Monday, March 30, 2009

A nail in the proverbial coffin...

If there's one thing that is certain in the NFL, it's that you retire young. There aren't many other industries out there in which one peaks in his mid-20s and the average career is only 3.2 years. At 33, Ryan has overcome the odds but he's staring forced retirement in the face because of his age (even though he's completely healthy and ready to play). Since an NFL career can be measured in dog years, at Ryan's age, there just aren't many teams willing to even take a look at him because there is always someone younger and cheaper who can do his job.

It's bad enough that Ryan didn't get signed last year during the offseason - strike one. Strike two came when Ryan didn't get picked up during the season, even with tight ends going down with injuries left and right. And now, with spring camps starting and there seemingly being no interest from ANY NFL teams, Ryan may be at the end of the road - strike three.

He was reminded of that today when he got a big fat envelope in the mail from the NFL players association filled with information about the upcoming retired players convention and a two-year complimentary membership to the NFLPA's retired players club. See, here's the problem with that - Ryan's not officially retired. He hasn't turned in any paperwork or expressed a desire to retire. It's just assumed once a player hasn't been on a roster for over a year. I can't imagine what that must do to a player's psyche, especially when he's not ready to give up the game he loves yet.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Sunday

Will was back on the gridiron for football this afternoon on a perfectly sunny and warm Texas spring day. I'm happy to report that things went smoother this time around - there were fewer tears and tantrums from Will (not Ryan, although he was so wiped out after Will's first practice that he was practically throwing a tantrum). And Will actually seemed to be somewhat enjoying himself. No doubt that as we continue these weekly outings, he's likely to actually get a feel for the game that we love so much.

Will's on a team of 3 to 5 year olds. That's right - kiddos, who at that age, are more interested in playing in dirt and throwing rocks than running routes. So I understandably cringe when I hear parents yelling at these little ones because they aren't paying attention to the coach, or they find the dirt more interesting than the game. One parent even threatened to go get a belt if her son didn't pay attention. WOW! Whatever happened to kids being kids? Oh wait, we're in Texas now where kids are born clutching footballs. Amazing to see adult competition alive and well and pee wee games...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mommy got creative

Yesterday, there was a blip on Inside Edition or one of those entertainment shows about toddlers and tiaras. The story was about crazy pageant moms and how they dress up their tiny tots. Well, I took a cue from the show and decided to dress Bryn up. Amazing what some clip-on extensions and a cute hat can do for one's image! No worries - Bryn won't be entering in any pageants soon...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's the little things...

I called Ryan last week oozing with excitement... and relief. "Ryan," I said. "Bryn pointed. She woke up from her nap and when I went in to get her, she was pointing at the ceiling fan." I could've shouted from the rooftop that my baby girl was pointing.

For parents of "normal" children, this may not seem like a big deal. For parents of children with autism, it is huge. You see, Will never really pointed at things like other "normal" children. It's one of the signs to look for - whether or not your child points. So to see Bryn point at things - the ceiling fan, pictures in books, the t.v. - allows us to breathe a sigh of relief (for now anyway). It appears that Bryn is hitting all of her developmental milestones and doesn't seem to be exhibiting any behavior that might be considered "autistic." It is amazing how awesome the little things can be when you know what it feels like not to experience them.

And who says kids can't learn anything from the television. Here's what Will learned the other day from the Baby First channel. He's signing and saying "I love you."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring break

It's spring break here in Texas, and the weather is definitely cooperating! It's been in the low 80s and just awesome! Definitely a departure from what we've been used to in Buffalo the last five years.

We took the kids to the zoo on Monday and had a blast. Will wasn't too interested in the animals, but Bryn seemed to be mesmermized! It's pretty funny because she has this little 'fro thing going on with her hair these days. It's way too early to start putting product in it (although I've thought about it because it's just a mess - he he) and she pulls the little bows out I use to try to tame the madness.

This afternoon, I took the kiddos outside in the backyard for some water table play - I had to set up both water tables because Will was trying to pour water into a contraption but kept missing it and threw the water all over Bryn instead. Both seemed to enjoy themselves though.

And tonight's final update is all about Will. For those who are wondering why I don't post more pictures of Will, he's going through a "no photos please" phase and is completely shunning the mamarazzi! However, something very exciting happened over the weekend - Will had his first flag football practice! We received a postcard in the mail about a league for 3-5 year olds. I emailed the director and explained Will's issues and asked if it would be okay if Will participated. He told us to bring Will on out! Will wasn't really too interested in all that was going on, but he participated, albeit reluctantly. Hopefully as the weeks go by he'll pick up the routine and start to have a little fun.

When baby won't sleep

Last week, Bryn woke up a couple hours after we put her to bed. She hung out on the couch with us for a little bit and decided to show off for us!

Bryn makes this face on purpose - it's hilarious!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Meet Sharky...

Yesterday at "work" I had a special guest host for one of my segments on The Bite. Meet Sharky. She's an amazing '71 Corvette - a true beauty. Check her out!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gettin' her ready for her first eight clap

It's finally over

Sorry it has taken me so long to post an update. I feel like I'm finally settling down from last week's test. It was brutal. The last day of the exam really kicked my behind. Honestly, I'd be more shocked if I pass than if I don't. Without getting into details, things just didn't go as I'd hoped on the last day. I missed some major issues that I shouldn't have.

Ryan and I talked about it a bit. He said he knows the feeling - it's like dropping a pass during the game and rethinking it over and over and over again wishing you could've done something differently. It's so hard to just let go. I just keep reminding myself that I didn't need to get everything right on the exam, just enough to pass. Well, we won't find out for a couple of months, so I'll try my hardest to move on.

Funny though - Miss Bryn pretty much summed up in a photo how I felt after the exam.
I know how she feels...

So on Friday, I decided to get my life back in order. I packed up all of my bar study materials, cleaned out Bryn's closet, etc. I was putting some storage containers full of stuff in the attic when I lost my balance and ended up doing this to the ceiling in our office...

Just what I needed and the perfect way to end a horrific week!

This week has started off just like last week ended. SUCKY! It sucks to feel like you keep getting kicked while you're down.

We received Will's autism evaluation results from the school district today. Unfortunately, the report confirms what we already know - Will has autism. One thing that was a little disappointing was that they labeled him moderate to severe. All this time, I've been thinking he was in the mild range because he's so personable and affectionate. Not that it matters. It is what it is.

Here's hoping to a better end to this week...