This marked Lamb's first Homecoming Dance and Bear's first baseball game of the season. Lamb did not go with a date, but with a group of friends. We were so proud of her for going. Usually, she only goes places if her bestie is going, too. However, they go to different high schools so that was not an option. It really made us happy that she decided to go. She even went to the movies with one of the girls!

Another thing that pleased us is that she did not require a new dress. Sure, she could have used one. I would have loved to have been able to buy her a new one. But, the timing wasn't right. And she never even asked. She dug in her closet and found a dress she felt would work. Yay, Lamb!

Bear had a great game. The thing I like about Fall Ball is that Bear is able to shine. I'm not sure why it doesn't happen in the Spring. Maybe it's because there aren't as many boys playing in the fall so the competition isn't as intense? Who knows... He is the lead off batter which is great for his self confidence! He's used to being on the bottom of the rotation. He made contact with the ball every at bat. Unfortunately, he got left on base. But, hey! At least he was on base. He even got to play his old position of 2nd base. Hello, my friend, it's been awhile. :)

May I just say it was miserably hot? I really didn't enjoy sitting out there. And, how bad a mama am I for being ecstatic that practice got rained out today?

Yeah, that's what I thought.


The Grass Truly Isn't Greener

It's funny how life works out. It was so important a few months ago for Big D to have a position with daytime hours. We thought it would make him so much happier and make our family a better well-oiled machine.

So, if you remember, Big D took a position he didn't really want. The thought being it would lead to the position he really wanted. Then the recession hit.

Big D works for a national company. They have never been in danger of bankruptcy, but they also wanted to make sure they would never come close. Every one in the company had to take a pay cut. Raises, bonuses and extra benefits were gone. And the position Big D sought was cut (no one lost their job, just no one was hired to replace or new hire).

Here Big D is stuck in a job he hates. A job with daytime hours that doesn't really help. He works 45 miles from home. And if you know anything about Houston traffic, you know to double & sometimes triple that for travel time. He leaves the house at 6am and gets home, if he's lucky, at 6pm. In bed by 9pm.

In short, it's not all it was hoped to be.

But now he has the opportunity to go back to his original position. A job he truly enjoyed but couldn't stand the hours. However, this position is under a different company umbrella. They have their raises and 401k back. Right now, struggling with his pay cut, that sounds pretty sweet.

Not to mention the fact that he'd be available to transport Bear to school and Lamb home from school, and all those pesky appointments that crop up with kids.

Yeah, Big D is going back to nights. Sigh.


He Has My Heart

The news of his being came on the heels of a miscarriage. When I was 12 weeks along, I was in a car accident. And he has brought drama to my life ever since. His birth was even filled with drama. I didn't think I was truly in labor when I went to the hospital. Imagine my surprise to find out I was already 9½cms along. He was ready to be born. Big D calls him his little football because the doctor literally caught him like a football. Drama and more drama.

He came into the world with an oral fixation. He needed his pacifier. And, as we forced him to outgrow it, he replaced his need with words and noises.

Even though I "complain" about his loudness, I wouldn't trade those words and noises for anything in this world. Because some of those words and noises are the sweetest, most caring, and thought provoking sounds to my ears.

He is 12 years old today. My how the years have flown by. Years where he has taught me patience, the glory in getting things done today rather than tomorrow, and the capacity to love another human being as much as I love his sister.

I didn't think that was possible. And it wasn't, at first. But, as Bear lived day by day, he captured my heart. He is a persistent creature! A demanding creature! ;)

So much drama in the last 12 years. And they have been the best 12 years of my life! I am so lucky to get to be with him and his sister every single day.

Happy Birthday to my Bear!


Another One

In the past few months, we have lost someone iconic from my childhood, Farrah Fawcett, my teenhood, Michael Jackson, and now my young adulthood. RIP Patrick Swayze. He fought a long, hard battle but is at peace now.

I look forward to the day I can introduce Dirty Dancing, Ghost, and some other movies to Lamb.


The Generosity of Moms

Neither hurricanes-that-weren't nor hurricanes-that-were got in the way of Bear's birthday baseball game. For that, we are very thankful.

It was a great day for a baseball game. My mom generously purchased field level seats right on the 1st base line. Awesome!

For Bear's special dinner, we had Extreme Hot Dogs. Bear is eating a Texas Most Wanted dog. It comes with barbeque brisket, onion, and pickles. He opted to forgo the onions and pickles. I had the Cincinnati dog with chili, cheese, and onions. Big D had a Coney Island dog with chili, onions, and mustard. Chili and mustard? Lamb and my mom also had the Texas one.

For his dessert, we had ice cream in Astros helmets. Yum! We'll have his birthday cake on Friday, his actual birthday.
This weekend also had us going to the theater, courtesy of my mom. Lamb and I love Grease. The movie is the first movie I remember seeing in the theater. The first movie I fell in love with the moment I saw it. I have seen the movie and stage version several times. But, I never tire of seeing it.

So when my mom found out it was coming to Houston, she knew that the three of us would have to go. I must say, that this was probably the most interesting one so far. Before the show "Vince Fontaine" came out and sang, danced, and did some audience interaction. Fun!
Then we had Taylor Hicks as the Teen Angel. Frenchie had a new line. After he sang "Beauty School Drop-Out" to her, she told him that she voted for him. Ha! Once Curtain Call ended, he came out to sing his latest single to the audience.

When we saw Grease in NYC, Taylor Hicks had to leave before the show was over. He pre-autographed a bunch of playbills and the security passed them out at the stage door while we waited for the performers.

This time, he hung around for a few minutes and autographed live. Lamb was able to get one. He wasn't taking any pictures or really talking much. As a matter of fact, he seemed like he was in a big hurry. He wasn't rude tho! Just hungry, I'm sure. But it was still a cool experience for Lamb. She didn't like him on American Idol but she appreciated the opportunity to see him.
A pretty fun weekend which makes me very thankful to have my mom! It wouldn't have been possible without her.

Now why can't she just have a magic wand and make it Friday night again?

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It's Been a Year

This time, a year ago, I was still carefree and naive. My biggest concern was Bear's birthday. By the time the darkest of night reached us, I witnessed first hand the fury of Nature. And it's scary.

In the late hours of tonight and the early hours of tomorrow, the one year anniversary of Hurricane Ike is marked. My roof, after many months, is fixed. My fence, while not pretty, is put back together. But, there are many things that still aren't fixed. One of my friend's condo is still exactly as it was after Ike. Such an injustice. Businesses such as the yummy Tookie's have decided not to reopen. (It's totally on my list of best burgers and I know would have made the Texas Monthly list as well.) Many families are still trying to put their lives back together.

It's unrealistic to hope this never happens again. But, that's what I do. Hope and pray we don't have another hurricane in this area.


We Will Never Forget


Good Grief

I am not a democrat.

I am not a republican.

I am an American.

I am not an Obama lover.

I am not an Obama hater.

I am a parent.

I read the speech. I did not watch it as our district did not air it during school.

I was not offended. There are some kids out there who need to hear those words. From someone not their parent. From someone not their teacher. From someone not their principal. A fresh viewpoint. A fresh voice.

I pray that some lost soul truly heard. That some lost soul was motivated to be a greater person. That some lost soul felt cared for and respected. I work with children who have already "given up", lost the drive, or, frankly, care more about surviving than their schoolwork even as young as elementary age. I want them to know, to believe, that they can do anything. Anything. that they set their mind to do. I pray that all children stopped to think. To feel empowered about who they can become and to feel that they can jump those high, high hurdles.

And I would pray those things no matter who said the words.


My Mother Did My Homework

Last Thursday,Bear and I went to Meet the Teacher night at his school. This was the first year I have gone with him. Usually, I know his teachers so we'd skip the info night. Truthfully, I wanted to skip this one, too. I figured I know how the school works since I went to Lamb's Meet the Teachers.

However, it was important to Bear to show me a glimpse of how his day runs. He wanted to show me the times he goes to his lockers, his seats, and where he sits in the cafeteria. So, I put on my Good Mom button and mustered up the energy to go.

Even though I hadn't been at home all evening and I was bone tired, I'm so glad I went. Bear made it quite entertaining for me. I was able to read this poem he wrote in English that brought tears to my eyes. I met one of his new friends. And overhearing a conversation convicted Bear that there is one more friend he needs to make. He never ceases to amaze me.

I also goofed. I love a good brain/math puzzle. Sitting in the Math class, waiting for the "tardy" bell, I saw this written on the board: How can you make 1,000 using eight 8's and only addition? Thinking it was from earlier in the day, I whipped out a pen and some paper. I solved it and discussed my strategy with Bear. Afterward, Bear laughed and said that they didn't do that today. Sigh. Ok. Then, before we were dismissed to the next class, the teacher told us to write the teaser down and for an easy 100, the student could turn it in on Friday.

Bear had a belly laugh then. He let me know that he would have figured it out on his own so he was going to turn it in anyway. I winked at him and told him that, in his shoes, I'd do the same thing.


My Mission

Today, one of my friends brought the magazine, Texas Monthly, to work to use as an example of non-fiction. On the cover was this scrumptious looking hamburger. I was unable to thumb through the magazine but it looks like they found 50 of the best burgers in Texas.

I love a good burger. My favorites include, but aren't limited to, Whataburger for fast food and Dyer's in Memphis. I miss that place! They are pretty famous. When they opened a new location, they had police escorts for the grease that was going to the new restaurant.

The one on the cover came from Fredicksburg, TX. Just a day trip from Houston.

It's my mission to try as many of these burgers as I can. Yes, I am watching my cholesterol but I won't do this daily. ;) I do believe I should decide for myself if Texas Monthly is correct.

Now, I just need to convince Big D that this is something that must be done.