Sunday, October 29, 2006

Glorious Fall

I love this time of year. The weather becomes colder and the start of the holiday's are about to begin.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. Cole and I took Anna and Colin, Dr. Martin's kids to the park and to the Austin Zoo. She had to work and her husband was out of town and needed someone to watch the kiddos. I eagerly volunteered. I had several people ask me if I was crazy, volunteering to have three children for the morning. I wanted to say, "Hello people, this IS what I want to do for my life." We picked them up from work and went to the park for an hour. It was so much fun watching their imaginations and creativity at play. Collin is the youngest and had no trouble keeping up with the other two. Then we headed off to the zoo. I gave my rules before I left the car, "Stay together, no running, hold hands, no fingers on the cages (you are up pretty close to the cages, no yelling etc.)". I let the kids take turn being "line leader" so there were no arguments. They were all very well behaved. There were no fights, no whining, and no out of control children all day. We all had a great time. We got to feed the animals at the petting zoo (fun for even the big kid - me) and ride the train. They were so eager waiting for the train we all made up silly songs, to kill time. Cole really enjoyed having kids to pal around with for the day and I was relaxed and glad I didn't have to be his constant play companion.

Today we carved pumpkins. Cole loved scraping and pulling out the nasty pumpkin innards. Then he drew about five faces around his pumpkin. I let him use the "pokey" carving tool to punch in the outline of his faces and then I carved them out and let him push them through. We then created my pumpkin that I will take to work. We had such a great time. We were sitting on the back porch enjoying the beautiful weather for hours. I love creating traditions. I had never carved a pumpkin until I had Cole. We never did that as kids (my mom never did as a kid, either). However, since Cole was a baby we have carved pumpkin every year. Guess that's one good thing Cole's dad taught me, how to carve a pumpkin. I'll take the good memories where I can get them, I guess.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Braggin' and then URRRGGH!

Most nights after dinner, we sit down to do Cole's homework. He usually has to trace letters, match rhyming words, do simple math, etc. I'm lucky because I hear most mom's complaining their child doesn't want to do their work, or worse they refuse to do work at home, so they moms don't make them (great message to teach them in their early learning). I've heard some strong opinions about homework for Pre-K, but I personally don't see a problem with it. It starts early good habits and requires the parent's to work with their kids, which sadly doesn't happen enough. Luckily, Cole enjoys his homework, sometimes it's hard to keep him from working ahead. I love to see the look of joy in his face when he works through his assignment. Luckily the assignments are generally short, because it is hard to keep a four-year-old focused for too long.

Tonight as I was giving him his bath, I was looking at him thinking the evening over and how lucky I am. I was thinking about what a big boy he has become. While we get dinner ready, he sets the table for us. After playing each night, he picks his room up without complaint (okay so maybe some of the toys are just stashed under his bed, but the floor is clean). He bathes himself at bathtime, brushes his own teeth (and then I repeat with instructions in espanol), washes his own hair and gets on his pj's. After I read him two books he quietly goes off to bed. Oops, did I say quietly?

Not tonight, he had a mini pouty session because he wanted to watch a movie. Seems he must have known I was planning on blogging about what a big boy he was and didn't want to make my story too good to be true :-)

Monday, October 23, 2006


Well, the decision finally came to me about working two jobs. I had read Dr. 26's comment and it really hit home for me (the funny thing was she was worried about upsetting me, when she really just clarified my feelings). The next day I was leaving my math test and as I opened the door to the bright sunshine and started my hurried rush to go pick up Cole, I said to myself, "that's it I'm not taking the job." For the first time in weeks I could suddenly breathe easily again. I had a spring in my step. I decided to take out more student loans (yikes) to alleviate the worry over next semester.

The call to the EC didn't go so well and I REALLY hate disappointing people, but sometimes you got to do what is right for yourself. And boy was I glad that after my 5 hour Saturday work session, I didn't have to head over to the EC for an 8 hour shift. I was doubly glad on Sunday when I spent the entire day throwing up and staying in bed, I had previously been scheduled for an 8 hour shift then, too. I was so sick on Sunday that my mom had to take Cole to hockey alone, which made me feel miserable. There is no way I could go off to work every Sunday and miss hockey.

So thanks everyone for your words of advice and wisdom. Being a single parent, full-time employee, and part-time student is more than enough for me. So next time I think crazy thoughts about taking on YET more stress, don't be afraid to tell me I'm CRAZY!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Panic Attack

I think I had a panic attack this afternoon. I've never had one, so I don't know what one feels like per say. I've been toying with the idea of working part-time at the animal emergency clinic. I interviewed several weeks ago and shadowed for a shift. I was considering relief work or weekend shifts. They actually offered me a full-time position, but right now that wouldn't be very beneficial to me. They explained the con's of part time (fast paced, difficult to learn, etc.) but I stressed again that I could only do part-time for now. They called back and said they were still interested and would have to look at the shifts.

This afternoon they called and said they want me to start on Saturday. They wanted me there @ 1:00 pm. However, I have a mandatory "Strategic Planning Session" from 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm on Saturday for my full-time job. So now I get to do that as planned, then go work a shift at the EC and then work at the EC from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm on Sunday, as well. WHAT AM I THINKING? AM I CRAZY? The idea of it sound good, but the reality?... can I handle extra stress? During the week I feel like I barely get to spend any time with Cole. We leave at 6:20 in the morning, are home almost every day after 6:00 pm and then there is dinner, dishes, homework for Cole, and bathtime, not much room for just enjoying each other. The weekends are the only real quality time we get to share. This also means I will have to miss his hockey lesson on Sunday, oh and my own studying/homework FORGET ABOUT IT.

I'm only interested in working part-time because next semester I will be working full-time M, W, F and EVERY Saturday and going to school full-time T&TH from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm (actually Tuesday's until 7:00 pm). This means although I will be full-time, it will be 35 hours vs. the 40+ I've worked (and am budgeted on) for the past 4 years, plus increased tuition since I will be taking 17 hours. I need to save money for school and bills for next semester.

I feel slightly better since I got a letter from the Attorney General saying they located the ex's employer and will begin to garnish his wages ('bout damn time). However, that will only work if he keeps that job and he's already proven that is not a priority in his life, so I can't count on anything.

So there I sat this afternoon, outside of daycare, paralyzed with fear, trying to catch my breath. Can I do this? Can I give up my weekends with Cole? If so how long? I hate to have someone else have to take care of him. Can I live with myself, having my mom be responsible for him on the weekends? Will she go crazy? Will I? Am I? Where is my crystal ball? I'm supposed to call the EC after my Sunday shift to let them know what I think and talk about shifts. They have an 8:00 pm to 2:00am weekend shift, I can do that....I think. Spend the days with Cole and still go to hockey and then go to work. Hope it's open???? Know any rich dying single men out there??? Just kidding....I think. Breathe, Breathe, Breathe.

Monday, October 16, 2006

In memory of,

I received a wonderful gift today at work. Leah gave me a shadow box with a picture of Al, his collar and his paw print. It was perfect. I couldn't open it in front of everyone looking at me and the day was hellacious, so I didn't have a chance to close the door and look at it until late in the day, but it was worth the wait. After a day like today I needed something to take my mind off of work. When I showed it to Cole, his eyes became as big as saucers, and he said in a whisper, "Mommy it's Alby, it's Alby. Look there is his collar and his footprint." He hugged the shadow box and said "I sure miss Alby, he was a good boy, I loved him." He asked where I got it and when I said Leah made it, he wanted to call her "right away" and thank her. So thanks Leah, you brightened both of our days and now we have something that we will always cherish in addition to our memories.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Night school

Monday through Friday we leave the house at 6:15 am. It is pitch dark. After getting ready myself, making breakfast for us both (okay so it's more like gathering, than making) and dress a slumbering Cole and lug him out into the car. This morning as I was setting him in his seat, he cracked open one eye and sleepily mumbled, "Mommy, I'm tired of waking up to go to school every night.". Me too, me too.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Birthday wind-down

Saturday was my birthday. I’m officially 31, whoopee! 30 didn’t bother me, but 31? jeez, I’m getting old. My birthday started out, the way all birthdays should (insert drum roll here) with a garage sale. Nothing says happy birthday like waking up at before the sun rises and having people mill around the old crap you don’t want anymore trying to bargain down your already low prices. But, at least the garage sale is done, I didn’t get rid of my washer & dryer but I’m going to donate them to a local animal rescue group. The scary and exciting thing is that when Cole and I eventually move out, we will be starting over basically from scratch. We will have beds and dishes and not much else. It really will be a new beginning.

I had plans to go out to the Broken Spoke a C&W bar that night. I knew I’m officially old when I needed to take a nap, if I was going to be staying out late. So Cole and I took a nap and then woke up to open presents and have cake. My present from Cole was perfect. He picked out a ring that had a pink heart shaped gemstone and the band of the ring says “I love you”. My mom said he had picked out the ring because of the pink heart, but when she told him it said “I love you”, he had to get it for me. I’m proud of him because this is the first time, he kept his gift a secret, too! He wants me to where the ring on my “married finger” and I proudly put it on. That’s the only man’s ring I’d ever put on that finger again, anyway :-). My parent’s got me a watch and some birthday money that I will try VERY hard to spend on only myself, we will see.

Saturday night Leah took me to dinner and then we met some co-workers at the Broken Spoke. Before we got there, I was thinking to myself that there was no way I was going to dance, but I did dance and had a great time. I don’t like to drink but other people think you can’t have fun if you don’t drink, so I nursed a beer all night, my friend Paige kept pouring me “phantom” refills from the pitcher. The funniest thing all night was my boss, who danced to almost every song with the ladies from our table. He would just tap someone on the shoulder and head on out. He was a pretty good dancer, too. Everyone dances different and it’s difficult to learn what each person is doing, but he would show you each time and off you’d go. I actually danced with everyone, even Leah twice! The first trip out to the floor, I was having a moment of a panic attack, because I’m really uncomfortable with the whole touching, personal space thing. On the way out, it dawned on me that I used to LOVE dancing and just told my self to relax and have a good time. The biggest surprise of the night was Shawn showed up at the Broken Spoke. Here is this heavy metal, longhaired, guy in his C&W shirt dancing the two-step and cracking up and having a great time, what a site. One of the funniest things was Travis, who was dressed in a western shirt and jeans, boots, a big silver longhorn belt buckle and a western belt. I looked at the belt and the name on the back said, “Jimmy”. I laughed so hard. He bought the belt at Savers, a discount store for three dollars. A belt with someone else’s name, too funny! Anyway, all in all, it was a great birthday.

My brother’s birthday is on Tuesday, so we had our combined dinner out on Sunday. We had to take two cars because Cole had hockey afterwards. Cole wanted to ride in the “boy’s car” and made the “boys” sit on the same side of the table at the restaurant. He loves my brother and was sitting on his lap at dinner (and hey I got to eat using both of my hands and with no one half leaning/sitting on me). It was really sweet to see Cole, “male bonding”. I can’t wait until he’s a little older and can go golfing or spend the day with them.
Well, at least the weekend brought me out a little from the funk I’ve been in. So thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday and helped me celebrate!