Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Glad I don't have a pair

Of testicles that is. Then all that testosterone would be shooting around my brain clouding my better judgement.

Tonight Cole had his second T-ball game. The opposing team's coaches must have thought this was the World Series. First they had 7 coaches. They were so hard on those kids, makes me glad Cole wasn't on that team. When one of their players hit a line drive towards our pitcher and it almost nailed him in the head they CHEERED! So far in our games and scrimmages when a ball is dropped or not caught during play (which is most of the time)the other teams are conservative in scoring runs. Not this team. They would yell for their runners to keep running. There was even an argument among the coaches. The rules state that the coach yells "Pitcher pitch (he pretends to throw)Batter bat". This allows the players in the field to be ready for the ball. Their team didn't do this. When our coach asked that they do this, because he was afraid our players wouldn't be ready and get hurt, all 7 coaches came out to confront him. It was like a grade school pissing contest. The last inning the other team's coach would sarcastically yell "batter bat". I felt so uneasy the entire time I was there. At least our kids had fun, although the few kids on the team that are good were goofballs tonight and Cole got hurt. He was the last batter of the night and he hit the ball and was running towards first. The first baseman dove for the ball that was thrown to him and sidelined Cole in the process. He fell face first into the dirt, his batting helmet fell off and fell in front of him so he hit his nose on it, luckily it didn't bleed.

The mother of one of the boys on our team is a real doozie. She has bright brassy bleach blond hair with the weird underlayer that is dark brown (I just don't get that look). Model skinny with HUGE silicon breasts and a fake tan. She was wearing a strapless mini-dress with stiletto animal print shoes. Great baseball outfit. Of course she pulled up in a Lexus SUV. Turned a few heads that one, but I suppose that was the point.

Hope the next game is better and not coached by a bunch of apes.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Gone Fishing

I want to take Cole fishing. He has been dying to go. I don't know anything about fishing. So I wrote to the columnist Jane Greig, in the Austin American Statesman. She has a question and answer column. If she likes your question, she will post it in the paper. I emailed her to ask about fishing help in the Austin area and she responded to my question and printed it in the paper last week. Today her associate emailed me and said they have had an overwhelming response to my question. People have been contacting them about giving us fishing poles, advice, etc. One gentleman even has multiple stock tanks on his property and said we can fish there and he will teach us about fishing for free. They emailed me his contact information. Now my mom always told me not to talk to strangers so I'm not positive I'm going to contact him (although Leah said she'd go with us). But anyway...hopefully we will be fishing in the near future.

**BTW I don't think it is a mere fluke that Marky Mark and me (okay my question) appeared on the front page together. Must be fate.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


I had been keeping a secret from my mom. Nothing momentous, but a secret nonetheless. Leah and I had decided last month to compete in the Danksin triathlon with Vetmommy. Vetmommy is in awesome shape, Leah and I have some work to do.

Leah and I registered last week. This week while review the Danskin website I noticed a link for the Austin training. I looked at the link, but was hesitant to spend the additional money for training. I logged off my computer and went to bed. I kept thinking about the website. Around midnight I decided I was going to join the training. I figured I was worth it, it's time to take my life back. I logged back on and registered. The first day of training is April 11, Cole' birthday...I thought this was a great sign. This will now be my "birth day" too!

Today Leah and Vetmommy and I went to the Veloway to ride bikes, we did 9 miles. Jerry Leah's hubby came along to watch the kiddos. The first two loops, Jerry watched Anna and Cole while Vetmommy pulled Colin in the trailer. The last loop he watched Colin and Vetmommy pulled Anna and Cole! We had fun and I've become much more comfortable on the bike. This evening Cole and I went to buy him a "big boy bike" so he's ready to go back out there right now!

So to my already hectic schedule I'm adding getting in shape, but I'm ready for the challenge!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The power of words

Last night was Cole’s first T-ball game. It was a hellacious day at work. I had to leave at 5:00pm because he had to be on the field at 5:30pm. I thought there was no way I was going to be able to get out of there on time. I left about 10 minutes late, feeling like shit because I was leaving chaos and couldn’t stay to help and because I was leaving late, getting my son to his first game late. I rushed to daycare picked Cole up and shuttled him into the car. Since I knew we would be rushed I had packed a banana and a pop tart for him to eat on the way. As I praying for green lights and rushing to the game, I handed him his snacks. He says, “WOW, mom you always remember to take care of me. Thank you so much for the snacks and for the favors you do for me. I love you.” My heart melted. Gone immediately was the sense of panic and frustration.

We arrived late to the game. I hurriedly got Cole dressed. His coach was SO happy to see him because he thought they were going to have to forfeit the game because they were short one player. The game was great. Cole played catcher, shortstop (he did well, actually stopped the ball and threw it), and played center field. While playing shortstop a runner collided with him and he tumbled to the ground, got back up and was ready to play. He hit three base hits and scored three runs. He cracked us up when he was running; he looks like he ran in slow mo. He had such a good time.

Then last night during his bath he looked up at me and said, “Mom when am I going to have a brother? If I had a brother, I would hug him EVERY day.” I reminded him that you needed a mommy and a daddy to have a baby and he sighed and said, “Okay I’m going to find you a husband then.” So sweet, not going to happen but sweet anyway. When I’m rich from teaching – HA I’ll adopt a brother for him :-)

This morning as I was getting ready to leave for work, he lifted his head from bed and said, “Come give me a hug, I’m going to miss you.” After the hug he said, “I’ll walk you to the door.” My little grown up man. As I left he had snuggled into my mom’s lap, it was a wonderful vision to start my day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Short attention span

Cole's first T-ball game is Friday. He was excited about his new uniform and his hat with "Cole" on the back of it, so excited in fact he wants to wear them both to school tomorrow. The game should be interesting. He hasn't had many practices due to the weather and they ones he has had have gone something like this.
Step 1: Pull the slightly oversized baseball hat down over your eyes
Step 2: Play in dirt
Step 3: Pick grass
Step 4: Throw dirt (at someone or yourself)
Step 5: Throw grass (see above)
Step 6: Draw crop circles in the dirt
Step 7: Put glove on the ground
Step 8: Put glove on your head
Step 9: While teammates are batting and you are in the infield do any of steps individually, in any order, or all at once
Step 10: Pout when ball comes your way (and miraculously you are not beamed by it) and you miss it because you were not paying attention.

There is only 1 coach for all these boys and very little one on one attention. We rarely even have another dad to help, since most of the moms take the kids to practice. Although I'm the only single parent. The coach, while nice enough, is the type of man that would never consider a mom might be able to help out. Most of the practice, I'm calling Cole's name telling him to stand up, stop playing in the dirt, etc. When he is in the outfield I really don't care, I just don't want him hurt when he is up close. Despite all this Cole really has a great time. He loves running the bases and hitting.

I know from research and my education classes that "experts" don't recommend team sports for children until around 6 or 7 years of age. Which certainly I understand. The range of the kids gross motor skills in t-ball where the kids are from 5-7 is vast. But then you have to consider what the impact of starting sports at 7, not having played before, while other kids have been playing for several years will have on a child. So as long as Cole shows an interest I will let him play. Besides I'm just glad he wants to be out running around instead of sitting home in front of the boob tube.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Thursday Cole and I spent the day at the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo. We had a great time. They have a lot of kids activities which Cole enjoyed. He rode a pony, watched a dairy cow being milked, went through the petting zoo, got his picture taken on a plastic bull. He actually competed in the rodeo, too. They had "stick horse" rodeo. You donate a dollar to the FFA scholarship fund and the kids get to enter an event and compete. Cole picked, Broncho riding. They announce the kids name, age, and city on the microphone and say a "fun fact" about each kid and then the event begins. Cole won second place and all partcipates got a ribbon and rounds of applause. We walked around and looked at the various animals for show. Cole LOVES horses and he made us walk down row afer row of horses until we had seen them all.

For lunch we shared typical "fair" food of a corn dog, fries and a lemonade, and enjoyed compliminatory ice cream cones from Borden Farms.

Then we headed over to the amusement park. We purchsed "half-day" wrist bands for $15/each which I thought was pretty reasonable since most rides were at least 3 tickets (1 ticket is 1 dollar). Our first ride was the ferris wheel, which is Cole's favorite because you can "see all of the town". We rode two roller coasters (the one's Cole is tall enought to ride on) and one ride that spins you forwards and backwards, very fast which Cole also loved. We went throught the two "fun" houses at least 4 times. They also have a "super slide" that you have to ride down on a potato sack. I don't like this ride, but Cole loves it. He isn't tall enough for that ride yet either so he has to ride on my lap. So heart beating eratically I gamely climbed the steps to the top and risked my life (okay maybe just my pride)by trying to hold onto Cole while hurtling toward the ground on a potato sack. We survived.

The rodeo was a great way to spend a day. I was glad to see that Cole was afraid of any ride and loved them all. I can't wait until May when we go to Disney World!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spoke too soon

I spoke too soon about PepBoys and my car. When I posted on Sunday they had promised me that my car would be ready the same day. Around 5:00pm I contacted them and was told they didn't think it would be done by closing at 6:00pm WHAT? So I called back around 5:45 pm and they said there would be no way it would be finished. The mechanic was going to finish it that night but it probably would not be finished until after 7:00 pm and they would be closed. Great. So my mom had the privilege of taking Cole to daycare and then dropping me off at work before 7:00am and getting herself to work.

That morning, I called PepBoys and asked if they would do an oil change since my car was still there, they said no problem. Leah was going to take me to get my car after her shift ended at 2:00 pm. Around noon the manager called and said, "Can you walk me through everything we did on your car?. We changed to brakes and rotors, did an
oil change, and you called back to have us replace two tires, right?" No, I DID NOT call back to have two tires replaced, my tires are only a year old. He explained there must have been some confusion but I wouldn't be charged for the tires. I said that in addition to the tires being semi-new they were expensive tires. My grandmother had bought them for me and she bought the top of the line since I'm on the road so much. I told him that if my tires were better I wanted them back on. He called me back and said, my tires were better and he would get them on and my car would be ready in an hour.

I picked my car up at 2:00pm. On the way back to work I was irritated because my hands were coated in dusty black debris from the mechanics hands on my steering wheel and gear shift. I had to clean my car when I got back to work.

After work I picked Cole up and we headed home. When I pick him up from school, we never have the radio on, because we talk about our day. While talking, I thought I heard a high-pitched squeaking coming from the driver's side tire. We were quiet for a moment and sure enough it was squeaking. It only squeaked when the car was moving. When idling or when applying the brakes the noise when away. When we got home I called PepBoys and they wanted me to bring the car back up. Since it was dinner time I left Cole with my parents and headed back up. I was there before 6:00 pm.

They immediately test drove the car and verified the noise. They had to pull another car out of the bay to work on my car and they lifted it and got to work. As they were spinning the wheel, a shrill squeaking penetrated the lobby. Another customer looked over at me and said, "Geez, glad that's not my car!" Gee thanks, buddy. The mechanic thought maybe the new rotor was slightly warped or uneven so they were going to try and fix it, maybe thirty minutes or so. After grabbing a bite to eat I headed back over and my car was still up on the lift. The mechanic said it was still squeaking, so they decided to start from scratch and "cut a new rotor" Another hour later he said, they were almost done. The tested the tire several times while on the lift and no squeaking. So they lowered the car and took it for a test drive. The mechanic looked at me and smiled reassuringly and said you're almost out of here. A few minutes later here comes my car, back into the bay and up onto the lift. Off comes the tire, work stops on all the cars and there are now five mechanics looking over and under my car, wheels spin, brakes applied, wheels spin, brakes applied, SQUEAK! SQUEAK! SQUEAK! After another 45 minutes the mechanic came out with a grave look on his face. He explained in mechanic talk which I nodded like I understood that my Taurus is built different than any car he has seen before. The bottom line is that he thinks an "undercarriage engine mount" that is connected somehow to the rotor/tire is broken and in the short test drive this had caused the second brand new rotor to warp an 1/8". He explained that a "master mechanic" would have to look at the car the next day and they would have to call the Ford dealership mechanics, etc. He said I could drive the car and he thought "it should be safe" but that I would be continuing to warp the rotor. He would prefer if I left the car again. It was now almost 9:00pm.

I called my parents to try to work out travel arrangements for the next day. Luckily it is Spring Break so I didn't have school, but I had several appointments that were scheduled.

So on my first day of Spring Break I got to wake up at 6:00 am to take my dad to work (several hours earlier than he ever goes) so I could make it to my own doctor appointment. I'm still waiting to hear from the mechanic,not entirely sure that I will get my car even today. Sigh!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

This never happens to me

For the past few weeks when I driving at a decent speed and apply my brakes my steering wheel vibrates (like when exiting the Interstate). This weekend it was worse than ever. Every time I've thought about it I just saw dollar signs scrolling through my mind, car repairs are so expensive.

Several years ago I was having some car trouble and broke down. I took that car to Firestone, because it was the closest. The estimate they gave me was outrageous, I paid to have my car towed to the only other place I found open on the weekends which was PepBoys and they said a lot of the things on my original estimate were BS and fixed my car for much less, since then I have always used them.

Last year I had my brake pads replaced there, so I called and they said to bring the car in. I had "goggled" the symptoms my car was having and google said it was usually a warped roter. I took my car into PepBoys this morning and they called to say it was in fact a warped roter on the passenger side. Since my brake replacement was still under warranty to get the roter fixed, to replace the driver's side one too and replace the brake pads it would only be $51. WHAT??? I pay close to that sometimes just for an oil change. YIPEEE! I was so happy. Glad I took it back to them.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Visual Imagery

I had four research papers due this week and I'm tired. In addition to those papers in my American Lit class we could submit a short paper for extra credit. Even though I have a solid A I decided to do the extra credit assignment. Our topic was writing a paper of a paragraph or two that "evoked visual imagery". This was my submission.

Sink or swim

Last year I went through a divorce. When I think back to that long torturous summer as the decision was being made to separate I can only compare it to one thing. To me it was like being immersed under water with unseen hands holding you underneath the surface. At first, you kick and scream fighting with every ounce of your being. The will to survive overpowers everything. Occasionally you break free to the surface and can take a gulp of air, but those unseeing hands push you back under. Then the fear sets in, your limbs grow weak and weary and you fight less and less to get to the surface, you get close to the surface, but not close enough to take a breath. Your chest hurts and limbs begin to grow heavy, but you still kick, but those hands don't let go. The view of the surface grows hazier and hazier as your whole body begins ache and your chest begins to explode. Eventually when you are too weak to struggle those hands let you go. You have two choices, you can give up because you are tired of struggling and sink slowly to the bottom. Or you can look inward and using the tiny amount of strength you have left push to the top. Once there you can float as long as you need to regain your strength and then start to swim, never looking back. I chose to swim.

My professor's response "In a "sea" of over 200 students, your paper was one of the best. Thanks for submitting something so personal, it was a welcome relief from the papers full of "the lush green hills...". Here's my message to you, alway keep swimming."

I got my bonus points! I wish he would have written, "in the words of Dory...just keep swimming, just keep swimming." A Nemo reference that would have been funny. But I'll take his compliment.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Shark Family

Today Cole was drawing. He decided he wanted to draw a family of sharks. He described the sharks to me. "This is the ocean. This small shark is the kid shark, this is the mommy shark, this is the granny shark, and this shark is the meanest it is a papa shark, nobody likes him." Despite being funny because yet again, he was calling Papa mean, it still catches me off-guard that his definition of a family never includes a dad, which is sad for him.

Speaking of the person he never includes, I assume he is back in New York. He was supposed to be working in Houston for 8 weeks. We never heard from him after the visit with his "friend" 5 weeks ago. Not one word. Cole hadn't seen him since May and R was as close as Houston and spent approximately 3 hours total with him over two visits. Way to go DAD!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I need a transporter

It's 2007, shouldn't we all have our own transporting devices and we could zip around town with those. I felt like I spent half my day today in the car in traffic. I left OakHill at 6:20 am, drove to south Austin to daycare, drove to San Marcos for school. Drove from San Marcos back to OakHill to work out. Rushed out of the gym to drive back to south Austin to pick Cole up from daycare and take him to T-ball practice and then home again around 6:45 pm.

I almost skipped the gym because I knew that I would be pressed for time, but the gym is virtually the only thing I do for myself, so I hated to give that up. Besides Thursday is the night I meet with my personal trainer. I was five minutes late for my session, thanks to traffic and I HATE being late.

I'm exhausted and I really don't like the Texas Transportation Department, especially the engineers that designed the new Benwhite/290 Flyover. To get on the dang thing from IH35 you have to sit throughout MANY light changes and have to go down to Congress and sit through even more light changes just to enter 290 and of course you have the people who fly by you in the middle lane and then cut you off at the last moment to enter 290. They are WAY too important to sit in line, like the rest of us poor saps. Okay, enough ranting for tonight.

I'm adding to my heated commuting post.

The other night at dinner my dad was antagonizing Cole and Cole held up his pointer finger and drew two imaginary lines in the air. My dad asked what he was doing and he said "I just X'd you out" and we all laughed. My dad kept picking on him and Cole did it again, but more vigorously and said, "Now I scribbled scrabbled you out." Tonight as Cole was giving his goodnight kisses, my dad asked if he was still "X'd" out and Cole said "No, I erased you." My dad said, "What am I now then." Without missing a beat, Cole hopped down from his chair, shrugged and nonchalantly replied, " Still mean". Out of the mouths of babes!