Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Chrisssmasss

Cole has lost two teeth this week. One on the bottom and one of his front top teeth. This has given him the cutest lisp and grin.

It's Christmas Eve night and "Santa" has already visited. He came very early this year. Last night we went to my friends house and Cole had a blast playing with her three boys. When it was time to go they invited him to sleep over. This was his first and he did great. As an added bonus I came home and wrapped presents that evening and he stayed up late, so he was tired tonight. He was asleep by 7:30 so Santa got an early start. I can't wait for the morning.

Today Cole said that he hoped he get a package from his dad. Even thought he hasn't called since April 2007 and doesn't send anything for b-days, the last two Christmas' he has send a gift. Cole remembered this. I didn't figure he would this year, especially since it's been almost two years since we have even heard from him. Sadly, he lived up to my expectations and no package came. I hope with the excitement tomorrow, Cole will have forgotten about a gift from his dad. Sigh!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Playing Catch-up

As Vetmommy pointed out I haven't blogged much. Not working or being in school as left me little to blog about. The first week that I was done with student teaching I was mostly depressed. It turns out that I'm not someone who does well with tons of free time on my hands. I'm too used to having my days filled. I've mostly been doing tedious tasks like completing applications, paperwork, being fingerprinted, etc. to start substituting. I found myself counting down until Cole was out of school and it was time to go to the gym. Last week I was determined to get out of my funk so I started going to the gym in the mornings (even though I'd be working out in the evening too). At least then I was out of the house and ready to start my errands and feeling like I'd accomplished something.

The last few weeks have been frustrating for other reasons, too. Cole got sent to the office not once but twice. Both times for being silly in class and trying to make other kids laugh. He's been grounded and we have both been upset. One of the things I love most about him is his sense of humor and fun. I always have felt that I was too serious even as I child, so I love that Cole's isn't. However, this is getting him in trouble which means he quickly needs to learn what lines to not cross at school. Sigh....

What else has happened? I graduated on Friday. I actually walked which I wasn't originally going to do. But my friends wanted me to and my family, so I caved. Everyone kept asking me if I was excited. Not really, I'm mostly embarrassed, after all I'm 33. I graduated summa cum laude which was what I was proud of since I was juggling working full-time and being a mom. After graduation we went to lunch. I was laughing later, because my friends (even the older ones) were having parties and my plans were lunch, the gym, and nettie potting Cole's nose. The funny thing was I wouldn't have traded places for the world.

So now I just need to finish getting ready for Christmas. I hope to enjoy spending time with Cole during the winter break and then get to WORK!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Winter fun

On Saturday night we had a wonderful Christmas outing. Schlitterbahn is local water park and for the first time this year they are open during the winter evenings for some old time Christmas fun. We went ice-skating under the stars. Cole hasn't skated in several years and was so excited to skate again. He fell over and over, but was having a great time. I'm proud to say that I didn't fall. I was so glad because I ran a 5K early that morning and my knees were VERY sore. If I would have fallen, I would have probably sat on the ice until someone pushed me off. We went bobsledding, listened to carolers, watched a light show, drank hot chocolate, and were gently powdered by snow (actually tiny soap bubbles, but hey this is central Texas - got to take what you can get). It was a great way to get in the holiday spirit.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Final Day

Today was my last day of student teaching. I was so so sad to say goodbye to the kids. They gave me a great send-off. A few of the moms organized a pizza party. We had pizza and a gigantic cookie cake. I gave the kids their small gifts (erasers, pencils and bookmark with a personal note) and they were thrilled. I got a beautiful book with heartfelt notes from each kid, a picture of me and the class in a frame that all the kids signed, a handmade ornament from one boy, a bouquet of flowers from another, another bouquet from the class that included roses made from cash, and a gift card to a book store from the 3rd grade team. It was truly humbling and amazing. I was teary all day. After a swarm of hugs and a chorus of goodbyes, I left. I will miss them.

Sadly, I will not be taking over for the teacher when she goes on maternity leave. Because the information that I post here could be found while I'm job seeking, I'll share the details with you in person, if you care. I'll just say, the teachers, the parents, the kids, and myself are sad. Next week will find me doing what doesn't come naturally to me and that is being bold, assertive, and selling myself. I will have to make visits to schools, ask to speak to the principals, and try to sell myself. I can hardly wait...but momma has got to start working for pay again.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cole's saving plan

Cole has a jar that he keeps his money in. He has around $60 in cash. The bottom of his jar was filled with change. On Saturday I let him take his change to the credit union to cash in. He was so happy on the way when he found out that he has his own account already that I started when he was born. He wanted to see his account when we got there. It was difficult to explain where his account actually was. Once we got to the credit union, I let him pour his change into the machine and watch the total rise on the screen. He had $135! We waited in line and he proudly gave his receipt to the teller to collect his money. Once home he added it to his jar.

Tonight on the way home from the gym. He said that he wanted another jar to start collecting even more money. The reason? He wants to save to adopt a baby brother or sister! Isn't he sweet? Most kids save to buy toys, Cole wants a sibling! Maybe by the time Cole' is an adult he will have enough saved to buy a 1/16 of a kid.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The latest

I haven't posted much lately and I don't even have a good excuse. So here is what is new.

I have officially lost 35 pounds (or 1 toddler). I have been eating better, but not any crazy dieting and working out. I still workout with my trainer 1 day a week, take a fitness class with him 3 days a week, and add at least 1 other day of cardio on the weekend. I'm feeling better physically and working on mentally. Tonight Cole and I signed up for a "Reindeer Run" in a few weeks, 5K for me and 1K for him.

I only have 3 more days of "total teach" left. These last few weeks have been flying by at warp speed. It has been great. I had my last formal observation by my professor and will now just be wrapping things up. I'm really looking forward to next week. One of the perks of teaching is holidays off! I no longer will have to use vacation time and barter for time off around the holidays. I have Wed-Fri off next week. I can't wait to hang out with Cole, make pies, and shop. What do I miss about BAH? I miss having people know me and care about me and sharing stories and my life with them.

I've been gathering stuff to apply to the local districts. It's a part-time job just applying, but graduation is in December and then I'm a free agent!

Fall baseball is officially over. It's a relief, Cole didn't enjoy it too much so therefore neither did I. It's tough on your heart to watch your child struggle to do something. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he still doesn't want to play in the spring.

He wants to try basketball. Everyone says at the YMCA it is a lot of fun and being a shrimpo doesn't matter. He is signed up for winter ball that starts in January.

He is still taking Karate at the gym. It has been 1 year now and he still loves it. This past Saturday he had testing for his next belt. The test lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes. I couldn't believe he could stay that focused for so long. Being quite was the worse thing for him, I think. Afterwards he talked 90 mph. He couldn't talk enough. He should get his new belt in the next few weeks.

He's also taking hip-hop classes now. Isn't that funny? He loves it. He has wanted to take them for awhile. I made him choose between this and the gymnastics class he was already in and he choose hip-hop (I was secretly relieve because being at the gymnastics gym with all the pushy, overeager moms that want to see their daughters be the next Olympians was driving me crazy).

School for Cole? Not so good. His teacher is very strict. She has even rubbed me the wrong way a few times and I am very understanding of teachers (for obvious reasons). He is learning to adjust his behavior to meet her expectations. She has a "zero tolerance" policy, so it has been a little rocky for him. He used to LOVE school, so it is sad to see him becoming frustrated so early on. He has lots of years left. He loves math and science but is struggling with reading and writing. Part of the issue with reading is that they don't get to choose what books they read for the most part, so usually he's bored to tears. As he improves though, hopefully he will get more free choice. He got a "needs improvement" on his handwriting on his report card. And while I'll admit it's not beautiful he already writes neater than three of the boys in my 3rd grade class. We are continuing to supplement at home, so hopefully things will get better for him.

So are you all caught up now?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On My Own

Since yesterday I have been doing my "total teach". For two-weeks we take over the class entirely. Since I have been slowly leading up to this, it hasn't been too much of a change. The major difference is that for the majority of the last few months there have been two adults in a room and now I'm flying solo. Yesterday went really well and everything ran smoothly. Today was good, too but hectic. We had a Veteran's Day celebration and guest speakers in the morning, plus the rain kept us mostly indoors. Then this afternoon in Science, I started science lab rotations which was a lot of prep work for me and took some getting used to for the kids. It was messy and fun, but tiring too! I'm exhausted.

This past few months have literally flown by and I'm sure these next two weeks will be no exception.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I've mentioned before that I paid off my car several months ago. Since then practically every month I've had something go wrong with it and it's been in the shop. Yesterday was a doozie!

I was leaving school at the end of they day and put my car into reverse, it barely moved. I then tried drive and it barely moved---BACKWARD! I shut off the ignition for a few minutes hoping for a miracle, but one didn't arrive. Now it appears my transmission had gone out! After spending some frustrating time on the phone trying to arrange towing, I sat back in my car to wait an hour for the tow-truck. I had to call my mom to see if she could pick Cole up from school for me, find somewhere to have my car towed, etc. I was so stressed.

Finally, the tow truck driver arrived. While he was hooking my car up several parents from my school did offer me a ride which was nice. When I told the driver where I wanted my car towed he said that there would be an overage charge because of the mileage. At this point I didn't even care.

On the way to the shop, we talked about my series of car problems and our families. His daughter is a Veterinarian in Austin and he is very proud of both of his kids. After he dropped me off, I was writing out the check for towing and he looked at me and said, "No! I am not charging you. You have more than enough going on. I just want you to have a nice day and take care of that kid of yours!" I was floored. Does this ever happen? I thanked him profusely and instantly my bad mood had lifted. Not because of the $80 gift but because of the act of kindness. What a great man.

So I still have no word on an estimate for my car (probably a couple of grand :-( a least). I also have had to rent a car in the meantime. Yippee! The funny part is that both of my parents forgot that even though I'm working full-time it's for free, because they both suggested that maybe I should look for a another car. I wish that I could, believe me!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Camp out

I come from a family that didn't go camping, fishing, boating, or love the beach. I love all of these things. Perhaps if I grew up doing this things, I wouldn't enjoy them so much now. I've been wanting to take Cole camping, but I am not quite brave enough to go with just the two of us. The cooler weather has made me want to go even more. So Cole and I came up with a plan...

We camped out in the backyard. On Saturday we set up our tent and eagerly waited for darkness to fall. I had bought a mini-grill so we could have a fire. We sat in our flannel pajamas and roasted marshmallows and made smores. Then we crawled into the tent. We drank hot chocolate out of a thermos, while we played endless rounds of Sorry!, Go Fish, War, and Pokeman. As I looked at his face bathed in the soft glow of the lantern, I thought to myself that nothing could be better than this.

This morning, we woke up to the sounds of birds chattering and watched the squirrels perform their acrobatics overhead. It was perfect.

Now time for a "real" camping trip!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Busy as ever

When I quit my job to focus on student teaching, I was worried about the extra time I would have on my hands. I was so used to working and going to school full time that I wondered what I would do with my extra time. Now I ask myself, what extra time? I'm as busy as ever. After teaching (still having a blast) my evenings are full.

In addition to meeting with my personal trainer once a week at the gym, my mom and I joined a "team fitness" class that meets 3 nights a week. With the class also comes "cardio homework" so 6 days a week I'm at the gym. Plus, Cole has baseball, karate, and gymnastics. Then there is all the "at home" work that comes with teaching. I'm mid-way through my thematic unit on elections. I spent this weekend making interactive poster boards for Obama and McCain and the issues they represent, voting boxes, ballots, and shopping for all the materials required for the various projects the kids are doing. I'm happy but tired.

There is one big stressor in my life right now though. Cole's baseball. Luckily he only has two games left (if we lose the 1st tournament game). Here is the issue. The league restructured the age requirements and he was required to move up this year to the coach pitch league. The problem with this is that he is a six-year-old playing with 7 - 9 year olds. He is the only 6-year-old on this team and the smallest. Some of the kids outweigh him by 30-40 pounds and are at least a foot taller. Some of these kids are already in 3rd grade. There is a HUGH difference developmentally between a 1st and 3 grader. I've been worried all season about him getting hurt because some of this kids hit the ball amazingly hard. The main problem is his batting though. Cole has had a very difficult time adjusting to hitting the ball when it's thrown vs. off the tee like last year. He has completely given up and is so dejected when it's time for batting practice or game time. He doesn't even try. It's ruined his love of baseball. My dad thinks I should make him quit now. I think that sends him the wrong message. I've spoken to Cole and he wants to finish out the season. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Politics from the mouth of kids

If the kids around me are any indication then John McCain has Austin wrapped up for votes. Even my own son who previously wanted to "vote for Ovama" came home tonight talking about voting for McCain. I almost kicked him out..just kidding, well sort of. It's been a real eye opener for me working with kids and talking politics. I'm actually teaching a 3-week thematic unit on voting & elections, complete with a mock-class president election on November 4th. We've been talking politics quite a bit. I'm surprised by how much these kids actually know and shocked about some of their mistruths that spread like wildfire (hmmm...not much different than the adult world). I can't help but wonder if these "facts" (ie. lies) come from their parents trying to sway their views onto them or from misunderstandings on the kids part. Since I like to believe in the "ideal" world, I'll believe the latter. Here are some "facts" shared by the kids in my class.

On Obama:

"He will make everyone go to school on Saturdays."

"He doesn't even know how to read."

"He's mean to other people."

"He's a racist." - my personal fav

"He's not even from this country."

On McCain:

"He's nice and he likes kids."

"He wants a girl to be President, and Obama doesn't want that to happen EVER!"

"He reads and is smart."

So why does Cole want to change his "vote?" Because Sarah O. said that Obama is very mean, especially to kids and McCain loves to read. So what did I tell Cole? That everyone is entitled to their own opinion and he can vote for whomever he wants. He doesn't have to listen to his friends or family, he can make his own decision. That's what makes America great. I promised to bring him home my Time for Kids Magazine so we can read about both candidates and he can choose for himself.

Monday, October 06, 2008


The last week my parents had two nightly visitors. They visit while we sleep and leave dozens and dozens of divets in their well-manicured front yard and two very large holes. They are armadillos. Armadillos eat grubs and earthworms and since my parents have a sprinkler system that keeps the yard moist, they have an optimum feeding ground. My parents come from two different camps. My dad would prefer that every animal within a 10-mile radius be killed instantly. My mom feeds them all (which causes endless bitching from my dad). So what to do about the armadillos? My dad called several places that poison, NO WAY said my mom. Several calls later, they found a solution. There is a company ran by a husband and wife that live on a large amount of acreage outside of Austin. They catch these critters (and others) and release them on their property. They came out Saturday and laid an elaborate trap. Cole chatted literally non-stop at them the entire time and they didn't even mind. They also had a opossum, a skunk, and a raccoon in their truck. It was like a mini-zoo.

Sunday morning, we had one trapped armadillo. It was very cute up close. Of course Cole wanted to keep it. He named it Fred. We even dug up earthworms to feed it until they could arrive to relocate him. So now the trap is re-set hoping to catch and relocate the other armadillo that has been spotted. Wonder what Cole will name him?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Early Birthday

My birthday is in a couple of days but we celebrated this weekend since our week is packed full of everyday life. My brother and I are 2 years and 3 days apart so we have always shared our birthdays and this one is no exception. Check out the great cake that Cole helped make and decorated all on his own! After Cole's baseball game we went for some great Tex-Mex tonight and then opened our gifts. Cole got me a watch that he picked out on his own...that kid has great taste. My mom said that he had wanted to buy me a diamond ring too, but she had to nix that purchase :-) My parent's gift was a personal trainer at the gym that my mom and I are sharing. We had our first session with him on Saturday and I'm sore today. My gift to myself is a three month group fitness class at the gym that is 3 nights a week. Plus my mom and Leah are going to be with me, so it should be lots of fun! I've been working out daily for the past few months and have lost about 20 lbs, but I've still got a lot of work to do.
Cole cracked me up this weekend. He was talking about me getting married again and then he stops and looks at me and with a serious tone he asks, "Wait, you do still have your baby parts right?" Yup, but those are another year older too!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Flying Solo-ish

Today my mentor teacher had to leave at 11:00 for training. In the district that I am in they are still required to get a sub, but since I will be teaching the sub just sits in the room. Our "sub" was (no exaggeration) a seventyish year old man. He was very sweet and sat and read the entire day.

I have already taken over Social Studies and Science and some of the Language Arts, but always with the fail safe of the teacher in the room. Today I taught those in addition to Math without a fail safe. At this school there is regular Math and Advanced Math. My mentor teacher teaches the advanced math class. Anyone who knows me knows that Math is my nemesis. We have never gotten along. The idea that I would be teaching Advanced Math is a laugh. But teach it I did...and had fun! I got the kids up and moving and involved in the lesson. The kids were happy and relaxed since they already knew me there were no behavior problems. She will be out tomorrow too, so I get to fly solo (sort of) again.

Is my happiness getting old? It is amazing how being truly happy with what you do affects your whole life. I just feel better in general. I feel like the mealworms going through metamorphosis myself. Does that mean that I'll turn into a beetle too?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mealworms and random pics

Here are some random pics that I've been meaning to post: Cole at his last baseball game, Jupiter's Halloween costume, and Cole ready for school this morning.

I taught 3 subjects today even though I'm only required to be assisting with one. I did my first science lesson today. The kids are studying metamorphosis and I asked the teacher if I could do my own thing instead of doing the worksheets and she said go for it. I brought in mealworms that the kids observed and will monitor as they change into beetles. They were so thrilled and hands-on. I didn't tell them what the mealworms would change into and had them make predictions and most predicted butterflies or moths and one student guessed a beetle. After the lesson my teacher said, "Now this is what science should be!". The funny thing was that Cole wanted to do it too, so I brought the leftover mealworms homes, but because we had errands to run and the car was hot, the worms got a trip to the gym and HEB! They are now safely in Cole's room burrowed under their bed of oatmeal.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


My mentor teacher told the Principal on Friday that she is pregnant and not planning on returning to teach. He asked if I would be interested in taking over for her and when she said yes, he was happy and said to consider this my 4-month audition.

The week was great and while I'm not surprised how quickly I bonded to the kids, I am surprised how quickly that I became comfortable with the other teachers. Typically I'm shy when meeting new people and find it difficult to make connection, I either click with someone or I don't. Luckily I made connections with everyone right away. On Friday, I was involved with my first team planning session and I told them about the idea I had for a unit that I'm required to teach. They were excited and want me to create the unit for the entire grade level. Yikes! I've been working on expanding my idea and gathering materials this weekend.

It's been my experience that most elementary teachers don't enjoy teaching science and since I love science, I have already volunteered to take over science in my classroom. On my nightly neighborhood walks I've been looking for butterflies since this is the next unit we are studying. I hope to find more creepy crawlies!

The only downside is catching my first sore doubt from all the hugs! It's worth it though!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

First Days

Well the first two days are done and I have LOVED every minute of it! The school, my mentor teacher, and class are all amazing! It is going to be a wonderful experience.

In the weeks leading up to the first day I was so nervous. On Monday morning I woke up jitter free. I felt confident and ready for my first day. I have been pitching in where I can and have chosen a day for my first solo lesson. The days go by amazingly fast and the school already feels like home. While the kids come from a different class of life than I have known, they are still young enough to not realize the difference. Some of their experiences are truly remarkable. This is a generalization, but in my experience most teacher's favorite students are the girls because they are sweet and eager to please. That's true, but I guess because I'm used to Cole, I love the little boys. Their imagination and unbridled enthusiasm brings a smile to my face.

My mentor teacher is pregnant and may not be coming back and another 3rd grade teacher is pregnant so there is a slim chance there might be an opening in the spring, if I make a good impression.

I can't wait to go back tomorrow!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Wish me luck

Tomorrow is the first day of my new career! I'm so excited, although I must admit about halfway through ironing my stack of clothes, I started to miss scrubs. It's been years since I've had to iron. Urgghhh!

We will also start our new morning routine. Cole will have to get on the bus 20 minutes early. I will have to drive him to the first bus stop in our neighborhood, in order to get to work on time. Plus I will have two lunches to make in the morning and Cole has baseball practice tomorrow night, so I have a lot of stuff to pack.

I've enjoyed my time off, but I'm ready to get started!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Can you hear my heart breaking?

The last time Cole's dad called him was on his 5th birthday, he is 6 1/2 now. Lately Cole has said several times to me that maybe his dad will call him on his 7th birthday. I always have to look away so he can't see the tears in my eyes. Tonight at baseball practice he said out loud to another parent, "My dad lives in New York. He never calls me. Maybe he'll call for my 7th birthday."

I can get over the devastation of someone not loving me anymore, what I can't recover from is the devastation of someone not loving my son.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First days of school

It's official Cole is now a first grader. He is so excited. On Sunday night he was nervous, but come Monday morning he was awake at 6am and ready to start school. The first day I took him because he wasn't sure he'd remember where his class is. He is in the "big" building this year. While we waited in the hallway for the first bell to ring he was hugging and talking to all of his "old" friends. He led the way to the class and ran in after a quick wave goodbye. He had a great day. Today he was just as excited and was eager to wait for the bus. He said he had another great day! He is doing a different after-school program. Last year I did not like the program he was in. The kids were very rowdy and the staff had no control. When I told one of Cole's teachers that we had switched after-school programs this year she said, "Good. I'm so glad. When I would see those kids, I would look at Cole and he just didn't fit in with that type of behavior." This year he is in an arts based program. So far it seems great. The staff isn't 12 yrs. old (okay...maybe last year they were 19) and the group of kids is a much better mix. Because of my crazy schedule for the next few weeks (until I start student teaching on the 8th) he won't be there too much, but I'm letting him go for an hour or so every afternoon.

The best news is his 1st grade class itself, I need to go hug his Kindergarten teacher! At his school they generally move the majority of the class to the next grade level. I was worried because there were 3 kids in particular that caused a lot of issues last year and one that was a bully and tattle-tell. This one kid in particular would do something to someone and if they retaliated he would tell and get them in trouble instead. Because I spent a fair amount of time with Cole's class I wasn't too thrilled with them or their behavior. So I wasn't looking forward to another year of this. The previous teacher will send groups of kids together and separate those that she thinks shouldn't be together. Cole doesn't have ANY of those kids in his class this year. There is a group of 5 other kids with Cole and they were all the "good" kids from last year. I'm so excited. I found out from the mom of one of those other kids that all the problem kids are in her daughter's class. She was complaining that all of the "bad" kids from last year are in her daughter's class. Then she wondered out loud, "Wait....does that mean my daughter is bad, too?" I'm never gonna tell ;-)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In the news

While we were at the park yesterday a photographer from our local paper took pics of Cole and Colin. She said they may or may not make the paper. This morning there was Cole in black and white (they didn't use any of Colin - maybe because his mom wasn't there to give consent?). Cole was thrilled this morning.

In other news, I found out what school and grade I'll be student teaching. I'm in a very nice school district and supposedly the school is outside one of the more exclusive neighborhoods in town, should be interesting. The good (or bad) thing is that there means there will be a lot of parent involvement, too. I got 3rd grade. I'm a little nervous, because I haven't worked with this age before, but I'm excited and I can do ANYTHING for a semester! I have a few meetings and such and then will be in the classroom full-time on the 8th. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Babies for sale?

I think Cole had too much fun on his playdate w/ Colin today, because on the way home he said again that he wants a brother and sister, maybe both. He told me that we need to look in the ads and check for signs that say "Baby for sale!". When I laughingly told him that it's against the law to sell babies, he decided that I need to get married again. He said, "You need to marry someone you love and who is handsome, but DON'T look at me, cause you can't marry kids." At dinner he said to save him the paper tomorrow, so he can start looking for my husband. Quick turnaround from the kid who just yesterday wanted me all to himself. Hmmm....wonder what kind of man he can find for me in the newspaper?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lovin' this week

My last day of work was last Friday. I don't have to report to school until Thursday, so Cole and I have been off together. It's been wonderful! No getting up @ 5:30 to the alarm clock. We've slept in, went to the movies, ran errands, and the best part is going to the gym daily during non-peak hours. I could get use to this!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sweet words

I'm feeling really good right now. I'm energized and excited about the direction my life is going. I have received wonderful words of encouragement from friends both new and old. Today at work (4 more days to go!) I received a letter from a co-worker. He is VERY eccentric and has very interesting views on the world (especially conspiracy theories), but I really enjoy him. So after work I opened my letter. It has probably been years since I've been given a written letter and this one was 4 pages! Some of what he wrote was funny "I've worked with a lot of people...and most of the time I wish I could choke them until their eyes popped out. I've never wanted to choke you!" Some of what he wrote was very sweet and moving " Every time that I come in and know you are here it has lifted my spirit. " "It's rare to meet someone as gifted and special person as yourself and you've set a high standard for what it is to be a great boss." Some was pure him, " I'll take you and Cole to my compound in the mountains and we can teach him to shoot Zombies". Mostly I was impressed that he took the time to write me a letter. Plus he called my kid cool and what could be greater than that?

I'm not going to miss being a manager (of adults) but I will miss the people as individuals. It's nice to feel missed too!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Cole has a friend that is the same age that lives across the street from us. We invited him to the pool today. As they chatted away in the car, I was amused but sad. Sad because he's grown up enough to have friends that we can take places and sad because of what might of been if Cole had a sibling (of course without the sibling bickering). They had a great time at the pool and I just floated within arms reach. After the pool he spent the day at our house and it was great to hear boy's laughter coming from his room.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


0 - car payments left

7 - days I have left @ work

4 - books Dana gave me to read today, I hope they are as good as the last three you gave me

15 - days until I find out what school and grade I'll be student teaching

17 - days until the party Alissa is throwing for me...thanks so much... AGAIN!

19 - days until Cole is in 1st grade....YIKES!

33 - days until I officially start student teaching and have to dress in nice clothes for a living (I'm going to miss scrubs)

4 - months until graduation

16 - months since Cole's dad has called him

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Cromagnum Cole

Cole has had a tough go of it this week. On Tuesday he started complaining of stomach cramps and Wednesday he woke up with a sore throat to accompany the stomach ache. They called me to come get him during lunch time on Wednesday because he wasn't eating and felt nauseated. I took him back to work with me and he seemed okay. During karate he seemed tired and mimed several times that he was feeling sick. Once home he was running a fever and vomited. Thursday morning with his fever elevating we headed into the doctor's office. She suspected either strep or a viral GI issue. By Thursday evening the frequent vomiting and diarrhea started. On Friday he was the sickest that I've seen him in a long time. He barely moved and I spent the day washing him, clothes, and sheets because he was so sick. I would offer sips of water that he would usually vomit back up. On Friday they said that if he didn't urinate within 12 hours he had to go in for IV fluids and finally at about the 11 hour mark we had success. He barely spoke all day and took a four hour nap. Luckily by Saturday he was feeling better. We still took it easy. Saturday night he had a fever blister starting but seemed on the mend. This morning he woke up crying saying that his forehead hurt. Once I got a good look I saw why. His forehead, eyes, and eyebrow area were swollen. He looked like a Cromagnum man. So into the after hours clinic we went. The doctor thought that it was most likely a symptom of whatever GI bug he had. Weird. The swelling slowly went down during the day, but before bed one eye was swollen again and he had hives on his forehead. He needed to take Benadryl but hates the taste of the liquid. I let him try to take a capsule and he was successful! Hopefully the swelling will be gone by the morning and his appetite will slowly come back, because he's lost 4 lbs. in 1 week.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sweetest words

Tonight we were talking about planning a weekend trip to a local water park and when I told Cole that my brother and his girlfriend might be going, he rolled his eyes. When I asked why he rolled his eyes, he said "I don't like that word 'girlfriend'". I started to laugh. Lately he has been really embarrassed by this sort of stuff (he even looked away when the robots kissed on WallE). My mom said that she never liked the word "fiancee" and then Cole asked me what that word was and I had to explain that. He was embarrassed again and then said then said he didn't like that word either. I reminded him that someday he would like that word and girls for that matter. He said he was going to get married when he was 10. I said, "Dude you better start looking then, you only have 4 years left." He looked straight at me and in a very serious tone said, "I'm looking at who I'm going to marry". So sweet that boy.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I have only three weeks left of being employed! I'm excited and nervous. I'm such a planner and facing the uncertain leaves me really freaked out. I do better the less that I think about it. I'm excited to start student teaching and hope my savings hold out so that I don't have to work nights and weekends. I'm just ready to get on with the rest of my life. They have now officially hired two managers to replace me and I hope they do well. I already feel like a ghost walking through the hallway and it was really tough to listen to the latest manager go on about "finally" having a manager to take care of things and etc. I expected to be blamed for everything after I left but it was tough to listen to it while I'm still there and in front of the entire staff to boot. I'm just keeping my head held high. This place has seen me through lots of life changes (getting married, having Cole, getting divorced) and nine years is a long time to spend somewhere. There was a period of over a year that I was the only manager and now there will be six. I'm ready to walk through the doors, being a manager is great training for working with kids and I'll have some great perspective to take with me. Cole is sad that I'm leaving because in a way this was his second home and he grew up there along with me. I'm definitely a different person than I was nine years ago! So here's to my last three weeks and on to the first time in my life that I won't be receiving a paycheck since I was 16!
Cole and I will have to start volunteering at the local animal shelter or something to still play with animals. In the meantime we adopted a kitten last month and she's been fun and bratty. Cole named her Jupiter. My other cat HATES her even though she tries to be as cute as can be. He alternates between ignoring and hissing when she's around. In fact he hissed at her the other night in the dark when I was carrying her and I got the worst cat bite I've ever had when she freaked out. My thumb is still numb from that one! Here are some cute pictures of her and Cole playing on his bed.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Total Space Cadet

Cole has been taking karate classes at our gym since Octoberish and for the most part has done fairly well. Due to my crazy work and school schedule he has had to take classes on Saturdays. This group has a wide variety in age range. His instructor had continuously recommended that he join the older group of kids for more stimulation, the only problem was that they meet twice weekly at times that were impossible for me. Since school is over, I finally signed him up.

Tonight was his first night of the new class and tonight I wanted to disown him...okay not disown, but I did wish that he had a shock collar on that I could zap (just a mild shock) every time he acted like a fool. This new class is held in a Yoga studio that is surrounded by mirrored walls. He spent the entire class making faces at him self in the mirror and once scooted on the floor on his back like a worm. They did endurance tests to see how many push ups, sit ups, etc. they could do and he never kept count and would holler out numbers like "97, 78, 69" when his instructor asked for his count. He is the highest ranked student in the class and I bet the other parents were thinking how in the heck did "that kid" earn that belt?

So, Cole got a stern lecture from mean ol' mom on the way home. I hope class goes better on Wednesday or I might just sign him up for those acting classes after all!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mini Vacation

Since I'm trying to save for my rapidly approaching unemployment during student teaching, I couldn't afford much of a vacation this year. My mom and I decided to take Cole to San Antonio for a few days. It was great to get away and have some fun.

Our first stop was the Alamo. Cole was eager to see the Alamo. We decided to rent headphones and take an audio tour to maximize our experience. The cashier didn't charge us for Cole because she thought that he might not be that interested. I laughed because I knew he would be enthralled with learning about the battle. He paid rapt attention to his tour. At the very beginning of the tour the automated voice was talking about the history of some doors and Cole looked at me in awe and said, "is that the door that the Japanese soldiers came rushing in?"...I guess between his trip to Pearl Harbor and the WWII movies, he thinks all "enemy" soldiers are the Japanese!

After the Alamo we went to the riverwalk. We rode a tour boat and then ate some lunch at one of the many restaurants along the river. After lunch we rode the trolley to El Mercado. After visiting the market we went to the Texas Ranger Museum. We then concluded our walking tour (we must have walked miles in the blazing Texas heat) by heading to the Imax theatre. We watched a 3D movie about Dinosaurs that we all loved and then watched a movie about the Alamo. Finally, we headed to our hotel. Cole and I capped off the evening with a swim in the hotel pool.

The next morning we went to Sea World. Our original plan was to spend the morning at the park, take a break mid-day and then to return in the evening. We ended up spending the entire day (from the moment the park opened until after closing) at the park. We enjoyed feeding the seals and seeing all the exhibits. The first show we saw was at 11:30am. Cole wanted to sit in the "splash zone". It was hot and we sat in the direct sun for about an hour. I remember being a kid and wanting to sit in the "splash zone" so badly. So Cole and I sat on the very front row while we braved the heat. It was a relief when we finally got soaked. We had a great time riding roller coasters. Cole and I rode one water roller coaster twice. The lines weren't long and the ride was so much fun. On the second trip, Cole "dared me" to ride with my hands in the air. I did and he was so impressed! We spent the most of the afternoon in the water park. We all loved the wave pool. During the summer the park is open later in the evenings. We watched a 4D haunted lighthouse movie and another seal/walrus/otter show. Cole and I want an otter and a walrus as a pet. We headed over to watch Shamu to finish off our evening. We were sitting in the "Splash zone" once again and I looked down and there was a kid from his Kindergarten class two rows in front of us..what a small world. They enjoyed seeing each other so far from home. Sunburned and tired we ate a quick dinner on the way back to the hotel before collapsing in bed.

This morning on our way back to town we visited some local caverns. I think this was one of Cole's favorite parts of the trip. He especially enjoyed the 5,000 year old pile of bat poop! We then "mined" for fossils and after securing his shark teeth, shells, amber, etc into a Ziploc baggie we headed home.

It may not have been a European vacation (since Vetmommy wouldn't adopt us), but we still had a great time.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pool time

During the summer we spend the majority of our weekends at the pool. Cole is a good swimmer but I stay by his side the entire time. Sadly a little boy drowned at the pool we go to several weeks ago. We still don't know all the facts about what happened, but every weekend I see so many moms that are more interested in getting tans than playing with their own kids. Lifeguards are not baby sitters. So many parents put their kids in the water and then go lounge on their chairs reading or talking to friends. "Stay in the shallow end", they say and then seem oblivious to their children. The kids rarely stay in the shallow end and even if they did, they can still drown. You would think that a child's death would be a wake up call to all parents, but so far every weekend we have seen the lifeguards have to jump and and get someone and the parents are never in the pool. Saw one yesterday and today! Enough of my soap box.

Cole and I always have a great time swimming. It is like being a kid again, as he makes up new games for us to play. Today we were scuba divers on a "secret mission". A "tortedo" boat fired "tortedos" and our job was to dive and find them before they exploded. Cole had a plastic torpedo that when thrown really glided far underwater. We would swim to find it and then he worked out hand signals underwater for the rest of the "recovery mission". In no time two hours had passed and we had saved countless lives from torpedo blasts.

On a side note, Cole and I both really want to learn how to scuba dive...wonder how old he'd have to be to learn?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Poop Sticks

Yesterday morning I had my lunch made and on the kitchen counter. Cole wanted to help me get our stuff together so I told him he could put my lunch in my tote bag. He grabbed my bag and loaded it up. He said, "Mom, I packed your lunch on top of your poop sticks." I said, "My what...what are poop sticks?". He plucks out a tampon from the bottom of the bag and looks at me like I'm so dense and sighs, "Mom, theeese (waving it in the air). You know the things you put in your butt after your poop. Poop sticks!" I looked at my mom and we laughed. At 6:15 in the morning it was much too early for an explanation and anatomy lesson. Glad we don't really have to use poop sticks!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Butt Papa

Can you see what the imprint in the stone is? If you guessed a butt, you are right! This is what Cole made my dad for Father's Day.

For Mother's Day, Cole made my mom a stepping stone with his feet imprints. My dad kept giving Cole a hard time, asking him how come only she was getting one, where was his, etc. etc. The thing about my dad is that he can ask over and over and not get tired of messing with him. Cole usually ends up annoyed. Later that night, he said, "I should give Papa one with my butt cheeks". We laughed and I said that could be his Father's Day gift. I love how boy's minds work.

So last night, we were mixing concrete in the privacy of our backyard and Cole quickly made his everlasting impression. We were cracking up the entire time.

I can't wait for Sunday!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sharing a love of science

Cole has been lucky. Last year I took one of my science classes during the summer. During summer school, he really gets to help. He had so much fun, helping me with my science project that he did his own during Kindergarten! This summer, I'm taking my last class and it is another science class. I love science and Cole does too. The first week of this course has been about the stars (among other things). On Thursday night after class, I drove all the way home to pick up Cole. We headed back to campus around 9pm to go to the observatory that is on the roof of the science building. We met some of my classmates and my teacher from last year (who was thrilled to meet him after seeing his photos in my science project presentation last year - she even remembered how old his was!). We had a great time looking at the planets and mapping the stars and constellations. Cole was thrilled. It was a great way to spend an evening. My teacher was impressed with how much Cole already knew about the stars.

I get to go back outside in a few minutes to do some more mapping tonight. Ignore the crazy lady in the driveway mapping altitude and azimuth!

Monday, May 26, 2008

At a loss for words

Sometimes you have got to wonder what goes on in their six-year-old brains!

Tonight we were feeding Cole's fish before bed. One of his water frogs that wasn't looking so good this morning was floating belly up. As I grabbed the net, I told Cole to find something to put the frog in. He grabbed a half-empty (or half-full depending on your view on life) bottle of Gatorade. I netted the frog and dropped him into the bottle. I told Cole to go poor the contents into the toilet while I fed the fish. I heard the pouring and the flush. As he rounded the corner of the bathroom, I saw him taking a swig of the remaining Gatorade in the bottle!!!!!!! I almost flipped out. What goes through their heads? I truly was at a loss for words. I started to ask him what could he be thinking about drinking from a bottle that seconds before had a floating dead frog..but the look of shock and confusion and then sheepishness on his face, just made me crack up. Boys!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Don't blink because you'll miss it

I can't believe that in a few short weeks that Cole will be done with Kindergarten. Six years has been a whirlwind. He has his funny sayings, facial expressions, mannerisms, and 'tude. He is still mine but also his own.

It seems like everyone I know is pregnant, planning on getting pregnant, or a new mother. It makes me so nostalgic. If I'd known then that Cole was going to be the only child I'd have, would I have done anything different? No, I don't think so. I tell everyone to treasure every minute... I have. It seems like you can't wait for them to smile their first smile, then see their first tooth grow in, and start talking and walking. You study every tiny detail them of them at night as you read them a bedtime story and they drift off to sleep. Before you know it, getting them to be quite for a minute is the trick, then the first baby teeth are falling out and they are reading to you before bed. It's like your life is stuck in fast forward, you are afraid to blink because you might miss something.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My mom is special- by Cole

My mom's favorite thing to do is...kiss me on the eyeballs.

My mom doesn't like to...iron or do her homework.

She always says..."You're so cute."

My mom loves to eat...cheese pizza and red hots.

She is very happy when...I get no x's.

She gets angry when...I wake up my grandma.

She is very sad when...I don't clean up my room.

My mom gets tired because...she runs so fast.

I like it when my Mom...kisses me.

My mom's favorite place to go is...Chuck E. Cheese.

My mom's favorite show is...What Not To Wear.

When we are at home, my mom likes on my couch.

If my mom could go anywhere in the world, she would go to...California to bring my cousins to Texas.

If I had a million dollars, I would buy my mom...hearts and a fake squirrel.

My favorite thing about my mom is...that she gets me all the food I want. Even pizza.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 02, 2008


I'm officially done and baring some unforeseen bombing of a last test or project, I've wrapped up another 4.0 semester. The best part? I don't have to work Saturdays for a month. When I'm in school, I have to work every Saturday to make my hours and keep my benefits. Working every Saturday since January SUCKS! I'm so excited to spend the time with Cole and just relax, I almost don't know what to do with myself.

The only sad part is that I already miss my friends at school. It's amazing how much you get to know and care about each other. When I first started at Texas State I hated it. I felt old, out of place, and alone (now I'm just old and lonely :-). Slowly but surely, semester after semester you start to recognize some familiar faces. As your classes toward your degree plan narrows, you really begin to make connections. These friends are what get me through a semester. So I've joined MySpace to help stay in touch and there is always summer school!

What’s the first thing on my agenda for my first Saturday off? Not setting my alarm clock!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm done!!!!.....almost

Today is a good day. This was my last day of classes this semester. I only have 1 final left that I'll take in a few weeks. What a whirlwind!

These last few weeks have been a blur. I've felt like such a bad mom, because I had to tell Cole so many times that I couldn't do something with him, because I was so busy. He's so sweet though. At one point, I was apologizing to him for this and he said, "Don't worry, you're doing just right for me!" I did carve out some time each night and we did something fun for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday, at least.

Today when I picked him up from school and reminded him this was my last day he said, "Yeah, that means more time for Colebug!" We are going to a play on campus Saturday night for "date night".

As much as I hated deadlines and late nights of homework, I'll probably be bored until summer school starts, because I'm so used to being busy.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Life advice from Cole

Cole: Mom, when I grow up and get tall you need to get a new husband.

Me: Why would I need a husband?

Cole: Because you'd be lonely.

Me: I don't think I'll ever be married again, besides who'd want to marry me?

Cole: Just kiss them on the lips and they'll marry you...but that's gross

Me: Cole, someday you'll have a girlfriend and you'll kiss her on the lips

Cole: Ewwwww.....And then I'll marry her and have kids

Me: Can I babysit for you when you have kids?

Cole: Yeah, but I'm going to have like 15, can you babysit 15 kids?

Me: That's a lot of kids, like a whole T-ball team

Cole: Yeah, I'm going to make her change the diapers

Me (laughing): No, I bet you'll be a good dad. What do you want your wife to be like?

Cole: One who will be pretty and look good naked!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Birthday Recap

Cole has officially been "6" for two whole days now. He had a great birthday, plus my grandma flew in for his big day.

The morning of his birthday, I took him to breakfast before school. I had to make a quick stop at HEB to pick up a veggie tray for work and he showed me all the things he can do better now that he is "6". He could walk "faster" and he was "stronger" because the veggie tray was much "heavier" when he was "5". I dropped him and his cupcakes off at school and his friends were so excited to see him. After school, we headed to my brother's work for dinner. Finally it was time for presents. He got everything he wanted and more. He was very happy to get the fish tank that he'd been wanting.

Saturday afternoon he had his birthday part at Chuck E. Cheese. He had a wonderful time! This is the best turn-out he'd ever had. He couldn't stop talking about all his "best friends" that came to his party. Thanks to everyone who made his day so special!

In case you were wondering, no call from his dad. It's officially been over a year now. No gift either, although I wasn't expecting one since he hasn't given him a birthday gift on his own ever. The year we were separated he came to the party empty handed and once he moved to NY, nada and nada. Again I'm humbled and grateful to everyone who shares in my love of Cole so that he doesn't feel the absence of his dad.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hell week is almost over

This morning around 1:30am, I was asking myself why the hell I was taking 18 hours this semester. These last few weeks have been major crunch time and this week was the worst. I had projects and research papers due in mass.

Today we had a group project presentation that was really stressing me out. We had to teach an entire 1 1/2 hr college class, complete with 4 workshops. I hate group work. Because I'm me, I also end up being the one coordinating everything and everyone, this was no exception. I was so stressed out last night, I felt like I was going to self-destruct. After wrapping all my other assignments up and rehearsing my speech, I turned off the light around 2am. Then of course I couldn't sleep. URGGHH! 5:30 came way to early this morning. Of course it was pouring this morning and I had to make the long drive to campus in the rain and then slog across campus loaded down like a pack-mule.

Things are looking up now, though. We made it through our presentation and got rave reviews from our Professor. The sun came up. There are only two weeks of school left. Most importantly tomorrow is the birthday of the most important person in my life. Happy Birthday Cole!

More good news, I got the grades back from the dreaded practice exam and I passed both sections! The one section that they say most people don't pass the first time, I did exceptionally well. I feel much better about taking the final tests this summer! Off to go wrap b-day gifts.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


The weather is too nice and there is too much to do...I don't want to do homework :-(

It is major crunch time at school and I have a lot of projects to start, work on, and wrap up. I needed to dedicate my weekend to homework, but I didn't.

Last night we went to a co-workers b-day party. I had RSVP'd "no", but she convinced me to go at the last minute, by saying I could bring Cole and that Vetmommy's kids would be there too! We had a great time. She had balloons, a pinata, silly string, etc. It was a kid's dream come true. It was nice to have a little fun. I'm glad we went.

Today was beautiful. We ran some errands and then Cole had t-ball practice, then we came home and did some spring planting. We had way more fun that sitting in front of a computer writing a research paper and lesson plans would allow. So now, I need to get busy...I'm in for a long night!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We need to get out more

I think that Cole and I need to get out more...without each other. Last night my dad said that he could get two tickets to Saturday night's Longhorn baseball game for him and Cole. My first thought wasn't "YIPEEE...a kid free night!" It was, "Oh, no...what am I going to do without Cole?" When Cole found out tonight that two tickets mean't I wasn't going he was very sad. He finally said that he will go on a "man date" with his Papa. Now I need to decide what I'm going to do, maybe I'll shop for his birthday...lame I know....but that's how I roll. (Did I just say "that's how I roll?...yup...taking a walk on the wild side).

Sunday, March 23, 2008

That has gotta hurt!

Don't worry....the darts shoved UP Cole's nose are magnetic tipped. Don't try this at home!

We had a nice Easter. Cole woke up and hunted for his Easter eggs and enjoyed his basket. We then took the kite the "Easter Bunny" brought him to the park for a picnic. It was a beautiful day to be out enjoying nature.

I've got a lot of homework done and Cole's b-day invitations finished. Now it's time for some relaxing!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Good News

Cole has lost another tooth! His tooth has been hanging on by a thread for days. On Sunday after every bite of lunch (with his mouth still full) he made me check to see if his tooth was still there. Last night before bed it was still there. This morning, I forgot to check until we were waiting outside for the bus and it was gone! Cole was so excited...until he realized he probably swallowed it AGAIN! He wanted to go back in and check his bed, but I promised him we'd do it when we got home. No tooth...he must have swallowed it eating breakfast this morning. Only my child could swallow two teeth! The "tooth fairy" still left him some money. Isn't she sweet.

We had some other good news today. My mom called me at work because she had looked at my bank account (she works at my Credit Union) and I had received a $1500 child support payment. Since I hadn't received any notification that he was employed I was surprised. I called the AG and they said they had received an "Involuntary payment" that was a "garnishment" (most likely his tax return). You can run, but you can't hide. They still have no record of an employer. I bet that was an unpleasant surprise for him. I don't really think he hasn't been working since September, he's probably working for cash. In a few weeks (on Cole's b-day) it will make exactly a year since he has called Cole, wonder if he'll call now?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Batter bat

So T-ball season has started again. Cole is really starting to get a better grasp of what is going on, he's still a total goof ball of course. I'd expect nothing less of a five (almost six...yikes) year-old. He has a really great coach this time. Very upbeat, enthusiastic, and ORGANIZED. The best part is that he really looks out for the boys. Last fall, Cole got whacked in the head by a kid swinging the bat and that kinda of stuff continued all year. Between that and the CRAZY team mom, we were happy when fall ball ended. This coach has clear rules and is very observant. He's perfect for the boys. This is also the most involved the parents have been. It's great to see all the dads (and a few moms) working with the boys.

They had their first game last night. I think the boys were more excited about their new uniforms and hats than anything else! I cracked up when a dad that I know from Cole's Extend-A-Care whose son is on an opposing team was there with another dad "scouting" out the other T-ball teams. It's T-ball, not the majors. I had fun ribbing these dads. At least they had enough sense of humor to be a little sheepish.

***I had already posted this blog and then read my e-mail. Cole's coach has created a team BLOG! What a great idea, don't you think? I love technology.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Party's Over

What a whirlwind of a week. Cole and I were both on spring break. I still worked my normal "work" days, but took Tuesday and Thursday off to be with Cole. On Tuesday we made our annual trip to the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo. We had a great time seeing the animals and riding the rides. I love to watch Cole riding the roller coasters, he is truly my son. We just both laugh hysterically the entire time. It had rained the entire day before the rodeo, so we wore our rain boots since I knew we'd be walked through mud (and who knows what else). I think that was Cole's favorite part. Actually being allowed to stomp through water and mud...a boy's dream! We played some games and came home with armfuls of stuffed animals!

On Thursday we cleaned and reorganized his room, which was surprisingly fun and rewarding. Then we headed of to the bowling alley. We played four games and I could barely use my hand later that day.

It was great spending some quality time with him, I'm going to miss spring break.

Saturday we had an open house at my work. We have been planning every detail for months! It was so much fun. The employees were so good at talking about what they do and showing people around. We had food, live music, face painting, free stuff, and (stuffed) Animal ER. Cole had lent some of his stuffed animals for demo. His giant Scooby was having an exploratory surgery, one of his dogs had teeth inserted for a day and was having a dental, a tiger was getting x-rays, and some dogs and cats were in the kennels for a day-stay. Fun was had by everyone!

Now it's back to the normal life. Luckily there are only six more weeks of school left for me...until summer school.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Kids stilts

What kind of hormones are they putting in the milk these days? Cole has aged overnight. HA!

Cole put on this fake mustache tonight that he got from a vending machine. He looked in my rear view mirror and said, "Now do I look like a Time Warner Cable guy?" I started laughing, I don't even know what he was referencing. He proceeded to wear it into HEB. He was holding my hand and enjoying the smiles he was getting. He looked at me and said," You know, they probably think that I'm your husband on kid stilts or I'm walking on my knees." God, I love kids!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I wear my sunglasses at night.

Just because I need a homework is a photo from Cole the other night. I went in to check on him and here is how I found him sound asleep in bed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

From 60 to zero in 1 weekend

I hit a brick wall this weekend. It was a bad weekend to crash, full of homework and work obligations. I started feeling sick on Friday and by Saturday was running 102 degree fever. After working on Saturday I slept, and slept, and slept. I got up Sunday to attempt my work obligations but could barely swallow and was sent home after and hour or so. After starting on antibiotics, I've slept and slept. Guess I needed some rest! I already had a vacation day planned for Monday to catch up on homework that I wouldn't finish since I was working all weekend. I slept most of Monday too! I had to go to Cole's parent-teacher conference. It's hard to be present and make relatively normal conversation when you are sick and foggy-headed.

Today, I feel better. No more fever, just a chesty cough and runny nose. I went to school and will have to work double-time to catch up on homework. No more rest for me!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Different worlds

I'm interning at a Pre-K this semester. The children all are either from low income families or have special needs. Most of these kid's stories break my heart. Most of them come from good homes, just homes without a lot of resources. Some come from homes, where sadly they aren't a priority. The school actually takes parents to court to make them take their kids to school. It's hard as a mother for me to look at these kids with their sparklingly personalities and dirty clothes and not want to take them all home with me.

Even though I'm a single-parent, I've had the benefits of an education and family and support system to help me through lean times. One of the differences between my world and theirs came out today.

I was playing on the playground today with some of the kids and one of the kids said, "Let's pretend there are cops coming!" "Quick, hide your stuff!" "RUN!" "RUN!" I looked up in shock and started to laugh. One of the boys turned to me and said, "Mees QUITE! or the cops will hear you!" It was funny but heartbreakingly sad at the same time. Cole plays games where cops are the good guys and these kids already see them as the enemy.

I grabbed a football and we quickly changed games. I see a lesson plan on "heros" in our community in the very near future.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Some people!

Today was a beautiful day. We headed out to run some errands before I came home to work on homework. At the last store, we parked and were walking through the parking lot. My mom was walking in front of us and I was behind her with Cole on my back. A car started to whip into the parking spot we were walking in, my mom stepped back bumping into the truck next to her. The lady driving the car sees us and still keeps pulling into the space, now causing us to squeeze flat against the truck. My mom shoots the lady a look as we try to scoot by without getting run over. The woman has the audacity to roll down her window and shout, "IS THERE A PROBLEM?" I turned my head and said, "Yes, you almost just ran us over." She shouted "BITCH!" I couldn't believe it. Here we almost just got hit and now she is yelling obscenities at us, in front of a child. Because of who I am and because of Cole, we just walked into the store. We couldn't believe that on top of everything else, she would talk that way in front of a child.

I have certainly not seen someone while driving a time or two and when I've noticed my error, I have given the "I'm so sorry" wave. I've definitely never been so rushed that I would continue on my way irregardless of people and be angry at them to boot.

On the way back to our car, her car was still in the same place. I wrote her a note to put on her windshield that said "Nice language in front of a five-year-old. Classy!" It was the nicest thing I could think of saying to this rude, thoughtless and impatient woman.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Children are sponges

Children are amazing creatures. They soak up everything around them. Even when they seem oblivious to the world and the people around them, they are watching and learning....especially the language they hear. They pick up new words, bad words, silly phrases and expressions that they usually don't get quite right.

The school system has "helped" Cole unleash a torrent of funny words and phrases. This week, Cole's new word is "nuts" in testicles. Since he was an infant Cole has always peed in the tub as soon as he gets in (gross I know). Last night he looked down as he was peeing and said, "You know, I think my nuts are allergic to water! When the water hits them, it makes my pee come out." The thought process alone was funny. I asked him where he heard that word he said, "Xavier". He also said, Xavier taught him "Wedgie". Isn't our social education priceless?

Friday, February 08, 2008

And the reality sets in...

Both Tuesday and Thursday I was on campus for around 13 hours. I'm already stressed out and tired. Thursday night we had mandatory student teacher round-up. We learned everything we needed to know about student teaching, the application process, and our state board exams. It was great information, but I felt even more anxious after the meeting. I have so many decisions and deadlines to meet!

The way that student teaching works is that you get to select your top two areas that you want your name sent to. There is no priority for grades, etc. There are around 500 student teachers EVERY semester, it is truly a lottery. You do not have to choose the district that you want to teach in, but it's always helpful. I was 100% certain of the district I wanted to teach in, so I was going to make this my priority one selection. The only problem is that there are "areas" not districts and the areas may or may not include more than 1 district. The district that I want is included with a district that I REALLY don't want. I could roll the dice and hope that I get the district I want, but there are no guarantees. I'm not a gambler, plus things rarely go my way. So now I have a big decision to make, one that could help or hinder my pressure really. I've knocked around my choices with some friends and feel a little better. I have by next Friday to submit my application, so I better decide fast. Once you are selected you have to accept your district and grade level assigned (we have no choice) or start the entire process over next semester.

I'm becoming more nervous about not having a paycheck for the first time since I was 16, finding a teaching job mid-year. I'm both scared and nervous about quitting my job. I've been there almost 9 years. I've gotten married, had a kid, been divorced and had many highs and's my security blanket. I'm ready to detach myself but equally afraid of what's to come. I'm a planner, I hate the unknown. I really feel like I'm taking such a huge step. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Punxsutawney Phil

Cole's class has been learning about "Groundhog Day". He has been very excited (not as excited as seeing Jupiter and Venus in the morning sky, but close). Saturday morning he couldn't wait to see if the groundhog saw his shadow. When he learned that he had, he sighed and said, "Man, six more weeks of winter!" Someone, forgot to tell ol' Punxsutawney Phil about central Texas though, because it was warm this weekend. So warm that Cole wore shorts and the AC is on tonight.

We had a good weekend in spite of the warm temps. We shopped for my mom's birthday, made her a cake, and spent time just hanging out. I have done a lot of homework, but I've mostly worked in the evenings after Cole has gone to bed. I have a lot of stuff due, but I'm taking one assignment at a time and completing projects early, so I don't get too overwhelmed.

Tonight after Cole's bedtime story we worked on his karate "creed" that he has to memorize. It's pretty long. Part I states, "I must develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that would reduce my mental growth or my physical health." Or as Cole says it, "I must develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that would reduce my mental growf or my physical healf."

Friday, February 01, 2008

Child labor laws

Cole loves to "help" when I clean the house. With his help it only takes me twice as long :-) He actually does a pretty good job. Tonight he helped me empty all the trash. He cleaned both bath tubs, sinks, and scrubbed the toliets. He looks very cute scrubbing with his oversized rubber gloves and his face wrinkled in concentration. I'm pretty sure that he has already cleaned more toliets than my 30 year-old brother! Cole even did some of the vacuuming tonight. Boy, I wish I still thought cleaning was fun.

By the way I found our missing SS cards tonight! I dropped my cell phone between my car seats and reached my fingers down to grab it and came up with our cards! I knew they would turn up when I didn't need them. It always kills me that you can look somewhere a million times and not find something and then the next time it suddendly appears. Arrrghh! At least I have Cole's again and this time I will put them in a very safe place.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


If there is hell on Earth, I think maybe I have found it. For one of my classes I need my social security card, no problem right? I keep my card and Cole's together, the only problem is that when I went to get them out, they are both missing. I've torn my things apart but can't find them. I'm sure they will turn up eventually, but I need mine by next Tuesday. With my crazy school/work schedule the only free time I had to get new cards was two hours this morning.

Last night I printed out the forms I needed and gathered the required paperwork that was listed online. This morning in the freezing, foggy weather I headed to the local social security office to get replacement cards. Of course, it was rush-hour traffic that moved at a snail's pace. Once there, I stepped through the gates of hell. I checked in and got the number A66, they were on 21 when I arrived. The lobby was full and there was almost no where to sit to begin the long wait. They had plenty of windows to serve people, but most where closed and the remaining ones that were open weren't moving very fast. Plus, the office had only been open and hour, but the kept closing remaining windows so people could take a breaks. I watched one unfriendly clerk after another provide "service" to the waiting public. Over an hour later and they still were on A41....grrrr. Another hour later when they finally called my name, I hurried to the window and gave a smile and said "hello".... the unfriendly zombie never looked my way. She literally snatched the paperwork from my hand. She never once looked at me or said a word. She typed my information into her computer. I kept looking at her, waiting for horns to sprout from her head, fire to come out of her mouth, or her head to spin around and spew green bile. Letting out a big sigh, she got up from her desk to retrieve a form from the printer and tossed it on the desk for me to sign. When I told her that I still needed to get a card for my son, she pushed his birth certificate back to me and told me they can't use those. What? I said on-line it said to bring it, but she said that isn't true anymore. She really needed a picture ID....for a five-year-old? Now I have to call his doctor's office to have them write a letter with his date of birth and etc. to give the the SS office. No more trips to the SS office for me, I will be mailing Cole's request in... As I stood up to leave, she said my card would be in the mail in 7-10 days and to make sure I "don't lose this one". Gee thanks for the advice, friendly SS clerk. Have a great day.

I will add SS office worker to my list of jobs I would NEVER bill collecting. What job would you never do?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I love technology

I can count on one hand how many non-kid movies I've seen since Cole was born. When a movie comes out that I want to see, I usually have to wait until it comes out on video. Not anymore! I wanted to go see a movie this weekend, but not a kid one. I decided to download a kid movie on my iPod for Cole. My mom and I got see '27 dresses' while Cole watched 'Underdog' and we all shared popcorn. Thank you iPod.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Where has the time gone?

It seems like time is just passing us by. As I spent the day with Cole today, I felt like I was watching him through new eyes. "Did he get this big overnight?", I thought to myself more than once today. We went shopping for new baseball cleats and tennis shoes that he's outgrown since the fall. As I watched him walk down the aisle picking out his own shoes to try on, in his slightly too short jeans that I just bought at the start of the school year, I couldn't stop staring at him. He just seemed like such a grown up kid browsing the shoes and looking for his size in the styles he liked. It seems like just yesterday I was picking out cute toddler shoes for him while he chubby toddler fingers grasped mine.

After shopping and lunch we headed out to get him a haircut. On the drive there he said, "I'm going to get a number 2 today." I had no idea what he was talking about. When I asked him what he meant, he said in his gee you're so silly mom voice, "the haircutting number, mom." The blade size, he knows the blade size? I can't even remember what size he usually gets, I usually ask the stylist what she recommends. I spent the entire time staring at him in the mirror while he got his haircut. I felt like I should permanently record every thing about him, if I looked away and turned around again, he might be 12 or something.

Time is a crazy thing. On one hand, I want time to fly. I want to be done with school, out of my parent's house and into a house of my own, and hopefully moved on with my life. But on the other hand, I want to hit the pause button. I want to be able to really enjoy this time with Cole, to make him grow up a little slower. Since he's my only child, I only get to go through these stages once and I want them to last just a little longer.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Let the games begin

A guy that I dated in high school came from a large Catholic family. On Friday they had mandatory game night. Family and friends would come over and play games. Of course, he hated being stuck at his house on Friday nights it but I LOVED it. Laughter, light-hearted competition, and snacks...what's not to love? When we broke up that's the thing I missed most.

Growing up, we occasionally played games and anytime my grandparents visited we always played card games or dominoes. Cole loves games too. Some of my favorite times with him are spent bent over a puzzle, playing "Go Fish", or board games. We picked up a new game this weekend "Flippin' Frogs". You place a tree in the center of the table and use launchers to try to "flip" your frog onto a spinning tree. At the end of the time, the branches pop up and the one with the most frogs on the tree wins. We played for quite awhile the other night with my mom. Tonight, even my dad got in on the action. As, I looked around the table at everyone's radiant face launching frogs onto a spinning plastic tree, I got that warm "game night" glow all over again.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Cole went to work with me on Monday. One of my co-workers came in and asked me to teach her to draw blood. Cole looked up at her and said, "I know how to draw blood." "You do?" she asked, clearly impressed. "Yes, it's easy", he replied. He sat down, picked up a red marker and "drew" red lines all over the paper. "See, I told you it was easy." God, I love that kid!