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.