Army of Mom

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



Well, my bliss never lasts for long. I have a few last minute article assignments and, of course, sources are not cooperating. That costs me money, which is truly infuriating.

Our laptop has given in to a virus and is, for all intents and purposes, on its last leg. I have a buddy who works in IT and is out of work, so I plan to try and take it to him today to see if he can fix it. I hope it will be easy work for him. The worst part about that is I can't even take my work with me to the kids' karate sessions tonight. Normally, if I'm on deadline, I just take it with me and work for those two hours. But, that ain't gonna happen this week unless my friend works miracles.

I'm going to file an appeal with our local appraisal district for their appraised value of our home. It is just laughable that in this economy with the housing crunch, they INCREASED the value of my home by $3000. You gotta be fucking kidding me. Really people. What kind of crack are ya'll smoking? Cuz it must be good shit. We have at least four or five houses on our u-shaped two streets that have been on the market for months and can't get moving. Foreclosures are at an all-time high. House values are dropping 10-20 percent and more and you're going to increase the value on my 21-year-old home? I'm at a loss. Worst is that I'm not sure how to even go about protesting the value. I've done it twice now. I won the first year because they can't value your home for more than you paid for it. But, then the next year I went back and lost 2-1. Oh wait, I take that back, I must have appealed three times because the first time was a 3-man panel and last time it was the whole wizengamot of about two dozen people and not one of them voted in my favor despite all my preparations.


On a positive note, Army of Dad was going to have a surgical procedure on his eyelid next week, but it looks like the problem has finally resolved itself. *crossing fingers* So, that is good.

Now, if only I could get back to sleep. I kept having bad dreams that we had a leak in our roof and then I would have sworn on stack of Bibles that something like the corner of a book rubbed across my foot while I was in bed. At that point, there was no getting back to sleep. So, I got up and started picking things up that are a mess and packed AoD's lunch since I had forgotten to do that. And, of course, blogging is always good. :)


AoM's Memorial Day

We took the kids to see the new Night at the Museum. I really liked it, but I went into it without high expectations, so that might be part of it. I did enjoy it though. This picture shows my ivy that I got for Mother's Day. Lovely, isn't it? Really big.
And, the kids in their new water toy from Granny. Much fun ensued. There is also a slide, but we didn't get it inflated and attached, so they played with, as is. I fixed an area of our herb garden that didn't have anything growing in it since the herbs there had died. My mom sent a bunch of things from her garden, so they're now in mine. I'm off for Thai take-out. Then, I have to write a story before bed. A great day. I hope yours was, as well.

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day to honor those who served in our military and have died. I also believe it is a time to thank ALL those who have served.

This grave pictured is Pickle's grandfather and Uzz's dad. It is a photo taken by Uzz and was part of a great Memorial Day post on his site in 2006.

When you're cooking out or going to the lake today, remember the reason for the holiday and thank a vet.


What happened to Baby Bop?

Today was a reception for my best friend's daughter. This child (ok, she's 18) graduated from high school last night. Graduated. Seriously now. I have friends who are grandparents and have children starting college. I feel so completely old. I remember when this young lady carried around a plush Barney and Baby Bop everywhere she went.
Apparently, she has a thing where she licks people. I think it is a long story having to do with her pretend husband in some sort of home economics pretend wedding doing it to her, but it was funny to watch her mom cringe at the thought of the licking that was to come.
But, then she came through and just gave mom a kiss.
My sweet Little Bit found a big old frog to torment, uh, I mean play with. The kids delighted in going swimming after the reception. Of course, it rained as the reception was ending and off and on while the kids were swimming. We kept making them get out and then letting them back in. Finally, we saw lightning and they had to get out.
BFF. :) Aren't we cute?
This was before the swimming started and as the reception was ending. Hot Rod was soaked to the skin, but they were having fun.
Then, they got in the icy cold pool. All of them were shivering when they got out, except Hot Rod. He has a few extra layers to keep him warm. :)


Coach Cute Butt

This is one of the many ways that I know things are good. Even 12 years after being with Army of Dad, I still think he's just about the most handsome man on the planet. I have now named him Coach Cute Butt. We've had Coach Studboy in the past, but my honey has earned his name. The other day at the store, AoD went to the sporting goods department while I was looking for party decorations for Hot Rod's birthday and I spotted a cute boy. Very nice. Then, I spotted another one and upon craning my neck for a better view, guess what? It was my husband. :) Yep, even from afar, I admire his looks.
He is fun to watch during the game. Of course all of these coaches are. They're just big kids in the grand scheme of life.

I had to get a picture with the score in the back. Yep, the As shut down the Yankees big time. Hot Rod was able to come in to close it all out and they had three up and three down. He plunked the first batter then struck out the second. The kid he hit was thrown out at the plate after the catcher overthrew Hot Rod on the mound. The runner took off from third and the shortstop gunned the ball home for the play at the plate (which is the video coming up). And, our little bat girl has her own cheering section at the games. It is pretty cute.
I had to leave to drop Pickle off at karate, but fortunately, it was just across the street at the junior high. So, we stopped to get a picture of his mural in progress. His is the bottom part and his girlfriend is just above him. No smart remarks, please. LOL

And, Hot Rod shutting it all down. All in all a great birthday for the boy.

Pretty in Plaid

On May 11, my next door neighbor and I drove to Dallas for a book signing and reading by one of my favorite bitchy girl authors, Jen Lancaster. Well, her book is about when she was a kid in the 80s and she encouraged those of us in attendance to dress up 80s. Uh, no. But, these ladies in line behind me did, so I thought it was cute and took a picture.
Well, we got lost due to my GPS and its failure to have a sense of direction. So, we got there late instead of 30 minutes early. *sigh* Anyway. This put us wayyyyy back in the queue. So, we had roughly 2.5 hours of waiting time. So, we had to find some way to pass it. My solution was to jazz up the required school reading with superhotsex. Unfortunately, the Barnes and Noble employee laughed, but then moved it. I did run a lot of recon missions to see how far the line had moved. The gals behind me made a Starbuck's run, too.
Finally, we got there. Jen signed my book while she was looking all kind of 80s preppy.
Then, we finally got our chance. And, OHMIGOD, I need to suck in my tummy when I lean over and I'm so trashing that Izod polo shirt. Not a good look for the Army of Momster. Ick. Of course, Jen has the perfect smile and my next door neighbor looks adorable. *sigh* Maybe I'll tape this picture to the fridge and in my car so I'm more inspired to hit the gym and not Braum's or Dairy Queen. It would seem that my joke about what she should write to me is more true than I realized when I said it. Ick. I may have to self-destruct this blog post. But, regardless of my chubby picture, it was fun and now I'm about to Chapter 3 of the book. I had to finish Mr. Darcy's Diary, which I liked by the way.

Never piss off a writer

I've often wondered why people show such animosity to reporters. Ok, I take that back. I KNOW why they do it, but it isn't always a good idea. When we are the ones who form the news, we can change the angle of a story with just a few words. It isn't ethical, but it can be done.

After reading about this lawsuit, it is clear that the same is true for screenwriters. I ought to be aghast and offended, but I think it is pretty funny. I also don't think these people have a leg to stand on. Apparently, one of the CSI writers was done wrong in a real estate deal and she wrote in some real estate characters and gave them the first names of the people who did her wrong and even cast the characters to look like them. Ha. They're suing claiming it could hurt their business. Psshaw. I don't think so. I think it is a reach and I would be more worried about this lawsuit calling attention to their shady dealings with the writer.

Just remember to be nice to writers. :)

You've heard of the naked chef, right?

Ahhh, its Memorial Day weekend. Nothing on our agenda today until Army of Dad goes to ref soccer games about 5ish. We went to bed early Friday night and woke up early this morning. He took the kids to go fishing. And, can you hear that? Me neither. My house is silent.

So, I'm going to relapse into my early 20s again and with that relapse comes the return of the Naked Housecleaner. I'm going to crank up some tunes and clean the house in the nude. For whatever reason, it has always seemed to make the job easier. It could be that before I had kids, I could be naked whenever I wanted to and now I just can't. Whenever they're grown and gone, I'm sure it will be way too scary for the old lady to be naked.

Till then, I'll take my 40-year-old body and dance around while changing sheets, doing laundry and washing dishes. Bwahahahahaha!



Seldom have I looked so forward to a weekend in recent months. But, for a change, I don't have 4 million deadlines looming and a zillion activities. This weekend will be nice and relaxing. We have karate tonight for Little Bit, but that is the only thing on the agenda. Ok, the boys need haircuts, but big deal. We can handle that.

Saturday, I imagine Army of Dad will take the little kids fishing in the morning. That means that I can do what I want!!! I have no clue what that might be, but I bet I can come up with something. Army of Dad is going to ref some soccer games Saturday evening, so the kids and I will pop some popcorn and watch some movies I checked out from the library. I'm going to introduce them to the goodness of Tim Conway and Don Knotts in the Apple Dumpling Gang. :) A true Disney classic. *snickering* But, one of my favorites from childhood. And, we have Schoolhouse Rock, too, on the agenda. If we have time over the long weekend, I may also introduce them to the goodness that is The Princess Bride.

On Sunday, more reffing for Army of Dad and the kids will go with me to a reception for my best friend's daughter. She graduates on Saturday evening. Crazy, isn't it? I don't feel old enough to have kids that age and I'm older than my friend. *sigh*

Monday, I'm hoping we can go watch the first place (yeah, I can't believe I'm saying it either) Rangers take on the Yankees. I have some buy one, get one free tickets that will work for the game. So, I think that is a plan. Maybe I should go buy the tickets when I go to the reception on Sunday. That will save waiting in line and maybe get us some better tickets.

Anyway. Just a fun weekend when we don't have to be anywhere with too much haste. Next weekend, I get to attend my first PGA tournament. AoD's boss invited him and me to attend the Colonial in Fort Worth. I'm really excited at the prospect. Plus, my parents are going to be watching the kids, so we can go out that night. Woo hoo!

Now? I'm waiting at the Toyota dealer for AoD's car. Tires rotated and oil change. Then, going to have lunch with him and shop at Sam's. Yippee.

TGIF and Happy early Memorial Day!


Happy Birthday Hot Rod

If you ask my sweet boy today, he'll tell you that he wants to be the president or a major league baseball player when he grows up. Honestly? I think he could do the presidential thing. He loves reading anything he can get his hands on when it comes to past presidents and history.

So, happy 10th birthday, Baby Bird. The world has great things in store for you!


Dodging the bullet

Well today was a mixed bag of emotions.

I subbed for my daughter's kindergarten class. My experiences today were loads of fun. For one, I caught a child trying to pour glue in a buddy's ear. *shaking my head* Then, another girl would just ignore me telling her no or to stop, so I finally had this exchange with her:

Me: What does your mom do when she tells you no and you don't listen?
Child: She doesn't tell me no.
Me: Well, that explains it.
Child: Blank expression. (she has these often)

It breaks my heart to see how some of these kids receive no guidance, help or discipline at home. Really, really sad.

I came home from school to check my emails and voicemails for work messages and check to see if any paychecks have arrived in the mailbox. I saw several emails from the executive editor at one of my steady writing gigs (one I've had since October 2005). She was sending emails out to all the freelancers at the pub and requesting we schedule a conference call.

Ruh-roh Raggy.

Never a good sign. Last time she did that was in October when they did mass layoffs at the magazine and reduced their freelance stable of writers to just a mere three of us left. I survived that round. Would I be so lucky today?

My anxiety level ramped up and tears filled my eyes. What was I going to do if this source of income dried up? There wouldnt' be too many subbing opportunities over the summer. *sigh* So, the editor called me and she had that voice that I recognized from the last round of layoffs.

Conference call scheduled for a mere 10 minutes later. I texted Army of Dad to warn him of the worst. The call happens and I learn that the magazine has now laid off everyone in editorial except the executive editor and the online editor, to whom I report. Everyone else is gone. Except they saved the freelance crew of three. *whew* But, that means that the other editor I work for is gone. Tears welled up in my eyes. It was hard to feel good about keeping my pay when I knew she was going to be losing hers. I know she has a little girl that is 3. I'm not sure if she's married or what. We only talk online and on the phone occasionally. But, regardless, now she'll be among the unemployed in six weeks.

I found out I may even be able to pick up some more work, too. I'll take it right now. *shrug*


Karate Kids

Pickle and Little Bit both won their sparring matches at the tournament on Sunday. Now, Little Bit is a "black ace" for winning first place in three tournaments. Her only three tournaments. Pickle has won more than he's lost, too. He had to spar a junior black belt. Won 3-0.

Walk This Way

Hot Rod had an Aerosmith Guitar Hero-themed 10th birthday party on Sunday and fun was had by all. We chalked the front drive and sidewalk with his favorite Aerosmith song titles. We had a little fun with Walk This Way. And, of course, Little Bit's favorite song is Pink. :)
I thought I was terribly clever putting Livin' on the Edge along the edge of the porch.
I was at a loss for what to decorate the table with, but found three Guitar Hero action figures on sale for $2 a piece at WalMart. Thank God for WalMart. He loved the picture cake with the musical notes on it. His cake read "Dream on." I crack myself up.
The back yard was too muddy to play, but they managed a little jumping on the trampoline. Here is Hot Rod in mid-flip.
This little fella is the little brother of one of Hot Rod's best friends. He also happens to be one of Little Bit's best friends.
This is his big brother. Hot Rod's favorite friend to get in trouble with. I have named this child Eddie Haskell. He is so polite and well mannered, but I know better. :)
Here is the fire crew explaining all the tools to the kids.
Little Bit was loving the headset.
Hot Rod liked being in the driver's seat, too.
And, those headsets were a hit among all the kids.
And, his buddy with the mohawk. I cracked up. This is one of the sweetest little boys you could find despite the mohawk.
And, the fire crew with the kids after the visit.
And, a silly picture. My favorites are Little Bit pretending to nag her little friend. Too funny. It is great that our fire department will do community service like this. The kids loved it and as they drove away, one of the firefighters shouted out the window "Don't play with fire." I thought that was a funny after-thought. Hot Rod's birthday will be Thursday. 10. Can't believe he'll be 10.

Cracker Jack

Not that I'm a proud momma or anything. But, my Hot Rod is a helluva baseball player. Here he is stealing third base.
And, making a put-out at first base. Took the coach a while to try him out there and now he plays first base more than any other boy. He made a couple of outstanding plays there the other night.
And, stealing second.
The Fab Four coaches. Of course, I photographed my husband from behind. I kinda like dat ass. :)
And, Coach Cute Butt talking to the boy during a pitcher change. Not sure what advice he was giving, but his charge looks like he's listening.
And, in the beginning of what was a killer stretch at first base to make the out. He had two where he was almost doing the splits for the outs in this game.
And, pitching. He hasn't had great defensive support when he's pitched and he gets a bit wild when he gets distracted.
I love the look of the base coach along with Hot Rod. They both look pretty intense there. We have a game tonight. We're in first place with four games left. The team we play was in first place till we bumped 'em down to second. So, we figure we're pretty much playing for first tonight.

I'm back


I finally finished a GIANT project I had. It was totally kicking my ass. I had to organize all the stories, research and write, compile (and even shoot some) the art for an entire magazine special section.


So, it is done. I managed to finish it (just one day late) after starting the research with bad information from a source. And, subbing three days last week, too. By the end of the week, I was completely exhausted. But, now I'm recuperating and trying to get back on track.

Plus, my other reason for not writing on here is that I've got a problem. I'm addicted to Facebook. I actually get immediate responses on there, so I know people are reading what I write. Here, seldom does anyone say anything other than to tell me I'm stupid or wrong or whatever. So, the feedback is sort of nice.


But, I have lots of stuff to post and pictures, too. I thought this week might be a good one to get caught up on blogging, but it is turning out busy, too. I went on a field trip with Hot Rod today. He has a baseball game tonight. Right now his team is in first place and they're playing the team that is just one game back. So, this might be for first place with only four games left in the regular season. Tomorrow, I'm subbing in Little Bit's class all day. On Thursday, I go back to the dentist and then will have lunch with Hot Rod for his birthday. Then, I'm going to do career day for his birthday, too, that day. That evening, we have dance at 4, a baseball game at 6;30, karate at 8.

I think I need to find some more activities. LOL. Not.

Ok, off to pick up Pickle from school and then feed them. Maybe, jsut maybe, I'll try to post some more on here. Sorry for being gone for so long. I was just stressed out beyond all belief ... didn't really think anyone noticed I was gone. But, God love Rockhauler for emailing me to remind me that there are a few people out there who read the blog. :)


Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day all! To my mom and the kids who make me a mom. :)

I tried to do the auto-YouTube post, but YouTube and Blogger aren't cooperating. So, anyway Happy Mother's Day MILFs!


Color Me Shocked ... NOT

Looks like the schools are going to re-open on Thursday. Seems like the Swine Flu wasn't as bad as everyone feared. I'm shocked. NOT.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:
"As CDC’s daily press briefings have illustrated, much has been learned quickly about the virus’s severity and its spread. We have learned that in many communities, the virus is widely circulating. When influenza becomes common in a community, it is unlikely that actions such as closing schools or daycare facilities are effective when it comes to slowing or stopping the spread of influenza viruses. Instead, such measures bring significant cost—such as interrupting student learning—without a significant public health benefit. In addition, we have learned that the disease currently being caused by this novel flu virus appears to be similar with that typically caused by seasonal influenza. Although many people may get sick, the available data do not indicate we are facing an unusually severe influenza virus."

Wow. Didn't I say something like that?


Family Weekend

Sunday afternoon, Army of Dad took the little kids fishing and Little Bit caught a monster fish. It was 22 inches long (as big as Hot Rod when he was born!) Those are some proud kids. They didn't catch anything on Saturday morning, so this was good.
Saturday, we went to see my parents to celebrate my dad's 72nd birthday. Little Bit did some golfing with PaPa's help.
And, the family picture with the sour cream coffee cake I made for Pop's birthday. Notice how Hot Rod and Little Bit won't get more than a few inches away from the cake. This was a nice family picture, I think.
Then, the picture that is more of a true representation of our family. I was thinking this could be a good Christmas card photo. :)

And, the little baby cardinals in a nest in my dad's carport. He insisted I climb on a precariously balanced ladder to get a picture for him. Whatever you say, old man, it's your birthday. For you, I'll do it. All in all, a great family weekend. Took the kids to see movies. Army of Dad and Pickle saw Wolverine and me and the little ones saw Monsters vs. Aliens or Aliens vs. Monsters, whatever it was, in 3D. It was pretty cute.
And, we're still alive. No swine flu here. The kids did some assignments for me today, reading and writing summaries, etc. Good stuff. I even got some work accomplished. Go figure. We may take a field trip Tuesday to an area zoo and have them do a report on their favorite animal.