Warranted Nostalgia

Halloween is just not the same as when I was a kid.  Of course, it could be said that most things have changed since then.  Homemade goodies are out… the same repetitious miniature candy bars are in.


I miss being excited about what was hiding in my bag at the end of a night marching around laughing and cheering with the other kids.  The grownups seemed more into it too.

Still, it was a fun night and the little group we had was a good one.  Some folks really got into it and the spirit was alive and well…  Bren came home with a cool black rubber bat that will likely be good fun from now until the next Halloween – I send cheers and thanks to the folks that did that one.

The candy that is hanging out here is getting the boot to Todd’s office and Bren’s stash is small enough that I don’t think he’ll make himself sick over it.

6/7 year olds don’t have the stamina of older kids – thank goodness – and 2 year olds have even less.

I would have been just as happy to hang out at the house, watching a movie and cuddling with my small guy.  But we did the big adventure and it was fun.

Happy Halloween everyone!



Calvin and Hobbes

Brennan and I are reading C&H.  It reminds me a LOT of him.  Actually, the mom and dad remind me of us.  One of the panels had the dad decked out in mountain biking gear while the mom laughed at him.


It’s us.

Next week is Bren’s parent-teacher conference.  He told me tonight that he’s working in second grade math.  A little over a year ago he started into kindergarten.  Now he’s reading at a 3rd/4th grade level and doing second grade math.  He’s creating creatures in his journal – drawing pictures and captions – and making up songs for them.

He’s also trying to teach his little brother to read, which cracks me up – Aidan has his own ideas about the world and I suspect Brennan won’t dissuade him from his path.  But that’s just my opinion.  Aidan has his own and so does Bren.

Anyway, I’m going to the P-T conference next Wednesday.  I wonder how it’ll go?  We adore his teacher and we’re thrilled with how happy and well-adjusted he is in her class.  He has friends, he hasn’t missed a day sick since the year started on August 31st.  No tummy aches… The crying is down to every few weeks (if that).

It’s an amazing difference.  He does the normal kid thing – dragging his feet about homework some days and his printing is sometimes scary and sometimes great.  But I don’t feel like he’s the dodo bird in the classroom anymore.  It’s difficult to explain how discomforting that was last year.  And the kids are funky and creative – intense and curious – bossy and just a bit driven.  There’s no sense that Bren is an outsider like we got last year… and that’s the sad thing – now that I think about it, that’s how it felt.

Todd and I couldn’t do anything for him.  All we could do was try to help him manage the situations that cropped up.

OH!  And there’s no bullying like last year.  Amazing what a difference that makes!

Aidan appears to be Bren’s Hobbes.  The two boys were playing tonight and I got a vision of what the future is going to be like.  It’s a sweet thing, watching them play together.  They get into altercations, but for the most part they are happy and play well together.  As Aidan finds more of his confidence, the dynamic changes between them, but it’s still big one leading small one.

One final thought on the whole education thing…  I am really beginning to think that Todd and I help Brennan navigate the new things he’s learning and we teach him about giving it a try, but the sponge-effect we see?  It’s all him.  We’ve never forced things on him.  We’ve offered information if he was interested and we’ve been there to read stories, count with him, and talk about the world we live in, but it has never been about drilling things with him so that he could “compete.”  It has always been about satisfying that curiosity and feeding it little nibbles here and there.

He already surprises me.  I was going to write that some day I think he’ll surprise me, but the fact is that he already does.  Anyone who views young children as limited or as “simple” really truly has not spent much time around them.  There is an amazing amount of processing and assimilating going on in their minds.  What we see and hear from them is just the tiniest tip of the iceberg with them.  Do not think, just because they may not have developed the sophisticated language to express themselves yet, that they don’t have sophisticated thoughts and ideas percolating in their brains.  They do.

Maybe if we listened with less of our adult prejudices and biases, we’d hear some fantastic ideas.


On a bummer note:  Bren’s tummy is upset.  My tummy is miserable.  I’m praying we don’t end up with a bug before our fun tomorrow night.  We have plans with some friends and I’d hate for the boys to miss out because of being sick.  What a miserable thought.

Time for bed and sweet, wonderful sleep.  The kids are zonked in their beds.  The dog is curled up in a warm corner.  Todd is off enjoying some much needed social time.

It’s a Friday night in our household and it’s peaceful.

What more could you ask for?


Odds and Ends

I’m in my latest class, Project Management Systems.  Interesting class.  Still wishing that I could take a break from school.  I have two years to go.  It feels endless.

Reading “Upgrading and Fixing a PC”, “Headfirst Networking”, “Stranger in a Strange Land”, and a couple science magazines.  Must not forget that I’m also reading “Successful Project Management.”  This lead me to comment to a friend that it’s not like anyone wants an unsuccessful project. Right?

My brain may begin sizzling and begging for release from all the tech stuff I’m reading.  Then again, I actually used information I’ve gained from this reading.  A customer (today) was trying to tell me that her hideously slow network didn’t explain why she was having problems with our software but not with MS Excel.  I had to clarify that Excel, and the other MS Office programs, are small in their resource usage, at least compared to our hog of a program.

I was able to tell her this in concrete, logical terms and she ultimately understood what I was talking about.

So… yay for self-study!

I am craving soda.  I hate soda.  Why the hell am I craving it?

I am tired and I have tension in my jaw.  It can go away now.  I’m not needing this feeling.

My children are humor on feet.  Speaking of feet, I wish they would rub mine.  I did get hugs.  That’s actually better than having my feet rubbed.

Still no end in sight, at least as far as the job situation.  I’m beginning to think that my adventures in purgatory will never end.  And, for the record, I am almost totally sure that what I was told about possible salary increases was a bunch of hooey.

I guess that’s all I’ve got for now.  I wish I had something wonderfully witty to write, but my mind is turning into a dried turnip.  Yum.


kindred spirits, lemon cake, and applesauce

Bren has a great friend in his class…  She’s a fantastic kid – a great influence and she has spunk, which I like.  Her mom is also super and this week is driving back and forth to pick up our short guy.  The mom invited Bren to come over after school for today.  So I got over there and we had a fun visit over kid-chaos, tea and espresso (tea for me, espresso for her).  Aidan loved their doggy and the bird.  I loved the bonding that happens when you’ve both experienced the ins and outs of parenting sensitive kids AND dealing with the school district policies at the same time.

I sense a budding friendship here.

On the “Bad Mommy Front” – I gave Aidan applesauce and lemon cake for dinner.  I’m exhausted and I was gone from home for 12 hours before we got back to the house to fast baths, quick homework and the two older “boys” in our household heading off to scouts.

I’m toast.

So it’s applesauce and lemon cake.

I promise, on my honor as a mommy, tomorrow night is veggies and chicken or something else healthy.

He’s having milk too…  so it’s not ALL bad.

yeah.  I’m not buying it either.

Bed time is in 1/2 an hour.  I have a stomach ache (again) and I’m pleasantly optimistic I’ll get 6 or 7 hours of sleep tonight.

That’s it for me.  I’ve got nothing left and it’s time to finish the last couple bites of cake, read some poetry and songs to the small guy, then it’s bed.

moonfire aka mommy in the doghouse

bed time

I survived the final (3 hours) and finishing up my last assignment (it was fun).

Weird to say that class is done.  It’s good, but weird.  Now I have a week to rejuvenate, at least as far as school is concerned, then it’s back to the day in/day out of class.  My next one is Project Management.  That’s a resume builder of a class, so there’s that added bonus.  And it’s one more step along on the journey that is my MISM.

I stop to look at that and realize it’s awfully close to Misery.  I hope that’s just an accident.

The kids are tucked in.  They aren’t sleeping, but they’re tucked in.  Todd is plugging away on his programming homework and I’m preparing to take the drugs necessary to keep me sane.  Or close to sane… anyway.

I am planning to write the counter-point to all the stress and unhappiness I’ve been spewing forth, but I don’t have the time right now.  It needs to be said but I need to get my butt to bed so that the long day facing me tomorrow isn’t hideous.  Or maybe so it won’t be AS hideous.  I don’t know.  Hard to quantify at this point.

Is it possible to be happy?  I think it is.  It really helps when you can look out at the world and not feel completely buried under all the weirdness and b.s.

I’ll let you know when that happens.


Where The Wild Things Are

In surprising ways this was a sad movie.  I think adults and children come away with two very different things.  Brennan (will be 7 in November) enjoyed it and thought it had a happy ending.  I’m not so sure that I saw it as a happy ending, so much as an “opening of the eyes” ending.

The movie left me with the feeling that children see much more than we give them credit for and they have their own special ways of translating the world around them.

It was a lovely movie, although my little guy (2 1/2) was not very interested… it wasn’t his type of movie – something with “race cars” in it.    Still, I got to cuddle small guy through it, with him wiggling and investigating the lit stairs next to my seat.  It’s so rare that I get to hold him for any length of time that I took every advantage to snuggle him.

The mother’s face at the end, so sad and tired?  I could relate.  Actually, I think that was one of the key things about this movie that touched me most… I completely related to the mother and how hard she was trying.  I also saw a lot of Brennan in the little boy, Max.

I’ve read criticisms of the movie that said the monsters were like a bunch of neurotic middle-aged people.  I’d have to say I understand that criticism and it’s not far off, but I think they missed the point of why that was…  This was a child’s translation of the world around him and I suspect that this was a fairly accurate way that they would see it.  We talk this way.  Even children talk this way…  the “why did you leave” comments… the “you never listen to me” comments…

I had no trouble imagining Bren having a crew of monsters hanging out with him and him populating their voices with those of the tired, bummed out adults around him.  At the same time there were the dirt clods and the fort building – all things that a child would imagine.

I’m tired today and I think I focused on the sad elements more than I would have normally.  Under other circumstances I might have seen more joy in the homecoming…  but this is what we do.  We process things through our own experiences, biases and filters.  We find something to relate to.  We connect through our own language.

I walked out of the theater with my boys and I felt the tired peace that I get when I’m with them.  Bren had some astute observations he made in comparison of the book and the movie.  I love the way he lets his mind explore.  Aidan was just glad to be stretching his legs and now he’s down for his nap, soft blankie hugging him and he’s making quiet comments to the walls of his room.

I’m heading for a nap myself.  I’m glad I have that freedom today.  I don’t think I could have made it through another work day like this.

The wind is blowing now, softly, and the pretty sunny day is overcast.  It’s perfect nap weather, with the window open and the sounds of the neighborhood drifting in.  I’m going to gather my own soft blankie and cuddle up under it.  Reading and assignments and the final can wait a little longer.

Happy Saturday,


(Bren’s reading Shel Silverstein to us…)

So.  I got my assignment from last weekend.  50/50.  This means that both my quiz grade and my assignment grades have gradually improved over the course of the class.  Nice.

And now, it’s time for a bit of reading and finishing up the week seven assignment, plus a couple discussion board postings.

Oh.  And today is “Where the Wild Things Are.”  I will take the boys and let Todd study.  Sounds like a good plan so he’ll take them out tomorrow and I can do the LONG final.

The headache is yucky and my tummy is sore.   If I overcome those two things, I’ll be set.  Nice to have things be so simple.