Sunday, December 30, 2007

Worth the pain

Here is a picture I took of Cole and "Franklin" from Mt. Bonnell the day I sprained my ankle. I think the view was worth the pain :-) My ankle is much better. As Cole would say it is still "swallen" but on the mend. I did a full work-out at the gym and it held up pretty well. Working out with my new I-Pod that I bought myself, was an added bonus.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

First "Toof"

Cole had his dental cleaning today. He has had one very loose tooth and the dentist agreed it would fall out any day. After his appointment we went to lunch. He was talking and eating and suddenly I realized his tooth was gone. He was so excited and then we both started laughing because we realized he had swallowed his tooth. The waitress came over to see what we were laughing about and Cole excitedly told her "I losed my first toof." He showed everyone we encountered today. I've reassured him that the 'tooth fairy' will still know he lost his tooth, even though he won't be able to leave it under the pillow. We set up a special cup next to the bed for the tooth fairy to leave his tooth money.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Recap

Cole had a good Christmas. On Christmas Eve Cole made cookies for Santa and sprinkled Reindeer dust in the yard to guide Santa's sleigh. While he slept the night away, "Santa" was using wire cutters to remove an ungodly amount of wire twist ties, putting in batteries, and putting the final touches on Christmas. Cole was sound asleep on Christmas morning. I finally whispered into his ear that Santa had arrived and he literally jumped out of bed. He was so excited to get his "band" that he wanted (guitar, drums, microphone). He named his band "26". To my dad's dismay "Santa" also brought a pogo stick and a skateboard. Sadly, Santa didn't bring the protective bubble that he should grow up in to protect him from injury. JK
A Christmas miracle did occur. On Christmas Eve, the postman delivered a package from Cole's dad. I'm disappointed that he still didn't bother to call, but at least he thought of him. Cole was excited to get the package. I let him open the gifts from his dad that night.

It was nice to hear from family and friends. I hope everyone else had a nice Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I love traditions. At Christmastime each year we take Cole to the Trail of Lights. Since I sprained my ankle last Sunday, I thought we weren't going to be able to go this year. I'm able to get around, but with a limp. Since tonight was the last night, I decided we were going to go. It's quite a walk through the trails so I told Cole that this year he would have to walk the entire way and that I wouldn't be able to carry him. He was still eager to go. My mom came with us (thinking I've totally lost my mind). The easiest thing to do is park several miles away and ride the city bus to the trail, so that's what we did. The lines were so long. Once we got on the crowded bus and on our way, Cole looked at us and said, "I think someone is passing out gas. Not the kind that goes in your car, but the toot kind." Laughing my mom said, "That might happen on a crowded bus." He emphatically replied, "It did happen!" He makes me laugh.

The trail was so crowded. I ended up limping with Cole on my shoulders, because that was the only way he was going to be able to see anything there were so many people. Despite the limp and the crowds, I'm still glad we went.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


In Cole's class each student is "star of the week". They create an "all about me" poster and most importantly they get to bring home "Franklin" for the week. Franklin is a stuffed turtle. He comes in his own traveling suitcase and books. Each child is supposed to have pictures taken of them and Franklin doing things together to add to a class book. This was Cole's week. We took Franklin to karate, to the grocery store, etc. Cole really wanted to take him to the trail of lights. We had planned on going last night but it was very cold and way too windy. He was disappointed.

Today was a beautiful day. We decided to take "Franklin" to a local spot that you can climb and have a vantage point to see the lake. We headed out with my grandma and mom. We got some great pictures and we were having a great time. I was being so careful with Cole on the slippery rocks the entire time. On the way down the stone steps, I was still holding onto Cole's hand watching out for him, guessed it I fell! I'm not even sure what exactly I did, I heard a pop as my ankle twisted under me. I knew immediately, it wasn't just a twist. Some guy a few feet in front of me turned around to help, but I tried to laugh and say it was okay. My mom and grandma were pretty far behind us and saw me sitting on the steps. It started to swell immediately. I didn't want to go to the doctor but went about an hour later when the swelling continued to get worse and I could barely put any weight on it. So three x-rays later there is no obvious fracture. The doctor said there was so much swelling he could have missed a small fracture, so if I'm not feeling better by Friday I will need more x-rays. For now I have to wear a splint for several days, no weight-bearing which means crutches! Oh, yeah and it's my driving foot. I'm not sure how I'm going to get to work and around work tomorrow. Plus, my armpits already hurt from the crutches. I'm such a klutz! At least it's not broken.

Cole has been very sweet and has been taking care of me. Of course he's envious that he doesn't have crutches, too.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Holiday Spirit

Last night was our company holiday party. It was an unusual evening. I can't say too much, since so many of our co-workers read our blogs. Vetmommy has a few great photos posted on her blog. I did enjoy the evening of people watching. I got hit on for the first time in YEARS, sadly it was by my very inebriated boss. I love her.....just not in that way :) and I wasn't the only one, just had her eye on, just the only one whose face she licked!!!! JK It was all in good fun.

This morning, when we woke up we turned on some Christmas music and started putting up the tree. Cole was so excited. We let him put the star on the tree and he was so proud of himself. We had a great time going through our ornaments. There were some special ones that my grandpa had carved. Cole found a "special spot" for those. He enjoyed seeing an ornament that I made as a kid. The best part is when Cole was a baby, I started a tradition of getting an ornament made with either his or our names and the year. He loved finding each one and he can't wait to pick one out this year. When we asked him to climb under the tree to put the tree skirt under, he looked at us and said with wonder "I didn't know our Christmas tree was a girl!" We laughed so hard.

We will have a mini-Christmas this weekend. My grandma comes in this week. This will be the first time I've seen her since the whole funeral ordeal. Awkward to say the least. Christmas without my grandpa will be bittersweet.

At least a cold front blew in tonight...makes me a little more in the holiday mood.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My little elf and me

Click on the Red X to watch us dance!

Friday, November 30, 2007


It seems like every time I try to get over my anger at Cole's dad (a word that doesn't really describe him) it gets refreshed. Child support and insurance seem trivial to the pain it causes me when Cole wants or needs a dad, then I really hate him all over again.

He called Cole in April, yes April! Not a word since then. Cole almost literally never speaks about him. I never speak bad about him in front of Cole and when and if Cole asks questions I very carefully consider the answers that I give. He hasn't spoken or asked about him in many, many months.

On Sunday we were running errands and he asked me to help spell a sentence. I thought he said " I hate that." and I was helping him sound out the words, when we got to the last word I was sounding out that and he said that wasn't the right word, he wanted to spell "I hate dad." I almost fell out of my seat, I was truly speechless. No anger or sadness he just wanted to spell "I hate dad." The next day he was playing with some men on motorcycles (toys, just in case you think I let him hang around biker bars) and I was in the hallway half-listening as he was playing and he said " Hi my name is Cole. Are you Brad? Do you go to my school? Hey did you know my great-papa and my dad are dead?" Tears sprung to my eyes. That night without mentioning I had overheard him, I asked him if he remembered where his dad was and he did know.

I had just picked him up from school tonight and we were sitting in traffic on the way home and he said, "Mom, you know what? I only have one parent. I think I'm going to ask my Papa to be my dad. I'll tell him when I get home. Granny can be my step-mom." Finally laughing through my tears, I asked him how he even knows what a 'step-mom' is. He said, " I just know that word."

We talked some more tonight about his dad, but I'm kinda of at a loss of what to say. I think with all the holiday stuff at school they must be talking about families or something. I am going to speak to his teacher next week. I'm thinking he might need to visit the school counselor. He has had no behavior changes, but I just want to be safe.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Last Day :-(

Today was my last day with the Kindergarten class. I can't believe the semester went by so fast. The kids made a cute book for me, they colored pictures of me and them and wrote a few sentences of things we did in class together. I know I will always treasure that book. I ate lunch with them in the cafeteria and had made them each a gift bag. At the end of the day after some tears and hugs, I said my final goodbye.

During Christmas break I'm going to volunteer in Cole's class on Thursday so at least I'll still get my Kindergarten fix.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I'm loving my time off. It's wonderful to actually spend some quality time with Cole, no homework, no work, no school, no deadlines and rushing to and fro. True to my style though we have been busy. We've made pecan and pumpkin pies, gingerbread men, and pizza. We've been to the gym daily, ran errands and started Christmas shopping.

On Friday, we went to a wonderful museum, the Texas Memorial Museum on the UT campus. I had googled "dinosaurs" Austin, TX on Wednesday night and a link to this museum came up. It's free to visit. An added perk was that it was a student holiday so there was no traffic and plenty of free parking. We both loved the museum. They had 4 floors of exhibits. The bottom floor was fossils, dinosaurs, and meteorites a five-year-old's dream come true. The really cool part was they have a Paleo lab and a Paleontologist on site to answer questions. She was wonderful. Cole probably asked questions for 30 minutes. She answered all his questions and showed him some really cool fossils and photos of digs she had been on. We will absolutely go back and visit again! Cole now wants to be a "cooker and a bone finder" when he grows up.

After the museum and lunch we went to the park. We explored a dry creek bed and had a great time in the cold air (FINALLY!!!) looking for our own "dinosaur fossils". I took some great photos of Cole. After stopping by work for a quick meeting it was off to the gym to swim in the heated indoor pool.

Today Cole had karate and we went to see Enchanted (hope you got to see it Joey, because it was cute..of course it did have McDreamy) then I donated blood. This afternoon since it is cold and rainy we have been...wait, wait for it....relaxing! Movies, hot chocolate and some good old tickling matches, that's it! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wrap Up

I barely left the house this weekend. The only thing we had planned was "date night" on Saturday, but Cole came down with Strep. This really hasn't been his week.

I literally spent almost the entire weekend doing homework. The remainder of my projects are due on Tuesday, this semester flew by. I know that I'm going to cry when I have to say goodbye to the kids. The big project I have due is a powerpoint highlighting what I have learned and taught this semester. I spent countless hours downloading pictures and scanning documents. I wonder what the students did to showcase their work before we had such wonderful technology? It's nice to almost be done. The winter break will be the longest break that I have had since exactly this time last year. I can't wait!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The sweetest words

Last night after Cole's bedtime story, he looked at me reached over and gave me a hug and said, "Mom, you know what? You're my hero."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Can't catch a break!

Our drama filled life continues. I must have been horrible in my past life or something.

Today after school I had a message from Leah that Cole's school called and he had been poked in the eye. Of course, the school didn't call me and I got the message several hours after it happened. I called the school about 15 minutes after classes let out and the nurse said Cole was sitting on the floor and a student dropped her plastic folder onto his eye....WHAT??? Only my son. His eye was red but since they couldn't reach me, they sent him back to class (I did tell them next time to call my phone not my work, especially since I wasn't even there). I quickly sped to pick him up. His eye was swollen, squinty, and red. I called his doctor and they were unable/unwilling? to work him in. They offered the after hours clinic which could see him in a few hours. It is way up north and I would be sitting in rush hour traffic for at least 1 hour.

Remember how Cole's dad had e-mailed to say no more child support, no more insurance? I had signed Cole up for new insurance and the cards had just come in the mail. We rushed home to get them. At home I took a good look at his eye and there was some redness, but he said his eye didn't really hurt and it wasn't sensitive to light. I was most concerned about a possible scratch on his cornea. We stopped by my work and one of the doctors stained his eye to look for a scratch, there was nothing. So, and here is the part I feel like the worst mother of the year for I decided not to take him to after hours. We came home and he was feeling fine. We were applying warm compresses and relaxing. After his bath he was coughing while brushing his teeth because of his nasal congestion and he threw up. Immediately his eye started to swell and blood tinged tears came out. When I opened it you could see hemorrhaging on the white of his eye. The after hours clinic couldn't see him now so we rushed to the Urgent Care that is down the street. When we got in the receptionist kept telling me that they didn't take our insurance. I handed her my debit card and said "I don't care, I will pay whatever!". The nurse came out and took a look at Cole and brought him back. I didn't dare say that my son was seen by a vet earlier in the day! The doctor numbed his eye, took one look and said she didn't like what she was seeing and we needed to go straight to the ER for a possible emergency surgery. She called ahead and told the nurse they would need to page an ophthalmologist. We rushed over (I barely remember the tearful drive as I called Leah and my mom). Of course, once we got there they said they couldn't get an ophthalmologist in. By the time the doctor came in, Cole was sound asleep. She did several diagnostic tests and said the good news was the hemorrhaging hadn't gotten worse and he didn't need surgery tonight. She gave us some medicine for tonight and we have to see an ophthalmologist first thing tomorrow, but I hope everything will be all right.

The only funny part of the evening was watching the doctor try to run tests on Cole while he snored loudly. That boy can sleep! He was propped up on the eye diagnostic machine just snoring away while I held his eye open. I imagine in the morning, he will think it was all a bad dream.

Thank you Leah for trying to make it to the hospital. You're the best!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Loose tooth

Cole has talked so much about getting his first loose tooth. They talk about losing baby teeth at school and have a lost tooth chart that he can't wait to get his name on. We check his teeth frequently, but none have budged until now.

Yesterday at his afterschool care, he was chasing his paper airplane and ran in front of the swings. He was kicked in the face (or the back, depending on the story) and spun around and landed face first in the rocks (that part was verified by the teachers). His lip was swollen, his nose is all scratched up, and he said his teeth hurt. I looked at his teeth last night and the gums were swollen. Tonight I looked at his teeth again and sure enough the left top front tooth is loose. When I told Cole it wiggled his eyes lit up and flew off my lap, shouting with excitement that his tooth was loose. We had to show Granny and Papa and my eyes quickly filled with tears at yet another sign that my little boy is growing up (with the aide of a face plant).

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Science Project

At the start of the school year Cole was given a packet of information on science fair projects. At his school district it is mandatory for 4th and 5th grade but an option for all others. He loved helping me with my project this summer and was excited about doing his own. I signed him up. The deadline seemed so far away. Fast forward to this weekend and me saying "What the heck was I thinking??????" His deadline came smack in the middle of a myriad of my own assignments that were due. I put my stuff on hold and we got busy on his project. We stained some hard-boiled eggs and tested different types of toothpastes to see what cleaned better. My favorite part was his hypothesis that his Watermelon Kids toothpaste would work better because it tastes the best. We had a great time. We completed his display board tonight and I will drop him off in the morning, so he can turn it in. I love his handwriting and crooked cutting and pasting, it just makes me smile every time I see it. What do ya'll think?
The firstt picture is how he dressed himself on Sunday to go to the gym. I cracked up....and yes I did let him go that way. Brown shorts, jean shorts, red baseball socks, yellow crocs, and a stocking cap now that is what I call an outfit.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

The pumpkin on the left is the one Cole and I did for work. I won 1st place. The picture in the middle is Cole and his pumpkin. Cole in full transformer mode.

Here are a few pics from tonight. Cole had a good time dressed as a transformer. We had a long walk between houses for trick-or-treating (my mom's neighborhood isn't much fun). A quick bath and a book, he was asleep in less than five minutes. We love Halloween.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fall has fallen

It's fall and I couldn't be happier (other than the head congestion, sore throat, and runny nose it brought with it). I love the brisk breeze and the crunch of the leaves. I actually played tag with my Kindergarten class today on the playground, we all had a great time. I was also happy because moments before I had registered for my last semester of course work classes (18 hours! YIPES!). That will leave me only 1 class to take this summer and then it's student teaching in the fall. I can't believe it is so close. It seems so real now.

After school I took Cole to karate classes at our new gym. T-ball is over in a few weeks. He loves the karate and I try hard not to tear up when I watch him, I'm such a sap.

Last night since I was at school, my mom read Cole his nightly story. When they were finished, Cole said "Duh end. Do you know what that starts with Granny?" When she replied, "T" she was corrected. "No, Granny it's D. D says 'duh' ...Duh end" She tried to tell him it's 'The End' but as usual he couldn't be swayed.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Here we go again

Email titled "BAD NEWS" from Cole's Dad. In a nutshell? He got fired. So once again no child support and no health insurance. It was a constant worry and struggle to get things taken care of the first time around. I can't believe I'm going to have to do all of this all over again. When does this end? How much fight do I have left?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

They are going to take away my Texas card

Last night we took Cole to a high school football game. When we were children and lived in New Mexico my parents took us to the local high school football games which we loved. Then when I was in high school there was nothing I loved more than Friday night football games. The day would start off with morning pep-rallies, spirit competitions between the grade levels and then a fun night yelling and cheering at the football stadium. My brother played football in high school and many nights were spent at his games, as well. Texas and football just go together.

Cole loves going to the games. The band, the cheerleaders, the dancers and the action what could be more fun to a five-year-old? Football has changed for me now. I now see the game through mother's eyes. All I could think about as the big hits drew cheers and yells of excitement from the fans, was that was a mother's son out there getting the snot clobbered out of them. Here is my secret...I don't want my son to play football. See there is probably an angry mob starting to gather at my front door right now. They are going kick us right out of Texas. I think they still burn people at the stake for saying such blasphemous things down here.

Of course if he wants to play I will let him. Hopefully he will stick to baseball or karate (which he starts on Tuesday).

Monday, October 08, 2007

Teacher Conference

Today was Cole's first parent-teacher conference. I was both nervous and excited. I arrived at my scheduled time but the teacher was running about 20 minutes late. It seems the previous parent (who was over the top and pushy during back-to-school night) was very argumentative and didn't want to listen to much she had to say. She had been put through the ringer. Boy I don't look forward to being on the receiving end of those conversations in the near future. At least being a manager for the past 5 years has prepared me for those types of people. Anyway...

Cole's teacher said he is doing great. He is either right on target or surpassed where he needs to be at this point in the semester. She said he is great working either alone or in a group, makes friends very easily and is one of the most liked students in class, very helpful and friendly, and empathetic of others. The one thing they have been working on is staying on task. She said that he tends to talk to others instead of completing his assignments but understands what he is supposed to be doing. She has figured out what motivates him and now he is usually one of the first to be done with his work. She said over and over that he is just so sweet and cute and she feels very lucky to have him in her class (I tried not to tear up). She also said that several of the other teachers and special teachers (PE, music, art) have told her the same thing and have made comments to her about what a great kid he is! So yeah, Cole! I told her that I he loves her a lot and speaks about her often. He loves her homework assignments. I also let her know that I have already noticed a big improvement in his learning and understanding since the school year began. It was just a love-fest all around.

I hope rest of the year goes as smoothly.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Inappropriate behavior

Today Cole had a purple note in his folder from a cafeteria worker. It reads:


Cole's behavior was inappropriate and required adult intervention. He was using his empty lunch box for a hat in the cafeteria.

An empty lunch box as a hat??? I would have ripped that sucker off his head, tossed him on the floor in a headlock, and......tickled him like crazy for being funny. Come on people, if that is the worse thing he does this school year, I will personally wear a lunchbox for a hat for an entire day at work. Some say "inappropriate" others say "creative". Now before all you angry cafeteria supervisors comment on my blog, I know that you don't have a fun tasks supervising 5 year olds eating lunch, but good grief.

The funniest part was when I asked Cole about it he said, "Mom she yelled at me and then said in a mad voice that I was getting a 'red flag' for that. But all she gave me was a purple piece of paper." He was sad the "flag" was neither red nor a real flag! I have half a mind to send a note back that says:


The cafeteria volunteer's "red flag" was neither red nor a flag. It required adult intervention to explain that by "red flag" you actually meant a purple piece of cardboard stock paper. This was very confusing to my deviant five- year-old. In the future when my hooligan is misbehaving tell him "you are getting a purple piece of paper!" At least then he will understand that what he did was bad, very, very bad!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Steppin' out of the box

I've mentioned in a previous post that the PE class I'm taking is Yoga. I was nervous about taking the class because other than a "Mom and me" Yoga class I took with Cole I haven't taken anything like this before. I was unsure about what we would actually be doing. The class size is small. There are always two or three very serious Yoga-ites. They wear their matchy, matchy special made Yoga clothes, they bow to the mat before we start, and then mediate. The Yoga teacher is a middle aged man with flowing silver hair. He speaks in a measured calm voice one would expect of a Yoga teacher. I actually like the class, but 2 1/2 hours is a long time to do Yoga. I just don't take the class as seriously as some of the others. There is another girl in the class that I've become friendly with and we have the same Yoga background (NONE) and serious nature - NOT.

I have been impressed with the things I have done. Several weeks ago the instructor showed us how to do a shoulder stand and a plow and I laughed and said there was no way I was going to be able to do those. Silly me...I did both that day and have continued to do them since. I laugh every time when I think what I must look. I don't laugh too much or too long however because I can't breath, especially with my boobs resting on my face :-)

I actually laugh a lot in that class. The more inappropriate a place or time is for me to laugh, the more I'm likely to do it. If I try to stifle a laugh I usually end of just laughing even longer. A few weeks ago while in a pose the instructor (in his dignified Yoga whisper) said that sometimes the pose caused gas releasing. WHAT? He went on the say it was normal, and not to be shocked or alarmed if someone passed gas and reminded us how it is a natural part of life. Then last week while doing a pose he said that the more we spread about our knees the "more action we will get". I tried to stifle my laugh. I made eye contact with the other girl and I was toast, I fell out of the pose laughing. At least my Yoga teacher is good natured.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Feelin' good

Today has been a wonderful day! I had another great day at school. Every day I feel more comfortable and at ease. On Thursday I give my first lesson on my own. I wrote the lesson and will run with it from beginning to end with the kids and with my professor watching (YIKES)!

Cole had a great day at school. He got a "purple bee" today which is the highest behavior award and he was walking on air because he got to choose from the treasure box. On Tuesdays he is sent home with homework that is due on Thursdays. He is always so excited, that we finish the work on Tuesday nights. I have been impressed with his homework assignments so far. They have been far from boring. All tasks have required some creative thinking, no mind numbing worksheets. Tonight he got to "google" part of his work which he enjoyed. For the other part, he had to look around the house to find 2 objects that would fit in a zip-lock bag to take back to school. He had to pick something that was a primary color and something that was a secondary color. On Thursday they are going to make a graph of the colors of objects that are returned. He had a great time not only finding the colors but finding objects small enough to fit in a baggie. After homework we played T-ball in the backyard and then headed in for bath, books, and bed.

I also got a wonderful call tonight. My friends the "boobears" (that is what they call each other and Cole and I call them) are expecting a baby. They have been trying for a very long time. I'm so excited for them, they will be great parents.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sniffle, sniffle

I have my second "Kindergarten" cold. Last weekend I had a sore throat and runny nose and this weekend it is more of the same.

Cole has another case of strep throat. He woke up with a fever yesterday morning. Today his temp was 102, so off to the pediatrician we went. A throat swab and fifteen minutes later the rapid strep test was positive. I explained how difficult (this word is an understatement) Cole has been to medicate lately to his doctor. She sat him down and they had a nice long talk. She explained all his options, an injection, a twice a day liquid for seven days, a once a day liquid for 10, a capsule that can be mixed with food once day for ten days and let him choose. He choose the capsule. She reminded him that if he didn't take his medicine he would have no choice but to get a shot. He choose ice cream to mix his medicine in. I placed a capsule on the counter that he never took his eyes off. I said that since his throat was hurting so much, he could have a little ice cream first. Meanwhile, I had palmed another capsule and mixed it in. He ate up his first spoonful of ice cream. He was shocked when afterwards I told him that he had already taken his medicine. YES!!! I outsmarted a five year old. He happily agreed that it didn't taste bad at all. Hopefully we will have 9 more days of easy medicating. I hope he starts feeling better soon, his temp was up to 103.5 this evening before bed. He sure hated missing school and talked a lot today about what his friends where probably doing at school.

On Saturday, Cole told us he wants to be an astronaut when he grows up. Why? So he can blast off in a rocket ship to Heaven to visit Great-Papa.

***By the response to my reply to R's email, just as I expected

Friday, September 14, 2007

Out of the blue

Today my boss asked me if I had gotten his two page e-mail. I said no, but as soon as I had time I would sit down and check my messages. This afternoon I finally had a moment. As soon as I opened my e-mail account the first new message I saw was from Cole's dad. I was momentarily stunned. We haven't heard from him in six months and now an e-mail. With trepidation I opened the message.

In summary, he said that he was sorry he hasn't called but he has been "busy" and traveling most of the summer (warning sarcastic response ahead: apparently to locations that don't have cell phone service). He was forwarding his new address, wanted to know how Cole was doing, can I send him some pictures and oh, by the way please consider sending him to NY next summer, he will pay the way of course. He could take vacation and spend "24/7" with him.

Wow, where do I even start? He has seen him for approximately 3 hours in an entire year and spoken to him on the phone maybe a total of 10 minutes in that time and he wants me to send Cole to him a year from now? I saved the e-mail because I didn't know what to say that was polite. Leah suggested I write what I was really thinking in a draft and then go back and delete what I didn't want to say. I said that if I did that, the only word I would have left was "no" - we both cracked up.

First of all, I know this, like always, is just lip service. Just like last year when he was going to be working in Houston for 8 weeks and he said he was going to come see Cole "every weekend" that he was in town. He saw him twice, both times for about 1.5 hours and when for Cole's birthday when he said he mailed a gift and hadn't. It's a 99% probability that nothing will ever be spoken about this again.

I thought carefully about my reply. It's an exercise in my self-control to write a civil response. Despite everything he is still Cole's dad and I don't in any way want to hurt Cole by creating an ugly environment or shutting the door completely.

I simply stated that I didn't even know how to respond to his question and that it had been quite some time since we've heard from him. I said that at this point in time it would not be in Cole's best interest to go to NY in a year. I said that they haven't spend much time together or on the phone in the past year, another year will only make that separation more apparent. If he really wants to see him he could schedule a visit down here and establish a bond with him. I would have no problem with them visiting here. Maybe if at some point they had a relationship and he is a little older a visit up there would be more appropriate. I said I would send a photo and thanked him for the updated information. I let him know that Cole was doing good, had started school, and was an amazing kid (again sarcastic response: no thanks to him!)

I know this is ugly of me, but in some ways I'm thankful they don't have a relationship. There are two kids (from the same family) who's parents are divorced on Cole's T-ball team and they sob and cling to their dad when he leaves and he gently says, "I'll see you on Sunday." There is an angelic girl in my Kindergarten class, with an adorable southern accent, who's parents are going through a very nasty divorce, she is only 5 and in counseling. Another girl in the class never can remember what parent she is spending the night with. Cole and I don't have any of those problems.

Guess I will wait and see, what if any response I get in return.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Over the top

Cole's T-ball team has an over-exuberant team mom. Usually no one volunteers for these type of things eagerly. Typically the coach asks for a volunteer and everyone tries to avoid eye contact and ignore the uncomfortable silence before someone squeaks out, "I'll do it." Not this season. As soon as the first e-mail from the coaches was sent, this mom replied and said she wanted to be team mom.

She is a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) and unlike every other SAHM/parent that I know who has WAY more than enough to do at home she apparently must have too much time on her hands. Because in addition to home-schooling her children she has bombarded our e-mail in boxes. Each day we get a count down to the next practice.

You've got mail:
"HI!!!!!! It's me again....Just wanted to remind you we have 3 days until the next practice! Can't wait to see you there!"

You've got mail:
"HI!!!!! It's your team mom again. We have practice in 2 days. Looking forward to seeing you and your kids!!!!!"

You've got mail:
"Guess WHAT????? Only 1 more day until practice. Can't wait to see your smiling faces!!!!"

You've got mail:
"Great job at practice tonight KIDS!!!!! Only 5 days until our next game!!!!!"

Get the picture????

Last night I had four e-mails from her, yes four. A e-mail reminder about practice, a e-mail that stated how she can't wait to really get a chance to become friends with us this season, another about her upcoming vacation this week and how even though they will be away don't worry she is taking her computer and will still give us updates, and a long e-mail that included tips such as: "please remember to provide water for your child, practicing in this heat takes a toll on their young bodies and they need to hydrate! hydrate! hydrate!" No really, I should provide a drink for my child that is running around for an hour in the Texas heat? "After the game the boys will need to pick up their equipment and move off of the field." "The louder you cheer, the more they hear!"

Her e-mails are full of words of all CAPITAL letters and lots of punctuation!!!!????!!!! She has even created a website for the team although I'm not sure what for since the website is basically just a repeat of the info from her e-mails.

The first game she handed out player rosters printed in our team colors. She was "snack mom" for the first game. She had made personal bags for each of the kids with their name, a team logo label, baseball stickers to seal the bags, and an unusual assortment of food items in the bags (4 goldfish, 3 animal crackers, a few grapes, some homemade brownish coated? popcorn, gum, and a juice box). It was actually a pain trying to sort out individual personalized bags to a bunch of sweaty, thirsty kids.

I've mentioned before that I always feel awkward around other parents that I don't know, but I completely try to avoid her, she makes me uncomfortable. She is nice, but just way over the top for me. I just want to support my son and his teammates and go home. I'm glad fall season is short and we only have 7 games left. I don't think my e-mail account can take too much more than that!

Monday, September 10, 2007

15 minutes

This is the total amount of time that I saw Cole today. I got him up, fed, dressed, and on the bus this am. Then it was off to work and school for me. On Mondays, I am in class until 9:30 PM. Cole has long been asleep when I get home. I'm glad that I only have to do that once a week. He isn't the only one who misses me. I'm typing one handed because my cat also feels like he has been abandoned.

While it makes for a long day, I really find the class interesting. The class is a special education class. The only special ed class that we are required to take, which I'm a little afraid of. I don't know how prepared I'll be for the many emotional, behavioral, physical, and learning disabilities I will face as a teacher. Over half of special education students are now a part of "traditional" classroom settings for over 80% of the day. ADHD and autism diagnosis are rapidly rising and we will barely even have time to touch on these subjects during the course of the semester. My professor is a special education teacher at a local Austin high school and has many interesting stories about current and former students and some of the challenges and rewards of working with special needs children. She is also a wonderful resource for advice. I've already mentioned in a previous post that there are several children with emotional and learning disabilities in my Kindergarten class. It is great to bounce situations off of her and get feedback. I already feel better prepared for any future situations if they arise. I've also been doing some reading on their particular disorders so that I will understand better how to help them and manage any potential behavior problems.

So far, despite the continued time management aspect and work-school-mom balance this is shaping up to be my best semester yet.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Love and marriage

I have a friend that is getting married in a few months. He asked me what I miss about being married. I said I miss the idea of what a marriage could be. I miss things that I didn't have in my marriage. A warm hug, laying in bed at night with your head on someones chest talking about your day. A confidant. Someone to share your hopes and fears. Knowing that in your weakest moments you have someone with strength to keep you going. Someone to pick up where you leave off. Someone to share the highs and lows of life with.

My life isn't that much different now. I still keep all those things to myself, sharing only a little with my friends. As for the warm hug, I get those from Cole, the best part of my marriage. I'm not worried about my friend though, I know he will be a great husband and hopefully someday a great father.

If you are keeping track, it has been six months since Cole has heard from his dad. Someday I hope I will stop counting.


Cole had his first T-ball game today. Here are a couple of pictures I took when he was playing short-stop. Notice the "game face" he has in the first pic. He did pretty good. He has a much better grasp of the game this season.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


It seems Vetmommy and I are on the same page tonight. Her blog was about some of the things her son says. I was laughing at T-ball practice tonight at some of the things Cole says. The English language is a funny language and there are so many phrases we use that I can see how easily kids get confused.

"Mom throw me a puply ball" - A pop fly ball

"Mom can you sit in the dungeon and watch me." - the dugout

"Raspberry steak is my favorite." - Salisbury steak

We also hear "That's hideous!" and "Uncle Flaco" a lot.

Kids can make you laugh. I wish I could remember all the funny things he says.


We got a nice thank you note from Cole's teacher today. She thanked Cole for the flowers and me for the supplies from her "wish list" that I sent. She says she is "thrilled" to be Cole's teacher. Let's cross our fingers that the feeling lasts through the entire year!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The second week of school

I've been running non-stop for the past few weeks and I'm tired. I'm sad that Labor Day is gone because there are no more holidays for a few months.

Today was my second full day at school. It was long and tiring but so much fun again. I had to laugh because I felt like I was two kids beloved pet today. I was wearing a silky shirt and the two autistic kids rubbed on me all day. I would be reading, playing, etc. and there was constantly a hand rubbing on my back or arm. I spent most of the day working with the more challenging children. I know that this is a big help for the classroom teacher and gives me much needed practice for the future. I spent the weekend preparing a brochure to introduce myself to the other teachers and creating a letter to send home to the parents introducing myself. I also got to present a "me bag" (the same thing Vetmommy's daughter had to present to her 1st grade class) to my class. The kids were so interested in Cole and his picture. I also brought one of Cole's stuffed dogs doctored up with a catheter, tape, vetwrap, and an e-collar to tell the kids about how I spend my time when I'm not with them. They were fascinated!

Cole was excited to head back to school today, too. Last night he had me stop at the store to get his teacher flowers!!! He was waiting at the bus stop this morning with his brightly colored carnations. When my dad jokingly called him "Brown-nosed" he replied, "I'm not brown-nosed. I am tanned." :-)

Cole has also started Fall T-ball. He is on the Bats. His coach seems nice, but more competitive than his previous coach. With one full practice he has already had a lot more technical instruction. His first game is already on Sunday. I was already upset at the thought of missing some games, because I knew they are on Saturday and Sunday only. I work Saturday and then go to class (PE - Yoga) from 1:00 - 3:30pm. I was so happy when we got his schedule and the earliest Saturday game he has is 4:30. YIPPEE!

I have a feeling that before I know it this semester will be over. I'm so busy that time seems to be moving at warp speed.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

What would Freud say?

Cole’s first week of school has been great. He really loves it so far. He even wants to bring flowers to his teacher already (what a charmer). His progress report for the week was great and he was eager to get up every morning. He still says his favorite part of school is riding the bus!

Two of the drawing projects this week involved drawing. The first assignment they were asked to draw their family. Cole drew himself, my mom, my dad and me. For the second assignment they were asked to draw their parents. Cole drew himself and me correctly. He drew his dad upside down. We were all on a school bus. Cole was driving. I was sitting in right side up and his dad was sitting behind me. His head was down on the seat and stick legs up in the air. Surely this means something?

One thing they stress in school for teachers is to never say specifically draw or tell me about your mom, dad, etc. So many kids are raised by single parents, same sex parents, grandparents, relatives, foster parents, etc. that you don't want to unintentionally upset someone by assuming that everyone comes from a traditional household.

I've already started a file to save all of Cole's Kindergarten work. What wonderful memories and great things for me to look back on when I'm teaching my own class, as well.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Day 2: Vast improvement

Today was my first day of Kindergarten. I spent from 10:00am - 2:45 pm in the Kindergarten class that I will be assigned to this year. I was so nervous last night and this morning. My mentor teacher is very nice and it was a pleasure to finally be working with kids. I also felt so close to Cole all day, because I knew 30 miles away in his own school, he was doing much of the same things. The elementary school that I'm at is beautiful and clean. The classroom sizes are great, as well as the design of the school. It is easy to find your way around campus. I love my class. The kids were all eager to meet a new face. They kept coming up to me for hugs, wanted me to help them with tasks, and kept telling me I'm "pretty". Yeah, I think I picked the right grade, they are all so sweet at that age. I jumped right in and helped my teacher, I helped the kids, kept them on tasks and read a story to the class. There are two boys that are special education and one learning disabled boy. The boy that is autistic has an aide that is with him most of the day. The other one has aspergers. He hasn't been fully diagnosed yet, so he doesn't have an aide. He is smart,but very disruptive. He has difficulty following directions and angers easily. He had several outbursts directed at the teacher and the special education aide assisting the autistic child. I spent the majority of my day helping him. He was very sweet to me, even at times clinging to my legs. My teacher thanked me profusely for attending to him throughout the day. I'm so exhausted from being on my feet in dress shoes (YUCK) and bending and squatting throughout the day (not to mention kickball at recess) but I loved every minute my day. I'm am again so very thankful that I have a wonderful healthy child. There are a total of 16 special education kids in the Kindergarten group and as the year gets started many more will be diagnosed with other learning problems. It's sad to know that these sweet kids will struggle with this difficulties throughout their lives.

Cole's second day of class went well. He was excited to be up this morning and eagerly waited for the bus. We reviewed his room number before he left and apparently he had no problem finding his class. He said his day was "FUN! FUN! FUN!". He went to music class today. He was very interested in hearing about my first day and we compared stories as we made dinner. So we both were off to a better start today.

Monday, August 27, 2007

First day let down

Today was Cole's first day of school. We both had great hopes. However, he started coughing and having congestion this weekend. At 4:00 am I woke up vomiting. Every time I got up to be sick, he got up because he wasn't sleeping well due to his cough. In between running to the bathroom I got him dressed and made his lunch. We waiting on the front porch for the bus to arrive. For the little ones the put an picture of an animal on the outside of the bus, so they don't have to remember a number. The bus pulls up and there was the name of the animal but not a picture, it turns out that he bus was out of order so this was a temporary bus. He eagerly jumped aboard. I followed the bus to school and at the lights Cole was smiling and waving his feet dancing around in anticipation. The traffic at school was crazy, once I got inside the building I found Cole who was looking lost and confused trying to find his classroom. Once inside he excitedly chatted up his teacher. Off I went to work.

About 10:00am I got a call that he had hit his head on a tree and cried and threw up. So they sent home. I had to call his doctor to get a note to take to school stating that it is normal for him to throw up. He was still feeling sick later on and I had to take him to the doctor anyway. I hope tomorrow is a better day for the both of us.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Moving up and on

Friday morning is a big day for Cole. It is his last day at the daycare he has been at since he was six weeks old. It’s literally his home away from home. We have been lucky because as far as daycares go, they have fairly low turnover. He has two teachers that he is very close to. One, Ms. Lydia was his teacher from that very first day. In fact, Cole says that he is marrying her and me when he gets big. The other, Ms. Margaret is his current teacher. She has also been there for the past five years. He made cards and gifts for his favorite teachers (including the lunch lady) and is bringing cupcakes for his class. I wanted to make something for the staff but due to starting back to school myself today, opted to send fresh baked cookies instead.

I made a big step myself today. I let him go on the end of summer field trip to Six Flags in San Antonio. I had planned on going myself, but they picked the day that I was scheduled to go back to school, so I couldn’t go. I debated about letting him go. Sending my five year old on a bus for a two-hour ride to a San Antonio amusement park was a big deal for me. Ms. Margaret assured me she would be personally in charge of Cole and gave me her cell number and said I could call anytime - I didn’t by the way. They came back at 6:15 pm all tanned and happy. She was impressed with all the roller coasters he wanted to ride and they had a blast at the water park. She had Cole and his friend Avery (who is also five and been there since she was six-weeks old) all to herself during the day and they were well behaved.

While I was waiting for his bus to arrive tonight, his Kindergarten teacher called to introduce herself. We have an open house Friday night after work and he is excited to meet her and to be able to tour the school again. School starts on Monday morning. Cole will be riding the bus and I will follow along in my car for the first day to make sure he knows the routine. After school he will be attending on campus extended care. Such exciting times!
Next week, I’m going to finally be working with kids in school myself. I’m actually going to working at the school in Kyle that Cole would have been going if I still lived out there. I will find out on Tuesday what grade I will be with for the semester. I hoping Kindergarten or 1st, but I will have to wait and see. I have to make a “me brochure” introducing myself to the teachers and write a letter for the parents in the classroom that I will be a part of. I’m nervous but excited to finally be working in the school. I’m taking 17 hours this semester, but this will be my last year. Next fall I will be student teaching full-time and then finally be finished.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The one reason I miss having a man

There is only one reason I miss having a man around and no it isn't what you are thinking. Get your mind out of the gutter :-) It's taking care of little things on the car. Not routine oil changes and such, I've always taken care of that stuff. But the annoying things like scraping car tags off the windshield, replacing wipers, plates and bulbs. I don't have much patience for doing these tasks. In a relationship I think if I'm washing his dirty underwear and all, it is only fair that they help with these tasks. Asking too much...apparently so.

This morning when I turned on my left turn signal it started clicking double time. I was pretty sure this meant that my turn signal was out, which was correct. At lunch I ran to a auto part store and picked out the correct bulb. I headed back to work and using my car manual removed the plastic casing and the carpet to get tail light. Sweating in the 100 degree heat and humidity I tried to determine what I needed to remove next. A male co-worker then came to help me. Working together we had it replaced in less than five minutes. So I guess men are good for some things. Just kidding, actually I've realized in last few months my hard man-hating outer shell has been cracking. It's time to harden it back up. I just need to think about how it has been since April (Cole's b-day) since his dad contacted him and I can fill in those man-hating cracks. See I'm starting to feel all bitter, I mean better again. SMILE

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Goodbye Grandpa

As I mentioned previously I decided to speak at my grandpa's funeral. The night before his service some ugly family stuff happened and I had cried a lot and not slept much the night before. I looked and felt like death warmed over and briefly considered not speaking. But, my grandfather meant the world to me, so I decided to speak. Part of what I spoke about I'd previously written in my blog about him. So tears in my swollen and puffy eyes, my hands shaking, my eyes averted from him coffin, and Cole's hand in mine, I walked to the podium. Here is what I said:

"As grandpa's favorite grand-daughter, a fact that I'm sure has nothing to do with the fact that I'm the only one, I like to say a few words about my grandpa. He was always very special to me. In fact I named my son after him he meant so much. He was a remarkable man. He came from a poor family that was filled with alcoholism and abuse. He even spent several years in an orphanage. He didn't let his sad upbringing hinder him or define who he was. He was a very hard worker, intelligent, and quick witted. He was unfailingly kind and always the perfect gentleman. He was amazingly artistic and always humble about his abilities. He could draw, paint and carve amazing things. Most of my most cherished memories involve sitting around watching him carve. His calloused hands would move gracefully around the block of wood and the curled wood chips would fly and out would come some amazing character or animal. The harshest words we ever heard him utter were "Robertson you turd" and "Well, Kiss old Rose." We would always ask, "Grandpa who is old Rose?" So Grandpa give old Rose one last kiss for us."

So while my brother and cousins were given wedding rings and trinkets to remember my grandpa, I will remember him my way. I'm proud to have spoken about him in front of his cherished friends and family and he will always be in my heart and I will think of him every day as I look at Cole Robert.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Back in town

We are back from Phoenix. Being with your entire family especially under tense circumstances is especially stressful. Suffice to say there was plenty of family drama and some very painful moments. Cole did well at the funeral. My grandpa’s casket was open both during the viewing and for the funeral. My uncle (my mom’s brother) didn’t want to attend the viewing so he stayed home with his two kids and Cole, but everyone attended the funeral. Cole wanted to go up close to see my grandpa, but I told him that he didn’t look like the great-Papa he remembered, so he chose not to. He did go up and look at his pictures and his carvings. I spoke at my grandpa’s service and he bravely held my hand to go up with me in front of all those people. He was a little afraid to go to the cemetery but it was broad daylight and there were no gravestones, just grave plaques. He was wondered around asking me to read the names to him. He found one with the last name “COLE” and wanted to know why one had his name!

Cole had such a good time with his cousins; I was jokingly saying I was going to have to buy him a brother because they kept him occupied for hours. We did have time to see my dad’s side of the family. The youngest of my Aunt’s kids is a freshman in high school and very sweet to Cole. Cole loved him. He is on the football team and we went out one night to watch his practice. Cole kept giving him “high fives” and hugs. In between family obligations we had plenty of time to swim daily which was nice because the average temperature was 115.

The last day we went to the Phoenix Zoo with my mom to escape and get some alone time. We had only been there for about 45 minutes when there was a “CODE RED LOCKDOWN”. We were hustled into a ticket booth for almost two hours. It seems two Mexican Wolves had breeched their enclosure and had to be recaptured, so much for a drama free day.

The biggest surprise of the entire weekend was my mom’s boss and her husband flying in to provide support for my mom. My mom has known her for 20 years. I was standing outside the funeral home and was waving at someone in a car driving by who was waving at me when all of a sudden I realized it was my mom’s boss. It was so surreal. I know my mom really needed and appreciated that unexpected show of support.
I’m glad to be back home. I hope to enjoy the next week before fall semester starts and Cole starts Kindergarten, GULP!

Friday, August 10, 2007

From Arizona

My grandfather passed away yesterday morning. At least he is no longer suffering. I'm sad but also relieved. My dad, my brother and Cole and I flew into Phoenix today. It was so strange being at my grandparents house without him there. No one would sit in his chair. It just sat there empty while we all sat in our usual spots. Tomorrow we are seeing some of our family. Both my parents are from Phoenix so we have some visiting and catching up to do, sad that it has to be under these conditions.

My grandpa's viewing is on Sunday and the funeral is on Monday. We will be heading back home on Wednesday. Cole is still blissfully unaware of the sadness and is mostly just looking forward to seeing his cousins.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


My thoughts have been filled this week with the mental images of my dying grandfather. My mom says he writhes in pain and the morphine doesn't always help. He is emaciated and not able to make intelligible words.

I can't help but think how unfair it is that we can help end an animal's suffering but we can extend the same courtesy to our loved ones (at least not legally). Killers on death row are given a more peaceful end to their lives than our elderly and sick loved ones. Almost every day our kind doctors and staff help clients make educated decisions about euthanasia and quality of life. We allow owners to be there for their pet up until the very end. They pass away in moments, just slowly going to sleep. The decision is agonizing for owners but one of the most loving decisions the owner will ever make.

My grandfather is unable to swallow and was put into hospice on Saturday. He is slowly and painfully dying of starvation and dehydration. It was the right decision to not place a permanent feeding tube. Both times they placed a nasal feeding tube he struggled, was in pain and he ripped it out. However, the decision doesn't make the death any easier. My greatest wish for all the people I love in my love is a quick and painless death. I'm in awe of the courage and patience my mom has shown the last few weeks, especially with dealing with my Grandma (I'm not even going to touch that subject). My uncle flew in today for a few hours to say goodbye. At least I'm comforted somewhat by the thought that when I see him again he will finally be at peace.

Monday, August 06, 2007


This weekend Leah, Cole, and I went to a rodeo in Bastrop, Texas. You drive 30 minutes outside of Austin and suddenly you are surrounded by country folk. Picture what you think a redneck looks like and we saw fifty of them. Leah was afraid if we stayed any longer she was going to get pregnant, because every where you looked there was a pregnant woman. All kidding aside we had a good time. A co-worker lives in Bastrop and we met her there. We even got to use the "back gate" which is where the rodeo contestants? athletes? cowboys??? enter. She knew half the people at the rodeo and we got to hear about all their goings-on....note to self don't live in a small town.

We watched the rodeo and then headed over to the carnival. Cole rode the rides while Leah and I just people watched. Then we headed over to the dance. Cole and I danced several songs and then Cole took to the dance floor alone. He did splits, played the electric guitar (apparently guitar strings are around your collar bone), and did some break dancing. Then the real fun started. The band took a break and they started playing some hip-hop music. The teenaged country folk came streaming out of the woodwork. They were a bumpin' and a grindin' and dry humping on the dance floor. It seems the grinding move is VERY popular and I'm impressed with how well they can move in those tight starched jeans. Leah and I watched in amazement. We felt OLD, OLD, OLD and kinda dirty for watching! We know we never did that type of dancing when we were that age (wink, wink). After a few bump/grind songs we decided we had better get our old' selves home it was after 11:00 PM after all ;-) Cole instantly fell asleep on the way home as we drove back to "civilization" :-)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Pleasantly surprised

We are two nights into my dad picking up and watching Cole and things are going surprisingly well. They have both been in great moods when I've gotten home. Last night my dad even took Cole to dinner at a restaurant ALONE!!!! He has even given him a bath both nights, which is one more baths than his dad ever gave him and probably two more than my dad ever gave my brother or I :-) Tonight when I called they were playing Transformers and having a good time. I hope the rest of the week goes as well.

My grandfather is off the ventilator and awake but still not talking. They have also found a mass on his lungs which they are 99% sure is cancer, but are waiting for the pathology results. They seemed to have caught the sepsis early enough the antibiotics are helping. Even though my mom had prepared for the shock of seeing him it was still awful. They are talking about once he is stabilized they will send him to a nursing home. My mom and grandma are going to check out a couple tomorrow. The nurse told my mom today that it is unlikely he will ever leave the nursing home. At least my mom is there to help my grandma face reality and make some much needed decisions.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bummed out

Saturday my parents were having new windows installed in their house. If you are looking for a way to entertain a five-year-old boy for endless hours, hire some workers to come break your windows pane by pane, pry apart the old sill, and then install new windows. Cole was mesmerized. There was a crew of about 5 guys working on the house. They were all very polite and friendly especially with a kid in the audience. I was especially impressed when one of the guys got whacked in the face by a piece of the window sill he was prying off and just smiled, not a cuss word to be heard.

Cole really took a liking to one of the men. The guy was very sweet to Cole and tolerated his myriad of questions. They talked about Transformers and a few other cartoons. Cole followed him around like a shadow, talking a mile a minute, barely pausing for a breath. I could hear him telling the man all sorts of things about himself and telling him about his various toys. The man even sprayed a large happy face on the windows to entertain Cole when he was cleaning up at the end.

It is incidences like this that stop me in my tracks. It makes me realize how much a little boy needs a father and breaks my heart all over again. I'm foolish to think that I can be all things to Cole, but still not even close to being ready to even consider dating again. It's been over two years and I still feel like a walking wounded. I was eating lunch with some friends today and one of them hit the nail on the head. It wasn't that Cole's dad was the love of my life and I'm suffering from that loss. It was the fact that he is such a loser as a parent that has affected me greatly. Oh well, I guess I will just keep on keeping on, besides I wouldn't even date me :-)

A quick update on my Grandpa. He was transferred from the rehab place back to the hospital last night. My grandma wasn't sure why???????? Apparently he was in severe pain last night and they diagnosed a UTI according to her. They couldn't get him to wake up at all today and my grandma still had no more answers. My mom made some calls tonight to his various nurses and found out he has sepsis. The nurse advised my mom to wait one more day before deciding if she should come immediately, but things aren't looking good. We are starting to try to make arrangements for when and how we all are going to get to Arizona. My mom asked me if I had thought about when he dies, if I would take Cole to the funeral. Besides the fact that I would have too, because we will be out of town, I think I would anyway. I took him to my dad's father's funeral several years ago although he really didn't know that "Great Papa" very well. Sadly, death is apart of life.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I used to be a baby dinosaur?

When I am in school Cole's nightly bedtime story isn't always a kid's book, especially the night before a test. Last semester I often read to Cole from my physics book which put him to sleep in seconds (me too for that matter). This semester it hasn't worked so well. When I read to him from my science book he enjoys it and I am peppered with questions.

Tonight I was reading to him (AKA studying for a test). One of the 8 chapters my test is on (yes I said 8----welcome to summer school) is reproduction. We have talked before about where babies come from and he has been fascinated by stories of my pregnancy, especially the part of him kicking me in the ribs. I have also told him about how when I first found out I was pregnant he was as small as a peanut and kinda of shaped like one, so that's what I called him in the beginning "peanut". He loves that story.

On one of the pages was a diagram of the progression from embryo to fetus. Cole was enthralled. As I was showing him the pictures, he looks at me his eyes wide with wonder and asks in awe "I used to be a baby DINOSAUR?" I started laughing so hard my eyes watered. When I looked at the picture again, it did look like a baby dinosaur. Kids are so funny. I think he was actually disappointed when I told him that he wasn't a dinosaur. :-)

Friday, July 20, 2007


I just completed the second week of Summer II, only 3 weeks to go. This semester in addition to being fast paced with difficult material has been rough on me as a mom. I see Cole for about 45 minutes max a day. I wake him up and drive him to daycare. I work eight to nine hours then head to evening classes. I'm home around 8:30PM and we spend a few minutes together before it's off to bed. This crazy schedule keeps him up later than normal but at least we get to spend a few moments together.

My mom has been taking on the majority of raising my son, which I'm thankful for but still sad about. It's truly amazing how much I miss him during the day. The quick call in between classes gets me through the evening. He has been extra loving and overjoyed to see me. He is leached onto me during the evening and has been very helpful. At least we have the weekends together.

My dad has actually gotten in on the action. He picked Cole up two days in a row from school and they got along well until my mom got home. My mom will most likely have to go out of town before I finish this semester and he will have to pick up Cole.

My grandfather fell and broke his hip last week and isn't doing well. He was already weak and underweight. He has become malnourished and is not doing well. My mom is going to fly to Arizona to be with my grandparents. It's depressing to think of my grandfather in this type of condition. He just has no fight left. Ten years ago, he said he was ready to go at any time. At what point do you stop living and you start waiting to die?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cole's first fishin' trip!

Cole finally got to go fishing! I finally had an entire weekend off, the weather was nice, and we were both in good health so we headed out to Lake Pflugerville to spend the day with Vetmommy's family. Mr. Vetmommy taught us both how to fish and we had a good time. Cole actually caught a handful of fish. His favorite part? Letting them go of course! We also swam for awhile in the nice cool lake and had a fun "sea weed" fight with the kids. Here are some fishing photos. Notice the enormous size of those fish!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Science Fair

I had my first night of class tonight. I rushed home after 8 PM and Cole was already asleep :-(

The class I'm taking is a science class that is aimed at teaching science to K-8th grade. I have to do a science fair project, YIKES! I loved these in school, but it has been years. Suggestions anyone?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bummer of a Summer

So far this summer has been all work and very little play. Between work, summer school, and all the rain we've been mostly kept indoors. Most summers we spent at the pool and I can count on one hand how many times we've been this year.

This weekend we had swimming, the movies, and a fishing date with vetmommy and her family planned. Unfortunately, Cole got sick. He spiked a fever on Saturday and we spent several hours at the after hours clinic and then resting at home. He ran a fever all day today but was in good spirits when the Motrin kicked in (other than taking his antibiotic). He was disappointed about missing his first fishing experience, but I promised him we would try again soon.

The next five weeks won't be much fun either, I'm afraid. I start the second semester of summer school on Monday. After working 8 or 9 hours I will be taking evening classes and won't be home until Cole is going to bed. My mom will be picking him up after school. Boy it's tough to let others take care of your kid. I'm just trying to keep my eye on my goals to get me through this summer. At least I'll finally have Saturdays free to spend with him the rest of the summer.

Hopefully after summer school is over, we can visit a water park, Six Flags, or SeaWorld. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

The 4th of July for most Americans means our Nation's birthday. For others it is their wedding anniversary (Missy and Leah). For me it was the day Cole's dad and I decided to get a divorce. Things had been bad for over a year. We were in the car on the way home and I just simply said that I couldn't do this anymore. He agreed. After we were home, while we watch Cole play in the driveway with our neighbors kids, we started to hash things out. Who would stay in the house, who got what, etc. The dirty business of divorce, in the beginning wasn't so dirty for us. We were like two strangers at a garage sale just looking at our belongings like they were inventory and making arrangements.

It was eye opening for me, even at that time, when he said he only wanted to see Cole "every month or so." Who knew that "once a month", even when he lived ten minutes away was never?

Later that night after Cole was in bed I told him for the final time that if he/we got counseling I would try again. He looked me in the eye and coldly said, "I know I need help, but I like who I am and I'm not willing to change." And that was the end.There were no tears, no hysterics, no arguing, begging, or pleading all of that was over months prior. It was just the end. In many ways it was a relief.

I walked back into my room, called my mom and said, "Mom, I think I'm getting a divorce." The rest was like a slow motion dream. While he went out and partied at night, I packed up our life. On weekends I searched for a place to live and Cole and I moved out of the house. The rest is history.

I am no longer the same person I once was and will never be that person again. My hopes and dreams changed on that Independence Day, but I'm stronger because of it.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Death and dying

I never noticed until I had a kid that a lot of kid's movies involve someone or something dying. Lately, Cole has had a zillion questions about death and dying. I try to answer his questions and try to steer the topic somewhere else, which can be difficult. Cole is very persistent when he wants to know about something.

Yesterday after lunch with friends we were getting back into the car. Out of the blue he says, "Mom, I'm going to love you forever. Even after you're dead, I'm still going to love you. You know how in the Big Z movie they celebrated Big Z's life after he was dead? When you die I'm going to have a life celebration for you." It was macabre and touching at the same time. Just the same, I hope he has a new focus on topics of conversation in the very near future.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Not for the squeamish

Last night I was talking to one of the doctors at work, Joey. Her daughter had swallowed a dime and they were instructed to examine her stool for the 'treasure'. If it hadn't appeared in three days, then she would need to go in for x-rays. Laughing she said she already knew that she would be the one who would get the digging honors. Human bodily functions gross out her husband (but we enjoy them, JK).

I was thinking about my 'throw up kid'. Cole has had an easy gag reflex since he was an infant. Crying too hard, coughing, swallowed wrong, too much food in the mouth all cause him to throw up.

When he was an infant it seemed like once a week I got a call from his daycare stating he was vomiting. To allow him to return, I would have to provide a doctor's note. Finally, my pediatrician wrote a note telling them that he just had an easy gag reflex and would vomit easily. The calls ceased. As a matter of a fact I can only remember one time when he actually was ill and vomiting.

I've had vomit in my car, caught vomit in my hand and in my dinner napkin, just to name a few. The most memorable time was at the mall when I was carrying him in a infant backpack. He vomited in my hair, down the back of my shirt, down my underwear and pants, into my socks. Thanks bud!

Not one swimming season has passed where I haven't had to rush him to the side of the pool because he swallowed some water and was about to throw up.

Luckily the older he gets the better he has been able to control himself or at least make it to the bathroom.

So while Joey was probably digging in poop last night, I was cleaning up throw up. Cole was playing with his papa and pinched his finger in a foam rocket launcher. He started crying real hard and then I was carrying him down the hall with his face dangerously close to mine as he was gagging. Oh the joys of motherhood :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Say my name

My mom picked Cole up from school today. On the way home they saw the aftermath of a wreck. Any time Cole sees a wreck he talks about the accident he was in with his dad several years ago. Since he was on the subject of his dad he told my mom he called him for "Faudders Day". When my mom asked him what his dad had to say, he said, "Hi buddy." Cole then said to my mom, "my dad calls me 'buddy' because he doesn't know my name." My mom assured him that his dad knew his name and Cole again insisted that his dad didn't know or remember his name.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Surfs Up

The last few weeks have been hectic and I needed a break from homework and work, so Cole and I planned a date for Saturday. I let him choose what we were going to do. He decided on dinner and a movie. We had dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen in the mall. He was on his best date behavior. As we approached the table he gestured and said, "ladies first". When the bill came he needed my card because "boys are supposed to pay" and he payed and even signed for our meal. After dinner he said, "Mom, I forgot there was one other place we needed to go...the Build-A-Bear Workshop. I've been meaning to take you there." Yeah, I bet you have. The workshop was directly across from the restaurant. We went over and he choose to make a "Cody" Penguin from the movie Surfs Up we were about to see. After making "Cody" we went to see the movie. We were sitting on the back row and right before the movie started a dad with two boys about Cole's age sat in the row in front of us. Cole said loudly, "Mom, I can't see through his big fat head!" I was laughing but wanted to crawl under the seat. Luckily the man started cracking up. Cole decided to sit on my lap, where he stayed throughout the movie. We had a great time and he already has plans for our next "date night".

Today is Father's Day which just makes me feel BLAH. I hate being the bigger person sometimes. I had Cole call his dad for Father's Day, when I first asked him if he wanted to call he said, "no thank you." His dad answered and Cole said, "Happy Father's Day...bye now." I whispered for him to talk some more, so Cole spoke for about a minute and then was ready to get off the phone. What a wonderful person he is missing out on. I'm so afraid that if I ever started dating again (don't worry I'm still not thinking about it) I would love the first person that loved my son. That's all I needed from him, just to love his own kid. Luckily, I have enough love for two parents, I just hope Cole always knows that.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

per·fect (pûr'fĭkt)


1. Lacking nothing essential to the whole; complete of its nature or kind.
2. Being without defect or blemish: a perfect specimen.
3. Thoroughly skilled or talented in a certain field or area; proficient.
4. Completely suited for a particular purpose or situation: She was the perfect actress for the part.
5. Completely corresponding to a description, standard, or type.

There is a mom at my son’s daycare that puts me to shame. Every time I’m in her presence I feel like rumpled, fat, street urchin. She is the “perfect” looking mom. Her makeup is perfection. There is never a hair out of place, never a root that needs touch-up. She is model skinny. Her clothes are expensive and modern. I have never seen her in shoes other than stiletto high heels. And damn, I don’t hate her….she’s nice too. We have attended several of the same birthday parties, in fact she brought her son to Cole’s last birthday. I have even ran into her at the grocery store on the weekend and she is still well put together. I find myself wondering, does this perfection come easily? Or does she have to work at it? Has she always been perfect? Does perfection come at at cost (okay, now I'm just being petty)? Just once in my life, I would like to feel that self-confidence she must feel (I was almost there for a very brief moment as I was crossing that finish line at the Danskin, but then I saw the photographer and the insecurities came flooding back). Sigh….

She does have one blemish though, in a world of increased awareness about global warming and skyrocketing gas prices she just traded in her SUV for a …..HUMMER! See, I feel better already, nobody is perfect :-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Rusty Old Chicken

Last night Cole made our house a "restaurant". He was the "manager" and me, my mom, and my dad were his "workers". The name of the restaurant was the "Rusty Old Chicken" (hmmm...I think I may have eaten there before). He taught my mom how to serve him properly with correct presentation and verbal etiquette. When my dad complained about his service at the Rusty Old Chicken and demanded to see the manager, Cole defended his "workers", when my dad continued to complain Cole walked away. My dad said the manager can't walk away and Cole replied that he could do whatever he wanted as manager he can even punch "bad workers" and he proceeded to playfully punch my dad in the stomach. He then said in his deep stern voice and furrowed brow, " You are FIRED. Bug off!" He was quick to add, "just decoration fired, not real fired." He had us cracking up pretending to be the "manager", I forgot how wonderful imagination truly is, make believe is so much better than the real world.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Four words I thought I'd never say...

I am a triathlete! I finished the Danskin in 2:17:56; the 1/2 mile swim was 27 minutes, 1st transition 3:40, 12 mile bike 57:40, 2nd transition 1:29, 3 mile walk/run 47:10. My only two goals were to beat 3 hours and to finish. Not to bad for someone until two months ago, hadn't been on the bike in 15+ years, and was afraid to swim in open water. It was so moving to be out there with women of all ages and sizes. I started to tear up when my feet first touched the water and again when I was starting my bike and saw my son. When I was heading into the finish line during the run, he ran to the finish line with me (and wanted a medal :-) ) It was very hot, but definitely something I will do again. Since we trained with a group there were plenty of people we knew to cheer us on and keep us motivated. Seeing your loved ones at the end with signs, helped too!

After a shower and a nap (I was up at 3:30am) I feel pretty darn good, all things considered. Thanks for all the support and Vetmommy, Leah, and Emily...I couldn't have done it without you!
1) The Ladies---I look so tall compared to these petite ladies
2) Cole's handmade T-Rex poster for me and Leah

Friday, June 08, 2007


Wow, this has been a crazy week. I'm so tired. I started summer school this week. I've been at work at 7:00am every day, leave at 11:00 am to drive like a maniac (AKA Austinite) to school, park (yeah for summer school on-campus parking), and speed walk to class. Three days a week, after my two classes, I speed back and pick up Cole to return to work for a few more hours. Two days a week, I have a lab after class, so I don't return to work but still get home late. The end of the first week and I've already had a quiz and a test. Whew, summer school is rapid fire. One of the classes I'm in is Physics, so my dreams this week have been filled w/ Physics terminology "Coulombs, Volts, Resistance, Amperes...Z.Z.Z." The one good thing is I'm so exhausted I've been collapsing into bed at night (usually with my face buried in a Physics book).

The Danskin triathlon is the weekend. I'm so nervous. It's been hotter than hell and humid this week, so that will add some extra "fun" to the event. I'm just ready to get it over with at this point. My boss at work was supposed to compete with us but decided today she is going to back out because she didn't train enough. I say "BALKK, BAAAALKK, BAAAAAAALKKK". Good luck Vetmommy and Leah.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"My new great Dad"

This morning as I was getting ready for work, Cole came sleepily walking past me and mumbled "I had a dream about my new great Dad...can I take a bath?". I didn't ask any questions and ran him an early morning bath.

On the way to work he again mentioned he had a dream. He said he had a dream about his "new great dad. He was tall, not like my old dad. He was nice, not like my old dad, he was funny, not like my old dad, he liked to see me, not like my old dad. He calls me Cole Littlebrother because he thinks it's funny. You were in the dream too, you were laughing because my new dad is funny."

I was thinking, OMG if he says "he loves me, not like my old dad" I'm going to break down driving down the road. As it was, I was tearing up and since I was driving and I couldn't wrap my arms around him, I awkwardly snaked one arm around the seats and stroked his ankle, which was the only skin I could reach. We are like Humpty Dumpty, just trying to put the pieces back together again.