Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Panther Tailgate

I feel like I'm running with my head cut off.  October is not only one of my favorite months of the year, but also one of the busiest.  School is in full force, and it seems like every professional organization and annual educational meeting happens in October.  I'm presenting by myself for the first time at the State Conference for English Teachers on Friday, and trying aimlessly to get caught up on grading before Parent Teacher Conferences in two weeks.  In addition to the job-thing, this is birthday month, and for some reason, I can't be satisfied with celebrating on just one day.  Hence, the 12 Days of Cruz, aka, my attempt to hang on to as much special as I can for fear that the days are slipping away about as fast as the leaves are falling from the trees.  Grappling is what you call this.  

So, tonight, I'll attend my meeting after school.  I'll talk competency-based grading and 1:1 computer initiatives, and secretly think about birthday treats for Cruz's friends at daycare tomorrow.  I'll bake chocolate chip cookies and fill leftover favor bags with treats, and make sure Cruz's special 'Birthday Boy' shirt is washed and ready for tomorrow's wear.  I'll mentally prepare for presentation on Friday, checking slide transitions, printing enough handouts, and practicing my introduction.  And, the in midst of it all, I'll remember this week last year - the week I became Cruz's mama.  

In addition to teacher-stuff and birthday-stuff, October is filled with lots and lots of fun-stuff.  Tailgates in near-ninety degree heat, munching on bean dip and taking Cruz and Charly on wagon rides.  Sunday roadtrips to go leaf-hunting, and playing with Cruz in his first big pile of the fallen ones.  Mondays at Kindermusik, followed by soup and messy macaroni at cozy Panera, followed by Monday Night Football, a glass of Iowa wine, and reminiscing of the October that changed it all.  Soon, we'll have pumpkin carvings and Halloween costumes, programs at 'school' and trick-or-treats.  I think my camera might blow up!

Back to our tailgate!  It was so nice outside, we couldn't resist celebrating our Alma Maters Homecoming.  Cruz fully absorbed the day's festivities, chowing down on a cheddar wurst, throwing his football around, and parading through the sea of purple and gold from the comfort of his Radio Flyer.  We didn't go to the game, but Cruz took a two and a half hour nap afterwards.  We figured we save the Dome for a day when it's too cold to tailgate.  

Cruz LOVES his Radio Flyer.   

Gray t-shirts and khaki shorts---like father, like son.

Cheerleader meets quarterback...

Future Jay Cutler (hopefully with a better offensive line)...

Touched the pig-skin, never the same... 

Pig-skin or clothespins---they're practically the same thing.

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