Too early for a Saturday

Started writing.  Deleted it.  I’d like to rant, but I don’t have the energy for it.

Strange thing…  Our oldest is starting to look like a pre-teen.  Given that he’s only 7 1/2, it’s kind of disturbing.  He has decided he likes to take showers and has expanded that to taking them at minimum once a day, sometimes twice.  I’m not complaining because bath times were sometimes difficult, but between that behavior and how tall he is…  Well, it’s just strange.

Maybe the reason it’s so shocking that our children grow up quickly is because, as adults, we tend to almost stagnate, at least physically (and perhaps mentally).  Yes, we’re aging and the signs of that crop up, but it’s mostly a slow, subtle change.  Of course, I look at my physical breakdown these days and perhaps those signs have not been so minor.  We watched Stepford  Wives last night.  The remake, not the original.

I told Todd that I’d take the robot body.  Yeah, I know… downsides, downsides.   But imagine – no physical fatigue, no viruses.  With the right sensory inputs, you’d be able to feel things.

Ok.  I know…  Hugging your kids wouldn’t be the same.  Who wants to hug a robot?


Had to interrupt that train of thought for a good nose blowing.  Joy.  Never, ever underestimate the body’s ability to produce viscous green phlegm.  Or the ability to run a low grade temp on and off for two weeks.


I suppose I should take stock of my to-do list for today and begin.  I know it includes a lot of study time, unpacking, cleaning, and an outing with the large herd of children to the dollar theater.  I suppose that is why, when I saw the comment to my husband about how he and this friend should get together for a beer last night, I felt myself get riled.  This friend does it a lot.  If Todd had said anything to me about it last night, it’s like I would have seared a hole through his body with my laser eyes.

Well.  I hear the rustling of waking children.  I need to work on something other than frittering time away on the net.  Accounts have been checked.  Nose has been blown.  And that awareness that this weekend is not going to be relaxing has penetrated my early morning foggy brain.

time to rise and shine.


Small steps forward

I will likely say this any number of times over the next year or longer.  This is the toughest job I ever had.  I work harder each day than I’ve ever had to do in the past, so some days I feel the fatigue catch up with me and I feel that faint nostalgia easier days.

Would I trade it though?  No, I would not.

Direct student contact is probably the most exhausting and simultaneously the most rewarding.

What have I learned in the last 2 1/2 months?  I’ve found out that yes, I really want to pursue an academic advising or higher ed degree at some point.  I can wait and it may be years until I feel even close to wanting to do more school, but I’d love it I think.

What I have also learned is how desperately I want to be done with my current degree program.  I can’t imagine how wonderful it would be to ONLY have work each day, each week.  Oh bliss.  It would be lovely.

But back to work.  It isn’t perfect and there are times when I could almost weep because I have no idea how I will make it through all my work.  And then something else happens – a student says thank you… I come up with a solution… I help someone or perhaps even have to give them bad news.  It doesn’t matter what the “it” is, there is always something that crops up, reminding me exactly why I should be there.

It is the very nature of having to enforce rules and having to apply restrictions to a system, a group, that is why so often financial aid personnel are disliked.  But I’ll tell you – every single one of the people in our office cares.  They are compassionate.  They are dedicated.  They want to make a difference.

I just thought I’d put that out there.

And now I’m going to shut down for the evening.  It’s time to enjoy some relaxation and finish my cup of tea.


Well, it’s a box forest, but it’s home

We got the keys a week ago Friday.  A week ago Saturday I woke up with goopy eyes and I knew it was bad news.  Bren was sick for a week before I got hit.  Aidan went down on Monday and Todd held out until Wednesday.  Bren is still recovering (and yes, it has been over 2 weeks).  Add to this mix moving a four-person household in temperatures over 100 and our van was trapped in the repair shop over the first moving weekend.

What was supposed to be a good event turned into hell.  I have no other description for it.  It got expensive, then more expensive and finally, today, I had to take a time out and cry about it all.  Once I did that, I got relatively philosophical about it all.  I missed almost a week of work (thankfully most of that was paid) – Todd missed about a week (unpaid).  We are STILL not done with our close-out cleaning at the old place and we can’t locate many things over here because it is box central.  On the balance against all of this misery is the fact that this is a better place for us.  The kids have their own spaces, which helps with the sleeping issue.  We have a safe back yard where they and the dog can play.  Our neighbors to the one side are wonderful.  Our cul de sac is blissfully quiet.

The medical bills drained us.  The move drained us of both money and health.  I am fretful about my status at work, even though I have many people there who understand how horribly sick I am and have been.

Maybe I’ll cry a bit more before the weekend is done, but then I’ll pull myself together and do what I’ve always done and that is take care of my family.

This is home.  It’s where we need to be, imperfections and all.  We have done our best for our former landlord, so I have no regrets about that.  I learned many lessons through this process.  Chief of these lessons is if a child gets sick, build him a bubble home and don’t get it.

Yeah.  I know.  Won’t happen.  It’s the joys of being a family.  At the very least, I’m thankful that Todd stayed relatively healthy for as long as he did.  If he had folded when I went down, I’d be a huddled mass on the floor right now.

I’m crossing my fingers that my boss understands what I have been through and how difficult the recovery is.  I hope she doesn’t give up on me.  As for school, I have been blessed with a great instructor.  For the first time in my program, I had to ask for an extension on two items that were due last Sunday.  There was no way I could do it and, frankly, I am still struggling to pull myself together.  Tomorrow morning we’ll finish up the cleaning at our old place and then we’ll retreat here, where I will catch up on reading and begin the second part of the class project.

I’d love to say that my emotional resilience has kicked in and I am triumphing over all of this, but I’m just not there yet.  I have this lingering sense of fear that more crap is headed our way.  We don’t have any more resources to deal with this.  So if I could put a thought out there into the ether, it would be this:  Please give us a break.  Please let us get healthy, don’t hit us with any more auto repair bills, and could you let us have some peace for maybe 6 months to a year??  Could you send a job Todd’s way that actually includes paid time off and a decent salary?  Could you let us kick this respiratory bug and maybe give us a long term break from illness too?

I can handle the rest.  I’ll stick it out with school.  I’ll continue the battle with the kids and veggies.  I’ll work hard at my job.  I’ll try not to get pissy when Todd leaves the q-tips on the bathroom counter.

It’s time for bed.  Things are a mess and we have a mini-pool about how long it’s going to take to get settled in.  I’m calling it at 6 weeks.  Todd is saying 2.  I think he’s an optimist, but if it motivates him, awesome.


pink eye sucks

One down, two more looking like it’s hitting them.  Welcome to our household.  I’m thinking Bren picked it up at camp, but I’m not entirely certain.  Now Todd and I are heading for it.  Luckily (at least so far), it looks like Aidan missed out.  Crossing my fingers because he would be a bear with it.

Work is insanely busy.  At home we are struggling to finish up the packing for the move this Friday.  And I’m up to my sore eyeballs in database studying, which isn’t going well because I feel crappy and have the attention span of tsetse fly.

Tonight we’re eating pizza because the little dude is asleep and the van doesn’t have air conditioning, so I’m not heading to the grocery store.  I also have the theory that buying groceries right now will only add to the load we have to haul.

Friday night may be a different story.  I’m not sure yet.

Mostly I just want sleep, food and a bit of a break from the summer heat that has only just really settled into our area – meaning that it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

What I’m wondering is how people do it.  How do they balance intense jobs and a busy home life without losing their minds, because mine feels like it’s about to slide out of my skull.  I really wish I could take one session off and just regroup.  But I did that this past spring and I can’t swing doing it again.  Too bad, really, because my divided attention is having a negative impact on my ability to be decent in any one area.  During the weekdays, I get home and I pretty much expire.

Even with the stress, I’m glad I’m working where I am.  It’s hard to describe.  I need to be there.  It’s hellishly hard to learn and slippery knowledge…  There is simply SO MUCH to learn.  By this point, at the software company, I had a pretty good feeling for what I was doing.  Perhaps it wasn’t great, but I was handling my calls fairly well.  This job is like Atlas.  A couple steps up and next thing you know, you’ve fallen down.  There isn’t a lot of time for me to stop and ensure that I’m retaining everything.  I need to type up my notebook notes from there, but when??  Short of going in at 7am, which I may start doing, I don’t see how I’m going to do this.

But I have to stop now.  Food will be here soon and I have to get my reading done.  I’m behind and I need to make a hearty effort tonight, before things turn grim with the move.


a bit under the weather

Some kind of respiratory thing is descending on us.  Unfortunately, I suspect it’s either the air quality or it’s an airborne allergen…  Yay for us.

We had planned to get a lot done this weekend.  Instead it has evaporated, minute by minute, until here we are – Sunday evening before the big move – and we don’t have enough done.  My mood is a bit low, too, and I think that it’s making me lethargic.

Or is this a chicken and egg situation?  I’m lethargic and it’s making my mood low?

Bah.  No idea.

So Todd hauled our mattress and box spring downstairs this afternoon.  The bed is broken down and ready to go with many other things in the garage.  Aidan was ripping back and forth, up and down the stairs, telling me that he’s “trying not to jump on the bed.”  I asked Todd, “Is he jumping on it?”  “Yeah, but he tells me that he’s trying not to.”

Gotta love 3 year old logic.

I know I should get up.  I know I should pack something.  I should pack anything at this point.  It’d be a help.   I really wish I had this next week off, for packing, cleaning, moving, school, and then the unpacking and settling in.  What a luxury that would be.  Actually, I really wish my fairy godmother would show up, say “Bibbity, bobbity, boo” and everything would be done – I’d be well rested – dinner would be ready – and my clothes would be pressed for work next week.

Sad how that’s all I’d really want right at this moment.

Or perhaps I’d rather have a healthy body, a clear mind, and all the motivation that seems to have gotten up and moved over to the new place.  oy.

Actually, that reminds me… the grass over at the new place is dying.  It looks like it has been without water for a while.  The weeds are thriving, but the grass itself is yellow and dry.   Given that it will be our water bill when we move over there, I have already contacted the property management company.  That’s a nasty huge bill just waiting to happen.  We need to ensure that we’re not going to be placed in a negative situation right from the get-go.

Why do we have to live in a semi-desert location??  blech.

that’s it for this Sunday edition of whining with moonfire.

Here we are now, entertain us…

It was just me and the two small fries tonight.  We had pizza and watched a movie.  Yeah.  I know.  Wahoo.  I find it interesting that this has now become sort of a boring choice when in the long distant past (like the 80’s, heh heh) it was a pretty cool deal.  My kids have grown up with it, though, and so they look on it as nothing more than just a regular night.


As for me, I was happy enough to enjoy it after what turned into a LONG week.  It was only four days, yet it felt longer than a 7-day week.  How is that even possible??

I’ve done my class thread postings for the evening and now I’m thinking about heading for bed for a little light database reading before I sign off completely and snooze like the exhausted mom/student/worker bee that I am.

I will say this – I infinitely prefer being challenged, even if the learning curve is sharp, steep and somewhat deadly.  My days move more quickly and I have more of a sense that I’m doing something meaningful, at least for myself personally.  I think that’s the key when you have to be away from the people you love.  You have to do something of value in your own personal scheme or it can all feel like you’re doing nothing more than spinning your wheels.

Based on what I’m seeing in our department, I find it highly unlikely I’ll ever feel that way.  Every semester – every year – students need us to work our asses off.

There’s something to be said for that.

Well.  The small fries are settling down and I’ve got three chapters to read by Sunday.  This is meaty, dense material.  So I’d better get my ass in gear.