


Texas-Style Sledding

Texas-style sledding is done when the driveways get icy and you slide down the hill in a laundry basket. At least that is how we do it. When I was a kid, my dad would push me down the hill by our house in a metal washtub with a rope tied around the handles. I love Hot Rod's exclamation that he'd like to flip like Carl Edwards.

This was our first effort in our driveway, which was already melting pretty early. We had to move next door to our neighbor's yard.

And, Little Bit couldn't stay on her feet when she hit the slick spot along the edge of the driveway. And, yes, that is her very sensitive mommy laughing at her.

Guiding his sister backward down the hill.

And, Little Bit pushed Hot Rod better than I did! I cracked up at his Tony Stewart comment as he "crossed the finish line."

Army of Dad missed the fun as he stayed in Dallas overnight with Chicken Legs (who was visiting from Baltimore for business.) It worked out really nicely as Chicken Legs had a suite, so AoD just slept in the other room. AoD's work was closed today, so he was able to sleep late and leisurely get up and go to have lunch with his buddy before they all had to check out and head for the airport. I did manage to get some work done today, which was good. I had a lot of phone calls to make. I should have done some other calls, too, but I'll just start them tomorrow. For today, I was distracted - only briefly, thank you very much - by the very hot and tasty Zac Efron singing and dancing in High School Musical while Little Bit watched the DVD on my laptop. Oh, that crazy cougar side just can't stay in hiding.


My Marriage in the Funnies

My mother reads this comic strip every day in her paper and swears that the main character is really me in disguise. So, I read it for the first time today when I was taking a break from working and I laughed hysterically when I came across this one. I had to crack up because Army of Dad and I bicker ALL the freaking time. We'll entertain people who haven't been around us much and they'll just look at each other when we start. *shrug* Most of the time, it is good natured, but we will get an occasional jab in now and then. *shrug* It is fine. By the way, Jill is the character my mom thinks is me. I'm going to have to start following the strip online since my paper doesn't carry it.

AoM's Bad Weather Day Theme Song

I started a fire in the fireplace beside my desk. I've overloaded myself on allergy meds (although at least three different people today have said "You sound awful!" including my mother who thought I was Pickle, the 14-year-old boy). I've opened three new boxes of tissues and banned the children from the Xbox 360 in my office area.

Still, they persist in asking for Saltine crackers, cereal, soda, you name it. Poking the fire and getting it roaring, I was thinking about The Christmas Song and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. So, I made up my own song. Sing along, if you'd like. Use Mel Torme's diddy as the tune:

Dad's dead trees burning on an open fire
Snot dripping from my nose
Names being yelled by my offspring
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.
Everybody knows a nasal spray
and some Benadryl
Help to make the allergies quell
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to leave mama alone today.
They know that Mom's trying to make phone calls
She's loaded lots of Wii games and snacks on their trays
And every mother's child is gonna spy
To see if mom's head
really will explode as they run by.
And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from six to 12+2
Although it's been said
many times, many ways
Will you shut the hell up and leave me alone?


Favorite SuperBowl Commercials

You can go vote for your favorite Superbowl commercial. These are so funny I laugh out loud.

So far, I have my favorites:
No. 1
No. 5
No. 6
No. 7

I am looking forward to the game.

When I'm Gone

I did this on Facebook and cracked myself up.

1. Put Your iTunes on Shuffle. (for me, I used my MP3 Walkman shuffle on my cell phone)
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
5. Tag at least 10 friends.
6. Anyone tagged has to do the same, because fun pointlessness spreads like a virus.

If someone says, “Is this okay?”
You say? Black - Sevendust

How would you describe yourself?
Constant Craving - The Bad Girls doing a K.D. Lang cover (ok, maybe I might say this about myself, but gees)

What do you like in a guy/girl?
Earn Enough for Us - XTC (now THAT is funny after AoD was out of work for seven months last year)

How do you feel today?
Floating Down the River - Tears for Fears (not sure about that one)

What is your life’s purpose?
Heat of the Moment - Asia (aw gees, I'm finding a theme here)

What is your motto?
I Ran - Flock of Seagulls (uh, no. I don't run voluntarily. Ever.)

What do your friends think of you?
Desire - Gene Loves Jezebel (ok, maybe some of them)

What do you think of your parents?
In My Life - Ben Lee doing a Beatles cover (this one brought tears to my eyes because I it is a good one for the people I love)

What do you think about very often?
Me, Myself and I - De La Soul (egomaniac, I am)

What is 2 + 2?
Wave of Mutilation - The Pixies (huh?)

What do you think of your best friend?
I Feel For You - CHaka Khan (ROFMLAO - I do feel for her because she does everything in the world for her family)

What do you think of the person you like?
Debaser - The Pixies (now, Army of Dad, don't take that personally *snickering*)

What is your life story?
All Night Long - Peter Murphy (again, the theme *sigh*)

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Mr. Jones - Counting Crows (apparently, I want to own the Cowboys when I grow up)

What do you think of when you see the person you like?
Pale Shelter - Tears for Fears (I guess I take shelter in that man's arms, ok)

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Sex (I'm a ...) - Berlin (aw, dammit, who loaded up my MP3 player to make it pick these?)

What will they play at your funeral?
Shout - Tears for Fears (Army of Dad will be shouting to the women "I'm ready for wife No. 2. Get in line to fill out an application. Auditions start after the wake.)

What is your hobby/interest?
Song for Dustmites - Steve Burns (yes, Steve from Blue's Clues, I saw him in concert- this is a good one because I'm always freaking dusting in this house and Army of Dad doesn't believe me b/c the damn house is so dusty)

What is your biggest fear?
Strength - The Alarm (or lack, thereof)

What is your biggest secret?
I Kissed a Girl - Katy Perry (swear to God that is the song that came up. Who loaded this thing?)

What do you think of your friends?
She's a Hottie - Toby Keith (hee hee, this is my best friend's ring tone on my phone)

What will you post this as?
When I'm Gone - Three Doors Down (good as any, I suppose)

Anyone else wanna play? Let me know what you come up with.

He shoots, he scores

Gotta love the kiddo getting the rebound and scoring two. He has gotten so much better at basketball and this is only his second season doing it. Now, if we could redirect some of that fire away from not tussling with the opponents while playing in the church league ... then, we'd have something.

Cuteness overload

Quite possibly the cutest group of girls, ever! We were missing two of the cheerleaders, so I plan to do this again when all eight are present.

Chicken Legs

Sunday night marked the return of Chicken Legs to Texas for a brief visit. I guess some background is in order. The fella on the far left is Chicken Legs, or at least that is what I called him for the Army years. He was one of three guys that spent just about every night at my apartment when I was dating and then married to Army of Dad. The guys would drink beer and play cards pretty much all night until I ran them off to return to the barracks and finish drinking beer and playing cards. Chicken Legs now lives in Maryland and was in Dallas for a business trip. Fortunately, he was able to make some time for us to go hang out. It was a nice visit full of old stories and catching up on our families and plans to get together in his stomping grounds this summer when a business conference takes me to Washington, D.C. For Army of Dad, this was a chance to catch up with his buddy. We walked the guys (he had two coworkers with him) down to the West End and introduced them to Hoffbrau before walking back to the hotel. For me, I was introduced to a new drink at the hotel bar. Oh wow. I'm heading to the liquor store now to get some Midori to see if I can replicate the Reunion Hyatt Regency's version of a Midori Splice. At $9 a pop, I wasn't able to indulge as I would have liked. :) But, thanks to Chicken Legs and his generosity, I did guzzle two of those tasty delights.

Pre-Superbowl Party

With my Type A personality, I was wondering if this might be a good outfit to wear to the pre-Superbowl party we're attending on Saturday night? It has a sports theme.

Blubbering Idiot

Gees. Sometimes I want to smack myself. There is a reason I never became the hardened investigative journalist I aspired to be. I'm too soft-hearted. I was on the phone doing an interview about an incredible place in Fort Worth - The WARM Place (which offers peer support groups for children who have experienced a death in their lives) - when I just started crying. (I did stop and finish the interview and I wasn't boo-hooing big time, just the tremble in my voice and the tears in my eyes)

Yep, that's real professional. But, that is me. I have been this way my whole life. I'm so super sensitive to other people's struggles. It makes life hard sometimes, too, because I empathize so much that it hurts.

In some ways, I think it makes me a better writer. My sources, often, feel more comfortable toward me. I've been told I seem more human and they feel more open talking to me because they know I can understand their pain and simply because I care.

It is just so hard to be that neutral reporter when I'm telling these stories. How do you re-tell the story of a child finding her parent dead from a suicide? How do you do that without crying? I can't. I guess I'll never be that ace reporter (I'm sitting here still weeping after this interview - that was when I let it out). But, you know? I gave up worrying about that long ago. I would rather hold the hand of the source I'm interviewing than to hear their tales without caring.

It is funny, I still exchange Christmas cards with people I wrote stories about more than 15 years ago. I wrote about the most painful things in these women's lives - one about her 2-year-old's battle (and subsequent death) with cancer; one about the brutal murder of her 10-year-old daughter (and trial of the killer); and one about her efforts to bring recognition to victim's rights (her pregnant daughter was killed by the daughter's estranged husband). I created a bond with each of these women. As a mother, how could I not imagine their pain and heartache? How could I not tell their story without a piece of my heart in there with it?

God love 'em. Now, I need to pull it back together and start making calls about the top issues with fertilizer for growers (swear to God, that is the other story I'm working on). Maybe talking about crap is more attuned to my mood after that.

*taking deep breaths* Yeah, I'm better. Ok, a little. :)


Awash in a blush

I figured at some point in time, the object of my Cougarish cyber-affections would do a Google search for his name and stumble upon the ramblings of a 40-year-old cheerleading coach baseball mom (who obviously writes in run-on sentences).

Well, it appears that it wasn't Collin Mangrum who found it. Oh my goodness. Instead, it was his mother. Am I glad that I apologized, in advance, to the dear lady for my impure thoughts about her adorable offspring.

I got a great email from her this afternoon. I am so glad that she took the swooning in stride and wasn't horrified that the cougar was on the prowl. Now, of course, if I ever see poor Collin, I'm not sure who will me pinker in the face. Me, because everyone knows what a dirty old woman I am, or him because his mom signed her email - Army of B.B. (blushing boy). Yeah, how can a mom with a sense of humor like that NOT raise a great kid. She invited me and the family to come meet her and their family after a game (they're at all the home games, too, apparently).

We'll see if I can do it without dying of embarrassment. I don't blush very often, but when I do, I can feel the various shades of pink heat my face as they get redder.


See What I'm Saying

The kid is awesome. Yeah *heart pitter-pattering* I'm talking about Collin Mangrum again. The Fort Worth Star Telegram did a feature on him.

What I wouldn't give ...

And, look ... if you look really closely ... you can see me and Army of Dad in the background of the picture.. I'm texting (as sometimes happens when my former babysitter UNT alum/grad student texts me during the game). How crazy is that!? And, with that view, no less. Gees.

Fleetwood Mac is Playing Dallas April 30

While taking my 14-year-old to school this morning, he heard a radio advertisement for Fleetwood Mac's April 30th concert in Dallas. In the background and between talking, you could hear Landslide sung by Stevie Nicks.

Pickle: Is that the chipmunks? Cuz it sounds like the chipmunks. Are the chipmunks doing a concert?
AoM: *giggling uncontrollably* Stop that. Its Stevie Nicks.
Pickle: *sensing he struck a nerve says with a smile* Well, they sound like the chipmunks. *then he bursts into his Chipmunk voice singing the line of Landslide he heard*


Life Imitates Art

More wonderful commentary from the Star Wars world.

"So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause."
―Padmé Amidala following the Declaration of the New Order

Tired and old

I may be in the minority, but I've never watched American Idol. Ok, I take that back. We watched the audition shows with the really bad and weird people the first two years. They were funny then. But, sort of like when your sweet little girl burps really loudly for the first time - it is hilarious unless she does it again and again. Then it is just freaking annoying and embarrassing for everyone involved.


Give me a U ...

We had our first venture with cheerleading on Saturday. I have to say that it went much better than I thought. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I'm enjoying coaching the cheer squad and doing this. How scary is that? Little Bit may be a natural. I guess I need to get her into gymnastics, so she can learn some tumbling if she wants to be a cheerleader in junior high and high school.
They do ok with the chants. It is the motions that tends to throw them off. We're working on it. Trying to work on uploading Hot Rod's basketball videos.

Scary stuff

Why did the ad "find BBW singles in your area" pop up on my yahoo email account?

The peanut butter crackers I buy in bulk at Sam's were recalled. Today, the newspaper reported that they found salmonella in the kind of crackers I put in my children's lunchboxes daily. Great. I better go dig out the Quaker chewy granola bars with peanut butter in them, too.

Quotes for the Day

"This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." - Winston Churchill

"Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen." - Emperor to Vader


Begun vs. began

My husband and I are the grammar police. And, we have this nasty little habit of taking great pleasure in correcting one another.

Today, he got me. I used began incorrectly. And, just so you will never suffer the same fate, here is the tip:
Began is the past tense. It occurs alone.
Begun is the past participle. It occurs after the verb 'have.'

Another tip and way to look at it:
Began is for the past, for example, yesterday.
Example: I began it yesterday.

Use have begun when talking about something you are doing. You have started it and you are still doing it.
Example: I have begun doing my homework.

Hat tip to Using English.

Like a Silly Schoolgirl

I'm all giddy at the prospect of doing a quick interview with my current favorite author, Deborah Crombie. I read one of her books last summer and since then have been consuming her other novels as quickly as I can buy them and read them. Right now I'm on the last of the books I've purchased and I'm waiting for some paychecks to come, so I can run to the store and get the rest.

But, the new assignment I got includes a review of her latest book. I'm very excited at the prospect. Like a goofy schoolgirl.

You're twisting my melon, man

I love the Happy Mondays. Call the cops!

I dunno. Most Mondays don't start off this well, so Happy Monday came to mind, then my pinball thinking led me to the Happy Mondays. Been a long time since I thought about 'Step On.'

But, I woke up at 4:15 a.m. *yawn* to go pick up my mom. She went to work with my dad (it is a lot closer to go to his work than to their house), so I could get her to watch the kids while I went to talk to a guy about some writing assignments. He wants me to produce much of the copy and serve as the editor for a new quarterly publication he is introducing in the region. If it works out well (on short notice as he wants all by Feb. 2), then it could be a regular quarterly gig for me. I can use those kinds of jobs.

I'm drinking some tasty peppermint mocha. CSI:NY is on in some sort of marathon. I'm caught up on my work (for now) and (for the most part) the kids are occupied with the new Wii (when they're not fighting over it).

Life is pretty good.

Tonight I get to go to a meeting of the writers' group I belong to. That is always fun and inspirational. Now, I just need to find an extra hour in the day to write and exercise. Although, I just walked by the mirror in the bathroom and I must say that I have a very spankable ass. Thick or not. I'm not too bad for a 40-year-old soccer mom.


For Christmas, my brother gave my family a Wii, but we kept it wrapped up until last night. Then, Army of Dad got it out and hooked it up and started playing with it. He worked up a sweat boxing and and playing baseball. :) This morning, the kids woke up and found it hooked up. It was like Christmas all over again. Now I have to find a way to get another controller thingee.

No mail running today, so I won't get a check in the mail. They're likely going to have to wait for that second controller till momma gets paid.

Going to talk to a man about some writing jobs today. He has a name of one of the South Park characters, so I fear if I'm not careful I'll break into the voice. Mmm kay?

Met my dad at his work this morning (which is only about 20 miles from my house) and picked up my mom, so she can watch the kids while I go to the interview. Dad gets to work at 5 a.m. So, I picked her up and crawled back in bed when I got home. Kids are out of school today, obviously. It seems just about everything is closed today except Army of Dad's work and the guy I'm going to talk to. :)

Happy Monday.


If only he'd sweep at home

We try not to miss any UNT men's basketball games at home. It is pretty cheap family entertainment and there is something for everyone. Hot Rod has his best buddy there and sometimes gets to be a sweeper/ball boy. Pickle likes the dancers and the pizza and soda (we get a family pack with a soda for everyone and a large pizza to share). Little Bit loves to cheer and dance and there is a bounce house before the game and at halftime. Me and Army of Dad just love the sports. Oh yeah, and there is Collin Mangrum from time to time to look at. This first clip is funny because you can hear Pickle complaining about the officiating. It has been pretty bad lately.
I love this one of Hot Rod. Gotta look past the cheerleaders, but I get a "Hi Mom" wave. My favorite is his flourish spin under the broom.
Earlier in this game, Scrappy encouraged Hot Rod to sweep the ref's feet. My kid? Oh yeah, he did it happily.
And, then Army of Dad and Little Bit hassling me for videotaping Hot Rod. But, after missing Scrappy and him harassing the ref, I didn't want to miss that again.

We get another game tonight. Should be fun. Hot Rod has his first basketball game today and Little Bit cheers today for the first time. Should be fun. I hope. I'm coaching her cheer squad. (stop laughing) Makes me a bit nervous that they'll do ok. They're between 5 and 8, so it should be cute either way.


Mending fences

Funny how sour relationships can leave a person, well, what is the word? Bitter? Is that it? I'm not sure. But, years after something can happen, the hurt can linger. And, when you never get a chance to let someone know how angry you were or how they really hurt you, it just sort of simmers over time.

My rebound guy fit that ticket. He was the man that I dated while my divorce to Uzz was going through the court system. It was a nice relationship in that he was as geeky as me (big time Star Trek nerd, even bigger than me!) and he was career-oriented. The Army was his career, but he knew what he wanted in life and I liked that about him. He was disciplined and all the things I longed for in a guy. Uzz knows that I have often compared him to Peter Pan - everyone loves him, but he may never quite grow up completely. It is part of his charm. But, for the Type A Army of Mom, it was just too laid back for me.

So, Staff Sgt. Rebound was a good fit. Or, I thought. Then, the Monday before my divorce was final on the coming Friday, he drops me like a hot potato. Just up and ended it completely out of the blue. Of course, he had the audacity to ask me to do him some favors as he was on TDY (temporary duty elsewhere) around his house.

So, it was pretty awful. A few years ago, he emailed me out of the blue with some chatty email. I was still bitter about the way he broke up with me and the way he treated me. So, instead of responding kindly, I let him have it in my response. I told him what a jackass he was and how I didn't deserve to be cast aside like I was, etc, etc.

Not sure what got into me this morning, but catching up with people on Facebook did it, I guess. So, I searched for him and found him. Sent him a message hoping we could put the past behind us because I'd like to find out what is going on with him. He is now married with a little girl and is a sergeant major. He responded back and actually apologized for being an ass to me. It is amazing how that two-sentence apology made me feel so much better. "I hope you do know that I am very sincere in apologizing for how I acted. I was being very selfish and self-centered and scared." I know it is silly, but just hearing him acknowledge it gave me a sense of peace.

I'm always questioning my actions in life. What if I had of done this differently or that differently? I always second guess my decisions on everything. * I know Uzz and Army of Dad both are nodding in agreement* But, it is something I fret over. There are times when I feel justified in what I do and other times when I question over and over if I did something wrong. Most of the time, when I piss other people off, I didn't even know I did anything and it never occurred to me that I did anything.

One of my best friends and I still haven't spoken since before New Year's. It is a long story, but not a day goes by when I don't start to pick up the phone or IM him to chat. But, he made it clear to me how he felt about me. I'm still sad pretty much every day by it. So, the second-guessing continues.

However, one chapter of my life has sort of smoothed out nicely. Sgt. Major Rebound is heading to Iraq later this year. Maybe that was why I felt the urge to make peace. Somewhere in my heart I knew he was going to be in danger. A friend's grandson is joining the military after his high school graduation this summer. So, maybe I'll be back to sending care letters and comic strips to a few more soldiers to help pass the time in the sandbox.


My life is never dull, is it?

Texas isn't supposed to be this cold

Baby, its cold outside. Really, really cold outside. It was 19 degrees when I took the kids to school this morning.

Nine-freaking-teen degrees. I live in Texas to not be that cold.

But, what makes me laugh is that when we were kids, it didn't matter how cold it was. We went outside. I don't ever remember the teachers keeping us in because it was cold.

Now, the kids don't go outside when the temps fall to a certain range. Wusses. :) Just kidding. Just thought about that this morning, though.

Cougar on the Prowl


For once, I actually had a good dream about a hot young guy. Not Billy Boyd. Not Kelsey Grammar and not Robin Williams. Yes, I had a nice dream about (I'm so going to hell for this one): Collin Mangrum.

Who, you may ask? Just the hottest boy on the UNT Mean Green basketball team. *heart thumping* He is so absolutely adorable and he looks incredibly corruptible. Worst part is that he seems to be a really good kid. He worked with Hot Rod at basketball camp last summer and is a good Christian guy. Every interview, he's thanking God for his achievements. Heck, even his MySpace page gives big props to the Man upstairs.


So, while the Cougar may be purring, she's admiring from about three rows up from the players' bench in the Super Pit. But, last night, at least, I was able to satiate my taste for tall young men. LOL. Ok, not completely, but it was well on its way until Mike and Mike started yapping on AoD's alarm clock. We were just making plans for later in the night when the sports dudes interrupted. Drats. Foiled again.

Probably makes me look like a stalker that when you do a Google image search for the boy's name, pretty much the only pics of him listed there are from my blog.

I'm sure the dream was the result of the afterglow of the Mean Green's
come from behind win last night. That was really exciting to watch. Hot Rod was a ball boy/sweeper for the game, too. I'm going to upload those videos to give everyone a giggle. That boy is too funny.

So, my apologies to Mrs. Mangrum. I, too, am the mom of two cute boys and I'm sure that someday there will be some old Mrs. Robinson out there willing to corrupt them. *shuddering* And, that is a disgusting thought. But, I just have to thank you, ma'am, for giving your son his handsome looks. He got the great biceps on his own, I think. *sigh*

Scent of a Man

Guys (and ladies, too) ... listen up.

If your cologne/perfume announces your arrival three seconds before you actually show up, you're putting it on way TOO strong.

And, if I can smell you in line behind me at the pharmacy (and you're two feet behind me), it is too strong.

If the smell lingers in the area for seconds and minutes after you left, you're definitely putting it on way too strong.

I've had this happen several times lately. Just adding to how awful the situation is, I'm congested and can't smell very well right now anyway. I had a guy at the CVS almost smell me out of the store. He was in the same aisle at one point and then I knew he was in line behind me when I smelled him again. Your expensive cologne no longer smells appealing to me when it is assaulting my senses from several feet away.

Remember the RGX Body Spray commercials with the hot chick? She is right, guys. We don't want to smell you across the room. We want to catch a whiff when we're shaking hands or close to your neck in an embrace. That is when it is sexy.

Just something to think about.


Courage Fail

I remember watching this on the local NBC morning show several years ago (before I moved over to the Good Day Texas folks on Fox 4 - muah to Tim, Megan, Andrew and Chip!)

I laughed so hard when this happened. This clip bleeps out the F-bomb that he dropped on live TV. But, it is watch again and again funny.

Hat tip to Fail Blog for reminding me about it. :)

You Look Marvelous

"I'm a kidder."

KHAN and Mr. Rourke. Welcome to Fantasy Island. Those were the things I thought about immediately when I read that Ricardo Montalban passed away. I also always thought of him when I heard this Billy Crystal song.

Rest in peace, Ricardo. You entertained us all.

Redneck Woman

I was listening to this song tonight and singing off-key really loudly (hey, its my minivan, I'm entitled). I'm torn between two favorite lines right now - the one about the Wal-Mart bra is a good one b/c my prettiest bra right now came from Wal-Mart. I love it and it makes the girls stand right up without any midgets holding 'em up. :) Then, the line about the Christmas lights staying up on her porch all year long - all my Christmas decorations are still up in the dining room. *sigh* I just can't get myself to go in there and start boxing 'em up. I would rather sleep or watch TV or something else. Anything else.

Yee Haw.

Not a morning person

Every morning, I feel this way when Army of Dad's alarm clock goes off to Mike and Mike. Usually, I slug my husband till he reaches over and hits the snooze button. Occasionally, they'll be talking about something I'm interested in and, ironically, those are the mornings when he hits the damn button without my prompting. Grr.


Do you like my outfit?

Army of Dad and I have become regular cappers over at Caption This, which Mo K introduced me to some time ago. Since then, we feel like many of the cappers are old friends. One of those web buds is Subby (shown here trying to get me liquored up so he can take incriminating pictures of me singing Dancing Machine and Rapper's Delight while downing bellinis. And, I even wore an appropriate outfit (Cap This inside joke.)

"I'm gonna freak you here, I'm gonna freak you there, I'm gonna move you out of this atmosphere because I'm one of a kind and I'm gonna shock your mind." Yep, that's good old Army of Mom.


You should see it from here

I'm sitting in Panera because I had to get away from the house to write with a clear head and I think Shelly Duval and Sideshow Bob just walked in. I wish I had some sort of camera to show you. The girl looks like a combination of Olive Oyl (picture her looking Goldie Hawnish from her Laugh-In days, but brunette). And, the dude looks like a brunett hippie version of Sideshow Bob. No bone in his nose, but it is making me crack up as I listen to Slipknot.

Hmm, maybe I should move to K.D. Lang or Norah Jones to calm myself a bit. Nah, maybe Sevendust or Vallejo.

The Game of Life

I think my body is waving a white flag. This weekend, the mountain cedar blew in with a cold blast and left me miserable physically. It always happens, too, when I let myself get run down. Stress builds up and my body gives up.

Between the leak under the slab and a plethora of other things, deadlines, activities ... you name it. I just feel like I'm trying to run in quicksand and all I can do is sink farther and farther down.

Just made me want to listen to Landslide a little bit. And, maybe, Disarm and Zero. *shrug* Blogging has to wait for deadlines and sub jobs. *sigh* In the meantime, Doll Parts will be my anthem. UPDATE: This is another on the playlist of misery today. Just realized ACHE is the central theme. Wonder what Freud would say?


Hazard pay

I'm wondering if hearing protection will be tax-deductible for a writing business?

There is a jackhammer in the next room. Yeah, that makes for fun while trying to write.



It's Great to be a Florida Gator

This chant was repeated in plenty tonight in our Gator Nation Texas Outpost. :)

No. 1, baby! I don't think UT or anyone else can try to make the argument any more. 24-14

A Gator Nation: Born in Texas

In his Gators shirt with his two favorite Christmas presents in this picture - his Aerosmith Guitar Hero guitar and his Gators comforter and sham. Yep, can't get much better than this ... I guess when the Gators win. That would make it better.

Go Gators

Today, I've decided, everything I say will end with the phrase: Go Gators! I think it will make for an interesting day. And, I can go for interesting. I just dread the game tonight if the Sooners win. Yikes.
This is from October 2006 while watching a Gators game. How about those little Gator fans doing the Gator chomp? My how they've grown. Hopefully Tim Tebow will bring it tonight. And, for your amusement, some Tim Tebow love:
Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas.
Tim Tebow's tears could cure cancer. Too bad he doesn't cry.
Go Gators!



Not that it is working, but trying to improve my mood. Started back to work and sent the kids outside to enjoy the lovely weather. Put on my 80s playlist (with this on it).to try to drown out the children assaulting each other. This song has one of my favorite lines in it:
you're packed and you're stacked
'specially in the back
Brother, wanna thank your mother for a butt like that
Can I get some fries with that shake-shake bootie?
If looks could kill you would be an uzi
You're a shotgun - bang! What's up with that thang?
I wanna know how does it hang?

*snickering* Makes me think of my honey. :) Now, THAT makes me smile.

Gloom, despair and agony on me

Funny how some things seem to be the final straw. I should have known that everything was going too well for my crummy Hee Haw gloom, despair and agony on me luck.

Looks like we have a leak under the slab. Not covered by the homeowners' policy. Apparently about eight or nine years ago when the big mold scare was going on, the insurance industry took it upon themselves to change everyone's policies not to cover leaks under the foundation. Peachy keen. We probably got an update on the coverage changes in our annual renewal letter, our agent said.

So, now, we'll be out about $1,500 give or take. Happy Valentine's Day, sweetie. We won't have water leaking in the kitchen and bathroom floors any more. Oh yeah, happy anniversary, too, for that matter. It will be 11 glorious years on March 27 or 28, I never can remember. 27th, I think.

Regardless. This leads me to the question of the good life. Why do people get married? Buy homes? Buy cars? Have kids? Why do we do this? Wouldn't it be easier to just cohabitate with no strings attached, get sterilized so we don't have kids to worry about, rent an apartment, lease a car ... nothing permanent? What drives us to do this? *sigh* Not sure where that came from other than I feel like a giant albatross around my husband's neck right now. I wanted this stupid Godforsaken house. It was me. He could have had a boat and a truck and a kickass stereo. But, instead, he married me. Let me pick out the house. Let me decide when we'd have kids ... and what does he get for it all? An hour-long commute and the misery of living with me. Wow, congratulations Army of Dad. You drew the short stick. Oh yeah, and $1,500 of plumber bills.

Maybe I can stop the waterworks long enough to get some work done, but I'm not sure. Peculiar thing about me that I've done since I was a child - when I sob really hard, I start throwing up. I can remember my mom getting mad at me and saying "Stop crying so hard or you're going to throw up!" Every time I start this, I can hear her voice ringing out loud and clear. Now, if I could only turn this into a temporary eating disorder to lose some weight, then I might be on to something. Unfortunately, those things are temporary, so I'll pass. So much for joining the rec center.

Really, truly. I'll try to stop feeling sorry for myself. I know there are people far worse off than me who are battling much bigger problems. At least I'm relatively healthy. Heck, I could stop eating and live off my fat stores till I paid off the plumber. Yeah, that's the ticket.

OK, so maybe not 2009

Had plans to take my mom to lunch today for her birthday and go put some gift money in the bank for savings.

Alas ... the best laid plans are spoiled again.

We either have a busted pipe or a leak under the slab. The plumber is cutting a hole in our wall right now to try and get an idea of what the problem is.

Best part *note the sarcasm* is our homeowner's insurance won't cover it.

Prayers would be welcome.


Mixing Old and New

While busily working on news items and making phone calls about toll roads, TIF districts and architects setting up office in Brazil, I hear a voice coming from the laptop where Little Bit is playing on I immediately think of Lenny and Squiggy from Laverne & Shirley. I'm thinking there is no way that I'm hearing this correctly, who are these voices? And, I'll be damned if Lenny isn't one of the voices. I keep thinking of "hello ladies" when they walk in the door of the girls' apartment. Oswald actually has some really good voice talent, oddly enough. I'm shocked. Of course, it is still no Wonder Pets, but what is?


Not THAT Call

"Good evening parents of the Class of 2013."

Oh man, do I feel old. It was one of those pre-recorded messages the school district makes. It was all about how the high school counselors will be on campus in the next two weeks to talk about high school coursework for the fall.

My baby will be in high school in the fall. I'm far too young to have a child in high school. *sigh*

2009: A New Year of Resolutions to Break

Well, I try every year to accomplish something new. I don't think I've lived up to a New Year's Resolution since before my children were born.

But, I have a few specific ones and some vague ones, as well.

The TO-DO list:
1. Start a work-out regimen to build my strength and get fit. (if I lose weight, too, then that is a perk. My goal is to get stronger.)
2. Praying to start and end each day. This may be a hard one for me as I get pre-occupied and forget.
3. Dedicate 15-30 minutes a day to writing my books(s).

The vague list:
1. Portion control and will power. (stop laughing Army of Dad)
2. Get more organized. (stop laughing Army of Dad)
3. Being a better listener. (stop laughing Army of Dad)
4. Continue being a good steward of our finances and pay off some bills. (stop laughing Army of Dad) I would like to re-build our savings.
5. Cutting back on the cursing. (stop laughing Army of Dad)

All of this, though, seems so trivial when I watch Kelly battle leukemia. She may be my compass throughout these goals. I'll make myself a bracelet: WWKD? Because she doesn't give up. She's my heroine.

Just what I needed

Was another distraction ...

I've had business colleagues and friends, alike, fuss at me to get with the program and join Facebook. So, I finally did.

It is like crack and I keep hitting the pipe. Someone sends me a photo comment, so I have to comment right back ... then ... well, if you're on there, you know.

I need another hit, man.

What if ...

Are all moms like this? You get this massive "what if" issue. Little Bit fell asleep in the front room last night after a day full of playing. I thought about moving her, but just covered her up and let her stay there since she was fine (and we have one more day of no school).

Then, of course, I wake up about 4 in the morning worried about carbon monoxide poisoning. Yeah, I know. Paranoid. So, I had to get up and check on her just to make sure.

Do all moms suffer from the "what if? ailment" or is it just me? *sigh*



Well, the house is in mourning now. *sigh*

Tonight will be full of fun ... *note the sarcasm*

Dear God, please let the Vikings win

Ok, so Hot Rod is almost a foot taller, but this picture demonstrates the Viking love that traveled from Minnesota and into Texas. So, today, the Vikings take on the Eagles.

As I get on bended knee, I'd like to ask each of you to recite the same prayer with me:

Dear God. Please let the Vikings win. It would make my house a helluva lot happier than if the Eagles win. Please let McNabb twist an ankle or something temporary and not extremely painful, but enough of an injury to keep him from performing well. Please let Westbrook and Dawkins each have some intestinal issues or some inner-ear thing that will throw off their balance. And, Lord, while I'm here, please let Peterson and Jackson grip the ball tightly and avoid turnovers.

I ask all these things in Your Heavenly Son's name, Amen.


Now the clean up begins

Christmas Eve cookie-making session for Santa. We had to get busy because I forgot about it. My kids weren't about to let that happen. Every Christmas since Pickle was about 2, we make these wonderful butter cookies for Christmas. The kids love it. The recipe is simple, it is just time consuming. And, these cookies are so good. I can't keep them around all the time or I'd be a total sumo wrestler.
On Christmas Eve, we usually let the kids open one gift each. Pickle opened this one from AoD's sister. He needed new Ipod headphones, so these fit the bill. And, Kung Fu Panda.
Little Bit got a Baby Buffoon bear dressed in the same outfit she danced in for the Nutcracker. You can tell by the face just how excited she was.
Hot Rod was stoked to get the Indiana Jones legos he wanted.
And, Little Bit's Christmas Eve gift from her godmother went to sleep with her that night. Snuggles (a gift from Gadfly when she was about 2) was booted from No. 1 position next to her in bed. All in all, a good Christmas Eve.

Time for a change

Is anyone out there computer savvy enough to make me a new banner and help me update the blog? I only have this sad little site as a result of LabKat spending several hours helping set it up and showing me how to update it. That was almost five years ago. So, I'm guessing it is finally time for a change.

I can't pay anyone to do it, but I'll give you all sorts of AoM kudos and credit for the design. Please email me or leave me a comment if you're interested in working for no pay and only loads of AoM appreciation.

Inventers sought

Can anyone invent a self-duster so I can skip this tedious chore? I hate dusting. After that, I'd like a self-cleaning toilet and tub.

Just wondering

I was lying in bed this morning after Army of Dad left for work and the house was quiet. The kids hadn't woken up yet. Everything is nice and quiet. Then I hear my next door neighbor cough. Then, I heard him fart. Yeah, clearly our outer walls are not well insulated.

I know they have to hear us holler and yell during our semi-annual big argument. But, it made me wonder if , upon those rare occasions when the children are at my parents, and we're conducting some experiment involving monkey loving ... can they hear me from their front porch? Is that why he is always waving and smiling so big when he sees me?


Betcha never heard this one

This was a new one for me.

Hot Rod: Mom, I'm going to put some waffles in the toaster. Will you put peanut butter on them for me?
AoM: Sure.
Hot Rod: Little Bit, would you like a waffle?
Little Bit: Yes, please. Just one. Japanese flag.
AoM: A Japanese flag waffle?
Hot Rod: *giggling* Yeah, I just put peanut butter in the center for her, so it looks like a Japanese flag. She likes it that way and it isn't as messy.
AoM: *shaking my head* Ok.

Yeah, that's my 9-year-old. He knows more flags of the world than I do, I think.

Una Mas, ok Tres Mas

Just a couple of more shots of Little Bit after her Nutcracker performance. With her cool ladybug umbrella courtesy of LabKat. Her Papa clearly thought that was adorable by the big grin on his face. (Photo by Uzz)
And, it earned LabKat a big hug.

And, showing off her flowers. She had quite the December. :)

More chins that Chinatown

About the time I don't think I look half-bad, I go see my BFF. And, even on her sloppy days, she looks better than me. *sigh* Tops of my New Year's Resolutions is to get stronger and in better shape. Being a wuss actually made me want to do that more than the out of shape part, but I have a shape. Round is a shape. Just not the one I want. And the extra chin? Yep. Gotta go.

And, P.S. This is the very flattering *note the sarcasm* outfit I had on that day I was getting hit on by the dude at Hooter's. No cleavage and not much to it to show that I have massive boobs under there, I don't think. Just a side note. *shrug*


Pretty Dancer

These two crack me up. They've been dancing together for more than a year now and they are so cute out there.
Can't you just see them a little divas?
Yep, diva for sure.
And the other gals in the dance class.
Sunshine cake was the dance routine. They looked so cute in the white and yellow. We got lucky that we didn't have to change tights and bodysuits (or buy a new set!)
Every ballerina should get flowers after a performance. And, have an adoring audience.
Not that her middle brother (Hot Rod) watched any of it. He was busy playing with some other brothers in the back end of the gym.

Growing up

It is so wild to see my oldest kiddo growing up. He is now just a bit taller than me. And, he and his girlfriend are pretty funny to watch. This was Christmas Eve at the pizza place for lunch, where they exchanged gifts.
And, this one was just before a church event for her youth group a week or two ago. They looked so grown up all dressed up. They'll be freshmen in high school this coming fall. Where did the time go?

Here's your sign

Anyone else see the big problem with this picture? Uh, yeah, that is a gas can right there at the edge of the fire being tended to by a teenager. Best part is they were burning their leaves during a burn ban in the FRONT yard. How many different ways can you be stupid? Who are they? My parents' new next-door neighbors. Here's your sign.