No way! Sick again

I can’t catch a break and neither can the baby.  We’re both fighting a respiratory crud for the third time!  This is freaking ridiculous!!

 I feel miserable and I don’t have much to update.  I discovered this weekend that it’s really hard to build furniture when you have a small borderline-toddler getting into everything.  And his big brother wasn’t helping much either.  It was the most frustrating thing I’ve ever done.

Oh… and my oldest has to go in for oral surgery to remove an extra tooth.  I’m really NOT looking forward to it.  I know he’ll be scared and I hope I figure out how to minimize how negative the experience is.  He’s not very keen on the whole “needles and doctors” thing (who is??)…

I thought we had another year before worrying about it, but I knew as soon as his adult teeth started coming in that we were out of time.

Ok.  I’m done.  I need hot tea.  My throat hurts.  I want my mummy.

wimping and moaning,
moonfire.

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The insomnia is winning: A Friday Note

I woke up last night, about 12:30 or so, and couldn’t get back to sleep until after 4am.  I did well for most of the day. 

Until about 10 minutes ago.

Now I feel the flush of tired crossing my cheeks.  I am hot.  I am thirsty.  I want a nap.  I’d love to leave, go home and take a nap, but it’s not in the cards for today.  Actually, I just need to hang in here about 1 1/2 more hours and I’ll be on my way.  Why does that feel like it’s another 4 hours??

I sat up last night, wondering why I felt so awake at such a horrible time of night.  I didn’t have any answers, either.  I wasn’t stressing.  I hadn’t eaten something horrible just before bed.  I’m a teensy bit under the weather still, but nothing unbearable and certainly nothing to keep me up.

I was simply wide awake.

Now I’m not.

I had a great idea for a blog topic this morning, as I was walking in the chill air.  I was moving quickly and ideas were bouncing around in my mind.  Now the fatigue of no sleep and the dreariness of sitting here at my desk have joined forces and there’s nothing left of that creativity.

My bright spot today?  I got to cuddle the baby on my lunch hour.  I gave him his bottle, since he was fussing and building himself up into a tiny-guy rage.  He’s growing or teething or just not feeling great in general, meaning that he needs extra loves and attention.  So Todd made him a bottle and I sat, rocking him in the big comfy chair.  He snuggled into me and sat picking at my shirt with his tiny, precise fingers. 

After the bottle was done, he leaned over and grabbed my shirt with his two teeth.  It’s his habit with me and I wonder what he’s trying to tell me.  Once in a while I make the assumption that he’s hungry, but today it had more of the appearance of a small guy just saying hi.

Well, now I’m officially yawning.  One of my faculty stopped by and asked if I couldn’t just head home for a nap.  Maybe I’ll just bug out a bit early.  It’s quiet in here and the stuff I need to do isn’t life and death (as we are told frequently!)…

Here’s the kicker – we have a dinner party to attend at a friends’ home tonight.  I’m dead.  I’m wiped.   This sucks.

Maybe I need to just give it up and head out in about 1/2 an hour. 

One final thought… I’m going to miss my babies tonight.  But I’m going to love being able to sleep straight through.  No nightmares.  No crying baby.  They don’t wake me up every night, but just knowing that I get to sleep without interruption is a wonderful thing.

I’m glad it’s Friday.  I think I’m done in.

moonfire.

When do we have time to read?

It seems these days that my reading adventures are limited to children’s stories at bedtime.  Last night Bren resurrected “Goodnight Moon,” which we haven’t read since he was 3, plus we did an “I Spy” book and then we finished up with a more age-appropriate “Berenstain Bears” book.  Since he chose two little kid books, I told him the deal was that he had to read one of them to me.  He chose to read the I Spy book and it was great fun!  He read it to me and then I “had” to find the items in the picture – with his help of course!

Even as it was fun last night, I have come to realize that I haven’t done much real reading for myself lately.  I’m reading the parenting for gifted kids book and finding that the advice in it is going to be of huge value to my family as a whole.  While that reading has great value to me, it certainly doesn’t qualify as “pleasure reading.”

I have magazines still in the wrappers, from the last 5 months.  I have books on the shelf that I haven’t even left upside down, partially read, by the bed.

But I did think of a great story idea this morning, as I was walking in to work.  I used to get the Science Fiction & Fantasy magazine (boy, I miss those days) and I loved the short stories in it.  They often poked at my brain, encouraging me to think beyond the content of the stories, and into the realm of the possible.  I’ve been on hiatus for several years, with my writing muse dried up and blown away.  Blogging has been the extent of my working with the written word and now I suddenly have the germ of a story.

I almost fear attempting to let it out.  I’m a dry writer (no? really!?) and what I see in my imagination is so much more rich than what I can bring to the page.  It is my regret and my frustration, but I’ve kind of come to accept it.  When I was a little girl, I often thought about what I’d wish for if I had those three magic wishes.  In my 20’s it changed from those early dreams of being able to fly to something simpler: being able to sing.  Now, I’d simplify it even more and include one wish (beyond the usual world peace and good health to all)…  I wish I could write with the same richness that my imagination creates.

For now though, maybe I’ll just quietly wish for more time in the day to read something that is fun and light.  Ok, but then I’d add clean house, 30 less pounds on my body, healthy children, happy husband….

Yeah.  You get the idea.

There are always more wishes.  What is even better is exiting the world of wishes and entering the world of accomplishments.  So what have I done this morning?  I’ve hugged and kissed my kids, danced with the baby, smiled at my husband (because he did some cleaning and it made my morning), resolved a banking issue, balanced two checking accounts, had a cup of hot soy chai, and I managed to make it into work before 8:30 am.

Oh.  And I’ve blogged a bit.  It’s not writing out my story idea.  But it’s something.

Cheers,
moonfire.

This crazy ride: parenting and all that comes with it

I’m trying to fill out the questionnaire from Bren’s school on giftedness, or “What My Child Has Done.”  This is harder than my grad school application or the GRE or any number of job applications.  I’m trying to find a way to document examples of the strange, the mind-blowing, and the “Wow” things he’s done over the years.  Some of the problem is my mixed feelings on this topic. 

Why mixed feelings?  Well… here we go… 

Todd and I knew that Bren was a bit different when he was born.  We often put it down to the fact that we were just new parents, but some things stood out.  The minute he came out, he was looking around the room at all the people.  This is significant as babies aren’t supposed to be able to focus like that for a few weeks.  Not Bren.  He was looking around checking out the nurses. 

I suppose it was even different when he was still in the womb.  My nurse stripped my membranes in an attempt to get him moving (and yes, it was as bad as it sounded).  She suddenly stopped, her eyes huge and her breath fast – “He grabbed my finger!!”

Even 4 1/2 years later, with my second baby, she still talked about it.  No baby had done that to her before and none had done it since. 

Todd and I imagine Bren, in the warm, floaty place, thinking to himself, “Hmm, what is this??  I think I’ll check it out!”

And he did.

We still laugh about it.

Then there was his constant interest in our computers.  He figured out how to turn on my computer and get on to the internet when he was 18 months old.  His first true “word” was “dactyl” – short for teradactyl.

At the same time, he was expressive speech-delayed by more than 7 months.  He was advanced in receptive and delayed in expressive.  This meant frustration and a lot of anger on his part.

Later, after he started talking, it was often difficult to understand some of his words.  He still has times when his formation is not great and even worse, I can tell that his brain runs faster than his mouth can keep up (and this often frustrates him).

He is super-sensitive and we’ve gone through the usual issues that come with that…  cutting tags out of shirts, socks that can’t be worn due to seams, the crazy rolling up of pant legs because he insists they are too long.  His pants MUST not touch the tops of his feet.

Last summer, when he was four, I was driving all of us out to his gramma’s house where she was caring for the kids while we work.  I was half listening to Bren in the back of the van as he talked about something.  Suddenly it hit me that he was sounding out the word “baked.”  I glanced back and sure enough, he had the baked crackers bag and was reading the word.

I wanted to stop the van and jump around.  It was the most amazing thing and I got to hear it happen!  Then, when I told his gramma about it, she smiled and said he’d been doing that for a while.  I was just thrilled that I’d been able to hear it happen for myself… hard when you’re a working mom.

Now he’s able to read beginning books on his own and I am even starting to suspect that he knows how to read many words more than I am aware of.  He likes to play at not knowing (even after I’ve just heard him read a word)…  but I’ll find a way to deal with it.

It extends to numbers… and we’re seeing it with his story-telling – these complex, intricate plots and details that he comes up with.

I told Todd that, as with parenting any other child with special needs, we will simply have to do more.

And that’s an intimidating thought. 

We have to find ways to ensure that his needs are met, even while we try to keep our family functioning in normal ways.  We want the boys to have equal love and attention, so that will be a challenge too.  Aidan is such an easy baby – other than his temper!  He is sweet and mellow, for the most part.  Let’s face it, teething will make anyone grumpy.  And if you’re a big guy like he is, you NEED lots of food – constantly.

We’ve had the tendency since Bren was small to label him as the Drama King. 

It’s time to pack that label away and just keep him as Brennan.  In the meantime, I still have this assessment to fill out.  I know, more and more as I think about it, that I need to get it done.  It’s important for Brennan.  I have to stop letting my uncertainties prevent me from finishing it up.  No, I’m not bragging about my child’s abilities and no, I’m not over-stating or overestimating him. 

He is my funny, bright, energetic, exhausting and amazing son. 

Todd and I will just have to learn how to deal with it.

Cheers from the messy, disorganized house of four crazed people – big and small ones, three talking and one who just babbles (we swap off on the babbling…)

moonfire. (and the book I’m reading is called “A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children.”  It’s already made it worth the price of the book.  I think it will help us with both our children, regardless of whether or not they are assessed as gifted.  And that makes it worth reading!)

I’m so glad it’s Friday!!

It often seems like the week is nothing more than an exercise in frantically rushing from one duty to another – work, kids, home, work, kids, home…  I’ve been trying to read a novel, something silly and frivolous, for the last week.  I’ve managed 4 chapters.  Now, normally I’m a 100 pages per hour person, but right now I’m almost dead in the water.

This is TMI, so don’t read further if you don’t want to ….

It’s sad when you pray that you need to go “sit” in the bathroom for a bit, just so you’ll have time to read.

But that’s a “Mom’s Life,” isn’t it?  And yes, I’m smiling at this thought.

Anyway, this is the family update:  We’re all healthy, we’re all busy, and we’re all a bit stressed.  We’re tired, eating poorly, and not getting enough exercise – either individually or as a family.

We have a dear friend staying with us, so the best part about it is it’s forcing us to slow down and enjoy being with him.  Yay!

Today is the last day before the university let’s the students out for spring break and it’s really quiet in here.  I’ve got piles to do and little or no motivation to get them done.  I just want to go find a bubble-bath, read my book and relax.  None of this is going to happen though.  I’ll get off work, head to the chiropractor, then go home – check the mail, make a grocery list and go get some things for us.  I’d love to go shopping for some new (much needed) clothes, but I need to be home and get some cleaning done.

 We’ll visit tonight and eat healthy food.  I make no guarantees beyond that.

I’ll finish this off on my thought of the day.  I love my mum.  She is the best.  Sometimes it slides to the back of my mind in the busy tumble of each day, but there it is.  She is a strong person and she really cares about others – it’s not about image for her.  She is encouraging and she is stubborn.  I just wanted to say it.

Cheers to all on a beautiful Friday!
moonfire.

Getting ready for school

Brennan is registered for kindergarten, but we’re submitting the paperwork for him to be assessed as gifted.  We knew this day was coming, perhaps as long as when he was 18 months and able to turn on my laptop and log on to the internet.  He’s bright and cheery, but often our drama “king.”  Still, it’s one of those situations where you suspect your child is different but are just a bit reserved about fully believing it.

That was us, until we went to kindergarten registration.  I didn’t realize that it isn’t common for children to come to kindergarten reading.  I didn’t realize a lot of things…. that his rudimentary printing is a plus or that he is really as articulate as he is.  If that makes sense?

We just take him as he is and sometimes shake our heads over it.  He started sounding out words last summer and has taken off with it.  He is intensely curious and driven about things, even to the point of driving us crazy.

But along with all of this is our need to ensure that he gets what he needs – whether emotionally or socially, not just intellectually.  I have actually said to him (perhaps more than once), “You know better, you’re smart enough!”  Ooops.

All of our family members have been concerned for him – worried that he would end up bored in school.  This would spell huge trouble for him as he is notorious for getting into bad things/habits when he is bored.

Sorry for the book… It’s just that this has been a big topic in our household.  Not only is he a challenge due to his sensitivity, but he’s a challenge because he is absolutely exhausting.  I love my son dearly and I just want to ensure that we do our best to have a happy, healthy child.

Isn’t that all we ever want?

And in the meantime, his dad is getting ready to enroll for fall and I’m facing my enrollment for my program.  Time is marching along, with all of these different areas pulling at us, demanding our time.  Some days I wonder if we’ll survive it with our sanity in tact.

Some days I’m sure we won’t.

For those that have been wondering, we’ve been out of it – working hard to hang in there and get things done.  Laundry often suffers and our home is a mess, cluttered with the last few boxes that need to be stored.  I often wonder if we’ll ever be a normally functioning home.  Then I look at the boys and I think, “some day…”

For all those parents out there with special needs kids – you have my admiration.  Parenting is tough work, no matter what.  When your child is just a bit different, well… you have to fight a little bit extra, don’t you?

And for those who have kids, period?  Hang in there… some day they’ll be grown-ups driving us nuts!!

It’s all worth it – I promise.

Cheers,
moonfire.

Embrace…

This is a multi-part blog and one that I think is long over-due.

Part 1
Embrace Yourself

We are all a sum of various parts – some good, some bad and some just plain quirky or strange.  This morning I was looking in the mirror while I was (3rd day in a row!) primping.  I once again looked at those strangely bright silver hairs and smiled.  Then I took the time to look at myself, right in the eye, not at my physical being but at the person I could see looking back at me.

There is much to criticize in who I am and I could spend time dwelling on that, but for today, this lovely rainy one, I am going to enjoy my whole being.  Sometimes I have a sense of humor and sometimes I struggle to find the humor in anything around me.  Once in a while I get frustrated with my dear husband’s lame attempts at humor, but today I actually had to smile because of his funny comments last night.  I am intense about most things and unlikely to have lukewarm feelings about much of anything.  I try to see things from other’s perspectives, but all too often get caught up in my own point of view.

I like to eat good food but I hate to cook.  Luckily for me, I married a wonderful man who can cook better than most people I know.  I love to go walking, but often find myself fretting over how much time it takes to just relax and walk.  I love people and enjoy being social, but sometimes I just want to crash on my comfy bed with a book.

I’m proud of my intellect and wish that I was putting it to better use.  I’m proud of my being a mom and wife, even as I struggle to find my own identity outside of those roles. 

I’m excited that I will be starting my first true career and not unhappy that it won’t happen until my 40’s.  Better late than never!

Today I am embracing the entirety of myself and who I am.  It’s been a bumpy road getting here, but all in all, it’s been worth it.

Take the time today or tomorrow or this weekend, if you can, and be happy about who you are.  There is always room for improvement, but we can focus on that another day!

Part 2
Embrace Your Loved Ones

A young woman and her unborn baby were killed in a car accident yesterday.  Another pregnant woman was killed just a couple months ago, though luckily her baby has fought on and lived.

We hear stories all the time about young people taken too soon or families who lose members, whether through age or illness or war.

A young man was killed while crossing the street last year and his friends all rallied, hoping that someone would come forward with information about the car and owner who hit him. 

Embrace your friends and family.  You never know what is going to happen.  Maybe all it takes is a phone call….  a contact with your loved one who is far away.  Find some minutes and visit a friend.

Part 3
Embrace the Day

It’s raining today.  Boy I love the rain!  I overheard someone complaining about the rain, telling this other person that she’d rather live in a warm, dry climate.  The funny thing is that she was still able to smile at me, as I stood in front of her, a drowned rat due to my walk to campus from our house.  

I decided as I was walking in that today is a good day.  After talking to the young woman at the Starbuck’s counter (the sunny, dry lady), I realized that I should just be happy and enjoy the day, no matter what the conditions.  I just happen to be lucky that today is the kind of day I like.

Even better?  Yesterday I got some wonderful news from our old property management company!  They were able to get a new lessee for the house and we’ll be getting a refund.  Then I went online this morning to check my gas card account and there was a credit!

Follow all of this up with a lovely, jump-in-the-puddles rainy day and a hot cup of soy chai? 

It’s easy to embrace this kind of day!

The lesson I’d like to take from today is that I need to embrace each day.  If I could find something, no matter how small, each day to cheer myself on, I think I’d be a happier person in general.  I’m not saying that there won’t be days where I wimp and moan about life, but I’m hoping that I can make those fewer and farther between.

It’s something to work for, anyway.

Lest I sound like a Pollyanna, I will say this:  The baby woke me up at 5am.  I staggered out of bed, grumpy and testy that he could let me sleep in, even just for the one more hour I had before the alarm went off.  Bren was a bear to get out of bed, tending towards the weepy, and I wanted to duct-tape him to the wall.

But I got my kisses from them and I got my hugs.  I saw them safely off with gramma Donna and then I trudged back into the house to fold laundry.

Still, I see the day in a wonderful light.

I’m embracing it and all that it brings.  I’m willing to bet that something less positive will happen today too, but I can roll with it.

Life IS good.

Cheers to all – go jump in puddles, give someone a hug, drink a hot cup of your favorite drink, tell a bad joke, eat something that makes you feel good…

moonfire.