Sunday, October 25, 2009

Because you asked

I haven't blogged in a long time....why...not much non-depressing things to blog about. But here is something exciting. Cole completed his 1st triathlon this morning!

This is a huge feet considering that at the beginning of the summer he couldn't even ride a bike. He has become addicted and we've enjoyed going on bike rides together, making more confident riders out of the both of us. He also LOVES to swim and wants to join the swim team at our gym, but right now his/my busy schedule just don't allow that.

Last month, vetmommy let us know about a kids tri coming up. Cole was so excited and we signed him up. I knew the bike distance for the race wouldn't be that big of a deal for him (2.4 miles) because we've been routinely doing 9 miles. The swim for his age group was 200 meters (4 lengths of the pool) and the run was .6 miles which I figured he could walk if needed.

We had to get up VERY early this morning to head up the the race site. Cole wasn't nervous at all. He had a great time setting up his gear, getting his body marked, etc. He was in the last wave of the morning and from arrival to start time we had about 2 hours and 45 minutes of wait time. Luckily I brought chairs and a blanket. It was so COLD. We sat in our chairs and he played his DS without a care in the world. There were two Olympic gold medalist (Ian Crocker and Garrett Webber-Gale) and he got to get autographs and hold their medals, which was very cool.

Finally it was race time. I was cried as he walked in with the other athletes and then again when he jumped into the water. He did so GREAT! After the swim he headed to the transition area. His age group had to go alone, luckily since we were one of the 1st to arrive he had a great location and I could stand right next to the fence to cheer him on, while he got ready to head out for the bike ride. I wasn't sure how comfortable he'd feel on his bike with so many other kiddos around. But once he was passed the line to get on, he hoped on and took off, yelling "On your left", several times breezing by kids. After he turned the corner, we couldn't see him anymore. That's when I was the most anxious..hoping he was okay and wouldn't fall. He had to do the bike loop twice and was grinning ear to ear as he came around again, styling in his bike helmet and sunglasses. Once he completed the bike leg he jumped off, ran into transition threw off his helmet and took off running. I was so impressed with him.

Mostly I was worried that if people passed him, he'd panic or want to give up. Especially while swimming. Luckily, the started his age group 15 seconds apart and no one passed him during the swimming leg. He did great and seemed thrilled with himself which was the most important thing and he never gave up. It was such a great feeling to finally see him feel good about himself.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 5

Cole just completed his 5th day of 2nd grade and I have already shed tears. This time though they were tears of happiness and relief.

Last year wasn't that great for him. There were tears on both of our parts at various times throughout the year. Some of you have heard the stories, they are too long to repeat. He still loved his teacher and her and I had a great relationship by the end of the year. In fact, she lobbied hard to get me a job at his school, before they installed the dreaded hiring freeze. But overall, not a good year.

On Thursday, I went up to the school and ate lunch with Cole. After lunch they have recess. During recess, I mentioned to his new teacher that he didn't have a great year last year and she was welcome to contact me at anytime if she had any concerns. She said that he'd been great and she could tell he was very bright and participated in class and had a lot to offer.

Friday morning I walked him to class to help him carry some donations for the Art teacher. His teacher saw me and said, "Can I speak to you for a moment?" Ahhhh...those words I dreaded to hear. We went to a quiet corner of the room and she said she had thought about what I said about him not having a great year, all night long. She couldn't get over it. She stressed how important it was at kids of this age to love school and wanted to put my anxiety at rest. She went on and on about Cole's strengths and how well spoken and learned he is. About how she can tell he has had a lot of life experiences and can relate that to class discussions. She addressed how, yes he does move around in his seat, but how that is so normal for his age and how she can continue to address this positively in class. She said that even when he doesn't appear to be paying attention, he is and can restate almost verbatim what she said. She continued to say lots of positive things about him. Of course, me being me, I got teary eyed. I explained how that I would do anything to support him and her.

I just feel so good about this year. We have worked hard together all summer and his confidence about school has improved. She seems to have a great relationship him already and I look forward to working with her too.

In other news: I start my 5 week sub job tomorrow. Yipee! The teacher is very sweet and has given me free reign. She said just to pretend that it is my class and that is what I intend to do! Wish me luck.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back to School

1st day of 2nd grade

I can hardly believe that Cole starts 2nd grade tomorrow. As I've mentioned before I was lucky enough to spend the summer with him. I really enjoyed the time we spend together and I'm actually sad that the summer is already over. I'm nervous about this year, too. He didn't have a great year last year and I'm hoping that this year will be better. We worked hard all summer and he is excited about the new year. He didn't get the teacher I wanted him to have, but he didn't get the one I knew I didn't want, so that's okay. Actually, I have heard good things about his teacher and she seems great and his 1st grade teacher thinks he'll do great in her class.

It is hard being a parent sometimes. You want their road to be smooth and have no bumps, which of course isn't realistic. I know that having trials and errors is what helps him grow as an individual. However, I can't help wishing I had a magic wand to pave a clear road for him (if I did, I might wave it a time or two over my own road...LOL)!

I hope this school year brings great the both of us.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Down Again

I get knocked down
But I get up again
You're never going to keep me down

Do you remember those song lyrics? Lately, I feel like they are the anthem to my life. Well, I've been knocked down again.

A few weeks ago, a friend called me. She graduated with me and subbed in an adjacent school district. She was lucky and found a job. A teacher from another school called her for a long-term sub job to cover her maternity leave. Since, she is now employed, she recommended me instead. I spoke with the teacher at length. The job was to begin the week before the start of school and until the 2nd week of October. Since, full-time positions are basically non-existent I agreed, even though it would be a long drive for me. I was excited for the opportunity. The only problem was that I am not already a sub in that district. She said that she would notify her principal and they could see what they could do. In the meantime, I got a move on contacting on the sub coordinator with my fingerprint info and certificate.

A few days later, the principal emailed me and said that she would like me to go to training for two days this coming week. This would be unpaid, but a great opportunity to get familiar with the school and the team. So even though, this meant that I would have to not only find and pay for daycare for Cole for those two days, but my friend would have to make arrangements for her three boys that I'm watching. But, still worth it for the opportunity, so I agreed.

Then Monday night the principal emailed me to say that they had spoken with the sub coordinator and I would have to wait to sub until after sub orientation which isn't until the Friday after school starts. She said that they might have to look for someone that was already a sub to make it easier on the kiddos.

Then Tuesday, the teacher emailed me saying everything is a go. She still wanted me for the two days next week and I would come to meet the parents. There would be a sub for the 1st week and I would start on the 2nd week.

So today I stopped by Cole's old daycare to pick-up paperwork to fill out, so I could drop him off those two days next week. Everyone, came out to say hi and give Cole lovin'. One of the girls working there this summer is my friend. She graduated the semester before me and is still looking for a teaching position. We were sharing our miseries looking for positions in this economy and I mentioned the long-term sub job. She said she got one too. We were even more excited when we found out it was the same school. Then she asked what grade and teacher and imagine our surprise when it was the same teacher!

It seems they called her Monday, since she was already a sub in that district. This makes Tuesday's email even weirder. So, I assume they have gone with her which I completely understand since she can start right away. But it would have been nice to know, especially since I'm busting my butt to make child care arrangements and get established in that district. I've emailed the teacher and the principal to find out for sure, but have had no reply (neither has my friend). How ironic, that it was the two of us for the same job and we would find out. So frustrating. So I am back to square one with nothing lined up and a dismal future ahead. Sigh!

Today I got an email from the teacher saying that she wants me. So I am back "in". What a rollercoaster.

Friday, July 10, 2009

On not blogging

Okay, as Leah pointed out I haven't blogged in awhile. I feel like I am at a real low point and am trying to hope for a brighter future. I feel like I struggled and sacrificed a lot to put myself through school and now I feel like it was for nothing. I wanted to change our lives and I have, but not for the better. There are very few teaching jobs and the largest school district in the area is now on a hiring freeze which will only flood the existing school districts. I have literally spent hundreds of dollars in ink cartridges, resume paper, stamps, etc. preparing for job fairs and sending resumes to schools. The job fairs are depressing. They speak to you for literally seconds and add your resume to a 1' tall stack of resumes (and that is no exaggeration). I have to check the various school district websites daily and if there are any openings, I email, send a resume, and a follow-up email and have never even received a call back or reply. The market is that flooded. I have took an extra certification test so that I can teach English as a second language learners, but that hasn't helped. I can take other certification tests but it costs several hundred dollars per test and then about another $200 for study guides and licenses. Right now, I feel like that is a waste.

For the most part all my friends from school are in the same boat. Plus, I know that people all over this country are jobless and probably much worse off than me. I feel so inadequate though. Cole and I need a change and a move. It's time...way past time for us to be on our own. I am stagnating. So please, please, economy get better and fast.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Budding Songwriter

Several weeks ago Cole and I were at dinner. Suddenly he asked me for a pen. He was thinking of a song and wanted to write in down. He grabbed a napkin and wrote out the lyrics. He came home and typed it up in Word and grabbed his guitar and sang it to me in both a soft version and rock..must say I loved the rock! Here is his first song.


Bolts of Thunder
Lights of Thunder
Punch of Thunder
Kicks of Thunder
Knock of Thunder
Knock out of Thunder
Duck of Thunder
Wind of Thunder
Wings of Thunder
Dance of Thunder
Prance of Thunder
Jump of Thunder
Flower of Thunder
Crack! Boom!

My nephew was born the other night. Cole came home and wrote him a song. Here it is:

Oh My Dear Baby

Oh my dear baby
Oh you're so cute
I'm glad you were born
Oh I am so happy
When you are 7, I will be 14
I love you!

Then last night he wrote my dad a song for Father's Day:

Monte Come Back

Why did you leave me?
Oh! Please come back!
Oh, how much joy it is to have you by my side
Monte come back, Monte come back, Monte come back

Oh why did you leave your tighty whities on the floor?
I don't want to see you without your shirt, shut the door
Why don't you come to the gym anymore?
Monte come back, Monte come back, Monte come back

Why don't you bring me golfing anymore?
We shouldn't argue at dinner.
Please don't eat pie without your pants on!
Monte come back, Monte come back, Monte come back

This one has been my favorite so far! As for the eating the pie in the nude? Yeah, my dad really did that. A few mornings ago, Cole and I left and then I remembered I'd left my phone at home. So we turned around. When I walked in, jokingly I yelled out "hope you are dressed" and a sheepish voice yelled from the kitchen, "Actually I'm not. I'm eating pie in the kitchen!" Yuck, thank goodness my phone was in the other direction!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

A Gift

I realized the other morning that this summer will be the most consistant time that Cole and I have spent together since maternity leave...and he is now 7!!!! When he was younger he was in day-care all day and last year during Kinder I had to work during the summer so he was also at a day-care camp. This summer I am watching my friend's 3 boys which allows me to have Cole. This is such an amazing gift for me. I really am going to enjoy the time together and with 4 boys will probably have boy overload to boot! LOL.

To start off our first day Cole and I went to a waterpark together. We had a great time. The weather was perfect and the park wasn't crowded which meant we could speed through the lines and ride most rides twice. Despite the headache I woke up with and couldn't get rid of, we had a blast!

On Friday, we spent the 1st day with the kiddos. Cole had a great time and was disappointed that we weren't going to see them on Saturday. We went to the pool, played kickball, chase, tag, and hide-and-seek. I joined in too. Although I did manage to pull my hamstring which isn't great considering I am partcipating in a triathlon tomorrow. Oh, well. Bengay and Tylenol are helping some.

Next week all the boys are in the same basketball camp and then I am sure we will spend more time at the pool and having fun.