Ever pack 3 days into one?

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I’m pretty sure I did that on Thursday and again today.

Today I had 8 things on my To DO list – some fun, some chores, some money making blog work. I did 5 so that’s not too bad when you consider I also spent time with the boyfriend.

Anyway – my whole money saving goal was a) blown out of the water this week and b) a life saver when I needed cash and had to shut down my bank accounts on a Friday night! (possibly to be explained later, but everything is OK now).

So yeah, I’m at $3  in coins right now, but it will all be replenished if not next week, then by 4/15 for sure (and then some, there’s another teaser that I cannot explain just yet either!)

Exercise mid week went MUCH better! You saw the routine that I posted – I did that VERY diligently for the first hour & a half of Biggest Loser and that ended up being more than 30 minutes of course (damn commercials!) I did the same routine again while watching TV Wednesday night though not quite as long. Still, my abs HURT after two nights of all that!

I’ve begun the last step in my volunteering journey. Going out in a blaze a glory as a co-parent liaison for the varsity football program at the high school. We met Thursday with the coach and outgoing liaison and I have another meeting tomorrow morning because we have to launch right into planning for the first spirit wear website setup and sales and the budget for next year. That’s my main role – finances – which is right up my alley of course.

Speaking of football – so remember that 16 had a bum knee last summer? Well, let’s be honest – not just last summer – pretty much since he was 11 or so only it was never bad enough, long enough for him to complain and request a doctor visit. Last winter/spring he finally did and went through an MRI and then physical therapy and a regimen of icing/ibuprofren and continued stretches to try and get the knee cap to get back on track without surgery. A year of that which included the two months of complete rest with the concussion and there is still no change.

Tuesday, he has arthroscopic surgery. Two small incisions and they will look around to see if the MRI missed anything and also check to see if there is anything physically keeping the knee cap from resting in the right groove. If so, they will clean that up. They may also perform a lateral pressure release which…I cannot entirely remember! Anyway, just 45 minutes supposedly though he will be under anesthesia and he will end up with a pretty painful and swollen knee for a few weeks. BUT – once that heals, the ortho is saying he will be good to go and play football one last year. And that’s the whole goal isn’t it? As I said when we were there for a visit in early Feb – “Doc, bottom line, he has one more year to play football. Senior year. He can start if he’s healthy.  This is what he has been dreaming about for his whole life – to play varsity football for the Falcons. What can we do to have him ready to play flag football with the team in May, get back to weight training and be full speed in the summer?”

Check in time is 6:30am – umm..say what? Is there a bed for me to sleep on? :-)

Oh! I’ve picked up a writing gig to hone my skills and earn a wee bit of cash (for the play money fund most likely) $8 per purchased blog post. You search through the client list and find keywords and craft a 300 or so word post. If the client likes it and buys it – $8! I sold one this week and have 6 in the queue. 3 have been reviewed and are scheduled to be bought 3/21 – they get pulled every Thursday. It’s a fun challenge! You can either pick keywords that you know like the back of your hand such as the two I wrote last night on sports blogging and excel 2010, or you can try something totally different and take some time to research it a bit. I’m really loving it so far. I wont make Big Money with this company, but I will learn a TON. It is almost like landing an internship in copy writing/content writing. You have to cater to different companies across a vast spectrum of topics and style types. One company my LOVE your stuff and one might reject it. What I’ve learned from chatting in the forum with other writers is that once you find clients who like you and build up a rapport, you can almost count on them giving your posts 5 stars and moving them up in line to be purchased next.

First though, I need to have more than an hour at the end of every day to focus on it. In fact, I was supposed to block out some time today to do that, but it fell off the list. And now it is late….heck..really it is TOO LATE because we Spring Forward tonight! Yipes! That’s good though – it means I can run after work again instead of just on the weekends. Speaking of which, since I have a coffee meeting for football tomorrow I wont be joining Renee for the 3+ hour marathon. So instead, I joined her today out at Lake Hodges for a mere 90 minutes and 7 miles. Running out there the day after rain? AMAZING!

Lake Hodges

 

 

Football Dinner

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Yeah, this is how the night started out – the current parent liaison gives me this monstrosity to thank me for always volunteering for the little things when he asked. Fine, but I am not doing HIS job (by myself) next year! And now I have to keep this thing for a year. I’m already plotting who to pass it on to next year!

It was a long, but truly fun evening. The senior class of players are just a great group of guys who clearly all got along so well. They all sat up front on a stage with their jerseys draped in front of them at their seats. One by one each coach had players come up so that they could say a few things about them and then give them their varsity letter. Yes, even with all his injuries, 16 earned his letter! Now we get to figure out how to pay for one of those letterman jackets ($$)!

The seniors also had to do parent thank yous. One by one they took the microphone and presented a rose to a parent (usually the mom) and thanked them for the years of support during their youth sports careers. Most were nervous, some were touching (even a rap poem!) and some were truly funny.  What cracked me up was that so many of the boys started off with “This is my mom. She did all my dirty laundry, made me lunch and extra snacks during 2-a days and throughout the football season….”

And I would think “Uh, whoops!” Not being a stay at home mom, I couldn’t even contemplate those things! So it was with great relief when one boy finally got up and said: “This is mom, she didn’t do my laundry – she taught ME how to do it myself!” YAY!!!

16 and I talked about it on the way home and I have a feeling we will have some sort of comedy routine all picked out by this time next year.

I also hope he gets a little bit better about tying a tie – which I cannot do and which he was doing while watching a You Tube video not 5 minutes before we had to leave. So given those extreme efforts that he took, I then had to insist on pictures -

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Oct 17 – Improvement!

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Much better, yes? 16′s concussion symptom scores were still in the low 20′s a week ago, but they finally started dropping down into the teens around the 10th and then Monday saw a larger drop. We had another checkup with the doctor in the afternoon – these will occur weekly until the doctor can sign off to say he is no longer concussed.

Cognitively he is improving. He took a 45 minute exam in computer science Monday and the only part he couldn’t handle was the section that had been taught the days immediately after the concussion – one day when he stayed home entirely and the other when he was at his worst. The teacher is going to let him re-take those two sections later next week. He read Chapter 8 of Gatsby entirely on his own and answered the chapter questions last night only consulting with me on one of the 11. Much better!

His math teacher is letting him gradually make up the homework assignments he missed and there doesn’t seem to have been a ton of impact on History or Chemistry.

Ironically, while math & computer science grades fell (which he is being allowed to make up), English went UP :-)

He no longer needs to take pain meds to attend the games because the sound doesn’t make his head hurt worse anymore. He just seems to be carrying around a low grade headache and occasional problems with his balance. That one is funny – in the doctor’s office he had some issue standing on one leg and doing the head to toe walk for 10 steady steps. He was actually better at that at the last visit! But, he said that the balance issues come and go randomly so I guess it was good that he displayed that symptom in the exam room.

Anyway, it’s slower going than last year, but I think that a corner has been turned – keep those fingers crossed!

 

PS – anyone else noticed something in common this month with The Merry Month of May when I first tried out the daily posts? In May I was obsessed with Chip and his bladder issues. This month we have 16 & his concussion. I may rethink any future plans to do a month of daily posts!! No good for the family’s health ;-/

Oct 8 – Another Recipe and all football weekend fun

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First, the recipe which was a huge hit and super easy to make:

The original source is the Ultimate Slow Cooker BBQ Shredded Beef recipe found and shared by an August Mom who also has to feed a house full of hungry boys!

My house was full because one of 16′s teammates stayed with us Sat night so I got up and put this in the crock pot Sunday morning to be ready for lunch. Our guest ate 2 large sandwiches so I gather this has been approved :-)

I mentioned previously that this weekend was potentially going to be weird and melancholy since I was missing my mom friend’s annual gathering. Well, Thursday night we took advantage of technology and used Face Time so that I could join in on the post dinner nighttime conversation session. Two hours later I was feeling pretty filled up with the sounds of laughter and friendship – enough to carry me through this weekend without feeling too down at all! Which is good since I subsequently didn’t have time to hang out with them virtually the other nights.

The Friday Night game was bad..the team lost 35-0. Sat night I took the boys down to the SDSU Aztecs football game which was a lot more fun to watch. We left early with the Aztecs leading by a ton, but didn’t want to risk the big fireworks show bugging 16′s concussion. Plus, the boys wanted to play video games for awhile and I had ordered a midnight cutoff so that he could get some much needed sleep and keep healing.

Meanwhile I had volunteered to handle the varsity team’s participation in a fundraiser requiring me to mail out forms. Those were delivered to me Saturday so I spent the morning on Sunday stuffing envelopes and then I had the boys label and stamp them. We did all this while watching morning NFL games.

Yes, that’s high school, college and NFL games that we watched over the weekend. While stuffing envelopes for a football fundraiser.

You think we like football just a tad?

So my fear of a being sad all weekend was unfounded. Technology, football and time spent with the boys cleared all that up nicely :-)

Scattered ramblings of a melted brain

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It’s hot.

It’s been hot for two solid months.

It’s technically now Fall.

It’s still hot.

81 degrees in my house on 9/23 at 3pm with NO BREEZE coming in ANY open window.

That’s just too damn hot.

Due to the hot, I am immensely lazy.

I don’t want to run.

I don’t want to write.

I don’t want to work on anything at all.

I don’t want to cook.

I don’t want to think.

It’s too damn hot.

I want to nap.

I want to read twitter.

I want to read anything really.

I want to be on the sofa watching TV.

I’d like to do all of that without guilt, but I haven’t mastered that yet.

It’s too damn hot.

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16 had a friend from the football team over to hang out with us this weekend. You know, because another teenage body is what we needed in the already too damn hot house!

They did what teens do – ate and played video games all night. It would have been all day Saturday and all night, but he ended up having to work security for the pop warner group until after 6pm so they did see daylight and sunshine for a few hours.

The final tally on what they ate/drank from noon Saturday until noon Sunday?

  • 16 bottles of Dr Pepper
  • Two cheeseburgers and a bag of Ore Ida fries (made by me)
  • 8 donuts
  • 2 cartons of goldfish crackers
  • 4 popsicles
  • 2 burritos from Chipotle
  • 2 cans spaghettios
  • Random snacks at the pop warner game

And that’s just what I know about!

Why did I let him do that given his historical lack of motivation in school and such?

Well, because so far even with the hardest academic load he’s ever carried, he’s keeping up better than he usually does. Yes, he skipped an English essay already, but he made up for it with an extra credit assignment – voluntarily! He got a 77 on his first Calc AB test but he’s done all the homework and it turned out no one got higher than an 85. During the week he rarely has the chance to goof off on the Xbox, so an occasional weekend blowout is OK as long as schoolwork and laundry is done (which they were).

Also? It was too damn hot to do anything else!

Varsity football game #1

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I swear this blog wont become all Friday Night Lights football but…..what’s a proud mama to do but document her son’s glory days eh?

The team is blessed with a fabulous photographer who has pics up often on the same night after a game. Our #18 being a junior and having just come off of his knee injury wont be starting and we knew it would be a rare opportunity if he got on the field.

Well, with the team leading 35-0 in the 4th qtr, the rare opportunity presented itself and the grandparents, parents and friends were thrilled to see him go in for one offensive series. He blocked like a stud if I do say so myself :-) The rule for wide receivers is to hold your blocks for AT LEAST 6 seconds after the ball snaps. The first time the play unfolded so fast that he didn’t have to but the second time not only did he engage the defender for more than 6 seconds, but I can bet you that guy is still wondering who that little #18 was who busted him up in the chops a couple of times!

Anyway, here’s the best pics from the game this week. Fingers crossed that he has more to come!

THE classic pose. I think we have one of him like this every season he’s played wide receiver.

Post victory smiles.

 

 

Another One Bites The Dust

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Another summer – done!  Another school year begins. Here’s the status I just dropped on Facebook:

First day of 11th grade!

No, I didn’t take any pictures (I am lame and he wouldn’t have allowed it anyway).

No, I didn’t honk and encourage cars to run over the students streaming across the intersection when the light was green (I just thought about it).

No, I didn’t honk at or flip off the driver in the drop off line who gummed up the whole mess letting out two kids whose backpacks were in the trunk and apparently impossible to remove in the normal 30 seconds. (that was incredibly self-disciplined of me).

Yes, I did hear other drivers honk and yes, I did see one driver completely confused to the point of ending up in the middle of an intersection during a red light. 

The good news? I think everyone got through it all relatively unscathed. High school drop off is not for the weak!

The real kicker there is that we were arriving EARLY today so he could pick up his official schedule (we had looked online last night to see the periods and teachers but he still didn’t have his classroom numbers). I am, of course, blaming the new Freshman parents and students for all the drama. It should settle out within 30 days and then only be marginally scary :-)

An interesting development last night as he attempted to wrap up his online math class before school started: he showed signs of *actually* caring about the grade he will earn! The first semester class he ended up with an 88% and had pretty much been carrying that from the first section. The second semester has been harder and he’s been flirting around the 80% line the whole time. The grading isn’t weighted – there are a total number of points available so you can figure out what you need to earn to get certain levels of grades. Well, when he was done with the final exam last night at around 9:30pm he didn’t sound pleased. I asked if he was done and he said yes, for the night he was done, but he wanted to go back and “clean up” some homework assignments and discussions to pick up more points (he has until the 31st).

Wow! He actually WANTS to go find more points? Does that mean he CARES about his grade and GPA?

Shhhhhhh……..don’t let on that I noticed that :-)

Party Pics!

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Here’s my Facebook status from Sunday night:

“Collapsing into bed having managed to pull off a movie and bbq birthday celebration despite the grill master being out of commission. Thank gawd for substitute grilling experts (oh, it was just a *little* fire!) and super easy going friends and family and that last burst of energy (beer) that got me through a complete clean up inside and out. It was a total Triumph of the Single Parent day.” :-)

27 woke up sick on Saturday and it continued into Sunday. Having never worked a grill in my life I was a tad panicked. Then I remembered that one of 16′s (that’s gonna take awhile to write!) friends is also a grill master in training. So then the bigger issue was that I had agreed to drop off the boys to a movie and then pick them up after because I thought 27 would be able to help with shopping/cleaning/setup. Thankfully I cleaned on Saturday. But after dropping off the boys I had to then shop (improvising items along the way), fill up the propane tank and then prep and toss a whole chicken in the crock pot before heading back out to pick them up.

The substitute grill master in training had never done beef ribs before however, the sauce/seasoning that he threw together to coat them must have been good. The slight issue with the lack of beef rib experience is that he didn’t anticipate the amount of fat on the ribs. We also (oopsie) didn’t properly clean the grill from the prior meal cooked on it. So……there was a wee bit of a FIRE while the second batch was cooking. In front of the brand new fence (memo to self – pull the grill away from that a little more!) and some low hanging tree branches.

Oh, another memo to self (and anyone else in the vicinity): a garden hose provides a ready stream of water for dousing a fire. There is one just five feet away from the grill. Perhaps that would be faster than running inside to get the jug of drinking water? Sheesh!

Anyhoo – no harm (other than the crispy black ribs!) no foul and there was still plenty of food and great conversation – mostly directed by the teen boys and their tales of mis-adventure. The beer didn’t hurt :-)

Ribs before charring :->

Chowing down #1

Chowing Down #2

Attempting to hide the evidence of BBQ sauce all over his face….

Nope – can’t hide it kiddo!

Birthday BBQ crew.