Ow. My brain hurts.

Todd and I were buried under our homework today.  He was working on Java and I was struggling with pseudocode.  Nice, eh?

I do great with the flowcharts.  I can see how it’s going to process and it’s all good.  For some reason, when I start putting it into pseudocode, my brain starts to fizzle.  Then I end up waffling… do I add a process here?  Would it make it more efficient?  ARGH.

I got the homework done but I’m willing to bet it’s going to get ripped to pieces.  Normally, based on what I’ve seen in the text, you would set lines-counter to equal max-lines in your initialize routine…  the logic didn’t work in mine.  I walked through the steps and it just didn’t work out.  My headings routine was nice – streamlined and (hopefully) succinct.  My write-detail process seemed to get the job done, but I wonder how it would translate in real code.

So I got it submitted and decided that’s it for tonight.  This next week’s chapter is going to have to wait.  I need a break.  Todd’s going to the store, then we’re going to watch an episode of Battlestar Galactica (new one, not old) and relax.  I have tension in my teeth from gritting them while I was trying to work out the organization of my process and I’m tired of thinking about how to break down a problem.  Laundry is really so much simpler to deal with.

I told Todd last night that I seem to prefer hardware to software, but I’m not willing to back down from this challenge.  Plus, I didn’t win in the lottery last night so I should probably keep chugging away at school, right?

The house is still mostly a disaster.  I won’t say I’ve completely given up on it, but let’s face it, I’m wiped out from just trying to dog-paddle through everything that’s coming our way…  I really can’t worry about whether or not the dust bunnies have been evicted or the towels are folded “just so.”  Chlorox wipes are a god-send, as is the swiffer mop.  If I could just get the toilets to clean themselves and the laundry to put itself away, life would be better.

By the time I get to bed tonight, I imagine that I’ll be beyond tired and well into that realm of goofy-surreal.  I asked Todd (with the caveat that it was strictly hypothetical, ’cause the odds are it’ll never happen) if he’d mind if, once he gets his degree and a good job, would he mind if I just stayed home and kept everything going – all the appointments, projects, house-work, etc.  He said yes.  Then I told him, oh well…  it’s likely we’ll both end up working until we’re old and dead anyway.  But it’s a nice thought.

So anyway.  Not much writing happening these days.  Too much to deal with.  And frankly, I don’t want to mention anything about my work.  Friday was “NOT GOOD” and it was one of those “NOT GOOD” moments where (thank god I have self-control) I came close to turning off my computer and walking out the door.  I’ve cooled off and I’ve mellowed out about it, but I’m watching the situation closely.  Todd told me to just hang in there because a year there will help me for the future.  I’m taking it a month at a time…  I’ll try to make it to October 1st…. then November 1st… and so on.

We watched Office Space (for the zillionth time) today and maybe I’m Peter…  Maybe I’ll never have the ability to work for other folks because I’ll always be critical of the situation.  Hell.  I don’t know.  At least at home, doing housework, there’s an element of control.  I have my patterns and routines when I’m working on things and I HATE it when my patterns are disturbed.  Crap… I’m a wreck, aren’t I???  Nightmare central.

Yeah… mabye so.  Still, I can be highly efficient when I’m in my zone.  So there.

I’m going to go scope out the chocolate chip cake on the counter.  I’m not saying I’ll eat any, but I might sniff it… really closely.

Cheers.  Seriously.


Balance between dreams and reality, plus our Anniversary Weekend

Our anniversary weekend get-away with the kids was lovely.  They drove us just slightly nuts and they are massively over-tired, but then that’s part of having kids, so it’s fine….  I’m glad we had them with us though.  It just didn’t seem right to not have our family together.  We were treated impeccably by the hotel where we stayed and the surprise that I arranged with the hotel was perfect.

I have to make this brief because it’s already time to eat a light dinner then get ready for bed.

I have discovered recently that it is a very hard thing to balance between what you truly dream of and what reality consists of.  If I let myself go and allow for freedom to imagine what it would be like if I could follow my dream, it makes dealing with reality just that much harder.  The dreams in question are not likely to ever happen, so letting myself go and give in to the urge to imagine it?  Unhealthy.

Instead, I have to focus on doing the best I can, given the circumstances of how things really are.  Some days that’s tougher than others.  It seems easier when I’m in the workweek routine.  Isn’t that sad?  When I have good, subtantial time with my family I feel the tug and pull of that dream… and it makes it all the worse when I have to go back to reality.

Maybe I’ll let myself indulge in imagining, just one more time tonight as I drift off…

Cheers from moonfire and family

can I have a new body, please?

In my apparent endless effort to fall apart physically, I am continuing to have the swelling and I’m going in to have myself checked out.

Had chest pains this afternoon – horrible tightness that hurt like an SOB.  My chest still feels sore from it.  Was just driving along, normal chat with Bren about his school day… I ate a chewy candy and boom, got this freaky nauseated feeling and then the pain hit me in the chest – not my throat or esophagus… almost felt like when I used to get those “air bubbles” as a kid, only I was just trundling along, minding my own business.  And seriously, I was not stressed or breathing weird.  It was just a normal moment up until the pain started.

It last maybe 2-3 minutes.  Or maybe it just felt like it went on for a while.  I didn’t stop the van because there really wasn’t a shoulder along the road where I was driving, but I was looking for a place to pull off when it eased up.

I feel almost stupid for writing about this, because I’m constantly sick and I feel like it’s taking over… or maybe it’s always been this way, but at the same time I keep thinking that I’d be stupid to ignore it.

I wonder what is the line you draw about listening to your body and realizing that you’re a sedentary, overweight, middle-aged woman who needs more activity and veggies and less of all the other crap (you know… the stuff that is ridiculously bad for us).


I know.  And believe me, no excuses here, it’s my fault.  I know it’s all about choices and letting go of some things.  Looking at the sum total of all I need to do to fix the situation, I get overwhelmed.  Yes, I get that you have to take it a single step at a time.  Still, even that feels overwhelming – like it’s one more “Have To” that needs to get added to the list.  I’m tired of “Have To’s”, even it’s a part of being an adult.  Piling on one after another, in an endless, scrolling list, only makes me feel more overwhelmed.

I know it’s another failing to add to that additionally long list – I can only really focus on one thing, for any length of time.  Toss a bunch of things at me and I end up with layer on layer of static and noise, so that nothing really sticks to my thought processes.  Let me focus in, uninterrupted…?  And I can do good work.

That’s how I lost the weight the last time.  Focus.  Work was basic and repetitive.  I wasn’t in school.  I only had Brennan to worry about.  It took a while to get there, but I did it.


Crap.  I can barely ensure that I’m dressed each day.  The fact that I am and I’m doing well in both work and school, plus I have great kids and husband?  That’s me stretching as far as I can.  Mess with my routine and I melt down.  I get sick and it all goes to hell.

This isn’t intended to be whining, either.  I’m trying to work it all out and get it out where I can look at it objectively.  That, and, if anyone has experienced these kinds of symptoms, let me know what you had to do – ok?  I’m sitting here with my chest feeling like I’ve been punched and I’m swaying back and forth between a touch of concern versus the urge to think it’s all baloney.

It’s time for bed for little dude.  He is tired and his little nose is streaming clear goo.  Sorry little guy – you need sleep and so do I.

moonfire signing off…


Submitted my first assignments for my programming logic class.  I had myself worried into a tight little ball of anxiety because I began doubting my ability to do it.  Now it’s done and I look at it and think, whoa, that looks great.

Ugh.  I need to have more confidence in my abilities.

Read Junie B. Jones – First Grader:  Dumb Bunny to Brennan tonight.  Oh my hell!!!  Those are the best books, ever!  (that’s an inside joke…)

Laughed my butt off during the reading.  Had to stop and collect myself a couple times.  Plus I had to blow my nose every 3-4 minutes, so reading it took a while.

Next time Brennan will read one of them to me.

Time for bed.  Stupid cold is still here.  House is a mess.  Laundry isn’t done.  But I got my school stuff done for the week and I really enjoyed it.

Got time with my boys and Todd and I have had some cool conversations about programming logic (mostly OOP), as well as a brief conversation about the philosphy of virtues (homework he’s working on)…  Damn.  I love talking to him about the things we’re studying.  It makes being an online student ok, plus it gives us a chance to exercise our flabby brains together.  Loving it.  Really.

Good night.  Wish healthy thoughts our way.  I could use it and so could the kids.


Water retention, the new way to look younger

Something’s up, besides this damn cold.

I’ve had horrible edema for the last couple of weeks… was starting around noon each day but I just woke up and my hands and face are so puffy that my wrinkles have disappeared.  I happen to like my wrinkles, so I’m wondering what the hell is going on.

My suspicion is that my thyroid is out of whack again.  I hope that’s what it is, because I understand it and know how to deal with it.

I’d do a cleanse, but I’m sick and that would not be a healthy thing to do…  so I guess I’ll drink more water and then go back to bed.


Stumbling along, or accidentally getting it right

It was open house at Brennan’s school tonight.  We went, got to talk to his teacher, had hot dogs, toured the school and read some of Bren’s work.  We got a fantastic handout from Bren’s teacher.  It gives some good ideas on how to help him and how to ensure that we meet his needs.  I’m still trying to strip away my personal feelings about this and how I wish I’d had these opportunities when I was a kid.

This isn’t about me, it’s about him.  So I read the materials and I marvel at how simple it seems – how straightforward.  Support him fully – not just academic needs, but the social and emotional.  It stinks to be different in a world that espouses how great it is to be unique and individual, yet it seems like there is the constant pressure to be “normal.”  The fact that he feels normal now that he’s in this class says it all for me.  It’s like I’ve been holding my breath about it, waiting for what was going to go wrong… thinking perhaps that it wouldn’t live up to our hopes.  I confessed to his teacher that this was us giving the public system one last chance.  If this hadn’t worked out, I would have been looking at alternatives.

Instead, we find a supportive, nurturing environment where he can be a normal kid.  And we have fellow parents who understand what we’re going through.  We met his two little buddies from class, as well as their parents.  Nice little boys – energetic and intense, just like Bren.

I look at this school and this teacher and I hope that they maintain this level of quality when Aidan hits school-age.  I have absolutely no idea if he shares these same characteristics that Bren does, but there is a little voice in the back of my mind that says, “Oh yeah, and you’d better be prepared for it.”

I still feel that twinge sometimes, the one that says I’m over-estimating my child – that I’m seeing something that doesn’t exist.  And I wonder if that isn’t the “Nice Girl Syndrome” – you know – the one where you have to be humble and self-deprecating, even going so far as to extend it to your children.   It’s a big part of the reason I questioned so many things during the 6 months leading up to Brennan starting kindergarten and it’s the reason I didn’t stand up for Brennan when we were talking to his old principal.

Now I look at it and I think that I was unable to trust myself about what I thought or suspected.  I’ve done a LOT of reading on this subject once we started to get some confirmation back from his school and now I’ve found confident footing.

I certainly wouldn’t make those same wimpy mistakes again.

One positive outcome from tonight (for me) is the volunteer coordinator for Bren’s class talked to me tonight and I got signed up to help out from 3-3:30 pm each day.  I get off work and I can head straight over to the school, getting there at 3pm.  School gets out at 3:15 and Bren and I will stay there for a bit.  I’m going to be their “Copy Queen.”  Now it’s been killing me that I couldn’t volunteer time at the class.  I look at the moms who stay home, who have the time to be there, and it makes me incredibly depressed.  When Brennan found out I was going to volunteer for his class, he got blazingly excited.  It’s making ME and HIM happy.

It’s fantastic.  The funny part?  I work tech support, sitting and talking on the phone all day – 8 hours.  As copy queen I’ll be standing and I won’t have to deal with people.  The teacher and the coordinator thought it was hilarious how thrilled I was!


We’ve been stumbling along, trying like crazy to figure things out.  I think we may have accidentally gotten it right after all.

Yes, I’m still sick and no, I’m not happy about it.  I slept like crap last night due to the sore throat.  I’m knocking myself out tonight and I’m hoping for something resembling sleep.  I made it through work today and I think I can just squeak through tomorrow.  I’ve got the notice about the parents advocacy group for gifted education and I’m going to call tomorrow afternoon, so I can square up bringing Aidan to the first meeting.  Todd’ll be at scouts with Brennan that night.

I’ve got to say this:  I love being a parent.  I love working hard for my children and I love my family.  Todd and I are erratic and sometimes seat-of-the-pants, but we are good parents.  We’re not perfect and we don’t strive for it.  We just  do our best and keep on moving forward.  The moments I love most in our lives are when we’re together.  Yes, sometimes we need a “grown-up” break and there are times when a last nerve has been pressed upon (or stretched past the breaking point!), but it still can’t be beat.  On the weekend of the 19th, the four of us are heading off for a weekend vacation to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary.  Yes, we could have arranged to have our kids stay with family while Todd & I went off on our own, but I was traveling last year, for our 10th…. I missed it.  The one big day of the year, where it meant the most to me, I was off by myself.

This year it’s going to be about our little family, together, the way we should be.  Only Danny, our dog, will be left (hopefully Gramma Donna will help us there – he needs love and company)…  and I’d take him with us, but Aidan is enough to keep us hopping.  We’ll owe Danny a trip to the cabin – or several trips to the cabin…

Anyway.  That’s where I am.  I know who I am.  I know what is important to me.  If I keep that central in my life, everything else will flow from it.


Mental slide

Brennan very graciously provided me with a cold.  It descended slowly, insidiously, over the last two days and now I’m cranky because I haven’t even come out of what I would call a full recovery period from the “big bug”.

I’m pissed off about it because, to be blunt, I’ve paid my sick dues and this is ridiculous.

I tried the garlic cure tonight.  Tzatziki.  Yogurt and garlic.  What bug can live up against that combination?

If I’m lucky I’ll lose my voice tomorrow…  Why?  Because, in a fit of graceful timing, things have gone to hell at work.  It is circumstantial, but it means that my descent into cold-hell is happening at the worst possible moment and I’m a pile of misery.  It’s nothing that will keep me home, because that would be stupid.  But it’s enough that simple English seems to be beyond me when I’m talking to customers, leaving me appearing to be an idiot.

Oh, nice… Todd’s home with the hot cold medicine.  This is desperation time….  and that stuff will do the trick – soothing and it makes me sleep.

The kids are listening to the Cocteau Twins as they drift off.  Brennan specifically requested it for tonight.  Aidan didn’t care what it was, just so long as it was on.  He’s got a car and one single block.  I told him he could only have one…


I wish I could hold on to positive feelings for longer than a few days.  I don’t know if it’s just that I have a complete inability to find satisfaction in something or if it’s too much optimism when I head off to some new adventure.  I remember the conversations with my boss back when I interviewed with him.  Unless I have completely blown it, which is not the feedback I’ve been getting so far, then something should be developing.

On top of the negative physical state, I got my new insurance information today.  It’s so bad I’m almost beyond stunned.

I know it’s not my company’s fault.  They don’t have enough employees to be able to negotiate better terms.  And they pay a fortune out to give us this much.

So I’ll watch 20% of my gross leave each month for insurance that I pretty much can’t afford to use except for a doctor’s visit once in a while.

That makes sense.

That’s enough bitching and whining for one night.  I wish I had enlightening and stimulating things to write, but this was all I could muster up.  Tomorrow is the deadline for the job with my university.  It pays more than I’m making now, with better benefits.  And I couldn’t bring myself to apply for it.

Hell or high-water, I made my choice and I know that my future is better for sticking it out with the little company.  I just wish it didn’t feel like I was a hamster in a rusty old wheel.