sick child

Bren has a high temp and nasty cough.  I’m home, keeping him quiet and mellow… not hard to do since he’s been glued to my side all day.



My first insomnia blog of 2009

It may be pressing the term a bit much to label this insomnia… rather, it might be termed “Indigestion Blog” or “I woke up with dry mouth, was thirsty, and finally dragged my tired ass out of bed for a glass of water and now I’m awake Blog”…. but that’s getting a bit wordy.

I wish Chris Snyder was on my current reader list so he could enjoy this one.  It’s the kind of thing he might like.

Which reminds me that I need to call him and invite him over some time, preferably NOT when we arrange sleep-over with a bunch of 6 year old boys.

This means that my to-do list, both short-term and longer-term, is pretty long.  And it’s all in my head.  That bodes ill for accomplishing much on it.  I think today is the “write down your to-do list and start prioritizing tasks” day.

Had birthday celebration for mum last night.  It was fun.  I know I talked her ear off, but I’ve been so busy lately that I don’t see her as much (for real visits, not pick ups and drop offs of the baby).  I haven’t seen a bunch of my friends much lately, either.  Thankfully, Helen and I made a point of being social this week and Ann and I are having lunch today.  Ok… Ann and I had lunch recently too and this is how degraded my memory is… was that this week or last?

I guess I could cut myself some slack since it’s 2:15am.

Oh.  Another reason I woke up?  I got hot…. it felt stuffy and claustrophobic in our bedroom, so here I am.

I’m still thirsty, but I feel kind of full of water.  Juice sounds good.

Hmm… so I can’t even remember what I ususally write in an insomnia blog… that’s how long it has been since I wrote one.  I like that actually.  I think the reason I haven’t had “insomnia” for a while is I’m finally finding peace with a ton of things (weird, given the fact that I’m so booked up and have so many responsibilities, one might be forgiven for thinking that perhaps I’d be MORE stressed) but even more?  The baby is sleeping better now that he’s older.

(ick.  It really feels like a small, hairy animal crawled into my mouth and left residue)

***Juice tastes excellent right now and my mouth is much happier, thanks so much.

Oh.  My brain just stopped.  I’d say, good/time for bed/let’s go/good night or morning or whatever, except I still have indigestion and I just drank a bunch of juice and water, guaranteeing my bladder is not going to find bed acceptable.  Win some, lose some.

So Joanie will laugh…  I applied for a federal job that I am not only really well-qualified for, but I am also really wanting.  I applied on the first day it was posted and it doesn’t close until February 25.  I have a month to wait and agonize over it.  One month.  Ugh.  How the hell am I going to make it through???

Joanie told me this would happen.  I told her I was so busy that I’d be able to forget about it.  We both knew I was full of beans.


Whoa… mistake… juice on top of indigestion is NOT feeling so good.  Oooh, not at all.

Note to self:  Tums would work better than drinking juice, even though mouth wanted juice.  Tummy is now pissed off and demanding a recount.

Speaking of things that are loosely related to a recount – was thrilled about the impeachment news of that ridiculous man, Blagojevich.  He absolutely deserved what he got.  I am still stunned about the things he said – not just the things he was “caught” saying, but also the things he said afterwards.  I think the man is either nuts or so desperate he’ll say anything.  Even worse?  He did it to himself – no one made him do the stupid things he did.  Until he faces up to that, he is even more of a creature of ridicule.


Now I want to mention some things that have made me slightly uncomfortable…  I have been talking about the family I’m helping.  I like to talk about them because they have become a big part of my life.  In much the same way that my own close family is so important to me and I talk about what we’re going through with Brennan or Todd and his studies or me and my travails with work… I love to talk about it.  What I have become uncomfortable with is all the kudos I’m given for doing it.  Now please don’t misunderstand, I really appreciate the reinforcement because I am still struggling with gaining my footing with it and finding my groove.  As with any learning curve, reinforcement and positive feedback are helping me to weather the rough times.  Setting boundaries is hard for me because I want to help – it’s what truly drives me.

That said, I am edging over into the discomfort zone. What I am doing isn’t something out of the ordinary (in my mind, I guess) and I feel certain that others would find themselves doing the same, if their lives permitted.  I am lucky that I have a husband who is willing to do extra around the home – take over meals and nutrition, keep the kitchen going (relatively speaking) and who picks up the extra work with the kids.  I have a wonderful partner who lets me blather on about what I’m doing, who listens attentively, even while he’s mulling over his homework…  So yeah, my situation is easier, perhaps, than most who could be where I am.

I still have faith that many would see the need and do it.  I’m not so naive to think that all would, although that would be a lovely thought.

I’m just saying that I’m not something special for doing this.  I’m just a little bit crazy and willing to be busy.

That’s all I’ll say on it.  Boy I’m glad I was with the dad yesterday, when we went up to the DMV to get his learner’s permit.  I was really ticked off at how we were treated.  He would never have made it through if I hadn’t been there and that scares me because what if I hadn’t?????  To all people who work in public positions where they have to deal with limited English speaking folks – I know you’re busy and underpaid, but PLEASE smile and go out of your way to help.  You are a part of their new home, whether or not you like it… I know you have tons of people to help.  I get that.  I know there are rules.  They understand that too…  But they are dealing with rules in another language and they need HELP.  So please give them help.


I have now been writing for 1/2 an hour.  I think it’s time for bed.  I’ve cooled off.  I’ve had juice and water.  I’ve been upright for a while, so my tummy is calming down.  Maybe I’ll sleep.

As I close, here are kudos that are deserved.  My friend, Heather, voluntarily helps many, many refugee families in our area.  She spends 2 to 3 hours PER DAY doing things for them, many times more than that.  She does this out of love for people.  She is amazing.  She could use about 10 more people to step up and help her.  Her husband has actually come to the point of asking her to do less.

I know we are all busy and have endless requests on our time… but I’m asking that you talk to your church…. check in with refugee services in your area… look into helping.  My tutoring commitment is about 4 hours per week and when I’m done with it, I’ll be just friend and volunteer for the family I’m helping – I don’t know how many hours I will use doing it, but it is worth it.  If you know me in real life and want to help, let me know and I’ll connect you with Heather.

It’s not about money – it’s about time.  It’s about giving up a bit of time to help out someone who needs you.

I know…. go to bed, Shannon.

…and so I will.

Moonfire’s thoughts on things…. for a Thursday…

Really interesting article on Slate, particularly in the face of the “passing” of the stimulus bill without one single Republican vote.  Understand me here – I lean Democrat, but I’m just as willing to talk about Democratic issues as those for Republicans…  I think that the issue is one of “politician” versus party.  I don’t know what the hell is happening in our government right now, but those folks need to stop thinking that their way is the only way.  Find a balance and find a solution… quit bickering, nattering at each other about who’s fault it is and for the sake of all of us little folks out here – GET YOUR CRAP TOGETHER.

I’m also a strong supporter of Obama, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t give critical comments about him and I certainly worry that he’ll veer off track for his bipartisan efforts.

Those caveats given, I sure as hell hope that the politicians, party aside, pull their heads out and get to creating jobs.  Put people to work and we’ll survive.  Piss around and things will continue to get worse.

Echoing comments I read on a board yesterday, a 93 year-old man died because his power was cut off (and he died in an absolutely horrible way, according to the coroner)… He was behind $1000 on his bill…   I doubt the poor man had $1000 per month incoming.  The utility company’s response to what happened?  “Neighbors need watch out for each other better.”  Shit.  I’m still furious over that one.  I don’t care how much he was behind… cut him off when we’re not in the middle of the freaking winter, you idiots.

Record numbers of jobs lost on Monday – one freaking Monday…

And still ignorant people post things like “stop posting on here and get out and look for a job.”  Pull your head out of your ass and give it a shot, jerk.  When you have 100’s applying for a single job, you have most who don’t even get an interview.  And I say this from the perspective of a hiring manager, so get a reality check.

Sorry… testy about a lot of things today, even as my soul-searching is helping me to find some peace about a few things.

In the interest of balance and so this isn’t all about a rant…  and I’m a mom, so I can rant with the best of them…  I have to say that I just read Living With Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults by Susan, Ph.D. Daniels, Michael M., and Ph.D. Piechowsk.  Great book.  Based on what I just read, I now understand better my sensitivity to sensory stimuli.  That helps, even though it doesn’t change it.

I also understand some things I’ve done or said to Bren that I would have been better off keeping to myself and shutting up.

I really need to get to work and accomplish a couple things, so I can’t go into depth right now, but I’d like to say that this is an excellent book to read if you are high-strung – emotionally, intellectually, kinesthetically, imaginatively, or sense-wise.  I was diagnosed, incorrectly, as Bipolar 1.  After researching and understanding more about myself and finding acceptance in who I am, I’ve come to realize that this was in error, but not due to a true failing on the system.  Without an understanding that they needed to first rule out other reasons for my behaviors, of course I seemed to fit this diagnosis.

Why then, would pregnancy seemingly erase many of the behaviors?

Hmm….  interesting, huh?

I’ll be back to write more about this and to dig deeper into it, when I have a free moment (oh yeah… that’s got me rolling on the floor).

Finally, my huge laugh of the morning was Kari’s comment that her medieval profession was Scullery Maid.  Oy.

Cheers to all,

One of those “odd” days…

I’m a bit disconcerted and out of it today.  I wish I could quantify and express why, but I don’t know for sure.  I’m tired and yet oddly awake. 

Todd and I talked this morning, about our lack of exercise and our busy schedules.  It feels like we’re fighting (not each other) to just figure out how things are supposed to go.  It hits me now that as a child I never saw my mum go through this.  She always seemed to know what to do and was our rock.  What I’ve figured out now is that this probably was all I saw, being a self-oriented, egocentric (and typical) child.  Mum always had the answers. 

I feel like I never have the answers… 

Give a choice, I think I liked being a child better! 

Anyway, I had an interesting conversation with my friend, Helen, last night.  Actually, we always have interesting conversations… so perhaps that was a silly thing to write.  Hmm…  That’s a thought.  Our conversation centered around the “social masks” people wear in order to act like well-functioning grown-ups.  I’ve noticed that most people have serious flaws and dysfunctions that they bury under a mask of normalcy.  This likely ties into my notion of the “iceberg theory,” in which what we see of others around us is just this small portion of the whole that makes up the person and their life. 

I think we must wear the social masks in order to function with others… If we didn’t, those around us would end up distracted by our failings and be unable to truly trust in our abilities.  Maybe that’s overstating it, but I don’t think so…

Helen mentioned that she was able to see hints of this in an old boyfriend that she saw at a recent gathering and that was extremely interesting to me.  Perhaps, given the close and intimate relationship of the past, she was able to see past the social mask that he likely has and she was able to see those failing…  Or the alcohol he’d had made his mask more inefficient or he simply doesn’t have an efficient mask to begin with?

Or it’s more likely a combination of all of those things, blending together.

Under certain circumstances, I think my social mask is a very flimsy construct.  I’d love to think that I have firm grasp on who I present myself as, but in reality I might be really weak.  There are some aspects of myself that I have firmly put out of the glare of daylight.  Over the last few years, I’ve discovered that some things are best left to only my most close friends.  The rest of the world is too cold and unforgiving to share the vulnerable side with.  At the same time, I do share a great deal on here… so I don’t know… it’s a strange thing – this balance between opening up on a blog and keeping some things strictly tucked away.

Am I blathering and wandering all over the map?  Maybe.  I’m tired and I feel crummy today, so maybe this isn’t as coherent as I’d hoped for.

On more mundane topics, Todd and I talked about a fledgling plan that will get me working out each day now.  We’re going to get the small car registered again and then I’ll drive it over to campus at the hideously early hour of 6 or 6:30 am, when there is actually street parking to be had.  I’ll be able to work out, shower and get into work, plus I’ll have the car available at the end of the day to head off to tutoring.  Todd will have the van and be in charge of getting the kids ready for gramma and school.

Hooray!  A plan.  And not only that, one that is actually feasible.  It’s a freaking miracle!

(hyperbole is so much fun)

Finally, today is my mum’s birthday.  I send her a big, warm, gushy Happy Birthday and hope her day is a great one!  I love you, Mum!

Cheers on this icy January day…

Learning how to set limits and let go…

Had to have a little “discussion” with myself this afternoon.  I started to melt down with all the pressures I’ve placed on myself.  Fun stuff.  I am NOT doing the amended 2007 return this year – it can wait until later in the year or next year.  I am NOT applying for the federal job right now – it requires more time and effort in order to do a good application – time and effort that I am just NOT capable of giving.

I did some breathing exercises… took care of what I could reasonably do… and I mellowed out substantially.  I can’t give up on helping that family and in order to do a good job for both families, I need to keep my head together.  It’s that simple, while being simultaneously difficult.  Boundaries are a hard thing to accomplish.  It’s easy to be kind of all or nothing.  Yes is often easier for me than no.  Sadly.

Now it’s time for me to eat something and get ready to head out in a little while.  I have tutoring, then a meeting with the volunteer who has been helping the family, then it’s home and loving on my family before I crawl, and I mean crawl, into bed.

Tomorrow is a whole ‘nother day of lists, expectations, and craziness.

Breathing has been scheduled in for five minutes on the hour, each hour.


crazy woman

A mum’s take on “Meet The Press” for 1/25/2009

Well now I’m feeling testy.  I’m surprised David Gregory didn’t press harder on his first guest this morning….  Lawrence Summers, Director of the  National Economic Council…

On the question about what would he tell the folks with the 529 who are five years out until their child will be going to college, the guest gave a pat, political answer.

And this illustrates my chief aggravation with those at the political level – folks who aren’t facing the kinds of financial struggles that we are facing – political “talk” isn’t needed right now.  Concrete solutions and a solid plan at the highest level… that’s what we need.

The answer that Summers gave, about everyone following the rules and working hard…  holy crap, what the hell do you think the majority of the “little” guys in this country have been doing?  And it’s hard to “work hard” when you don’t have a job or you’re under-employed and under-earning.  His answer was fluff…  And, in fact, most of what he said in his discussion with D.G. was just that, the noises that it is common to hear from any political talking-head.  I had great hopes for this morning.  Instead, I find myself vaguely disgusted.

And Boehner was really no better, but at least I didn’t expect much from him.  His comments about his background and growing up were fine, but his attempt to connect to the “common” folks came off as obvious and rang slightly false.  Even my husband, caught up in setting up the printer for us to use for my second job and our degree programs – even my husband turned to the tv, raised an eyebrow and made his “what the hell” face…

So that’s my bitch for this morning… but don’t get me wrong, I understand these guys.  The fact is this is a rough time and there are no easy or single answers.  I question exactly how much our government can do.  The world is getting hit with this.

**The comment quoting the Roy Scheider line from Jaws, “You’re going to need a bigger boat,” was perfect.  Holy shit, Captain, we need one HELL of a bigger boat!

***Sorry, dirty diaper (ie, reality) interrupted my train of thought.

I’d like to go on, but I need to focus and listen, plus it’s time to work on homework with oldest son.  I have more to say on a number of personal topics, however, I see that it’s time to listen…

back later – moonfire