Thursday, November 30, 2006


I have a fat cat named Bandit. He is seven years old and weighs 18 pounds. He has had a very rough time since we moved in with my parents. He has never really liked dogs, when he had our dog Bullet, they tolerated each other and lived peacefully because they generally ignored each other.

Since we have moved he stays exclusively in one corner of the house. He stays in my room, Cole's room, or the bathroom which are all adjacent to each other at the end of the hallway. The few times he has tried to venture out he has gotten into a fight with my mom's male dog. He has to eat in my room and they dogs even go in there and bother him, so we are constantly trying to put up baby gates, put the food in high locations, etc. He has been so stressed out he was tearing out patches of hair, every day I would come home to a new bald spot. Before we moved he would play with Toad, since we moved Toad has made friends with my mom's cat and spends the majority of the day chasing and playing with her (as well as, sharing her food and litter box). Toad could care less about the dogs and has truly made my parent's house his own...including sleeping with them in bed. Most days Bandit sits at then door to the bathroom where he can see down the hallway and just stares, he looks so mournful. He gets zero exercise. The moment we enter the bedroom he is starved for attention and WILL NOT leave you alone. I feel sorry for him but when you are trying to do homework he is very annoying. He just mops around day after day.

Last night I had washed my sheets and was making the bed. He was like a torpedo diving over, under and through a sea of teal sheets. He was so funny. I haven't seen him move like that in years. We played for a good thirty minutes, he would gently attack my hands and do somersaults under the covers. So now I know if I want him to get any exercise I will just have to change my sheets daily!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Spirit of Giving

I love to volunteer and give back to others. Despite my own personal melodrama, I'm always aware of how good my life truly is and I am truly thankful for my family and friends. This as been one of the worst years personally for me, but the love and support of my family and friends has brought renewed clarity on what I have to be thankful for.

Today we went to the Chuy's Children Giving to Children Parade where you bring a new gift to donate to Blue Santa. This is the second year we have participated in that. I really want to teach Cole to give to others. He really enjoys picking out a gift to give and donating it.

There are so many charities and organizations and so little time to choose what to do and for whom. I also really want to support our troops. My mom and I donated some tolietries for care packages, but I wanted to do more. I found a website that will assign you a soldier(s) to support directly. I asked for two. I've been assigned two troops (a male and a female) both stationed in Iraq. You are encouraged to send letters to the troops. I will let Cole help with this project, as well, I know he will enjoy it. I also found a cool website where you can donate money to a charity of your choice (and receive a bracelet), I donated to the Homes For Our Troops that helps provide housing for our severely disabled returning soldiers I was also sent an e-mail from one of our vendors at work to a cool website where you can send a postcard to troops stationed overseas.

So this holiday season, look beyond yourself. Giving to others is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Dance Fever

After a hectic day at work yesterday one of the girls suggested that we go to the Broken Spoke last night, since we didn't have to work today. I decided to go because I had been wanting to take Cole.

Cole was so excited. He picked out his "cowboy shirt" and put on his new cowboy boots and even asked his Granny for some of Papa's cologne. He was the best looking, smelling, and sweetest date I've had in years. As soon as we got there he hit the dance floor, I don't think we sat out one song. He would point at me and say "Let's go dance." He even danced with all the ladies from our table. Towards the end only me and one of the other girls (Amy) were his partners of choice. We all three had to dance together several times. He wanted to "slow dance" with me once and I held him, with his head on my shoulder as we twirled around the floor. When the band took a ten minute break he crawled up onto my lap and went fast asleep. I had a great time and will definitely have to take my "date" out dancing again soon. I know he'll want to go again because the very first sleepy words out of his mouth this morning were "Can we go to the dance place again today?"

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

There is a first time for everything.

First time I've blogged twice in one day and the first time I've put pictures in my blog. Yeah for me! Here are some pictures of Cole in his hockey gear and on the ice. The first picture he is the little weeble-wobble in the front of the line. He shoots, he scores! He did actually make a "goal" (actually shooting at a goalie stationed between two oranges cones).

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Parents Behaving Badly

Everyone has seen those video clips of dads coming to blows at pee-wee sports event. Last night I almost got to witness the mom version. I took Cole to go see We went to a 7:00 pm show and it was very crowded. Apparently a mom that was there with a teenaged son and 6 or 7 little kids had arrived early and saved enough seats for their entire group. They had laid jackets on all the chairs and asked a woman sitting in the adjacent seat to help make sure no one sat there. She went back to the concession stand and came back with all those kids and two trays heaped with snacks and drinks to find their jackets on the floor and their seats taken. She started yelling at the woman for not saving her the seats and other lady started yelling back insults and the word "bitch" were screamed back and forth. All this at a kids movies, jeez. Finally the woman with the troop of kids and mountains of food, stormed off and the only seats they could find together were in the second row. Both people were at fault, but I couldn't believe how they acted. I was a good six or so rows back and could hear every insult being traded. Wow!

On the plus side, other than the fact the theatre was hotter than Hades, both Cole and I enjoyed the movie. They had great songs and wonderfully detailed characters and background, the modern of modern computer animation. We always sit on the end of a back row and Cole spent a good portion of the movie up dancing. So if you are looking for a good way to entertain the kiddos for a few hours, go see Happy Feet. Hopefully, you won't have to see a "pre-show" fight.

Monday, November 13, 2006

When we die

Tonight at dinner I was telling my mom about a doctor's mom at work that is gravely ill and probably will pass away before the end of the week. Cole piped up and said, "Why is Dr. _____, going to die?" I said it wasn't him it was his mom and she was very old and sick. I said people eventually get old and then they die. He looked right at my mom and said, "Granny is very old". We cracked up. Then he said, "when she dies we will bury her and then the sharks will eat her." Guess, we are having an at sea burial.

The other funny thing was when doing his homework tonight he zoned out. I called his name and he said, "Cole has left the building." Ah, he makes me laugh.

Sunday we took pictures at Zilker Botanical Gardens. Take a peek and give me your opinion, I HATE making decisions.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Today the first wage garnishment for child support hit my account! It wasn't much, only about 40% of what he'll owe me every month, but something is better than nothing. After months and months of struggling, phone calls with the Attorney General, and red-tape there is finally something to show for my effort. He may have emotionally and physically abandoned Cole, but he can't completely financially abandon him (unless he quits working...but only positive thoughts). My plan is to put 100% of it into savings, since I'm living @ home now. It would be so wonderful to have a little padding financially for the first time. So for now, I'm thankful that if you follow the rules the system can help you.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Parenting Advice

It seems like anyone is ready to dish their unsolicited parenting advice at a moment's notice. Now don't get me wrong. I want, need, and appreciate advice. I read many articles, books, websites, have asked advice from my pediatrician, family, friends, teachers, etc. There are some people, however, I just smile and nod as they give me advice. This week a co-worker went off on the fact that Cole is in hockey. She said numerous things, one thing that struck me as the funniest was that I should "just let him watch hockey on TV instead of wasting my money letting him play." Gee thanks, that's great advice, setting him in front of the TV instead of physical activity, I'll take that under consideration. I've had people tell me, "You'll make him gay" because he takes gymnastics/dance at daycare. He will be a "momma's boy" because I'm not married. Now I will be the first to admit that I've made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes along the way. That is how you learn to parent. No one is perfect, but making him a "momma's boy" or "sitting him in front of the TV" is advice I'll choose to ignore. Before I had Cole, I thought I knew how I wanted to parent, but the truth is nothing in life goes as plans. You have to be willing to be creative, flexible, patient, firm yet yielding, loving, and tireless to be a parent, even then the job isn't done.

After all...."Raising kids is part joy and part guerilla warfare" - Ed Asner

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Pillsbury Dough Boy

Today was Cole's first day of actual hockey class. He has been taking hockey/skating lessons since May and today marked the first day of hockey class. We went to get him fitted for all his equipment today. I know NOTHING about hockey, so I was more nervous than Cole, I wasn't sure I'd even be able to get all that gear on him by myself. He's so small and even some of the smallest equipment is slightly too big. He has to wear breezers (hockey pants), a cup (the sight of that tiny jock strap just sent me into a fit of laughter), shin pads (which are too big, he can barely bend his legs), elbow pads, a neck guard, shoulder pads, a practice jersey, a helmet w/ full face shield, a mouth piece, hockey gloves, skates, and a stick...yes someone is silly enough to give my four-year-old a stick. The man fitting the equipment asked if he needed a left or right handed stick, I didn't even know there was a difference. I said Cole was right-handed but he had him hold a stick and said, he needed a left-handed one. Ummm, okay I thought. He cut about 3 feet off a stick, added some athletic tape, threw all the gear in a bag so big, I will need an SUV to haul it around and off we went.

Once it was time for his class it was my turn to try to remember how to put everything on. I swear it took my at least 15 minutes. He looked so funny. Here is thirty-five pound child wearing at least 5 pounds of bulky hockey equipment. He could barely move. Once he was on the ice, he had to re-learn how to stand up again. It's a entirely different feel trying to stand up with all that equipment (especially when you can't bend your legs too well) and holding a stick. We quickly realized the guy was wrong and Cole does need a right-handed stick--URGHH. His previous classes had been 30 minute sessions and this class is a full hour. He hung in there though. His favorite teacher Miss Angie came in about halfway through the session, so he got some one-on-one attention, which he loves. The last few minutes of practice they let them skate around and play tag and bump each other. Cole likes to bump others but when someone bumped him and he fell, he cried. A lean mean fighting machine he's not. After the tears were gone, he got back up and finished practice. He was soaking with sweat when he came off the ice, but smiling so that's all that matters. Well, I guess all we need now is a right-handed stick. Oh, and a SUV to haul all that stuff around.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The cats did it

Tonight I had to make four turkey/snowmen for my music play tomorrow---don't ask. Cole was helping. I left the room for a minute and when I came back Cole had a perfectly straight vertical cut line in the collar of his t-shirt and a pair of scissors (not his kid scissors that he had been using moments before) laying suspiciously next to his right hand. When I asked him what happened, he said the "cats scratched his shirt" when I said I don't think so, he changed his story to the "cats bit his shirt". I asked if he was sure he didn't cut his shirt and he shook his head, no. I pointed out the fairly obvious fact that there were not any cats in the room and he changed his story to "the snowman did it". Hiding my smile and holding back the laugh, I told him that I wouldn't be angry if he told the truth and asked him what a lie was. After his rather rambling explanation I asked him the truth again, and with downcast eyes he explained "the scissors accidentally cut his shirt." No really? I thanked him for telling the truth and we finished our project.

One other funny note. I brought Cole home a flower today because someone was going to throw out a wilted Gerber daisy at work. Cole often brings me flowers that he picked from the playground, so I decided to give him one instead. He was happy and said it was our "married flowers". He was going to give it to me on our "married day" and we would stand in front of the man and he would say, "Do you take this woman?" I started cracking up. I asked him where he knew this from and he said from "Clifford the Big Red Dog". I guess they must have watched an episode at daycare on one of their monthly movie days that showed that.